Blackjack Guide

There are many reasons why Blackjack remains one of the world’s favorite casino games and a staple of every online casino. The rules aren’t too tricky, no high-level math is required, no bluffing is needed, and there’s a bit of randomness that can make every game a little different. Plus if you learn Blackjack strategy you can reduce the guesswork and make the game even more enjoyable.

Blackjack – How to Play

Blackjack is a card game where the goal is to get the value of your dealt cards to as close to 21 as possible, but not over.

You’ll be competing against the Blackjack dealer who also has the same goal of giving out cards to themselves and any other players.

The game begins by the dealer handing you one card face down and one card face up. In a basic game, if you are satisfied with how close it is to 21, you can stand and choose not to receive any more cards.

How to play blackjack

If you would like to have at least one more card, you hit. This can continue until you either decide to stand or your totals passes 21 and you bust, ending the round.

The dealer will follow the same sequence, with one card face up and one card face down, trying to draw as many cards to reach 21 but busting if they go over. If the dealer busts, the round ends.

If you, the dealer, and any other players all stand and no one busts, the player or dealer whose hand is the closest to 21 or 21 is the winner.

Blackjack Scoring

Blackjack scoring

Each number card, 10 and under, is worth that value.

Any face card, such as Kings, Queens, or Jacks, is worth 10.

Each Ace card is worth either 11 or 1.

 How to Bet on Blackjack

How to bet on blacjack

Unlike other online card games, the pot won’t keep getting big if no one wins. Someone wins or loses every round. Winning a round typically gives you what you bet, on a 1:1 ratio. So if you bet $100 you’ll receive your money back plus $100.

If you and the dealer “push” and have the same numbers, then everyone has their bet refunded.

If you have a “natural” blackjack, which means you’re dealt a 21 with an Ace and a face card or a 10, you typically receive a 3:2 payout, which is 3 units back for every 2 bets. Each online casino may determine other rankings and values.

Blackjack – Insurance

Blackjack Insurance

If the dealer’s first face-up card is an Ace, players can purchase insurance in case the dealer’s other card is a face card, and they have blackjack. Taking an insurance bet is typically half the current bet. Then play continues and the dealer will reveal their card. Perhaps the cards will indicate that the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack and then the insurance bet is lost. Or the insurance bet can be won (sometimes on a 2:1 basis) if the dealer has a 21 from their first two cards.

Blackjack Splitting

Blackjack Splitting

Sometimes, a player will receive their first cards and they are the identical value. When this situation happens you are given permission to separate them into two hands and put down a separate bet for each hand, with the same rules for each.

Blackjack – Double Down

Blackjack doubling down

Many people familiar with casino betting in online card games like blackjack enjoy being able to increase their bet in return for having one more card dealt and automatically standing whatever the outcome. This can be risky but can be rewarding if it gets you closer to 21, or you still are far away from 21 but the dealer busts.

Blackjack – Surrender

Blackjack surrender

If a player believes the dealer may have blackjack after the first two cards are dealt but before the dealer draws more cards, they can put their cards down. The dealer will only take half of their bet.

Blackjack – Risk

Blackjack risk

A player potentially can hit as often as they want, even if they have 20. There are fairly slim odds of them getting an Ace for the next card, but they would be permitted to make this bet. Likewise, they could stand after their first two cards even if they only have 10 or less. They potentially still can win the hand for this conservative approach if the dealer busts.

In most casinos, the dealer is required to stand at 17.

Blackjack Strategies

When learning how to play blackjack, smarter players are able to assess how many cards have been played or are still in circulation. For instance, since there are only four aces, there will only be four blackjacks possible with the same deck. If there have been a few already, this could reduce the need for insurance or surrender.

The opposite approach can be used for cards whose value is 10. There are four 10 cards in one deck, plus four of each King, Jack, and Queen, which are also worth 10. So if you have 16 and are considering hitting, you have better odds of getting a card valued at 10 and busting rather than Ace through 5.

Ready to Play Blackjack?

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Blackjack Glossary

A

Action

The total bet amount made for a specific time period. The comps you get will be based on it in the Blackjack session.

F

Face Card

A Jack, Queen or King. Also known as a Paint card or Paint.

Flat Bet

When bettors place the same wager amount on each hand without varying.

N

Natural

The total 21 obtained on the first two cards that are dealt to a player, an Ace plus 10-point card.

W

Wager

This is another way of saying bet. In order to play blackjack for real money, a player must place a bet during the initial phase of the game.

B

Blackjack

You get a black jack when an ace is dealt followed by a 10-value card to total 21. A dealer has blackjack it is an automatic win against players who do not, without them taking any further actions. When a player has blackjack it is typically paid out at 3/2.

Bust

Losing hand. Meaning, it exceeds the total of 21.

G

Grinder

A player placing small bets.

P

Pair

First two cards when they have the same number.

Pit

An enclosed area between gaming tables.

Push

When the player and dealer both have hands on the same value. In these cases, the player’s bet is returned.

D

Double Down

Making the original bet twice as much.

H

Hit

To draw an extra card

House Edge

Indication of the built-in profit-based advantage casinos have.

S

Split

Splitting a pair constituted by two equally ranked cards with the purpose of making two separate hands.

Soft Total

The opposite of a hard total. A soft total is any blackjack hand containing an Ace that is valued at 11 points.

Splitting Pairs

Splitting pairs is a player option that allows you to break up identical cards and play them as separate hands.

Stiff Card

Any cards ranked between 2 and 6 that usually force the dealer to take a hit.

Stiff Hand

Stiff hands are made up of a ten-point value card and any stiff card, for a total of 12-16.

Surrender

The surrender option in blackjack allows a player to give up half of his bet after the dealer checks for a blackjack.

E

Early surrender

Giving up a hand before the dealer checks for blackjacks on the game.

I

Insurance

A side bet offered to players when the dealer is showing an ace. Players have the option of betting half their initial wager which will payout at 2/1 if it turns out that the dealer a blackjack.

U

Unit

A blackjack ‘unit’ is the minimum bet or wager that a player chooses to bet.

Upcard

Known as the dealer’s exposed card, the one that all players can see.