This is one of the oldest and most popular casino games around today. It’s fast, it’s exciting and, if you’re playing against a dealer in a live casino game, it will fuel your competitive fire.
But even though it’s fun to play, it can be quite difficult to pick up an effective strategy, particularly for those that have never played before. The benefit of playing online is that you can practice without the pressure and high stakes of a Vegas casino environment.
The other benefit is that online gambling sites offer big sign-up bonuses to new players, usually adding from 10% to 200% to your first deposit, giving you more money to practice and win with.
If you’re new to the game or you’re looking to brush up some rusty skills, here’s our guide on how to play blackjack.
Back to basics: what are the rules?
Online blackjack’s rules are almost no different from the blackjack card game you would play at a land-based casino.
Your primary goal is to score 21 points or as close to 21 points as possible without exceeding 21. You are playing against the dealer’s hand, whoever gets the better score wins.
All the number cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) equal as many points their number, and picture cards (Jack, Queen, King) are all worth 10 points. Joker cards are not used in this game. Ace is worth either 1 or 11, depending on which is better for you. Sounds confusing, but you’ll pick it up quickly as you play!
If you are dealt a Jack, Queen or King with an Ace, your hand is known as “Blackjack”. This is an automatic win and can only be tied with if the dealer also gets a blackjack.
Stick or twist! What happens next?
When you choose a game of online blackjack, you will be playing against a computerised dealer and your view will be a graphical version of cards on the table.
Alternatively, you can choose to play a live blackjack game, meaning you’ll be playing against a real person who is live streaming the game on camera. You will be able to see them deal the cards out to you on a table and even hear them talk to you.
To begin, you will place your bet and hit “Deal” to trigger the dealer to start play. You will receive 2 cards from the dealer. They will also deal 2 cards for themself.
You will then be able to “hit”, meaning draw a new card, or “stand” to keep your total as is.
If you draw cards that take your total over 21, it is known as a “bust”, meaning you’ve lost that round. The dealer can also go bust.
The online game is typically played with multiple decks, each of which is reshuffled following each hand. This means it’s impossible to count cards and predict what the outcome of a game will be.
If you get a hand of exactly 21, you will often win a payout of 3 to 2, while any other winning hand will give you a 1 to 1 payout.
To place a bet, you will probably have to click on a chip. They have different values ranging from £1 – £100 and will be indicated on the interface. The chips you clicked on will then be placed close to the middle of the table, which you can remove before the hand is played by clicking in that spot.
Deal: this starts the game
Stand: this ends your turn, meaning you’re happy to stick with the total cards you’ve been dealt
Hit: this signals the dealer/ computer to deal you another card. It can be used as many times as you’d like before going over 21
Split: this button means that you can split your hand into separate hands if they are of the same card value. You might want to do this if you are dealt two aces, for example
Double: click this button any time you feel that your hand is strong enough to double your bet
When you’re ready to play, take a look at our list of the best casino welcome bonuses to start with the best possible advantage!