How to Play Blackjack
The main fact that you need to know before you start to play online Blackjack is that your aim is to beat the dealer. To do this you’ll want to get as close to the number 21 as possible (while avoiding going over this number), but as long as you beat the dealer you’ll come out the winner, no matter what number you have. If you hit 21 with an Ace and a 10-point card it is known as Blackjack, which is the highest hand. This is why the game is also known as ‘21’.
Blackjack is played usually with a couple of 52-card decks. Each card is assigned a different numerical value. Aces are valued as 11 or 1 (depending on what the player needs at the time), the face-cards (Jack, Queen and King) are equal to 10, and the number cards are equal to their face-value. Your point total is the sum of the cards that you hold in your hand.
When you start playing, you’ll place your bets and then the dealer will deal you two face-up cards. He’ll then deal himself one face-up card and one face-down card. Based on your hand’s point total, you’ll then make a judgement call as to whether you will ‘hit’ for a third card, or if you will stay with what you have or ‘stand’.
If you hit and you go over 21, you will lose. If you ‘stand’ and your number is lower than the dealer’s, or if the dealer gets ‘Blackjack’ then you’ll lose the hand too. If your number beats the dealer or if the dealer goes over 21, then you’ll be the winner.
Online Blackjack is played in much the same way as the regular game, with a couple of nuances. One of these differences is that the shoe is shuffled after each hand, which changes the odds of the game.
If you’re new to the world of Blackjack, you’ll come across some terms that you’ve never heard in the gambling context before. These are:
• Hit – This means to request another card or cards over and above the original two that you were dealt.
• Stand – You’ll use this term when you decide that you have enough cards and that you don’t want to request another from the dealer.
• Bust – Going bust means that your card total is over 21 and you lose the hand.
• Insurance – If the dealer holds an Ace as his face-up card, the player can take out insurance to protect himself in case the dealer gets Blackjack. Insurance generally pays out 3:2.
• Push – When the player and the dealer have the same point value, this is known as a push. When this happens your bet will be returned to you.
• Soft – Any hand that has an Ace is a soft hand, because the Ace can stand for a 1 or 11.
• Split – If a player has two 10-point cards or a pair, he can double his wager and split these cards into two separate hands. Each of these new hands will be dealt a second card. Then the playing will resume as normal. There are a number of exceptions to this general rule, for example if your pair is a pair of Aces.
• Double – There is this option to double your wager and then get dealt only one more card.
• Surrender– If the player does not feel positive about his hand based on the first two cards, some versions allow the player to surrender half of his bet and the round will end.
Blackjack is not a game of pure luck, like many of the other casino games. It is a card game that requires strategic thinking and an in-depth understanding of the rules. By making tactical decisions, you can influence the outcome of the game. If you apply an optimal Blackjack strategy to your game, you can lower the house edge, and even beat the system by putting the odds in your favour.
There are different strategies you can use to decrease the house advantage, from the most basic strategy to more complicated mathematical calculations. Read more about the best blackjack strategy in our dedicated page. It is also recommended to play free Blackjack no download in practice mode at one of our casinos , either Tropez or Casino.com will do ,before playing for real money, so that you can put all your theoretical knowledge and tips into practice.
Final Words on Blackjack
Online Blackjack is a firm favourite as it is one of the only, if not the only, casino game where you can actually put the odds in your favour. You can even eliminate the house edge if you successfully apply the best online Blackjack strategy to your game.
The aim of the game is simple, but to become a Blackjack pro, there are a number of rules and strategies to master. You don’t need to be a mathematical genius to successfully play 21 online but it does require more than just good luck to become a winning online Blackjack player. Check out our list of casinos that offer Blackjack and become a master of this popular card game