Online blackjack is one of the most widely played forms of online gambling. The game has been a staple of the live casino circuit forever and was one of the first entries in the online scene. One of the appealing things about online blackjack is that it offers a competitive house edge, but only if you make the right moves. Here you will learn how to play the game, how to deploy the basic strategy and you even get the chance to practice with our free virtual blackjack trainer.
When playing blackjack, your decisions really matter. It is not like roulette where you only decide what to bet and then say a prayer to Lady Fortune. In a blackjack game, you must know the rules and your options in every possible situation. Study the blackjack rules before you learn the strategy and hit the tables.
Basic Blackjack Strategy
The most important move you can make when playing online blackjack is to follow basic strategy. Basic strategy is a pre-determined chart of responses to any blackjack situation. The mathematically best plays have already been determined for you. In fact, deviating from this strategy can only decrease your chances of winning. Learn the basic blackjack strategy and reduce the house advantage to a minimum.
Virtual Blackjack Coaching
When you have learned the basic strategy you can test your skills right here at Casino Guide. First of all we offer a free blackjack game that looks exactly like the games you find in online blackjack casinos. Practice with play money and see how you do against the virtual dealer. Play free blackjack >>>
Secondly we offer a unique blackjack trainer in which you will get coaching while playing. Using this tool is great opportunity for those who know how to play the game but need to fine-tune their strategy. Every time you make a mathematically incorrect decision, your coach tells you what you should have done; and as soon as you play without getting any comments, you know how to play blackjack. Visit the blackjack trainer >>>
Variations of the Game
There are more ways to play online blackjack than ever before. Spanish 21 games remove the tens, but add in other favorable rules to make up for it. Games with side bets allow you to win big just by getting the right combination of cards and games like Pontoon have a variety of different rules. Take the time to look at what
" Lern the terms used in Blackjack. This will prepare you before hitting the tables in online and offline casinos.
Ace is the only card that can have two values, either 1 or 11. An Ace is required for a Blackjack, along with a 10, Jack, Queen or King.
The total money wagered during a session.
The seat to the dealer's right, and the last player to be dealt. (Also known as Third Base.)
In Blackjack, the dealer serves as the banker, the person who takes the bets, collects the money and pays the winner.
The total amount of money the player intends to bet.
A playing strategy intended to minimize the house's edge and representing the best plays based on the player's first two cards and the dealer's face-up card.
The area on the Blackjack table immediately in front of each player where the player places his wager.
Two cards, initially dealt, before any draws, totaling 21: an Ace and a 10, Jack, Queen or King.
A hand exceeding a total point value of 21. (Also known as a bust.)
One or more cards that the dealer discards and removes from play immediately after shuffling and cutting the deck.
A hand exceeding a total point value of 21. (Also known as a break.)
A system of play to minimize the house's edge and maximize the player's edge. Each face card is assigned a weight. The successful card-counter can assess whether the odds are in his or her favor or the house's favor and adjust wagers accordingly.
Split the deck in two before the cards are dealt.
A solid-colored plastic card used to cut the decks after shuffling.
Distribute the cards.
A tray controlled by the dealer that holds all the cards that have been burned, discarded or played.
Add a card to the dealer's or player's current hand.
Rules on doubling down vary by casino, but generally doubling down involves doubling a bet after the initial two cards are dealt. The player turns over both initial cards, places an additional wager equal to the original wager, and gets exactly one additional card.
Double for Less
When allowed, same as double down, except that the player can place an additional bet for less than the original wager.
Rule allowing the player to lose half the bet when a dealer shows an Ace or 10 before peeking to determine if he or she has a natural 21.
Anytime a player receives 1:1, and wins nothing, but loses nothing. There are two instances where this may happen:
1. When a player is dealt a Blackjack, and the dealer is showing an Ace, the player has the option of taking 1:1 or even money before the dealer shows his or her card.
2. When the player takes insurance and wins the insurance side bet (see Insurance).
Jacks, Queens and Kings, each with a point value of 10.
Face Down Game
The first or both initial cards are dealt face down, so that only the player knows the value of the face down cards.
Face Up Game
Both initial player cards are dealt face up.
The position at the table that is to the dealer's immediate left. This is the first player to receive a card.
Flat BetWhen a player wagers the same amount of money on each hand without variation, he or she is placing flat bets.
A hand without an Ace, or a hand with an Ace where the Ace is valued at 1 point.
Also known as heads on, playing Blackjack head-to-head with the dealer. A game with no other players at the table.
To add an additional card to the hand after the initial deal.
Face down cards, the value of which is known only to the person holding the cards.
The house's edge over the player - can't be beaten whatever blackjack system you deploy.
An additional side bet, up to Â½ of the original bet, available to players after the initial deal when the dealer shows an Ace. If the dealer turns up a natural 21, the player with insurance is paid 2:1 on the insurance bet, but not the original bet. If a player bets Â½ the original bet for insurance, and loses the hand, he or she wins even money.
The player gives up the hand and only loses half the bet. Allowed after the initial cards are dealt and the dealer determines that he or she does not have a natural 21.
A hand that equals 21 immediately after the deal specifically an Ace and a card with a value of 10.
Two initially dealt cards of identical numerical value.
A hand with a point value between 17 and 21.
When a player is dealt cards of equal numerical value, he or she has the ability to split the cards into two hands and place an additional wager equal to the original wager on the second hand.
If the dealer's up-card is an Ace, he or she 'peeks' at the hole card to determine if the hand is a Blackjack.
The total value of the hand and the end of the hand.
Tie hand where the dealer's hand and the player's hand have the same value and the wager is returned to the player. Also known as a draw, tie, or stand-off.
At the end of the hand, when bets are resolved and either the dealer or the player takes the chips.
The box that holds the undealt cards.
Shuffling the cards prematurely to annoy and discourage suspected card counters.
A hand with an Ace where the Ace can be counted as 11 without exceeding a total point value of 21.
See Pair Split.
To refuse an additional card.
The option of giving up your hand, losing only half your bet.
Any card with a value of 10: 10, Jack, Queen, King.
The seat to the dealer's right and the last seat to be dealt.
The dealer and the player have a hand with an identical numerical value and no one wins or loses. (Also known as push or stand off.)
A face-up card.
" Blackjack is the easiest casino card game to learn and play, which explains its popularity. If you can count to 21 and master a few simple rules, you can begin playing almost immediately.
Blackjack is the easiest casino card game to learn and play, which explains its popularity. If you can count to 21 and master a few simple rules, you can begin playing almost immediately. Once you're comfortable with the rules, you'll want to learn the ""Basic Strategy,"" a time-tested, mathematically based strategy, and implement some of the techniques to raise your level of play.
Casino rules vary among gambling establishments, both on the ground and in Cyberspace. The rules below include the most common, generally accepted rules. Always check the rules at each establishment before you begin play.
Object of the Game
The object of Blackjack is to reach a higher card count than the dealer without exceeding a total card count of 21. Regardless of the number of players at the table, your only opponent is the dealer.
Rules of Play
Different versions of Blackjack have slightly different rules, but generally, game play progresses as follows:
Each player places a bet for the next hand.
The dealer deals the cards from dealer left to dealer right, with everyone receiving two cards. Usually, each player receives two cards face up, and the dealer receives one card face up and one card face down (called a hole card). When playing in a casino, you are not allowed to touch your cards if they are both dealt face up.
Starting with the player to the dealer's left, each player decides whether to accept more cards (hit) or whether to refuse more cards (stand). Except as noted below in special circumstances, each player may continue to receive cards until his or her total card count exceeds 21 (bust).
After each player completes his or her turn, the dealer takes a turn.
Dealer Rules of Play
The dealer plays by more restrictive rules than the players, usually as noted below.
If the dealer's hand is 17 or more, the dealer must stand, or refuse to take another card. Under some rules, the dealer must hit on a soft 17, a hand that includes an Ace, but not always.
If the dealer's hand is 16 or less, the dealer must hit, or take another card.
And the Winner Isâ¦
Remember that you play only against the dealer, so you need not keep track of your hand against the other
player""s hands. Compare your hand against the dealer's hand.
Blackjack decks consist of one deck up to eight decks of cards. For purposes of this discussion,
a deck refers to the entire set of cards, regardless of number of decks. Shuffling a
Blackjack deck involves an entire ritual:
After shuffling the deck, the dealer presents the deck to one player and asks the player to cut the deck. The player to the dealer's immediate left cuts the deck after the first shuffle, and each time the cards are shuffled, the dealer presents the cards to the next player to cut, moving from dealer left to dealer right around the table. The player takes a solid plastic card and inserts it into the deck to split cut the cards. The dealer then moves the bottom of the deck to the top of the deck.
After the deck is cut, the dealer takes one or more cards from the top of the deck and removes them from play. The dealer places the ""burn"" cards in the discard box where all discarded cards are placed after each hand.
The dealer places a plastic card into the deck and the cards are placed into the shoe, a wooden box that holds up to eight decks of cards. When the plastic card is reached during normal play, the current hand is finished and the dealer reshuffles the cards before play resumes. The point at which this plastic card lies is known as ""penetration.""
Each player who wishes to play the next hand places a bet before the deal. Players who do
not place a bet sit out the next hand. Place your entire bet at once.
The dealer deals the cards as follows:
Beginning with the player on the dealer's left, each player receives a face-up card, and dealing proceeds clockwise around the table until all players receive their first card. The dealer deals his or her first card, usually face down, called a Hole card. Each player receives a second card, face up. The dealer receives a second card, face up.
Each card has a numerical value:Card
1 or 11
Not used in Blackjack
Immediately after the deal, players usually have the option to surrender half their wager and forfeit the hand.
This option makes sense on hands with less than a 50% chance of winning. There are two types of surrender,
and rules vary by casino. In fact, few online casinos offer either surrender. Check the rules before you begin play.
Early Surrender - You may surrender before the dealer checks for a Blackjack. Late Surrender - You may surrender only after the dealer checks for Blackjack, and only if the dealer is not holding a Blackjack.
Blackjack (or Natural)
Blackjack automatically wins the game, unless both the dealer and the player have a blackjack, in which
case the hand is a tie. A Blackjack hand consists of an Ace and one of the following cards: 10, Jack, Queen or King.
Blackjack is often called a natural or natural 21.
When your first two cards are of equal numerical value, you may split them into two separate hands and
place an additional wager, equal to the original wager, on the second hand. For example, if you have a
10 and a Jack, the cards can be split since a 10 and a Jack are equal in value. If you split two Aces,
you can only receive one additional per hand and if you receive a card with a 10-point value, the hand is
counted as 21, not Blackjack.
After you receive your first two cards, you may double your initial bet unless you are holding a 21.
After doubling down, you may receive only one more card.
If the dealer shows an Ace, you may make a side bet equal to Â½ of your original bet. This is a
separate bet to insure against the dealer getting a Blackjack. If the dealer has a Blackjack, you get
double your insurance bet and you lose your original bet-even money. If the dealer has anything other
than a Blackjack, you lose your side bet, and the original bet for the hand remains in play.
If the dealer shows an Ace, and you are holding a Blackjack, the dealer will offer you the option of even money when the other players are offered insurance. If you accept even money, you are betting that the dealer also has a Blackjack.
Learn How To Play Blackjack
Practice blackjack for free
Checking out our free casino games pages is the perfect way to learn different casino games without risks. Play our free blackjack game immediately in your browser - no download is required. Find the blackjack rules to the left on this page.
Learn How To Win At Blackjack
Our blackjack strategy pages will give you a good understanding of the game and how you could reduce the house edge by using an optimal blackjack strategy while playing. This strategy, in combination with a good blackjack bonus, is the best way to learn how to win at blackjack.
More Blackjack Tips And Articles
For even more information about the game, visit the following pages for blackjack tips and advice.Count Cards In Blackjack How To Beat The House European Blackjack
" " Regina Guzior is a formidable blackjack player who excels in tournament play. She is also legally blind. While battling macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, Regina lost her vision in 1979. She wanted to find recreational pursuits that would keep her mental abilities fit and active.
After playing the slots for a bit, Guzior started playing Blackjack. She quickly realized that she had the goods to be an elite player. Her first Blackjack tournament victory came in 1997 at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vega.
Guzior won't allow blindness to prevent her from working the Blackjack tables like a professional. Her husband John often acts as a reader, assisting Regina by reading the cards and reporting on the table wagers. When John is out the mix, Guzior is usually helped out by her fellow poker pros.
Although she's legally blind, this strong-willed woman from Michigan made it to the finals during the first ever World Series of Blackjack. She finished fifth and earned $15,000. The following season, the Michigan native returned to the competition.
She is now widely recognized as one of the best female blackjack players in the world. She has become blackjack's sweetheart, and even goes by the name 'BJ Sweetie' from time to time.
" " Money management and gambling in the same sentence may sound like an oxymoron, but they go hand-in-hand with success. They are the very backbone of success in gambling. If you are used to entering a casino or playing casino games online without using money management techniques, it's time to change your ways.
Money Management Tips in Blackjack
Don't gamble with the rent money. Seriously, only gamble with money you can afford to lose, and no more.
Set a bankroll, a firm amount of money that you intend to wager for the current session or specific period of time. Set your bankroll before you begin play, when you are in full control of your head.
When you reach your limit (bankroll), walk away. Log off, eat, go for a walk, do anything else, but do not remain at the table one minute longer. Understand the psycology of the game.
Acknowledge that winning and losing cycles occur.
Whether you play baseball, the stock market, or Blackjack, you can expect to lose 70% of the time. If you're going to lose 70% of the time, what does that tell you about flat betting? Flat betting is placing an equal wager on each hand. Instead of flat betting, vary your wagers
Bet larger sums when you're on a winning streak and smaller sums when you're on a losing streak. Fight the urge to bet big during a losing streak. That's the time you should be betting less. Bet more during a winning streak. By matching your wagers to your current streak, you edge the odds closer to your favor and away from the house.
Don't try to win back losses with one big bet. Stick to the basic blackjack strategy.
When you've had an extraordinary (or even an ordinary) winning streak, immediately withdraw of your winnings. If you're varying your wagers, you should be able to walk away from that session a winner.
Weather your losing streaks. If you're going to lose 70% of the time statistically, you're bound to have losing streaks. You have to have patience to come out ahead when you play a game of chance, even when skill is involved. Don't exceed your bankroll, but don't throw in the towel just because you've lost three hands in a row.
Walk away a winner. Quit while you're ahead and don't look back.
" " Blackjack, like all gambling related games, is based on odds. In blackjack, all bets pay off at even money, except blackjack (3-to-2, in most cases) and insurance (2-to-1).
However, depending on the rules, players may have the option to double their bets during a hand, which can improve their odds if the situation is favorable to them. What most gamblers are more interested in than the payoff for a two card blackjack, is what their odds are of coming away from blackjack a winner.
Getting the best odds in blackjack requires the use of basic strategy. Basic strategy is a chart of blackjack decisions calculated for maximum success value.
Failing to use basic strategy simply means you will lose at blackjack more often. If you do use basic strategy, how well you can expect to do depend on the rules at that particular casino.
In a standard eight deck situation in which the dealer stands on soft 17, doubling on any two cards is allowed. Players can split, re-split and blackjack pays 3-to-2. The House edge is about .43 percent, meaning for every $100 wagered, the player can expect to lose 43 cents in the long term.
Changes in rules can alter this House edge. For example, if the dealer must hit his soft 17, the House edge jumps to around .64 percent.
If the number of decks used drops to six, the House edge also drops, to around .40 percent. If surrender is allowed, the House edge even further, to around .33 percent.
Basic Strategy Charts
What you can do though, is to get familiar with some basic probability odds in blackjack. Study these charts below for a better understanding of the game.
This first chart shows the odds of busting if you choose to add another card to your two-card hand.
% Bust If You Hit
11 or Less
The seconds chart shows the probability of the dealer to bust depending on the up card that he is holding. As you can see, the biggest chances of the dealer busting is when he is holding a 5.
Dealer Up Card
Dealer Bust %
Studying these two basic probability charts will give you a good first insight to the game. Remember that the house gets its advantage in blackjack by being the last one to act. Ã This makes it quite possible for the players to go bust before the dealer has his turn.
Blackjack strategy card This strategy tells you what to do for each possible combination of your hand and the dealer's up-card. It's not that easy to memorize, so make sure you print it out and keep it as a blackjack strategy card in reach from your computer.