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Online blackjack is perhaps the most dynamic of all virtual casino games at every online casino. It is easy to learn but challenging to master, making it an ideal choice for beginners and experts alike. Whichever category you are in, our ultimate guide on how to play blackjack has something for you.
Blackjack is the classic game of 21. You play against the dealer to get as close to (or on) 21 as possible. You will win if your hand is of a higher value than the dealer within the score of 21. To help you compete with the dealer, you can hit (take another card), stand (stick on the value you have), and make multiple side bets. Getting a value of over 21 results in what is known as a 'bust'.
On this page, you will discover the different blackjack variants, available bets, and strategies for winning. From the basic rules to complex ideas, this guide will give you the confidence to make the best betting decisions when playing blackjack.
While you can dig down into complex systems and concepts, the core objective when playing blackjack, regardless of whether you're playing at an online casino or at a land-based location, is to beat the dealer. To do that, you will need to collect cards with a higher value than the dealer without going over 21. Sounds easy, right? Well, while blackjack is easy to learn, the complexity of bets and wager options means it takes time to master.
Although you might know how to play blackjack, understanding the ways in which you can beat the dealer - or indeed lose to them - allows you to take more control of your betting. Below you can check out how to play blackjack at a casino by learning the winning and losing patterns:
Of course, while playing blackjack online is fun, you really want to win. To do that, you will need to beat the dealer in one of the following ways:
Even if you use our blackjack how-to-play guide, losses will happen. Blackjack is a game of luck, and sometimes the dealer will win rounds in one of the following ways:
One of the first things you need to understand when learning how to play blackjack is your blackjack hand. Consisting of two or more cards, a hand is essentially the cards you currently hold. The range of hands and their value is relatively straightforward in blackjack. You simply take the value of the cards and add them together to get your score.
There are two types of hands you can hold when playing blackjack. These are known as soft hands and hard hands. Yet, they each work a little differently from the other, which we have explained below.
A soft hand is where your hand includes an Ace. When this happens, an Ace either has a value of 1 or 11. Then, you can choose how you wish to apply it to your hand and create your score from there. Effectively, the term "soft" means that the score that you have is one that you cannot go bust on. Therefore, it can be much more flexible.
For example, say you have an Ace and a 5. This hand could represent a total of 6 or 16, a soft score. If you were to stand with this combination, your score would be 16. But, if you were to hit, then the score of the next card would determine how the Ace is played.
Yet, one vital thing to note when learning how to play blackjack at a casino is that a soft score can never bust if you decide to hit. For instance, if you choose to hit and the next card is a 7, this would give you a score of 23 if you use the Ace as an 11. Of course, this would mean your hand is bust. Therefore, you can switch the value of Ace to 1 and create a new score of 14.
On the contrary, a hard hand is any card combination that does not include an Ace. It has no flexibility, meaning that your hand can go bust with a hard combination. Understanding how to play blackjack for beginners means understanding the consequences of a hard blackjack hand.
Say you were dealt a 6 and a 9, giving you a total score of 15. If you decide to hit and are dealt a 7, you would have a score of 22, meaning you have gone bust. The increased risk with hard hands is that going bust is a big part of the game with these combinations.
When considering how to play blackjack, card game players should understand that there are numerous versions of the game. While these variants share many similarities, there are core differences between them. It is essential to understand these differences when choosing which free blackjack game to play and which basic strategy to use.
Part of the charm of blackjack is how easy it is to play. Even so, there are rules to know if you want to learn how to play blackjack. Customers have the choice of multiple variants, but most have the same core game rules:
Once you know how to play blackjack, customers can visit one of our recommended online casinos. Understanding the basics of blackjack gameplay will help you get started and choose the best game variants for you. Below, our team of blackjack experts has put together a convenient step-by-step guide to help you play blackjack online:
Blackjack is essentially a card counting game where each hand has a value that contributes to an overall number equal to or less than 21. Learning how many cards to play blackjack and their value is fundamental to understanding the game.
On the surface, playing blackjack is easy, and even beginners can enjoy games at top online casinos. Although, if you want to make the most from blackjack, we recommend understanding all the potential options you have during the game. Here, blackjack becomes more complex, and you can manage your hands in the following ways:
Knowing the payout percentages of games is essential when playing blackjack at one of our recommended online casinos. Each game has a specific payout rate that tells you the house edge or how much the casino with instant withdrawal wins back on average. Understanding how each rule and betting option can influence the house edge/payout will allow you to find the best blackjack games.
Playing blackjack online games with the best payout rates will give you more chances of winning and help your bankroll last longer. Regular blackjack has a standard payout of 3 to 2. Yet, other online tables have different payout percentages that can be less or more than this standard, so it is worth researching individual games to find out.
One of the first things you will notice when understanding how to play blackjack is that you have plenty of side bets to choose from. However, the majority are reasonably rare. As a rule of thumb, you should almost always avoid these bets. Some of them carry a huge house edge, offsetting any low edge from the main game.
One of the most popular bets is that of 21+. In this game, you are looking at hands that create a flush, straight pair and combinations of each from the players' two and the dealer's one card. The house edge for this bet is a massive 8% in games played on four decks. Yet, this edge does decrease the more decks that are in play. As you'll soon uncover when learning how to play blackjack, this is a common theme with side bets.
If you're looking to go pro playing blackjack, you should steer clear of these bets. You would be far better off nailing the basic blackjack strategy from within the main game than messing around with side bets that may offer you little value in the long run.
Blackjack comes with tons of different terms and names that you can use for cards, bets, and hands. You will likely use specific terms more often than others, and we have even mentioned a couple already in this blackjack how-to-play guide. It's vital to familiarise yourself with some of these phrases, so we have created a list of what we think are the most crucial blackjack terms to note.
Undoubtedly, online blackjack, both at live blackjack casinos and mobile casinos, has changed how most players address the game. It's opened up a whole new world to game variations.
The number one reason to play online is that the house edge is almost always lower than it is with land-based casinos. As we have mentioned in our blackjack how-to-play guide, there are many ways that the rules can adjust the house edge in blackjack. Yet, with a land-based casino, you take what you are given. Online, you can quickly shop around. So, if games have a higher house edge, they may not get the traffic to make them profitable.
Playing blackjack online also gives you a much more comprehensive range of games. Some include Spanish 1, Super Fun 21, Pontoon, War Blackjack, Face Up Blackjack, Double Attack, Down Under, and many more. The base of each of these games is the same, but subtle rule changes mean that they are unique, offering an incredible array of choices.
The game is one that is very simple to play. You don't have to worry too much about playing perfectly every time, although it will benefit you in the long term. Most people at least know basic rules, making the game highly accessible.
Finally, it's one of the few online casino games where you can apply some strategy to your bets. Unlike online slots or roulette, blackjack is an art you can master. You will always be an underdog to the casino, but you can at least minimize this, unlike almost all other games.
While blackjack is arguably the ultimate casino game, it is also one of the most welcoming. You can easily sit at a table and verbally instruct the dealer on your betting choices. However, if you want to add a touch of efficiency to your blackjack playing, you can use hand gestures to communicate your bets:
Now you know how to play blackjack at a casino, it is time to put your knowledge into action. But before you head off to one of our recommended blackjack casinos, our team of experts has put together some tips to help you get the most from playing blackjack online:
Ziv Chen has been working in the online gambling industry for over two decades in senior marketing and business development roles. Ziv writes about a wide range of topics including slot and table games, casino and sportsbook reviews, American sports news, betting odds and game predictions. Leading a life full of conflict, Ziv constantly struggles between his two greatest loves: American football and US soccer.Read Full Bio