Blackjack is one of the most profitable and easiest casino games to play. It’s no wonder plenty of players flock to casino sites just to play different variations of the card game.
If you’re new to the world of online gambling, or gambling in general, we recommend that you start out with playing Blackjack. To get you started, we have created this detailed and helpful guide to familiarize you with the ropes of playing the game online. Read up on the rules of the game and how you can play it on a casino. You can also find some tried and tested tips to help you win at Blackjack here. So, take your pencils out and take some notes down.
Quick rundown: The Rules of the Game
The good news is that all Blackjack games have some common fundamental rules. For one, the game’s goal doesn’t change from variation to variation. A player should still aspire to beat the dealer’s hand with your hand by not going over the value 21. This is also the reason why Blackjack is also called 21.
Fundamental Rules and Commonly-Used Terms:
- Again, a player’s ultimate goal is to beat the dealer’s hand by being dealt a hand that doesn’t bust over 21 in card value. What makes Blackjack great is that you’re only betting and competing against the dealer.
- In Blackjack, cards are assigned values to be added together to determine if you win or lose a round. An ace can be worth either the value of 1 or 11, depending on which of the two would make your hand better. Face cards such as the Jack, the Queen and the King are valued at 10 while cards 2 up to 9 retain the same value as their numerical equivalent. Jokers aren’t used in the game.
- In the beginning, the dealer would hit you with two cards dealt face up. They would then deal themselves with one face down card and one face card.
- After being dealt your cards and weighing your options, you can decide to either ‘hit’ ask for another card from the dealer or ‘stand’ meaning you’re ending your turn and will stand by your total.
- If you’re dealt a hand which value is more than 21 then you ‘bust’ and the dealer wins even if his hand is worse.
- You win when you are dealt a hand that is closest to 21 without going over it. If this happens, you will be payed odds of 3/2 on your original bet. But if the dealer has a blackjack as well, you end up in a ‘push’. This means that your current the hand as well as your starting bets will be moved on for the next hand or round.
- Aside from hitting, you can also ask to double. Doubling entails that you’ll be dealt one more card and your bet doubled.
- Another move a player can make is to ‘split’. Splitting happens when you are dealt with two cards of the same value and you decide to split the hand into two hands. You’ll also have to double your bets.
- Having the option to ‘take insurance’ happens when your dealer has a face up ace card. This involves you betting half of your original bet. You’ll win 2/1 from the insurance bet when your dealer makes a Blackjack.
How to Play Online Blackjack
Once you’ve chosen the particular casino and Blackjack variation you want to play you can then start playing. Most online casinos us an RNG for their Blackjack games. However, you have the option to play with a real dealer when you play Live Blackjack. Note that these following instructions may apply to both.
Betting: The game begins with you, the player, choosing how much you’ll bet. Bets are usually valued at $1, $5, $25 and $100.
Deal: Press the deal button to bet and to get your hand.
Playing your hand: Once your cards are dealt, you’ll be given the choice to hit, stand or double down. Click on your choice.
Results: After you’re done playing your hand, the dealer reveals his hand. You either win or lose. If you lose, your bet is taken. If you win, your earnings are added to your bankroll.
Rebet: You can proceed to a new hand by rebetting the same amount. You can also choose a different bet.
Choosing Which Casino to Play at
There are plenty of online casinos promising you the best of your time and money when you play with them. With all these choices available, it may become a bit hard for you to choose which one to commit to. Before you deposit real money at a casino where you plan to play Blackjack at, be sure consider the following things.
Choose a regulated and secure casino
The safety of your personal information and money should always be your top priority when choosing an online casino. Only play at reputable and regulated casinos. You’ll know that an online casino is secure if they have certain licenses and permits usually shown at the bottom of their front pages. Besides you wouldn’t want to be one of those people who only realize they’ve been swindled when they can’t access their winnings and deposit.
Good game range and low house edge
A good casino would offer a great variety of games, particularly Blackjack versions. You’ll enjoy the game more when you can play different versions of it. If you get bored with one kind, you can easily switch and cleanse your gamer palette by playing another one.
And as we’ve discussed in our article, Odds in Your Favor: The Most and Least Profitable Online Casino Games, your best bet is to play the games with the lowest house edge because they give you more chances to win. Blackjack’s house edge is already the lowest of all online casino games but browsing through its variations may find you a great deal.
Strategies That Work
The fact that you’re gambling means that you expect to win some cash one way or another. Here are some tried and tested ways to win at online Blackjack.
Pick a Blackjack Variant with the Lowest House Edge and Study It
It’s no secret that casinos are designed so that the house eventually wins in the long run. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t win some money in the short term. As you may already know, picking a game with a low house edge will give you more chances at winning. The same goes for Blackjack. Check out these variations and decide for yourself.
Blackjack surrender: A common Blackjack variation which allows the player to half their losses by giving them the option to ‘surrender’ if they think their hand will be a losing one.
Double Exposure Blackjack: In this version, both the dealer’s cards are dealt face up instead of having a hidden one.
Spanish Blackjack: In Spanish Blackjack, all tens are excluded from the playing deck.
Bonus Blackjack: A version which offers special bonus jackpots for particular hands.
Triple 7s Blackjack: A Blackjack game which has a progressive pot for winners.
Multi-hand Blackjack: This version allows you to play multiple hands at a time
Blackjack switch: This Blackjack variation allows the player to double their odds of winning by giving them two hands to play with. They can switch between these two depending on which one is more beneficial.
Live Dealer Blackjack: If you’re looking to play like you were in a physical casino in the comfort of your own home, then live dealer Blackjack may be your best choice. You get to play and chat with an actual dealer.
These variations of Blackjack have their own set of rules so be careful when playing. Make sure you’re aware of each one’s intricacies and special rules so you won’t lose money on errors.
Here are some more popular Blackjack variations with their corresponding house edges.
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Make a Blackjack Strategy Card
Since different Blackjack games have different rules, it’s hard to determine a strategy that will work for all of them. What we recommend is that you use or even make your own strategy cards.
A strategy card will list down possible situations and the best decision you can make when they happen in the game. You can find plenty of strategy cards for the many blackjack variations online. You can also make your own using basic strategy calculator which you can also find online.
A warning though, these strategy cards won’t cover all situations that may arise in the game. For example, they won’t be able to tell you how much to bet.
Doubling Down on 10 or 11
This strategy works best when the dealer’s face up card shows the values of 2,3,4,5 or 6 because there’s a big chance that they’ll bust over 21 when their face down card is turned over. The chances are bigger especially when their face up card is a 5 or a 6.
In this case, you’ll have to double your initial bet when your first two cards make up a 10 or an 11. After this, you’ll get just one more card to complete your hand. This technique will give you twice the chance of winning as well.
Don’t Bet with Real Money Right Away
Knowing all the intricacies of all these Blackjack variations often lead to confusion in the beginning. Avoid losing real money by practicing first on free Blackjack games or Blackjack simulators online. Even physical casino players do this first to avoid making initial mistakes and therefore losing money.
Practicing with free games and simulators is also a great way for you to test out different techniques or putting your new strategy card to the test. Unfortunately, not all Blackjack variations offer free games to players. In that case, your best action is to keep the bets small in the beginning until you get a hang of things.
Strategies That Don’t
You’ll find some bad advice in your online searches for the best Blackjack tips. Here are some of them.
Card Counting for Online Blackjack
By this time, we’re pretty sure you know the deal about card counting already. It’s not surprising as it is one of the most popular techniques used in winning Blackjack. However, it only works if you’re playing at a physical casino or live dealer Blackjack. You see, card counting works on calculating the how often tens and low cards are dealt out so a player can make the best bets that’ll benefit them.
This won’t work at online casinos as most of them use a strict Random Number Generator which usually uses multiple decks of cards at a time making card counting ineffective. Besides, card counting is an activity that is usually frowned upon in the gambling world. But if you’re adamant in learning card counting, you can stick to live dealer Blackjack games.
Taking Insurance When You’re Dealt a Blackjack
As we’ve said earlier, you are given the choice to take insurance when your dealer is dealt with a faceup ace to give you the chance to win back half of your original bet in case the dealer makes a Blackjack.
In the instances where you’ve already made a Blackjack and the dealer offers you to take insurance, don’t. it’s better if you win the 3/2 on your Blackjack over betting more money just in case your dealer also made a Blackjack.
Make your best bets and win at online Blackjack by following the tips and strategies we’ve discussed above. There’s no one foolproof way to win but you’ll have your best chances by using these techniques together when you start playing at your online casino of choice.