The Complete Guide to Mastering Online Blackjack 2022

Everything you need to know about the game of Blackjack: from basic rules to advanced strategies and lingo; in this Blackjack guide, we provide you with a Blackjack game overview, explanations about variants, gameplay, tips, free blackjack games, best casinos for real money blackjack, high limit and low limit tables guides and more.

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Overview

Blackjack is not just another name in a long list of casino games. Instead, it is one of the most sought-after casino games globally in every land-based and online casino. Often referred to as 21, Blackjack carries an appeal that few other casino games could ever hope to replicate or match.

This colossal appeal may be quite varied, but there are three that seem to stand out in particular. Firstly, Blackjack's rules and gameplay are elementary to grasp and understand. The goal has never changed – get to 21 or as close to it as possible. Thanks to its simplicity, even the most casual gambler will quickly get to grips with the game. This simplicity also means that Blackjack can easily be replicated in the live environment and the online space without losing the game's essence. This element makes it widely accessible in every casino format.

Another reason for Blackjack's popularity is that it relies mainly on the skills and strategies that a player can use. Using the correct technique will improve your odds of coming out on top. In Blackjack, every decision matters. It is as much a battle of wits as a game of luck. Players of this game continually seek to sharpen their skills and refine their strategies (counting cards, for example) in the hopes of 'beating the house'. This desire only adds to Blackjack's mystery, intrigue, and excitement.
A third possible reason may be many blackjack variations available today. From American Blackjack to European Blackjack to Super Fun 21, plenty of versions are waiting for you to try. Each variant offers its unique twist on the game. But rest assured that the ultimate aim remains the same – 21 is still the number to aspire to!

Playing Blackjack online is as popular as it is in the live environment. As a result, almost every online casino will offer a variety of blackjack variants for their customer bases to enjoy. These games are designed with great detail and incredible visuals. Although online Blackjack can never fully replace the social nature of the live blackjack environment, game developers nevertheless go out of their way to ensure an enthralling and immersive online experience for users.
The content of this page is dedicated to giving you the full scoop on the phenomenon that is Blackjack. We'll take you through the history of this game, layout the pros and cons and tell you all about the variants that you can expect to find. We'll also help you get the balling rolling and offer some tips and strategies that you can use to improve your knowledge and hopefully land some wins. We'll even attempt to answer some of the burning questions you never knew you had. So keep reading to find out more!

Pros & Cons

Pros
Online Blackjack offers faster gameplay
Sign-up or welcome bonuses will likely be available
Online Blackjack often provides lower betting stakes
Cons
No discernible advantage when using techniques like card counting
Online casinos can sometimes make it challenging to receive bonuses with high wage requirements
Players lose much of the social interactivity of the live environment

History

Blackjack has its roots stepped deep into history. In ancient France, a card game named Vingtetun (Vingt-et-un which is “twenty-one” in French) is believed to be the model of Blackjack and where the game was initially invented. It was introduced to the world when migrants from Europe came to America. Over this history, Blackjack has been transformed by taking inspiration from various versions of card games that people played in ancient Egypt, China, and Rome.

Vingt-et-un in simple English means 21, so it is pretty understandable how Blackjack got its name in the beginning. However, today, the game we play is much different from the game people played in its early days. It is even safe to say that the game rules have completely changed, and we have been left only with the name. For instance, historically, Blackjack meant that a player has either a jack of spades or a jack of clubs. So if the player had a blackjack and an Ace of Spades in his hand, then the bonus payout ratio was 10:1.

Blackjack's first burst on the scene was aided by the State of Nevada's decision to legalize gambling during the Depression. It was a step taken by the government to earn additional revenues. However, in a short period, the game spread to all Casinos in Las Vegas and soon became a regular attraction in all parts of the United States.

What started as a French game became a part of the American casino family, and it has now become a global game. The expansion of the internet has supported the rise of newer versions of the game such as Live Blackjack, Mobile Compatible Blackjack, and numerous online variants have been developed. However, the game rules are the same; the fun keeps getting bigger & better.


Popular Terms

It is not uncommon for something to embrace the culture, and the same can be said for Blackjack. Although it was a French game, to begin with, slowly & gradually, its terminology has adapted to the American style.

Blackjack: A hand made of any card including Queen, King or Jack (which is worth 10), as well as an Ace.

Bust: A losing hand represented by a player having cards worth above 21.

Double Down: Double Down refers to when a player agrees to quit after receiving an additional card by doubling up his first wager.

Hit: When a player asks the dealer for an additional card.

Hole cardThe second card is doled out by the dealer. It is generally not turned until the players have made a decision. The Hole card is usually drawn with its head down.

Insurance: In case an ace is held by the dealer, players can opt for "insurance" before the dealer discloses the hole card. The insurance acts as a cover for loss on the actual wager and confirms the payout at 2:1.

Push: When the game is tied.

SoftWhen an Ace having a worth of 11 is present in the player's hand.

Split: If two cards have the same worth, then players have the option to divide their cards into two hands. Players can then play both these hands simultaneously, and the dealer will deal a card to the pair of hands.

Stand: When the player does not want additional cards.

Surrender: If at any point in time the player wants to quit the game, he has the option to surrender and leave the game with half of his original wager. However, this practice is not followed in all casinos.

UpcardThe card facing up in the dealer's hand.


Rules

The game aims to get a hand of 21 or its closest value. Anything above that, and you lose. The players are up against the dealer, and the first person to get to that magical figure of 21 wins. All deck cards are taken at par, whereas Aces can be either 11 or 1. The Queen, King & Jack are all worth at 10.

The game starts when all players have placed their bets. After that, the dealer deals out two cards to every player, including himself. However, the dealer's second card is the Hole card, and it is only revealed once all players have made their decisions. After that, the players may stop accepting more cards or request more cards. Then, they can double their wager or split their hand; This goes on until the dealer either gets cards valued over 17 or till he reaches the figure of 21.

In Blackjack, the player can either win, lose, or tie with the dealer. In the advent of a tie, the player is given his money back. The best payout is received when a player has a Blackjack hand when the first hand has an ace worth 10. The payout, in this case, is generally over the odds at approximately 3:2.


Strategy

Like most card games, Blackjack is a game of tactics and advanced mathematics. Some various combinations and permutations can occur within a game, and people with a high degree of concentration usually fare well in this game. The focus should be on the dealer's hand; some players can even count how many cards of which deck have been dealt, which puts them in a better position to decide in the latter stages of the game.

Players new to the game of Blackjack have to learn a few basic things before moving on to more advanced strategies. Knowing when to accept more cards and stop taking more cards is the game's most fundamental skill. Knowing when to double your wager and split the hand is another important aspect.

In Blackjack, the house holds the advantage; however, players can still win and profit. It is essential to appreciate this fact.

As stated earlier, it's all about probability. Know your numbers, have a keen sense of observation, and you thrive. Lose focus or be harried, and you will end up losing. As a simple rule of thumb, if you have a hand valuing higher than 17, stop accepting more cards, anything between 5-16, and you are in a position to receive more cards. The game starts to become more intricate when doubling and splitting are also considered. Throughout the game, never lose focus of the dealer and his hand.

Tips

These techniques mentioned below will help you to develop as a crafty Blackjack player:

Getting Started

At this point, hopefully, we've piqued your interest enough for you to want to give online Blackjack ago. But, if you're ready to jump in, here are five steps to help you get started:

1 Find a casino

When searching for a casino, make sure that you stick to those with an excellent reputation in the market. A reputable casino will be appropriately licensed and regulated by a recognised authority. As a result, they will be able to offer a great selection of blackjack variations with good bonuses and fair wagering requirements. If you're unsure where to find a list of reputable casinos, we recommend that you read through our blackjack casino reviews.

2 Learn the Game

Before diving into the nearest blackjack table, you must familiarise yourself with the game's rules. Once you understand the rules, you'll better understand what to do in different situations. Also, keep in mind that there are different variants of Blackjack and each of these variants have their own set of unique requirements.

3 Get into the Game

Once you've done your research, read the rules and selected a casino, the next step is to join an online blackjack table. Playing online has its advantages, such as not waiting for a table to open. So choose your blackjack version and click to join in!

4 Place a Bet

Before you receive your cards, you will need to place a bet. The bet amount will depend on the table limit and the variant you choose to play. Once you've made your wager, the cards will be dealt.

5 Know your pay tables

The paytables in Blackjack are straightforward. Hitting 21 gives you Blackjack and the win. The highest number is 20, which you can earn by two face cards, two 10s or a face card and a 10. The following highest number will be 19, with the rest following in descending order. Anything above 21 means you go bust and will be out of the round.

Terminology

You'll likely have heard various terms being bandied about if you've ever stood near a live blackjack table. Unfortunately, patrons' jargon when playing this game can leave you feeling like you're encountering another language altogether. Fortunately, help is at hand. We've compiled a short but informative list of the most common glossary terms you'll encounter when playing online Blackjack. Take a moment to read through them, and you'll soon be up to speed with the lingo you need to know!

Blackjack Glossary

Blackjack Game Types

It is quite surprising to note plenty of variations for a game as simple as Blackjack. Most reputable online casinos will offer a selection of different blackjack game types for players to choose from. Here are some of the most popular options that you'll encounter:

Classic Blackjack

Blackjack is a simple card game that has grabbed and held our attention for generations. Long before we even know the term blackjack, we play to see who can get the closest to 21. Online casinos allow us to continue this fascination by offering access to several game variants.

Live Blackjack

Live blackjack allows players to enjoy the sights, sounds and excitement of a real casino, all from the comfort of their homes. Players will play against a live dealer in real-time while interacting with other players. This option is perfect who want to enjoy the authenticity of the live environment while still retaining the benefits of playing online.

Spanish 21

Spanish 21 carries all the traditional aspects of the standard blackjack game but with several significant differences. First, it is played with 48-card Spanish decks instead of the usual 52-card deck. Secondly, when a player hits 21 (blackjack), they automatically win, even if the dealer has also landed on 21. No tied games here!

American Blackjack

American Blackjack is another popular variant of the game. Like other blackjack variations, the aim is still to get as close to 21 as you can without going over. The main difference here is that the dealer is dealt two cards, one facing up and the other facing down (the hole card).

Pontoon

Pontoon is the British version of Blackjack. The rules are pretty much the same as standard Blackjack, but the terms and jargon used are substantially different. Pontoon requires one of the players to be designated as the 'banker' who essentially takes the dealer's place. If the banker lands on 21, they announce a pontoon and collects double the amount that each player has bet.

Super Fun 21

Super Fun 21 has several player-friendly rules that distinguish it from traditional Blackjack. For example, split aces may be doubled or hit. Players can surrender after a failed double down while they may split pairs up to four times (including Ace cards). This variant also uses the "six-card Charlie" rule. Any player that holds six cards with a value of less than 21 automatically wins. Because of these rules, the game usually pays out even money.

Blackjack Switch

With a blackjack switch, a player is dealt not one but two hands, and once the first four cards are dealt, they will have an opportunity to switch the top (or second) card from each hand to improve their odds of winning. With this version, players will need to make two bets of equal size.

Zappit Blackjack

Zappit blackjack presents another exciting twist on the standard blackjack game. The rules are primarily in line with the classic variant. However, Zappit blackjack allows players to 'zap' or eliminate the two cards they've received and replace them with two new random cards. The downside? If you land a score of 21 after using the 'zap' feature, you are not awarded a blackjack and will not receive the usual 3:2 payout.

Atlantic City Blackjack

This blackjack variant is derived from the version played in casinos in Atlantic City. As a result, there are several noticeable differences when one compares it to the classic blackjack game. For example, the Atlantic City version allows the dealer to look and see if they have a blackjack and permits them to stand on 17. Additionally, this version will enable players to split their cards up to three times.

European Blackjack

While the rules of European Blackjack are essentially the same as the standard version, the format does differ somewhat. For starters, there is no hole (face-down) card. Instead, the dealer deals his first card face up and only deals his second once the player has played his hand. Additionally, there are restrictions on players doubling down (they can only do so if their hand has a value of 9, 10 or 11) and the number of times players can split cards.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack

Perfect Pairs Blackjack is the same as the original game, with one stark difference: this variation allows for a side bet that operates independently from the main bet. This side bet involves players wagering on whether they or the dealer will land a 'pair' – two of the same cards. Players can win this side bet by landing a mixed, coloured, or perfect pair (two cards of the same colour and same suit). The perfect pair pays out the highest odds.

Infinite Blackjack

Infinite Blackjack is an innovative take on the casino game. Aside from the primary blackjack game, Infinite Blackjack offers up to four side bets (Any Pairs, 21+3, Hot 3 and Bust It) that increase a player's chances of winning. Additionally, the game employs a 'Six-card Charlie' rule. If a player has a six-card hand with a total value of under 21, they receive a payout.

Progressive Blackjack

This version of the beloved card game offers the same strategic card play we enjoy from traditional Blackjack and adds the excitement of a progressive jackpot into the mix. Some variants require an additional ante bet to be in the running to win the jackpot.

Double Attack Blackjack

This game is a variation of the famous Spanish 21 variant. Players can make their initial bet with double attack blackjack after viewing the dealer's upcard. Even money is awarded for a natural blackjack in exchange for this option.

Lucky Blackjack

This game is one of the more unusual blackjack versions. Only you versus the dealer and only the dealer receives cards. You place bets on how close the dealer will come to 21, and if you guess correctly, you can win up to 19 times your stake.

Double Exposure Blackjack

Double exposure blackjack provides a slightly different take on the standard blackjack game. In this variant, the dealer receives two cards face-up. This shift offers a considerable advantage to the player. A natural blackjack only pays out at even money rather than the standard 3:2 payout.

21 Duel

This highly entertaining variant combines two of the most popular casino games ever – Blackjack and Texas Hold 'Em. The objective is still to reach 21. In addition, however, the player and the dealer can use the two community cards dealt with at the table to strengthen their respective hands. This action is, of course, much like what players would do in Texas Hold 'Em Poker.

Triple 7s Blackjack

Triple 7s takes the traditional blackjack game and couples it with a progressive jackpot. The goal is still to reach 21. However, players have an incentive; certain hands will land a huge bonus. To qualify for these bonuses, a player must place an additional bet alongside the primary wager.

Vegas Strip Blackjack

This variant follows the traditional blackjack rules. It is played with four decks which are shuffled after each hand. The significant difference here is that if the dealer gets an Ace or a 10, he may 'peek' for Blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, he wins the round.

Big Five Blackjack

Big Five Blackjack is played with five decks. The variant's unique features include the dealer hitting on soft 17, and the game also offers the option of early surrender. Beyond that, the rules pretty much align with that of traditional blackjack games.

Vegas Downtown Blackjack

The Vegas Downtown variant is played with two decks shuffled after every game. Players can bet up to 5 hands simultaneously, each hand competing separately with the dealer's hand—the dealer deals with two cards, one facing up and the other facing down. If the face-up card is an Ace, the player will be offered insurance.

Ante Up 21 Blackjack

This card game is another variation that merges Blackjack and poker. Ante Up 21 still focuses on the pure elements of Blackjack but creates additional betting options by using a player's completed blackjack hand in a two-card poker contest with the dealer.

Chinese Blackjack

Chinese Blackjack is known by several other names – 21-point, ban-nag and ban-luck. This blackjack version mirrors the traditional game quite closely. The significant difference lies in the winning combinations and resulting payouts. Unlike regular Blackjack, a player's best hand is two Aces (a ban-ban). This result beats all other combinations. The next best hand is the Ace and a card with a value of 10. This hand is known as a ban-nang, and it tops every hand except a ban-ban.

Blackjack Surrender

This game variation is played in the same way as the original version. However, with Blackjack Surrender, players have the chance to surrender once the first two cards have been dealt. By doing this, a player can recover half the amount they have a bet.

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FAQ

The dealer will deal two cards to a player to play online Blackjack. That player will try to get as close to 21 as possible without going over that number. Players can do this by asking for more cards (hitting) or keeping the original cards that they were dealt (standing). If the value of a player's hand is higher than that of the dealer, or if they hit 21 exactly, they win.

Many online casinos will provide a selection of free online blackjack games. These free or demo versions are great for those who wish to learn more about Blackjack or sharpen their playing skills without risking any money. The only downside is that you won't be able to withdraw any of the winnings.

The answer is no. If you choose a reputable, licensed online casino, you will likely find that they operate under strict regulation. Selecting a licensed and reputable casino means that an external authority will keep a close eye to ensure that all results are fair. As long as you stick to online casinos that are properly regulated and carry a good reputation in the market, you shouldn't encounter any problems.

There isn't much that you'll need to get the ball rolling. You can play right away if you have a laptop or desktop computer and a decent internet connection.

Each online casino will have its playing software, so users will need to download it from its website. Some online casinos do not require any software download, meaning that you can play directly from the actual site. You will likely need to register an account with the casino concerned before you can start playing.

There is no law against card counting when you play online Blackjack. However, this is not the easiest thing to do practically, as online casinos automatically reshuffle the playing deck after every hand. Also, the computer's speed makes counting cards a near impossibility.

While every casino game is based on chance, Blackjack does bring a level of player skill and strategy to bear. These skills and techniques reduce the house's edge and give the player a greater chance to win.

Because the blackjack rules remain the same (irrespective of whether you're playing at an online or land-based casino), your strategies are also similar. This rule means that there won't be much difference in your odds of winning. However, Online Blackjack may be a slightly better option, thanks to the online bonuses and promotions that often accompany these online games.

Because of the randomised nature of online Blackjack, the odds of drawing certain combinations will vary greatly. For example, we can tell you that drawing a card with any specific value is 7.69%, while the odds of drawing a card worth 10 (King, Queen, Jack or 10) jumps to 30.7%.

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