Blackjack is one of the most famous casino games in the world, popular in both land-based and online casinos. The game has developed a glamorous reputation over the years, having featured in many a novel, movie or TV show, and you can enjoy this exciting game too, right here at PlayFrank Online Casino South Africa.
It’s hard to pin down the precise origins of blackjack, also known as twenty-one, but it’s believed the game probably originated in Spain. The first documented mention of the game is in a short story written by Miguel de Cervantes in the early 17th century, where it’s referred to as ‘Veintiuna’, the Spanish for ‘twenty-one’.
In blackjack players don’t compete against each other as is common in many other card games, but rather they play against the dealer. Played with a deck of 52 cards, the objective in blackjack is to attain a hand that is closest to 21 without actually going over it.
Although blackjack now enjoys worldwide popularity, it hasn’t always been so. Even in the US it has taken time for the game to reach the legendary status it boasts today. The game really didn’t begin to catch the attention of Americans until casinos started to offer more attractive odds. One of these favourable odds depended on players getting an ace of spades and a black jack, and yes, you guessed it, that’s how the game came to be known as ‘blackjack’.
Our players in South Africa have access to many different versions of blackjack at PlayFrank, with varieties of online blackjack and live casino blackjack available to play. These blackjack games are customised with a variety of settings and features designed to appeal to personal player preferences.
Blackjack has developed a reputation for being a difficult game, played only by experts. Nothing could be further from the truth, though. It’s actually a very straightforward game, and the rules quite simple to understand. This makes blackjack perfect for both beginners and experienced players. There are various strategies you can learn to improve your gameplay, but the basic strategy has been tried and tested and continues to be the preferred option of players.
The rules of online blackjack will vary slightly from game to game, but for the most part the concept is the same. A winning hand is formed when the cards dealt total 21 or are closest to 21 without exceeding it. The King, Queen and Jack cards are valued at 10 each, the aces can be either 1 or 11, depending on what is most advantageous for your hand, and finally, the number cards remain valued at 2-10.
The game begins when all bets have been made, after which players are dealt their cards. Next, the dealer will deal their own hand, with one card being placed down and the other placed up. If you’re satisfied with the cards you’ve been dealt, you can choose to ‘stand’. If you want more cards to improve the total of your hand, you can ‘hit’. Players can also opt to ‘double down’ or ‘split’ if the cards dealt warrant additional cards and bets. Players and dealers then play their hands. Depending on the outcome, a player could be in for a big money win.
In the PlayFrank games lobby, our blackjack games are divided into two main categories – Table Games and Live Casino. Players will find the online blackjack games under the Table Games category and in the Live Casino the live blackjack games. But what’s the difference between the two? Basically, online blackjack is run entirely by software, whereas live blackjack is streamed live from a table hosted by a real dealer. For players new to the online casino world, and for whom playing a live game can seem like a daunting prospect, online blackjack is ideal. It allows you to familiarise yourself with blackjack and the rules thanks to its simple and easy to navigate layout. If you don’t feel ready to play a real-money game yet, you can even play online blackjack in free demo mode first.
Please note: Players in South Africa must first register for an account before they can play in demo free-play mode. Sign up at PlayFrank Online Casino South Africa today. It takes just a few minutes, and once you’re up and running you can enjoy all our games in free demo mode.
Do you prefer the thrill of a real casino environment? Then give live blackjack a go instead. Unlike online blackjack, live blackjack offers an authentic casino experience, where the dealers are real and the stakes high. There’s an extensive range of live blackjack games to choose from at the PlayFrank Live Casino lobby. Featuring multiple HD camera angles and a live dealer you can interact with, you’ll feel like you’re right in the heart of the action. For the big bucks play, take a seat at one of the exclusive, high-roller VIP tables.
You’ll find plenty of classic blackjack editions at PlayFrank, but we also offer our South African players many new and exciting varieties of online blackjack and live blackjack. These include such titles as Blackjack Gold Series, Blackjack Atlantic City, and Double Exposure. Looking to brush up on your online blackjack skills before playing for real money? You’ll be pleased to hear that all these games are available in free-play mode.
Only one deck of cards is used in Single Deck. Bets are placed and the cards are dealt, of which players will receive two face up, and the dealer one face up and one face down. Players must then decide on their next course of action depending on the cards they and the dealer have already drawn. Will they stand, hit, split, or double down?
Just as in classic online blackjack games, the goal in Double Exposure is to make a hand of 21 or as close as possible to 21 without going over. Where this version differs is that two decks of 52 cards are used rather than one. Also, in Double Exposure the dealer stands on soft 17, giving a player a greater chance of winning.
Pontoon and blackjack have many similarities, and if you’re familiar with the rules of blackjack you shouldn’t have much trouble getting to grips with Pontoon. There are, however, a few key differences to be aware of, most notably in their different terminology.
To ‘hit’ in blackjack is to request another card. In pontoon, this same action is called a ‘twist’. And whereas doubling your bet and receiving another card in blackjack is to ‘double down’, in pontoon this is referred to as a ‘buy’. Also, when you double down in blackjack you can only do so with your original cards, but in pontoon a player is able to have more than two cards when they choose to buy.
A unique feature in pontoon is the Five Card Trick, which requires a player to collect five cards all adding up to 21 or less. The only hand that beats a Five Card Trick is the pontoon hand itself, where a player gets exactly 21 with just two cards. The payouts for 21 in pontoon are also more attractive. A two-card 21 gets you odds of 2 to 1 in pontoon, rather than the usual 3 to 2 for the same hand in blackjack.