How to Play Blackjack – Your Guide to Winning at Real Money Online Casinos


Blackjack is a game that is rather easy to understand but seemingly difficult to master. Many players think they know exactly what to do in blackjack only to make bad calls, or silly mistakes without even realising that they’re putting a foot wrong! Understanding how to play blackjack is of fundamental importance when playing for real money at an online casino because online blackjack has a number of different variations that could change the game ever so slightly.

The blackjack rules are pretty straightforward though, but when it comes to strategy, there’s a lot that people can do. With us, you’ll learn how to play blackjack on this short page, and at the end of it, you’ll have a better understanding of the game and know exactly what you should be doing when the time comes.

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Blackjack Rules

Firstly, let’s discuss the basic rules of blackjack. Many people may think that they know the rules already, but it’s always best to lay out the blackjack rules in black and white so that no misunderstandings take place. The reason people play blackjack is because the house edge when a strategy is in place can be as slim as 0.5%. This is great for players who know the game.

Blackjack is well known as Twenty-One and the rules are simple. Players will need to get to 21, or as close as they can, without going over. The important thing to remember is that you don’t win by getting 21, you win by beating the deal where online blackjack is concerned. Having said that, you could win with any number really, as long as the dealer busts, you’re a winner.

The game is usually played with a number of decks, but online blackjack usually has just a single deck. This makes it impossible to count cards. The dealer will start by handing out two cards one at a time to all of the players at the table, from left to right, in order. Then give themselves a single card face up with the other face down. Players will again go in turns with their responses. They are as follows:

  • Hit: This indicates that you want another card. Any number of cards can be taken as long as your total is under 21.
  • Stand: This means you’d like to stand on this total.
  • Split: Players will put the same bet down and have the cards split into two separate hands, where each hand will be given the opportunity to hit or stand.
  • Double Down: Players double their bets and receive one more card only.
  • Surrender: Some online casinos have the surrender option where players don’t like their hand, can surrender, and get half their bet back.

After each player has taken their turn, the dealer will have a go and has to automatically hit up to a certain number. At most casinos, that number is 17. When the dealer gets above that number, they’ll need to stand, and whoever is the closest to 21 is the winner! If the dealer busts, all the players that are still in the hand will win.

Blackjack Cards Value

The blackjack cards value is important for a few of the cards. Aces can serve as 1 or 11, and face cards are worth 10. Every other card in the deck is valued at its number. What’s interesting about the ace is that sometimes it can serve as a “free hit”, because if a player is sitting on a 6 and an Ace, they’ll have 7 or 17. They can then hit again to try and get a better end result than 17.

Blackjack Split

It’s important to know in online blackjack when the blackjack split should come about. As mentioned in the rules, players will only be able to split if two of the cards are the same number/value. That means you can split with two jacks, two fives, two aces, etc. Anything you like really.

As the player, you’ll have to put down the same bet that you put down in the beginning because you’re essentially playing a second hand in the same hand that you’re currently in. You can further split the cards if you get another card of the same value too. This will require another bet! A player can split three times in total and can make a lot of money in doing so.

The blackjack rules as standard will apply to a split, so there’s no funny business going on. But it’s essential to know when players should be splitting. If you’re dealt tens or face cards then don’t bother with splitting because it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to get both hands to twenty as you have in your original hand. The best option to split is usually for high cards, but only when the dealer is showing a total that is close to 17.

Blackjack Tips

As a basic blackjack strategy, it’s easy to understand that you should be trying to get nearest to 21 without putting your stakes at risk. In doing so, here are a few blackjack tips that will keep you afloat in your first few games.

Players should always stand when they have 12-16 and the dealer is showing between 2 and 6. The reason for this is that if you stand at 12, you’ve got a pretty low number, but at least it’s in play. If the dealer is showing anything from 2 to 6, their other card could be a face card which would put them on 12 – 16. That means that any face card will make the dealer bust, and should there be a 16 there, anything more than a 6 as the next card will bust the dealer! It’s a sure-fire way to put you on the right side of statistics.

When you as the player have a hand between 12 and 16, and the dealer is showing anything more than a 7, you should be hitting. The dealer could have a 17 to 21 in his hand already and you’ll only get out of jail if you can get a low card to up your chances.

If aces show up in your hand, you should always split them unless you’re up against another ace. This gives you double the chance of hitting a blackjack on either of the aces that you’ve just split. If the dealer is showing an ace, there’s a chance they’ll have blackjack too, in which case, the hand would be drawn or pushed.

Whenever you as the player get an 11, you should always double down if the dealer is showing anything but an ace. This allows you to get one more card only and doubles your bet. The chances are pretty solid that you’ll get a face card which will put you up to 21.

Understanding Blackjack Double Down Strategy

We mentioned the blackjack double down strategy there. The double down is hedging your bets basically. It means that you’re going to double your initial ante in the game on one more card being added to your hand. The blackjack strategy behind this is quite sound when played correctly because it’ll give you a huge real money cash boost if it comes off but can be quite painful if it doesn’t.

Diving deeper into the blackjack double down strategy rule can sometimes be a little too much to chew but is essential in trying to capitalize on how it works. Statistically, there are only three situations when it’s absolutely the best strategy to double down.

If you’re showing cards totaling a 9, then you should look to double down when the dealer is showing between 2 and 6. Make sure that this is a hard 9 (no Ace in your hand). This will give you a chance to get a good total over and above what the dealer may have when they reveal their second card.

If a player shows an Ace and a 5, 6, or 7, they have what is known as a ‘soft’ 16, 17, or 18 respectively. This is the perfect time to hit a double down if the dealer is showing between 2 and 6. The reason being, you’re likely to end up quite close to 21 and can bank on the dealer going bust.

Finally, if your total is 10 or 11 as a hard total, it puts you in a great position to capitalize on the double down strategy. In doing so, you should always double down unless the dealer is showing an Ace. If you want to be cautious, then you could also not double down if the dealer is showing a face card.

Blackjack Simulator to Hone Blackjack Skills

With understanding the blackjack rules, players are sure to start learning how to play the game. It’s easy to read blackjack tips and understand a blackjack split, but without seeing it in practice, it can be quite daunting to think about, especially if a player is new to the game. We suggest that players look for a blackjack simulator, or something similar, even a place where players can try free blackjack online. This is the best place to learn.

Once players are able to make some free play money in their blackjack simulator, they should look to move to a real money casino game. Bear in mind, when players start playing free blackjack there’s often a stigma that the game is easier or perhaps it pushes players to win more to entice them to play for real money. The face of the matter is, if you’re playing at an online casino that is reputable and has trusted software providers, any free games will have the same RNG as the real money blackjack games too. It helps players learn and lets them master the basics to minimize that house edge.