Even if you’ve never played at a casino before, chances are you’ve heard of blackjack one way or another. Pop culture is littered with references to the casino classic. Some of Hollywood’s biggest hits have featured trips to the blackjack table at Vegas’ famous Caesar’s Palace, from Rain Man to The Hangover. This probably leaves you wondering where exactly the famous card game originates from. While the origins of blackjack are widely disputed, many agree that the game can be traced back to French casinos in the 1700s. It was then known as vingt-et-un - French for 21. The game’s extensive history has seen it travel from brick-and-mortar casinos in North America to online casinos across the world. Today, you’ll find an endless stream of players heading to online blackjack tables every day, enjoying various iterations of the game with exciting new rules and features. Our personal favourite is live dealer blackjack!
While many players employ blackjack strategies to give them an edge, simply having an understanding of the game is sure to boost your chances of winning too, even if you’re a beginner. The online version of this card game is almost identical to its land-based counterpart - minus the other players at the table. Online blackjack sees you compete one-on-one with the dealer, with the aim of holding the better hand of cards at the end of a round.
The game kicks off with the dealer handing out four cards. Two for the house and two for the player. Your cards are dealt face up, while the dealer’s cards are dealt one face up, one face down.
Not sure if you’ve been dealt a good hand? We’ve got you covered. The card values are as follows:
The value of cards correspond to their numerical value, ranging from 2-10
Aces are worth either 1 or 11, depending on your choice
Face cards (Jack, Queen & King) are worth 10/li>
Now that you know how much each card is worth, the next step is figuring out how to win blackjack. There are three ways to beat the dealer:
Rack up 21 points on your first two cards - this is called ‘blackjack’ or a ‘natural’ and lands you a payout of 3:2
Accrue a card value higher than the dealer, without exceeding 21
The dealer draws cards with a value that exceeds 21
The dealer hands out cards at random, so the strength of your card is entirely dependent on chance. However, once your hand is dealt, the next step puts you back in the driver’s seat. If you don’t land blackjack on your first two cards, you must decide which betting option gives you the best chance of beating the dealer.
You can either ‘hit’, which sees the dealer hand you another card, or ‘stand’, which sees you stick with the cards you already have. If you’re dealt a card that sees your hand value exceed 21, your hand is ‘bust’, which means you have lost. If you manage to avoid going bust, the dealer will play their hand. The winner is the contestant with the card value closest to 21. If the value of both hands are equal at the end of a round, the hand is ‘pushed’, which sees your stake returned.
While hit and stand are undoubtedly the most common betting options offered at online casinos, they aren’t the only two available. Some online blackjack games also allow players to choose from three additional side bets.
If you are dealt two cards with the same value, you’ll be able to ‘split’, separating your card into two hands. Players who are dealt a bad hand can ‘surrender’, retiring from the round of play, while players who are feeling lucky can ‘double down’. This sees a player increase their initial bet by up to 100 percent after being dealt their initial two cards and ending their betting with the next card dealt.
In addition to classic blackjack, which can be found at virtually every online casino, there are a number of variations of the game available online for players looking to spice things up. Each of these games have unique rules or features which set it apart from the traditional game of blackjack.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular online blackjack games:
Now that you’re all clued up on the ins and outs of online blackjack, you’re probably ready to try your hand against the dealer! Want to get the most out of your online casino experience? Choose from our top rated list online casinos today - we’ve compiled a list of our favourites for you. All you need to do is pick one that ticks all your boxes, sign up and play today!
Frequently Asked Questions
How were the top online blackjack casinos on this page selected?
Our expert review team has scoured the web for the best online casinos, filtering down a list of hundreds by comparing bonus offers, promotions, banking options and more. There are no ‘online blackjack casinos’, as such. Instead, we’ve compiled a list of licensed UK casino brands that provide an outstanding experience for fans of the classic card game. These brands offer a good range of blackjack variations, as well as a number of tables with various limits. This means the sites featured here cater to just about everyone, from new players on a tight budget to high rollers looking for tables with the highest staking limits. Our top rated list is designed to give you a nudge in the right direction - if you still can’t make your mind up, check out our expert reviews!
Can online blackjack be rigged?
Yes. To guarantee a fair game of online blackjack, you should seek out online casinos that hold a valid license with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Holding such a license essentially means these brands must play by the rules - ensuring results are random and players are treated fairly. To eliminate human error, the top online casinos use random number generators (RNG) to determine results, such as the cards that you’re dealt. These RNGs are put through frequent and rigorous tests to ensure they’re on par with the high standards upheld by the UKGC. All sites featured on TopRatedCasinos.co.uk are fully licensed, so you can kick back, relax and enjoy playing blackjack knowing you’re in safe hands.
Can I use bonus funds to play blackjack for real money?
Yes. Once you’ve signed up and made your first deposit, you’ll usually be credited with your welcome bonus funds almost immediately. These funds are designed to reward you for signing up with a bankroll boost. Perfect for funding your first few games at your new online casino!
Can I withdraw my bonus blackjack winnings straight away?
If you manage to land a winner using your bonus funds, they’ll most likely be subject to a wagering requirement. These are always outlined in the terms and conditions of any bonus offer. A wagering requirement is simply the number of times you must wager your bonus winnings in order to make them available for withdrawal. You won’t be able to withdraw your bonus or your bonus winnings prior to meeting the wagering requirement.
Do 100 percent of my blackjack stakes contribute to the wagering requirement?
No. In most instances, a smaller percentage of your blackjack stakes contribute to the wagering requirement. This figure varies depending on your chosen online casino. This rule also applies to most other table games, including roulette and baccarat. Looking for a game that provides 100 percent contributions? Online slots are usually your best bet.
Is there a winning blackjack strategy?
There are several blackjack strategies employed by beginners and experienced players alike. Many ‘expert’ blackjack players provide advice on card counting, when to split and when to surrender. These strategies share one thing in common - none are foolproof. It is impossible to consistently predict the hands that are dealt to either side and therefore it is also impossible to guarantee a win, regardless of the strategy in place.
Can I play live dealer blackjack for free?
No. Virtually every online casino reserves live dealer blackjack for customers playing with real money stakes.