Online Blackjack can be played with one deck of cards or up to eight decks of cards. The object of the game is to get as close as you can to 21, without busting (going over 21).
How to Play Blackjack: The Rules
Blackjack cards are ranked at face value, however all face cards are worth 10 points, and Aces can be worth 1 point or 11 points. The best hand in Blackjack is an Ace and a card worth 10 points, this hand is actually called blackjack and will pay 3:2 on your wager.
A winning hand pays even money and you win a hand by having more points than the dealer, without going over 21. At the end of the hand, if you have the same point total as the dealer, it's a push (a tie).
The dealer has to follow set rules (must hit 16 and under and stand 17 and over), but your hand is in your control and you can hit or stand as you wish. In blackjack you can also double your wager under certain circumstances, and split pairs if you wish to do so. If both you and the dealer bust, you lose your bet, and therein lies the house advantage.
IMPORTANT: The house advantage in blackjack can be minimized by the fact that you can hit, stand, split, double and surrender when you choose.
The Blackjack game starts with each player and the dealer being dealt two cards. All the players' cards are face up, but one of the dealer's cards is dealt face-down. If the dealer is dealt an Ace as the face-up card, all players are offered Insurance, should they wish to insure their hand against a dealer getting Blackjack.
Insurance bets pay 2:1 if the dealer's other card is worth 10. With the dealer's card remaining face-down, players act in turn to hit, stand, split, double or surrender.
- Stand: If you wish to Stand, you wave your hand and the dealer will move on to the next player. If you're playing Blackjack online, you simply press the Stand button.
- Hit: If you wish to Hit, you tap the table and the dealer will give you another card. You can continue hitting until you choose to Stand, or until you bust.
- Double: Different online casinos have different rules as to when you can double. Usually you can only double if your first two Blackjack cards add up to 9, 10 or 11. However, some casinos will let you double on any two cards. If you decided you wish to Double, you simply place an equal wager next to your original wager, and the dealer will deal you one, and only one, more card. If the card dealt is not to your liking, you have no choice but to accept it and hope for the dealer to bust.
- Split: If your first two cards are of equal point value, you can split them by placing an equal wager next to your original one. In Blackjack splitting your hand basically creates two hands out of one by using your first two cards to start two new hands, and each hand is played individually. Some online casinos allow you to split more times than once if you are dealt cards that are of equal point value to your split cards.
- Surrender: Some casinos allow you to Surrender your hand. If you don't like your chances of winning, you can forfeit your hand, and reclaim half your original wager.
When all players have finished acting, the dealer will flip over his face-down card. The dealer has to hit if the two cards add up to less than 17 and stand if they are 17 or over.
Switch Things Up by Playing These Popular Blackjack Games
Like most casino and gambling games blackjack has a number of variations. Different blackjack games often apply to slightly different game rules or just include some additional aspect to the game. The most popular online casino blackjack variations are Multi Hand Blackjack, European Blackjack and Blackjack Switch.
Multi Hand Blackjack
One of the most popular blackjack variations. The game is played with 5 card decks and players may play up to five hands at once. Players can double in Multi Hand Blackjack, but they cannot double or re-split after they've split their cards.
The surrender rule does not apply in this blackjack variation whereas the full no peak rule does, which is when the dealer does not check their hole card for blackjack until the end of the hand. The rest of the game rules are the same as of the standard version.
European blackjack is very similar to the standard version with some exceptions. For example, it would not be considered a variation of the game if it had no distinctions. First, European blackjack is played with only two decks of cards.
No re-splitting or doubling down is allowed after the player splits. A full no peak rule applies, however, players cannot surrender and only one hand can be played at a time.
Fun and entertaining game of blackjack. The exclusive feature of this game is that players are allowed to switch their second cards between the two hands that they receive.
Although in other blackjack games this would be considered cheating, in Blackjack Switch this is just a part of the game. The rules of the game may slightly differ depending on whether it is played live in Las Vegas or in an online casino.
Live Blackjack Switch is played with8 card decks, whereas the online version uses only 6. Players receive two hands which they have to play and place two bets of equal value on each of them. If the dealer receives an Ace or a 10 as their open card they peek for blackjack.
Should the dealer get a blackjack all the bets are collected and the players loose. Only the player with a two-card blackjack does not loose, however, they don't win either. The dealer at the online casino does not peek for blackjack. Aside from this the game goes by the standard blackjack rules.
The Ultimate Blackjack Strategy
This guide covers the basic rules of Blackjack. To learn to play the game properly, you should learn some basic blackjack strategies for when you should hit, stand, split, double or surrender.
There are many blackjack strategy cards which give you specific instructions on when tohit, stand, double, split and surrender. Be careful when using these instructional cards, as you may require different cards for different Blackjack rules. If the rules at the online casino you're playing at are different to the online casino rules your Blackjack card is written for, you'll need a different card.
Another very important blackjack strategy issue is card counting. By counting cards blackjack players are able to reduce casino advantage and win big money by following specific playing patterns and instructions on what they should do in one situation or another.
However, most of the brick and mortar casinos do not allow their players to count cards and ban them from playing blackjack. Fortunately, online casinos don't. blackjack card counting online is a perfect way to practice card counting and when your skills are good enough, take advantage of it and win even more money. Good luck!
More Winning Blackjack Tips and Tricks
All blackjack beginners should bring a cheat sheet with them to the table, and not only is this completely legal both in online and land based casinos, but you can also keep our strategy guide open in another tab while playing online.
Even if you aren't a beginner you can benefit from having some guidance, especially when you get a tough hand or are unsure of what move to make. Especially in live blackjack games time is crucial, and if you take too long to make a decision you'll lose your chance to make a move.
One more thing:
Whether you've decided to invest the energy needed to count cards or not, always keep an eye out for what cards have been played, and what hasn't. Even if you don't have a concrete strategy, by simply paying attention you can estimate the chances of busting or not!