How to play blackjack online
The aim of blackjack is to have a stronger hand than the dealer’s without going over 21 points. If you go over, you lose, also known as bust in blackjack terms. Here are the basics of how a game of blackjack unfolds. Although you may find different variations of the game, the procedure remains similar.
- Before the game starts, you need to place your bets, which range between $0.50 and $100.
- Then, the dealer distributes two cards to the players face-up and two cards to themselves, one face-down and one face-up.
- At this point, you must decide what action to take based on your two cards and the dealer’s face-up card.
- Once you have concluded your hand, the dealer reveals their face-down card and the winner is determined.
- If a tie occurs, termed push in blackjack lingo, your entire bet will be returned to you.
Blackjack Gameplay Actions
Blackjack combines skill, strategy, and a dash of luck. To master the game and make the most of each hand, it's essential to understand the available actions you can take. Here are the options:
- Hit: To receive another card.
- Stand: When your hand is satisfactory (final action).
- Double Down: Double your bet and receive only one more card.
- Split: If your first 2 cards have the same value, you can split your hand into 2 and bet on each one.
- Surrender: At the beginning of the game, you can forfeit half of your bet instead of losing the entire amount. Option not available on all games.
- Insurance: If the dealer obtains an Ace, you will receive a prompt asking you if you want to play ‘Insurance.’ Here, you are betting that the dealer will get a Blackjack (21 points). You need to place another bet (half of the initial bet). The dealer then reveals their hidden card. If they have a Blackjack, you win.
Please note that the image provided above stems from a game of classic online blackjack, also called American Blackjack. When you play blackjack’s other variants, you may find slight differences in display.
After familiarizing yourself with the key actions, it's time to delve into the heart of the game—the card values. Understanding the value of each card is fundamental to making strategic decisions and maximizing your chances of winning at online blackjack. Below, you'll find a comprehensive table with these card values.
Cards 2 to 9
Worth their numeric value
Cards 10, Jacks, Queens, and Kings
Worth 10 points
Worth 1 or 11 point(s), your choice.
As with any online casino game, you must understand the rules and potential actions of online blackjack before engaging in strategies. Once you are familiar with the former, here are some basic strategies you can follow based on the cards you receive.
- Blackjack (automatic victory): If you get an Ace and a 10-point card, you're all set.
- Stand: Choose this action when your hand has a pair of 10s, regardless of the dealer's visible card. Also stand if you have a pair of 9s and the dealer has a 7, 10 or Ace.
- Hit: Choose to hit until you reach up to 17 points, if the dealer's card is a 7 or higher.
- Split: Regardless of the dealer's hand, split yours if you get an Ace and an 8.
- Double Down: If your hand has a total of 9, 10, or 11 AND the dealer's card is less than 10, you can choose to double down.
- Surrender: When available as a functionality in the game, you should cut your losses and surrender if you have 9 and 7; 10 and 6; or 15 total AND the dealer shows a 9, 10 or Ace.
- Insurance: You will be prompted to choose this option when the dealer gets an Ace. Please note that playing the insurance option is risky, as the chances of the dealer getting a Blackjack are very low.
Online Blackjack Variations
Casinos that offer online blackjack provide many variations of the game, each with their own characteristics. You can always refer to the game’s help menu for the rules and payouts. Here are some of the main variants:
- Classic/American Blackjack: The version explained in this article.
- European Blackjack: The dealer will receive their second card only after all players have concluded their hand.
- Switch: Players bet on two hands per turn and can exchange two cards between these hands.
- Multi-hand: This version allows players to bet on five hands at once.
For more details on these variants, the games with the highest return to player, as well as the best casinos where you can play blackjack online, please refer to our complete online blackjack guide.
- How to play online blackjack effectively?
The objective is to get as close to 21 as possible without exceeding that limit. To play online blackjack effectively, you need to understand the card values, potential actions, and basic strategies.
- Can I play online blackjack on my mobile device?
Yes! You can play blackjack online on all your mobile devices and you don't need any additional software. You can access the game through a web browser on your computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
- Is it possible to play blackjack online for free?
Yes! Many online casinos that offer blackjack allow you to play games in demo mode. Simply hover over the game that interests you, click on demo or play for fun, and you can play blackjack for free.
- What are the best blackjack strategies?
The best blackjack strategy depends on your hand. For example, with two 10-point cards, you should stand, but with an Ace and a 7, you have several options, depending on the dealer's cards.