How To Play Blackjack: A Comprehensive Guide

CASINO GUIDE
Play Blackjack Online & Win Big Using Our Comprehensive Guide: Strategy, Card Values, Betting Options, In-Play Games, Bonuses, Odds + Much More Covered.

Want to learn how to play blackjack online? You’re in the right place! We’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide on how to play this casino classic.

Blackjack, also known as twenty-one and Vingt-et-Un, is one of the most popular card games at land-based casinos and is just as popular at online casino sites. It’s relatively easy to get to grips with, which makes it perfect for beginners but, if you play your cards right, blackjack also offers the chance to win big!

While there’s no failsafe way to guarantee a win when playing blackjack, understanding the game inside out can help you make better decisions and set you on the right path to beating the house. Ready to learn more about playing online blackjack? We’ve covered everything you need to know to start your blackjack adventure.

Blackjack basics

The concept of blackjack is pretty simple: get as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it. You’ll be playing against a virtual dealer, who’s also aiming to reach 21, and whose hand you want to beat. Let’s run through everything you know about playing blackjack.

Card Values

Blackjack card values are pretty simple to understand.  The value of cards 2 to 10 is their pip value and face cards (jack, queen and king) are worth 10. An ace can be worth 1 or 11, depending on which value most helps your hand, but using it as an 11 is known as a soft hand.

Betting Options

You have a number of options in a blackjack game, and each move has different consequences.

  •  Stand 
    Standing means you wish to stick with the hand you’ve been dealt and you won’t be dealt any additional cards.
  •  Hit 
    Hitting is a request for another card in addition to your original hand. This action is useful if you’ve been dealt two low value cards in your first hand.
  •  Split Pairs 
    If your two cards are identical, you’ll be able to split them to play as separate hands, giving you two chances to beat the dealer. This move isn’t available to blackjack dealers.
  •  Double Down 
    This doubles the initial bet, committing to stand after receiving just one more card in your hand. Blackjack dealers don’t have the option to double down.
  •  Surrender 
    In some games, if you’ve been dealt a bad hand, you can choose to surrender. This means you’ve accepted you won’t beat the dealer and you’ll be able to recoup half of your bet.
  • Bust
    No one decides to bust, but this is what happens when your total card value exceeds 21. Going bust means you’ll instantly lose the bet.

Blackjack in play

Here’s how a standard game of online blackjack might unfold:

  • Bets are made
    Bets are placed before any cards are dealt. Betting tables will usually have maximum wager limits, which will vary between games and casinos.
  • Cards are dealt
    Both your cards will be dealt face up. The dealer’s first card will be face up, but neither of you will be able to see the second.
  • Check for naturals
    You’ll check for a natural blackjack— an ace and any card with a value of ten— to hit 21 straight away. The dealer can only check for a natural if his faceup card is a ten-card or an ace. You’ll instantly be paid 1.5 times your initial bet if you land a natural blackjack. If both you and the dealer have a natural blackjack, neither you nor the casino wins and your bet will be returned. This is known as a push.
  • Actions are decided
    If you don’t have a natural 21, and the dealer cannot check for one, you’ll continue play in an attempt to get as close as possible without exceeding the number. From here, you’ll decide whether to split, double down or hit until you stand or bust.
  • Winnings are paid out
    Once you stand, or you or the dealer busts, the results of the game will be displayed on the screen and your winnings paid out. You’ll win if your hand is higher than the dealer’s and doesn’t exceed the limit of 21.

Blackjack odds

The exact odds for a blackjack game will change depending on the variation you’ve chosen and how many decks are in use. For a standard game, blackjack pays out at 3:2, which means you’ll receive 1.5 times the amount of your bet if you win. So let’s say you’ve placed a bet of £5 and you successfully beat the dealer- you’ll receive £7.50 as a payout.

House Edge

Each blackjack variation features slight differences in rules and gameplay, which in turn will impact a player’s chance of beating the house. However, ultimately, the house edge means a casino will always have a slight advantage when you’re playing blackjack over a longer period of time. This means that, while you might seem to have the hot hand, your winning streak won’t last forever. These are the house edge percentages for a standard blackjack game:

Number of Decks House Edge
Single Deck -0.03%
Two Decks +0.25%
Four Decks +0.38%
Six Decks +0.42%
Eight Decks +0.44%

Blackjack bonuses

The online casino industry is growing ever more competitive and operators present a number of generous offers to attract customers and keep them coming back for more. Welcome bonuses, including matched deposits, no deposit bonuses and free casino cash, are the most popular rewards available to new players. These bonuses are a great way to win real money on blackjack games without risking any of your own. Online casinos also keep existing customers interested with promotions like cashback bonuses, with which players are refunded a percentage of their total spend over a specified period of time.

Be aware that the biggest bonus isn’t always necessarily the best deal. Most blackjack bonuses come with wagering requirements that impact how soon you can withdraw your winnings. Choose your bonus based on how likely you are to profit from its rewards.

Worried you might not meet a bonus’ wagering requirements? There are plenty of no and low wagering casinos to choose from. While the bonus funds offered are usually far more modest than the huge matched deposit deals, these present less frequent bettors with a better chance of getting their hands on bonus winnings. it’s simply a matter of finding one that best suits your playing preferences.

Live casino blackjack

Whether you’re looking to play blackjack, roulette or slots, many top UK casinos offer live casino games. Live dealer blackjack is the most immersive and exhilarating blackjack experience, as you’ll be playing in real time conditions, with a game controlled by a live croupier. Some casinos even allow live casino players to interact with dealers using through a chat room, which allows players to enjoy the social aspect of playing blackjack, usually found at brick-and-mortar casinos. All things considered, this is by far the most realistic casino experience available online.

These casinos are held to high standards by governing bodies like the UK Gambling Commission, which ensures blackjack games remain fair. Animated games use random number generator technology (RNG) to provide players with a fair and random result every time, while live blackjack games are run by trained and unbiased casino dealers.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best online blackjack strategy? 
Whilst we’d recommend getting to grips with basic blackjack strategy, there’s no failsafe way to guarantee you’ll win blackjack. There are steps you can take to minimise your chances of making huge losses, such as understanding the game inside and out and sticking to a budget, but, ultimately, Lady Luck decides the cards you’re dealt.

How can I deposit cash to play online blackjack for real money?

Very easily! The majority of our recommended casinos offer a range of different banking options, which makes it super easy to make deposits and withdraw your winnings. Whether you’re looking to make deposits using your debit card, or would prefer to pay with an e-wallet, such as Neteller or Skrill, we’ve got the casino for you. Some of our casinos even accept bitcoin, so there are plenty of options to choose from!

Can I play blackjack on my mobile device?

For sure, whether you’re looking to play Blackjack Double Exposure, Blackjack Switch, or any other blackjack variation, you’ll have access to this via either a mobile-friendly webpage or a mobile app. Online casinos are beginning to build their platforms with mobile users as a priority. This means players can access the same impressive games libraries, fast payment methods and fantastic bonuses wherever they are- all you’ll need is an internet connection.

Can I play blackjack for free online?

Definitely. Most online casinos will allow you to play free demo versions of their games. In fact, we’d recommend playing free blackjack games to help you understand the ins and outs before you move on to playing for real money.

Is online blackjack fair?

Yes, as long as you play with a reputable and trustworthy casino. We’ll only ever recommend casinos that are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) so you can rest assured that you’re playing a fair game. These casinos are held to high standards on both their demo and real money games, and must use random number generator technology (RNG) to provide players with a fair and random result every time, whichever casino game you choose.

How can I deposit cash to play online blackjack for real money?

Very easily! The majority of our recommended casinos offer a range of different banking options, which makes it super easy to make deposits and withdraw your winnings. Whether you’re looking to make deposits using your debit card, or would prefer to pay with an e-wallet, such as Neteller or Skrill, we’ve got the casino for you. Some of our casinos even accept bitcoin, so there are plenty of options to choose from!

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Contributors

Daniel Bennett

As staff writer, Daniel offers his expertise in all things gambling, contributing to a number of topics on TopRatedCasinos.co.uk, including our casino reviews and strategy guides. Daniel is also an avid sports fan, with a strong interest in NBA and Premier League betting.