How to play Online Blackjack
If there was ever a game that gave players of all skill levels a chance to jump in and make a hefty buck, Blackjack’s the one. Ever since 18th-century French colonists brought their baguettes and their game “Vingt-et-Un” (twenty-one), to North America, players from all around the world have learned the gist of Blackjack, and plenty of those folks manage to utterly dominate the game for gasp-worthy sums of cash.
It’s that chunky cashola that’s in our sights today: bloated sums of cash. That’s what real money online Blackjack is all about. If you stick around for a bit, we’ll show you the Blackjack ropes, the optimal strategy, and the different types of online Blackjack you can try now. Once I’m done, you should have a pretty solid game plan to Deposit and Play Now.
Online Blackjack Basics
If you’ve spent any time at all in a big-city casino, or even playing cards from home, my guess is that Blackjack will be no stranger to you. If you’ve never played it, the rules may ring some bells. Even if you live under a rock, this here will be enough to get the motor running.
Short and snappy: you have two cards, and so does the dealer. One of the dealer’s cards is face down. You and the dealer are playing against each other to see who can get as close as possible to 21 without going over.
Each card has a special value, just like this:
2-9: Their number value
10-K: The value is 10
A: The value is either 1 or 11, depending on what works best for your hand
Based on the two cards you have, and the dealer’s one card, you can decide to either hit (take another card), stand (stay with the cards you have), double down (double your bet and receive one more card), split (divide a pair of cards into two separate hands with two separate bets) or surrender (forfeit your bet). That last one is just the same as “folding”.
You’ve won the game if either:
A.the dealer went over 21, and you have a value of 21 or less
B.you got a natural Blackjack (a total of 21 straight up)
C.you have a score of 21 or less, but it is greater than the dealers final total
If you got a Blackjack, your payout is 3:2. If you won with any other hand, you get paid 1:1. All good?
The Perks of Blackjack Online
Truth be known, Blackjack is an all-time favourite. The vibes are fun, the company is what you make of it, and the money flows like… well, money. Believe it or not, though, when you learn how to play Blackjack online, you get some super sweet perks that you can’t get offline. What perks, Joe?
For one, you can play Blackjack online while you’re laid out like a starfish on your bed with “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” reruns playing in the background. In a land casino, getting horizontal is usually frowned upon.
Second, and most importantly, is that when you play Blackjack online, you can bust out a strategy chart and use it as much as you’d like. There are no suits roaming the aisles looking for shady characters like there is in a land casino. (Not even me. You’re far more likely to catch me making sure that everyone’s having a good time. Besides, my version of a suit is more like my best Levis and a button-up.) In my fine establishment, you can use as many charts and cheat-sheets as you can carry. If you think it’d give you a leg-up, go right ahead and phone a friend.
Less pressure or distractions
When you are using a chart, you’ll notice it takes a little longer to see where you fit and to make the recommended move. When you play offline Blackjack, that might earn you mind-daggers from your fellow flesh-and-blood players, or a firm prompt from the dealer. In Blackjack online, on the other hand, there’s no one to stare you down or to blow smoke out their ears. Take as long as you need. No drama.
Online Blackjack Optimal Strategy
Something useful to keep in mind for your Blackjack game is that the dealer has fewer options than you do. So, during play, you can choose to hit or stand, regardless of your hand’s total. The dealer doesn’t have that freedom. The dealer is required to hit when the value of their hand equals 16 or less, and either hit or stand on soft 17 (A-6), depending on the type of Blackjack you’re playing. That leaves a lot more room for you to play – and to optimize the house edge through a tight strategy.
Since we’re onto the subject of strategy…
Generally speaking, you want to keep hitting until your hand reaches at least 17. That is especially true if the dealer’s hand is a 7 or higher. If, however, the dealer is showing a lower hand like 4, 5, or 6, you should only hit until you reach a total of 12. If the dealer’s cards are lower than 4, you should only hit until you reach 13.
The idea here is that you should never take so many cards to risk a bust (surpassing 21), while simultaneously inviting the dealer to go past 21.
After that, your strategy for Blackjack online will depend on two things: soft hands and hard hands.
Soft Hands are totals that have an Ace, because the Ace can either count as a 1 or an 11.
Hard Hands are totals that do not contain an Ace.
Your optimal real money Blackjack strategy is highly contingent on these two hands. For instance. If you have a soft hand reaching 17, such as A-6 (which is either 7 or 17), you should keep hitting until you reach at least 18. Whereas if you have a hard hand reaching 17, like K-7, you should stand.
As for when to double down, the rule is to always double down on 11.
When the dealer’s face up card shows a low value like 2-7, you should split if you have a 2-2 or 3-3.
And that’s how you play Blackjack with a good, solid strategy.
Online Blackjack House Edge
There’s another thing that makes real money Blackjack a real beast in the casino scene: its generous house edge. If you’re purely on the hunt for a statistical advantage, Blackjack online has odds that leave most table games in the dust.
First, let me explain the whole house edge thing. The house edge refers to the percentage of money a casino expects to keep in the long run, and on the flipside, what percentage is expected to fly out the door in winnings. The higher the house edge is in a game, the lesser the odds are for you. The house edge is usually higher in games that rely more on chance and risk, rather than skill. So while Blackjack always has that element of luck, your skills and smarts will ultimately decide your fortune. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t be talking strategy!
Take the example of American Roulette. This game is purely luck-based, and only allows for one action: to choose a bet. Once the wheel spins, you can’t control where it lands. Since there isn’t much you can do to increase your odds, the house edge is pretty high, at 5.26%.
With Blackjack online, you have a lot more control over the game. That’s because you have the power to make informed, detailed decisions, particularly ones that the dealer cannot. It’s this added nuance that allows you to bring the house edge down to 0.5 %. That’s the lowest of any casino game out there.
Online Blackjack Variations
As I previously mentioned, Blackjack has been floating around for centuries. So like anything that sticks around long enough to be familiar, creative minds have spiced it up with variations throughout the ages. I like to practice each style now and again, myself. Take a look at the menu, and see which one you might like to try:
That’s the one I’ve detailed throughout this article, and the foundation of all other variations. It can be played with one deck, or multiple.
Just as the name says, this type of Blackjack is played with only one standard 52-card deck. The O-G game style.
This type of Blackjack is played with two standard card decks that are reshuffled between each hand. Double deck is generally more difficult to follow a tight strategy with, as there are twice as many variables.
The basic rules are the same for this type of Blackjack online. The main difference here is that the dealer starts with only one card, and doesn’t receive their second card until you have made your first move.
This type of real money Blackjack takes the cake for variety. It’s played with six 52-card decks, and you have some additional side bets based on pairs, with a Perfect Pair paying out at 25:1.
The version of real money Blackjack that gives you even more action to take. Zappit is played just like Classic Blackjack. But this time you have the option to “zap”, or replace, your cards when you’re dealt a hard total of 15, 16 or 17.
Have you had enough, yet? I know that was a lot of Blackjack talk. By now, you’re likely ramped up and ready to give it a try yourself. I don’t blame you! When the game is this easy, the odds are this good, and my strategies are this tight, you’d have to be a total loon not to get out there at Joe’s and give it a shot. Go you good thing.