We have discussed the general rules of online Blackjack. Dealers must always follow these rules and all his actions are strictly regulated. However, players are lucky enough to be able to apply to the so-called side rules. They enable more interesting playing strategies but can be applied only before the player has taken any card yet.
Here are the most widespread Blackjack side rules in Irish online casinos.
If the dealer’s open card is an ace, then each gambler may place a bet on the dealer’s having or not having a blackjack. The decision to take insurance should be taken before any player makes any action.
The insurance wager corresponds to your initial bet and is designed to set off the possible loss of the current bet. If your insurance wins, you will get paid 2:1. Blackjack strategy consultants usually do not recommend opting for insurance.
Let’s assume that you have 16 points at hand while the dealer has 10 points. This means that an additional card is rather risky for you while the dealer will most probably get a nice point between 17 and 21 when he opens his hole card.
This can be called a bad playing position which is likely to make you lose. In this case you can use the so-called surrender. That is, you can be restored half your bet under the condition of giving up the hand, thus making your loss two times smaller. However, insurance should be used only if you see big odds of having a losing hand.
When your initial hand is comprised of two pair cards, you may opt for splitting your hand in two. You can make your second bet equal to the original one and carry on with not one but two hands.
After the split you will have a single card in each hand, and the dealer will add a second card to each of your hands. Here you can as well have pair cards, and so you may be allowed to split again but certain online Irish casinos do not offer such an opportunity.
Splitting implies that you treat each of your hands separately. That is, you hit to one of the hands until you stand or go busted and then get down to the other hand.
If you take splitting on two aces, you are given a second card to each of the two hands, but then you are not allowed to hit any more (unless you get another ace, and another split can be applied). That is, whenever you split two aces, the corresponding hands will remain two-card only.
It is important that ten-point cards can be split even if they are not equal, meaning that it is allowed to split, for instance, a queen and a king.
Above we described a situation when you hand is likely to be worse than the dealer’s hand. Quite the opposite may also occur, when you will be quite certain that your hand will win against the dealer’s. In such cases the gambler can double his initial bet down. In the majority of casinos you are offered to double down on any of your hands, but some Irish online casinos impose the requirement of an opening hand being worth 11, 10 or 9.
Remember that after you have decided to double down, you can only hit once.