What Is Blackjack and How To Play It

Blackjack is the American version of the global card game family known as Twenty-One, whose relatives include Pontoon and Vingt-et-Un. It is a comparing card game between one or more players and a dealer, where each player in turn competes against the dealer. Blackjack is played with one or more decks of 52 cards, and is the most widely played casino table game in the world. Online live blackjack features all the elements from the normal game you can find at normal casinos and players can experience the thrill of playing blackjack from the comfort of their homes or on the go (via mobile devices). 

The Objective Of Blackjack

The main objective when playing online blackjack is to beat the dealer. This can be accomplished by having a cards value closer number to 21 than the dealer or by the dealer busting and having more than 21. It is important to know that the other players playing at the same table with you have nothing to do with winning the blackjack hand, everyone plays against the dealer and the only thing that other players can affect you is if you want to draw a card and the player before you draws a card that you needed. There are a lot of strategies to have more odds to win at blackjack which we will explain in detail on this page. 

How Do You Count Your Cards Total Value?

Blackjack and online blackjack have the same cards. While online blackjack usually has multiple decks of cards, the decks have the same cards and the same values. The game is played with a normal 52 cards deck and the suits of the cards don’t matter (unless you place a bet on the side bets where you can win some extra money). 

  • 2 through 10 cards count at face value, so if you get a 3 and a 5 that is 3+4= 7.
  • Face cards (J,Q or K) count as 10
  • A counts both as 1 and as 11, depending on which value helps the hand.

 

Start Playing Online Blackjack

The first thing you need to do is to make a deposit at an online casino, go to Live Games and search for live tables with blackjack. After you enter a blackjack room, you need to take a seat (if all the seats are taken, you can find another table by clicking on the Lobby button). Once you have a seat at a blackjack table, it’s time to place a bet: you will see the main bet place in the middle of your place and the side bets at the side of the main bet place. Once you placed your desired bet, it’s time to start playing online blackjack. The dealer will start handing out cards one by one to all the players and to himself. You will be able to see all the cards the other players have and one card from the dealer which cand help you decide if you want to draw another card or stay with your current cards. Now it’s time to play blackjack.

Deciding How To Play Your Hand

The dealer will start at the person on their left (which is also known as “first base”) and wait for the player to play his hand. You can already start deciding what you want to do with your hand before the dealer will ask you (you will see the small decision buttons under your bet and cards). To play your hand, you first need to add the cards values together and know the hand total (which is anywhere from 4 to 21). If you are dealt a ten-value card and an Ace as your first 2 cards, that means you got a Blackjack. Those hands get paid 3 to 2 (which means that you will triple the bet size you made) immediately, without playing through the round, as long as the dealer doesn’t also have a Blackjack in which case it will be a Push and you will just receive the bet size back. If both you and the dealer don’t have Blackjack, then it’s time for you to decide how you want to play your hand.

  • Stand – If your first two cards are acceptable, you can stand and the dealer will move on the next player.
  • Hit – If you want to get another card to improve your total, the dealer will deal you another card untill you either Bust (go over 21) or you choose to stand. There is no limit on the number of cards you can take before you go over 21 or decide to stand.
  • Double Down – If you have a total that is advantageous but you need to take an additional card, you can double your initial bet and get dealt one extra card, turned sideways to indicate you may not take additional cards.
  • Split – If you are dealt a pair (2 cards with the same value) you have the option to split the cards on 2 new hands. This also applies to 10,J,Q,K face cards since they also have the same value which is 10.

Blackjack Strategy

Based on what the dealer shows and what cards you have, you can make a choice that follows the blackjack strategy chart (showed bellow). This will give you a mathematical advantage and it’s the optimal way to play blackjack for every combination of player’s dealt cards. This strategy chat was created by a computer by playing millions of rounds of blackjack to determine the best way to play each hand combination based on what worked best to give the player the most wins. This chart will not guarantee that you will win every hand but it will give you a mathematical advantage that will give you better odds on winning compared on playing without a strategy and betting only by gut feeling.

blackjack strategy chart

Splits:

  • Always split aces.
  • Never split tens.
  • A pair of 9’s splits against dealer 2 through 9, except for 7, otherwise stand.
  • Always split 8’s
  • A pair of 7’s splits against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.
  • A pair of 6’s splits against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • A pair of 5’s doubles against dealer 2 through 9 otherwise hit.
  • A pair of 4’s splits against dealer 5 and 6 , otherwise hit.
  • A pair of 3’s splits against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.
  • A pair of 2’s splits against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.

Soft totals: A soft total is any hand that has an Ace as one of the first two cards, the ace counts as 11 to start.

  • Soft 20 (A,9) always stands
  • Soft 19 (A,8) doubles against dealer 6, otherwise stand.
  • Soft 18 (A,7) doubles against dealer 2 through 6, and hits against 9 through Ace, otherwise stand.
  • Soft 17 (A,6) doubles against dealer 3 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft 16 (A,5) doubles against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft 15 (A,4) doubles against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft 14 (A,3) doubles against dealer 5 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft 13 (A,2) doubles against dealer 5 through 6, otherwise hit.

Hard totals: A hard total is any hand that does not start with an ace in it, or it has been dealt an ace that can only be counted as 1 instead of 11.

  • 17 and up always stands.
  • 16 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • 15 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • 14 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • 13 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • 12 stands against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • 11 always doubles.
  • 10 doubles against dealer 2 through 9 otherwise hit.
  • 9 doubles against dealer 3 through 6 otherwise hit.
  • 8 always hits.