Blackjack may be the most popular card game in the world, and yes, we count poker too. You can learn the rules of blackjack in 15 minutes and start to play: They are not that hard or complex.
Winning blackjack games, on the other hand, will be a different matter.
Theoretically, it is possible to win 100% of every blackjack game you play, as long as you make the optimal decisions.
In fact, blackjack is the only casino game that offers a feature like this. But, is this really possible in real life? Can you really win all of the blackjack games you play?
In this blackjack guide, we will answer this question and more: We will teach you the rules, show how to play blackjack in a casino and share our basic strategy tips.
Let’s play blackjack online together and find out how we can win!
A Short History: What Is Blackjack?
So, what is blackjack? Actually, this term refers to a specific hand, an Ace and a black Jack of any suit, which makes 21 points in total. This is also your goal in all blackjack games, to reach 21 points and beat the dealer. Nobody knows the exact origins of blackjack, but it is generally accepted that this game appeared during the early 17th century and invented by Spanish sailors. (By the way, Spanish sailors are responsible for almost all of the card games of today, with the exception of poker, which is an American invention.) In other words, blackjack is a 500-year old game and it is still quite popular. We will explain the rules of blackjack first, then we will continue with other important topics.
Rules Of Blackjack: Basic Things To Know
You will be hearing a lot of blackjack terms, like hitting, standing, doubling down, etc. You should know all of these blackjack card terms, in order to decide what to do. To help you out, we listed all of them below.
- Hit: Simply put, this one means you are asking for one more card. You can “hit” as many times as possible, as long as you don’t surpass 21 points.
- Stand: This one means you don’t need any more cards and you are confident with your hand.
- Split: If your first two cards have the same value (i.e. two 8s) you can split them into two hands, and play each of them separately from the other. It will be like playing two different hands at the same time. The hands are independent of each other. Splitting may require additional rules according to the online blackjack variant you play, and may be allowed only for certain suits/numbers, for example.
- Double Down: This means three things: One, you ask for one more card. Second, you will be standing after getting that card. Third, you are doubling the amount of your initial bet. The rules of doubling are different at almost every casino, and it is usually allowed only for a couple of times. Check the paytable to see what these limitations are.
- Insurance: This bet means that you think the dealer has 21 points in total and you are betting on that possibility. In other words, you are betting against yourself (and the probability that the dealer will win the round). If you win this bet, you will win 2:1. If the dealer’s up card is an Ace, you will be offered to take this bet. We don’t recommend getting it, as the possibility of a dealer 21 at the beginning is quite low.
Surrender: If you choose this bet, it means you accepted that the dealer will win the round, with any total. The game immediately ends and you get half of your initial bet amount. As a general rule, do not surrender unless you are absolutely sure that you will lose the game. Surrender option can be taken during certain stages of the game (early/late) and every blackjack online variant is different in this regard. Spanish 21, for example, allows late surrendering, which means using this option after the dealer checks for his own blackjack.
The blackjack payout table is quite short, as this game contains only three possibilities at each hand.
However, remember that this the payout table of classic blackjack, and different variants have different payouts too. For example, as we will mention below, Super Fun 21 variant pays 6:5 for blackjack, instead of 3:2. Make sure to check the paytable of every online blackjack game before playing. Now, since we learned how much we can win, let’s continue with blackjack betting strategy and find out how to increase your odds.
Basic Blackjack Strategy: When To Bet In Blackjack
So, what is the blackjack basic strategy? For beginners, we think that the best blackjack strategy for beginners is using a blackjack basic strategy card, which we will be sharing an example below. Such charts show the best possible move for any point total, and they will help you up to an extent until you gain enough experience. After that, we can give the following blackjack tips to you:
- Aces and 8s are the best cards for splitting. If you are going to split your cards, wait for these two options.
- Likewise, 9s and 10s should be used for doubling down, if possible.
- You should decide hitting or standing according to your point total. As a general rule, you should always stand after 17 points. And you should always hit until you reach 16 points. However, both of these options have exceptions – take a look at the blackjack strategy chart below to see them.
- Do not take the insurance bet – the house edge of that bet is 6%. In other words, you won’t be winning any insurance bets in the long run.
- Always check the card of the dealer. If it is between 2 and 6, it is a bad card. If it is between 7 and Ace, it is a good card. Make sure to take actions according to the dealer’s hand too.
Blackjack Cheat Sheet For Beginners
As promised, we are sharing a blackjack strategy card below. This blackjack strategy chart will show you what is the best possible move according to your point total. Note that a blackjack strategy table (like the one below) is good for beginners and will help you no matter what, but in any case, it will still be a “general” table. You can also call this an alternative to win at blackjack without using cards. In other words, while it is useful, you should still be able to form your own strategies, according to the deck in play and your own game style. Use this blackjack cheat sheet as long as needed and do not forget that it does not “guarantee” anything: It just makes you a recommendation according to how many points you have.
Playing Live Blackjack: What Do You Need
Playing blackjack online against a real dealer is truly authentic experience. Instead of a “computer”, you are competing against a real person, and this is how blackjack should be played. Luckily, you don’t need to go to a brick-and-mortar casino to live this experience. Thanks to technology, you can do the same thing from your desktop PC or mobile device. This type of gambling is called “live casino games” and blackjack is a big part of it. Blackjack play style (or the casino blackjack rules) do not differ: You are still playing the same game. But this time, the dealer is a real person and you have table friends, which are also real players like you.
You don’t need anything to start other than a PC or a phone. Live casino games are actually broadcasts and you can join them from anywhere in the world, by using a device with an active internet connection. Everything on the screen will be happening in real time, and it is even possible to chat with your table friends/the dealer. Just visit the “live casino” section of an online casino and select a live blackjack game. You will be connected to the broadcast in mere seconds and after that, you can get a completely new (and different) experience. Remember that you can still use a blackjack chart!
Live blackjack also comes with great experiences and accomplishments, so why not go big? After reading and learning all of our tricks and strategies, you will definitely become better and better at blackjack and you will even consider playing high limit blackjack in one of our recommended online casinos. Go pro and raise the stake!
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Playing On Mobile Devices: Real Money Blackjack Apps
Mobile gambling is more important than ever, and more and more players demand to play blackjack on their mobile devices. Luckily, this is a very easy job nowadays: There are lots of blackjack iPhone, blackjack iPad, and blackjack Android apps you can use. However, using an app is not your only option to play blackjack on mobile. Moreover, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of while playing mobile blackjack.
- The majority of blackjack apps on the official application stores are for “demo” play only. In other words, you cannot win real money, they are for fun only.
- Only the official applications of online casinos will offer you the chance to play real money blackjack games. Remember that real money gambling requires a license, and only online casinos can have one. So if you are seeing an app that is not related to an online casino but still claims to award real money, you are being scammed.
- Android users can download an APK file directly from the casino websites, they do not need to use the Play Store. (Unfortunately, such an option does not exist for iOS users.)
- You don’t actually need an app to play mobile blackjack. All online casino websites have a mobile version, and you can visit that version from the browser of your mobile device. It is still possible to play online blackjack games from your phone, without an app.
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The Advantages Of Playing Online Blackjack
You can play blackjack games at online casinos and brick-and-mortar casino buildings. You may think that both are the same game, and you are right, up to an extent: Casino blackjack is the same as online blackjack. In fact, blackjack casino rules are the same as the online version and the overall winning chances do not change. But, we will still recommend you to play online blackjack, for the following reasons:
- You don’t need to travel. To play at brick-and-mortar casinos, you need to be “physically”
there – this type of gambling requires travel and additional expenses, as can be guessed. Online blackjack games, on the other hand, can be played from anywhere and with any device, as long as you have an internet connection. You don’t need to make additional expenses too: It is possible to play from anywhere and anytime at online casinos.
- You will find more options to play. Brick-and-mortar casinos have “space” problems, so they only offer the most popular variants of blackjack. If you want to play Super Fun 21 variant, for example, you will need to visit a lot of blackjack casino buildings because not all of them have this game. Online casinos, however, have no space problems and can offer dozens of online blackjack variants at once. In other words, you will have lots of options to choose from.
- You can play completely for free. Online casinos offer you the chance to play games for free: Blackjack online games have demo versions too and you can play them as long as you want, without any financial risks. Internet blackjack games are perfect for casual gambling: No download and no registration are needed. And once you decide to try your chances with real money, they will be able to offer you lots of payment options too, such as online blackjack PayPal Brick-and-mortar casinos, however, do not offer any of these advantages.
And that’s why you should always stick with blackjack online games: They have the same rules but offer a better gambling experience.
Blackjack Variants You Can Find At Online Casinos
There are more than a dozen of blackjack games you can play at online casinos, and each one is slightly different than the other, both in rules and winning chances. This is because blackjack online has a lot of variants – just like poker, there is more than one way to play this game. However, unlike poker, the rules of these variants are not drastically different than the original, so if you know how to play classic blackjack, you are ready to play all these variants too. Let’s list a couple of them first (the most popular ones) and then we will give some tips.
- Spanish 21: This one is known as Spanish 21 only at USA casinos, the rest of the world knows it as “Pontoon”. Spanish 21 is a variant with two bonus bets, and each one has a big payout. The first one is based on creating certain card formations, for example, reaching 21 points with 6, 7, and 8. The other one is based on matching the hand of the dealer. The rules also slightly favor the player because, for example, the blackjack of the player always beat the blackjack of the dealer. This is a fun variant and the bonus bets make it more interesting.
- Blackjack Switch: As the name implies, the player is allowed to switch his cards initially, before hitting or standing. The dealer gives 2 cards to the player, and opens two more on the blackjack table. The player can switch his cards with the ones on the table before making an initial decision – this is why it is called “switch”.
- Blackjack Multi Hand: Another “literal” variant. It is basically classic blackjack, but players can bet on multiple boxes, which means they can play more than one hand at the same time. Instead of 2, you get 6 cards at the beginning, for example, and form three different hands with them. You get to make decisions for every hand, and they can be different for each hand. This variant is usually found at online casinos, because the “real world” version takes too long to play.
- Free Bet Blackjack: This is actually a quite new variant which gives you the option to split and double entirely for free. In other words, you don’t need to “buy up” these options, so you are not risking any actual gambling balance. 9, 10, and 11s can be doubled and all pairs can be split, besides 10s. The variant is invented by Geoff Hall, and betting on a bonus payout without having to spend real money sounds really good. However, there is a catch: If the dealer gets a 22, you will lose the game, even with a 21.
- Classic Blackjack: The “original” variant. It does not contain any side bets, bonus payouts, or any other thing like that. Note that this blackjack online for money guide is dedicated to the classic blackjack – so all of the information in this article applies to this variant.
- Blackjack Single Deck: Classic blackjack, but played only with a single deck, as the name implies. This variant is rare but amazingly advantageous, so if you can find it, start playing immediately. The fact that it is played only with a single deck makes card counting incredibly effective, and professional players can memorize a whole deck easily. In other words, you can really win every game you play, if you know what you are doing. The only downside is, it has fewer payouts than any other variants, but this is an expected thing due to increased winning chances.
- Super Fun 21 Blackjack: Invented by a guy named Howard Grossman, Super Fun is a simplified version of online blackjack. If you have six cards and a total of 20n points, you win the game – even if the dealer has a 21. It is possible to split up to 4 times and if you get 5 cards in total, all of your bets are automatically doubled. Due to these liberal rules, the payouts are lower too: Blackjack pays 6:5, instead of 3:2. There is also a 300:1 payout, if you manage to get a designed suit (for example, all diamonds) with the initial dealing.
- Progressive Blackjack: This one is like Texas Hold’em poker: There is a side bet which can be won by creating certain formations, such as 4 Aces, 3 suited Aces, etc. With each game played, the side bet amount (pot) keeps increasing, that’s why it is called “progressive”. The jackpot amount can reach very high amounts, and the entry bet of these games are quite high too.
- Atlantic City Blackjack: Named after one of the famous places for Blackjack lovers, Atlantic City is a blackjack variant that has attracted hundreds of thousands of players. Atlantic City blackjack table limits any possibility of a player busting before the game is over. Players should try to achieve totals sum of cards as close to 21 and not exceed this. If a player has any figure above 21, the dealer is the winner.
There are lots of other online blackjack variants too, such as Face Up 21, Match Play 21, Caribbean 21, and Blackjack Surrender. However, these are the most popular ones and all other variants are quite similar to them. So, here is the obvious question: Which one is the best blackjack card game to play?
Classic blackjack online is the default choice here, because it offers the lowest house edge rate. In other words, your odds will be better. As a general rule, the “fancy” a variant is, the lower your winning chances – all other variants have higher house edge rates than the classic one, it is as simple as that. But if you really want to try something different, Spanish 21 will be the best option. It still has lower house edge rates and the bonus bets are quite fun. In any case, stay away from progressive blackjack. This variant has an “amazing” house edge: 40%. The chance of winning the jackpot is lower than getting hit by a meteor on the head. Plus, the entry fee is very large – you should not spend that much money on a game with a house edge rate like that.
Blackjack Game FAQ: Learn Everything You Need To Know
Play Blackjack Online Today & Start Winning!
Well, there you go: We talked about blackjack strategy, explained the rules, listed the payouts, and even pointed out which one is the best online blackjack variant. You are ready to play blackjack now! The only thing left is picking out an online casino to play, and we are ready to help you in this regard too. We already listed a couple of casino sites that offer a fair and profitable gaming experience, and showed you the criteria to use in order to find others. Just create an account at an online casino today and start playing online blackjack – it is that simple. We are planning to update this guide on a constant basis and add new online casinos, so don’t forget to check us often. Good luck at the tables!