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American Blackjack Turbo

There’s a good reason why blackjack has traditionally been one of the most popular casino table games in the world. The actual gameplay is very simple, but the strategy needed to play the game well is fairly deep, allowing players to exercise their skills to get the best possible odds against the house. There are dozens of different variations available in brick-and-mortar casinos and online gambling sites, allowing each player to find a version that they enjoy and know best.

In the online world, some versions of blackjack can offer variations beyond just changing the size of the shoe or exactly when the dealer decides to hit and stand. One excellent example is American Blackjack Turbo by SkillOnNet. Not only does this offering allow you to play several hands at once, it also does so at breakneck speed, allowing you to truly play as fast as you want without rushing you when you need a few seconds to think about your next move.

The Basics of 21

If you want to try SkillOnNet’s version of this game, you’ll first have to understand just how to play blackjack in general. While there are a lot of different variations in rules that are possible, we’ll explain exactly how American Blackjack Turbo works rather than delving into every possible rule change.

Blackjack is a game played using a shoe made up of some number of standard, 52-card decks of playing cards (in this case, eight decks are used). The object of the game is for the player to make a better hand than the dealer, by having a score that is closer to 21 without going over.

At the start of each hand, the player must make a bet. The player and the dealer then each get two cards: the player will have both hands face up, while the dealer will have one face up, one face down. Each card helps contribute to the score of a hand. Number cards are worth their printed value, face cards are worth 10, and aces may be worth either 11 (if possible) or 1 (if 11 would otherwise take the hand over 21 points).

The best possible starting hand for the player (or dealer) is a natural 21 made of an ace and a ten-point card – also known as a blackjack. If you have this hand, you will automatically win at 3-2 odds, unless the dealer also has a blackjack, in which case the hand will resolve as a push.

If the dealer is showing an ace, then the player will be offered the chance to purchase insurance. This costs half of the initial bet, and pays out at 2-1 odds if the dealer has a ten has their hole card. The same bet is also offered if the player has a blackjack; in this case, it is often offered as an “even money” payout, because the math works out that by taking insurance, the player will come out ahead by one full bet whether the dealer actually has blackjack or not.

Assuming there are no blackjacks, the hand then continues with each player having the option of playing out their hand. There are a number of different options available to the player, some of which can only be utilized under certain circumstances. The menu of plays you can make is as follows:

  • Stand: At any time, you may choose to stand, meaning you will stick with your current hand and end your turn.
  • Hit: At any time, you may hit, at which point the dealer will give you another card. You will then need to make a new decision based on the resulting hand.
  • Double Down: This option is only available on your initial two-card hand. In order to double down, you must make a second bet equal in size to your initial wager. In exchange, you will be given one more card by the dealer, after which you must stand.
  • Split: Again, you can only split based on your initial two cards. If you have two cards of the same rank, you may split them into two hands, each of which will receive a second card. Each hand will be played for a full bet, and can be played as normal. One exception comes when you split aces; in this case, each hand will get one more card, but must then stand. If you continue to get matching cards, you may split up to a total of four hands at maximum.

Players can continue to play their hands out until they have stood, or until their hands have gone over a score of 21. In the latter case, this is known as “busting,” and the player loses all bets associated with that hand.

If the player instead stands, it becomes the dealer’s turn to act. The face-down card is now revealed, and the dealer will then play out their hand based on a set of very simple rules. If the dealer has a total of 16 or less, they will hit; if the dealer has a hand of 17 or more, they will instead stand. The dealer will continue to hit until they either stand or bust by reaching a total of 22 or more.

If the dealer busts, all remaining player hands win, with all bets being paid out at even money. Should the dealer stand, then all players hands are compared to the dealer’s score. If the player’s total is higher, then that hand wins; if it is lower, then that hand loses. In the case of a tie, the bets associated with that hand will push.

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American Blackjack Turbo

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No Frills, but Fast Action

American Blackjack Turbo is, all things considered, a fairly standard implementation of this popular table game. There are few special features or unusual quirks that need to be explained in order to play. However, there are a few features worth pointing out, as they do make this game a bit more unique than it might seem at first glance.

When you first jump into the game, you’ll be able to pick from three different stakes levels: Standard, High Rollers, or VIP. There is a lot of overlap between the three, but in total, you can bet anywhere from €1 to €1,500 per hand – more than enough to satisfy the vast majority of gamblers. But the options for betting don’t stop there. There are five betting spots on the layout, and you may bet in as many of them as you like, allowing you to play up to five hands at once. Each hand is played independently against the dealer, so you may often win some hands while losing others.

One other thing you’ll notice is that the game feels like it was designed for speed: cards are dealt out at lightning speed, and there are no fancy animations to slow down the action. That may not appeal to those who want a flashy interface, but it’s great if you just want to get down to business and play. At the same time, there are no time limits for you to make your decisions, so the game isn’t rushed in the slightest.

Speaking of the game’s presentation, the design is fairly minimalist. The action takes place against a traditional green backdrop, with the betting option buttons appearing at the bottom of the screen. The betting areas are plenty large as well, appearing far enough apart to keep each hand obviously separated from its neighbors.

A Starting Point for Strategy

Blackjack strategy can get notoriously complex, especially in live settings where the possibility of card counting comes into play. However, it doesn’t have to be hard at all to get the best odds possible in this game. Online, you can find any number of strategy charts that are designed to give you the correct “basic strategy” play for every possible situation you might encounter during play. Follow along with the recommended plays, and you’ll cut the house edge down to 0.37%.

If you find the complete basic strategy charts to be a bit too complex, we can get you started with a much simpler strategy that will still get you very close to optimal play. This is based on a strategy first constructed by Michael Shackleford (also known as “The Wizard of Odds”), but simplified further for ease of use.

One thing you’ll need to know in order to implement this strategy is the difference between “soft” and “hard” hands. A soft hand is one that contains an ace that still counts as 11 points, and therefore cannot bust on the next card. All other hands are “hard” hands. With that in mind, here is a simple strategy that you can follow while playing:

Hard Hands

  • Double down with 10 or 11 if the dealer is showing a card with a lower value than your hand. Also double down with 9 against a dealer 2-6.
  • Hit on all other hands of 11 or less.
  • With a hand of 12-16, hit against a dealer 7 or higher, and stand against a dealer 2-6.
  • Always stand with 17 or more.

Soft Hands

  • Double down with a soft 16-18 against a dealer 2-6.
  • Hit on all other soft hands of 18 or less.
  • Stand with a soft hand of 19 or more.

Splitting

  • Always split eights and aces.
  • Never split fours, fives, or tens.
  • Split all other pairs against a dealer 2-6, but not against a 7 or higher.

In addition to the above rules, you should also turn down insurance whenever it is offered. While the above rules won’t quite make you play perfectly, it’s still very close to optimal, and will allow you to avoid making any major errors.

A Straightforward Way to Play

American Blackjack Turbo isn’t the most exciting version of this casino classic that we’ve ever seen at an online gambling site, but it’s still a game that we think will appeal to a lot of players. Those who just want to whip through as many hands as possible will appreciate the fast pace of play, and the multi-hand options are perfect for those same players. On the other hand, the simple interface, clear rules, and low minimums make this a great way for novices to try online blackjack for the first time. No matter which of these camps you fall into, SkillOnNet has done an excellent job of producing a solid, dependable title that should appeal to a wide range of gamblers.

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