Online Blackjack

Complete Guide on How to Play Online Blackjack in 2022

Online Blackjack

Blackjack was brought to the American shores back in the 18th century by French colonists. From that moment on, it has captivated the hearts of avid gamblers across the States. The game saw its popularity surge in 1931 when Nevada legalized gambling and has since become one of the most prevalent casino games in the US. 

Nowadays, this card game can be found in virtually every land-based or online casino in the world. Blackjack’s massive popularity stems from the fact that it’s easy to learn, fun to play, and has one of the lowest house edges of all casino games. 

If you want to learn how to play blackjack, as well as the rules and strategies for winning at this card game, you’ve come to the right place. This article is a detailed guide to real-money online blackjack and covers everything you need to know about playing the game in online casinos. 

Even if you are already familiar with how this classic card game is played, read on to discover our tips for improving your odds and upping your winnings in blackjack! 

Rules of Blackjack

In this section, we’ll discuss the basic rules of blackjack. Below, you’ll find detailed information about key blackjack terms, card values, as well as general rules to keep in mind before getting in on the action. 

The Basics

Blackjack is played with a standard 52-card deck, and it is a very simple game to learn. In the early 60s, blackjack games were played with a single deck. Nowadays, you will find games with various numbers of decks, including one, two, four, six, and eight. Six-deck blackjack is currently the most popular variation.

Although luck plays a major role, blackjack is considered to be a game of skill. The luck part ends with the cards you are dealt. You are lucky if you’re dealt a natural blackjack because then there will be no strategy involved in making your move.

While it’s all about the cards, skill is a key part of any game of blackjack. Namely, there are certain strategies blackjack players can utilize to increase their win ratio and minimize any potential losses.

The goal in blackjack is not to beat the other players at the table, like in poker, for example. Whether you’re playing in an online casino or with your friends at home, the goal is to beat the dealer.

To win at blackjack, you need to create card totals that are higher than those in the dealer’s hand, without going over 21. If you have a card total that exceeds 21, you have busted, and lost the pot, regardless of the dealer’s hand.

Gameplay

A typical round of blackjack begins with players placing their bets on the table. Every online casino has numerous blackjack tables with various betting limits.

Once the bets have been settled, the dealer will deal the cards, starting with the person on his or her left (if there are multiple players at the table). On the first deal, each player is dealt two cards, both face-down. The dealer deals two cards to him or herself, with one card being dealt face-up, and the other one face-down — the hole card.

Each player at the blackjack table is playing a separate game. So, basically, you shouldn’t care about what other players have, but rather try to predict what the dealer has.

When you are dealt the first two cards, you must determine whether you want to take another card. The key thing here is to have a good look at the dealer’s face-up card, and based on its value, try to determine what strategy you should be using in playing your own hand.

You are now presented with several options:

  • Hit — ask for another card. You can carry on hitting until you have gone bust, or you can decide to stand at any given moment. In some casinos, dealers are required to stand when their hand is a soft 17.
  • Stand — end your turn. That means that you don’t want to receive additional cards because you are confident that your hand is better than the dealer’s.
  • Double down — double your original bet. You will then be dealt one more card. You should use this option only if you’re absolutely sure that your hand will beat the dealer’s.
  • Surrender — give up your hand if you believe that you have little chance of winning. By surrendering, you will lose “only” half of your original stake. If the dealer has a natural blackjack, you can’t use this option.
  • Split — this allows you to split the two initial cards into two separate hands. This option is offered only if the player receives two cards of the same value. Keep in mind that if you opt for this, you will need to double your bet because you’ll be playing two hands instead of one.
  • Insurance — this is a special side bet that allows you to win even if the dealer has a blackjack. Insurance can only be used if the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. If the dealer turns out to have 21, the insurance bet is paid 2:1.

If you get a natural (the first two cards are an ace and a ten-card), and the dealer does not, then you’ll get paid one and a half times the amount of your original stake (3:2). If your wager was $5, for an example, you will win $7.50 in case you get a natural. If the dealer also has a blackjack, then it’s a push, and nobody wins.

Card Values

In blackjack, the cards are valued as follows:

  • Number cards (2-10) — face value of the card
  • Face cards — all worth 10 points
  • Aces — they can be worth either one or 11 points, depending on which value is more beneficial to the player. For instance, a hand consisting of two face cards and an ace will have a value of 21.

The suits play no role in blackjack and therefore don’t affect the value of your cards.

Benefits of Playing Blackjack Online for Real Money

If you’re an old-school player who believes that nothing can beat the atmosphere of gambling in an actual land-based casino, think again. Online blackjack brings a whole new level of thrill and excitement to players. Below, we’ve set aside a couple of advantages of playing blackjack online.

  • Convenience — Gambling online is far more convenient than gambling offline. In a matter of seconds, you can deposit funds onto your account, and play several blackjack tables simultaneously. Why would you want to drive several hours to the nearest casino, and waste time and gas, when you could be playing your favorite blackjack games from the comfort of your home?
  • No loud casinos — When playing blackjack online, there is no loud music, smokey bars, or people laughing when you make a foolish play and lose a lot of money. There are no distractions whatsoever, and you can focus solely on your gameplay.
  • Play for free — If you’re a blackjack rookie, there are plenty of websites where you can play the game for free, and hone your skills. This way, you can get a better hang of the game, before you start playing it for real money. You can even play blackjack online with your friends, without spending a dime. Just imagine how cool that would be?
  • Bonuses — Virtually every online casino offers a variety of bonuses and promotions for its players. These amazing incentives are often worth hundreds and even thousands of dollars, which is a sum you can only dream of getting in a land-based casino.

Best Online Blackjack Casinos in the US for Real Money

With so many casinos out there, it has become a daunting task to find a genuinely great casino that offers online blackjack for real money. There’s nothing to worry about — our panel of experts already did the legwork for you and tracked down the best online blackjack casinos in the USA. Now, all of these gambling sites have been vetted by our team to ensure safety for players, fast payouts, exceptional bonuses, and great customer service. But ultimately, it all comes down to your personal preferences. Every casino is unique in its own way and is appealing to players of different skill levels and tastes. 

I know that many of you guys are wondering ‘What is the best online blackjack site’? The simple answer would be — the one that suits your preferences the most. 

Most Popular Blackjack Variations

Before you go looking for an ideal blackjack casino you should learn about the different variations of the game. Since its inception, numerous variations of blackjack have been developed, and they’re as popular as the classic version. Below, we’ll mention but a few, because the entire list is seemingly endless.

  • Blackjack switch — This version differs from classic blackjack in that two hands are dealt to each player, rather than one. Players are allowed to swap the top two cards between hands. The payout ratio for this variation is 1:1, instead of the classic 3:2.
  • Face-Up — Face-Up blackjack is a variation in which all cards are dealt face-up, including the dealer’s cards. This obviously gives a huge advantage to the player, but there are several rules to compensate for this. For instance, players can double down only on 10 and 11, and not after splitting.
  • European blackjack — European blackjack is similar to the classic version but with one huge difference — the dealer doesn’t receive the hole card until the players make their moves.
  • Pontoon — Although it derived from blackjack, Pontoon rules are quite different from those of the classic blackjack game. The basic premise and card values are the same as in blackjack but they come with a few twists which make it so much fun to play.

Is Online Blackjack Rigged?

I know that this concerns many players, especially those that haven’t played in an online casino before. But let me assure you that no legitimate blackjack casinos in the US are rigged. These gambling sites are heavily regulated by strict licensing jurisdictions, Furthermore, casino payouts from blackjack games are frequently audited by independent testing labs.

If an online casino were to rig its blackjack games, someone would quickly notice and notify the regulatory bodies. Then that casino operator would be required to pay massive fines, lose its reputation, and eventually go out of business.

Play Online Blackjack for Real Money in 5 Easy Steps

Now that you’re up to speed with the fundamentals of blackjack, it’s time to learn how to play the game online. Just follow my lead, and you’ll be taking on a real-money blackjack dealer in no time! 

  1. Find the right blackjack casino.
    The first step is to find a reliable and trustworthy casino with a solid range of blackjack games.
  2. Sign up for an account.
    Once you’ve found your blackjack casino, you need to open an account to start playing real-money games. The registration process is straightforward and takes only a couple of minutes to complete.
  3. Make a deposit.
    Following account creation, you’ll need to top your casino account with funds. To do this, go to the Cashier section, and select a deposit payment method. Input the amount you want to deposit and finalize the payment.
  4. Claim the online blackjack bonus.
    Every online casino has several bonuses and promotions in store for its newcomers. It pays off to check out these offers as they can boost your bankroll, thus increasing your chances of winning.
  5. Play the game!
    With your account fully loaded, you can finally start playing. Go to the casino’s game library, and find the table games section (or live casino). There, you’ll find several blackjack varieties with different betting ranges. Have fun!

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Blackjack

Every casino game, including blackjack is skewed towards the house. That means that there isn’t an infallible strategy you can use to make guaranteed profits. Still, there are some tips you could use that will help you win more constantly at the blackjack table.  

Familiarize yourself with the rules.

While the core mechanics and card values are the same with all blackjack varieties, each of them comes with its own set of “secondary” rules. You should learn these rules as they can work to your advantage.

Avoid tables with a 6:5 payout ratio.

The majority of blackjack games pay 3:2 for a blackjack, but there are certain casinos that pay “only” 6:5. You should avoid such tables as they are much less favorable to players.

Card counting is useless in RNG tables.

Card counting may be an effective strategy if you’re playing live blackjack, but RNG-based software eliminates the possibility of an effective count. Don’t even try it.

Learn how to manipulate with side bets.

If you use them properly, side bets can work in your favor. Depending on how you use them, side games can either increase or reduce the house edge.

Play games with fewer decks.

If you plan on using a card-counting strategy, you should choose a game with fewer decks. The more decks the game is played with, the more difficult it becomes for a player to utilize this strategy.

Avoid insurance bets.

The insurance bet is a bad bet unless you’re an expert card counter, and the count works in your favor. You’ll win an insurance bet only if the dealer has a face card, and lose if they have any other card. This makes your odds of winning 9:4.

Not every blackjack variation is available online.

Even though online casinos boast a full suite of blackjack games, some variations will not be available in every casino.

Avoid the Martingale betting system.

This strategy requires you to double the size of your bet every time you lose, but this is not a profitable strategy in blackjack. It could bleed your bankroll dry if you go on a cold streak.

Don’t double 4,4.

You should split 4,4 only if you’re facing a 5 or 6.

Never stand on your soft 17.

If you get a soft 17, you should always hit or double. This hand can’t go bust by taking a hit and can only push against the dealer’s soft 17 if you stand.

Can You Play Free Blackjack and Win Real Money

Playing blackjack in free, demo mode is a great way of honing your skills and working on your strategy, but there’s a downside to it — you can’t win real money. Blackjack sites with free-to-play options can serve as the perfect platform for learning the game. They provide the easiest way of finding an optimal blackjack strategy. 

Bottom line, if you’re interested in learning how to win blackjack online, the demo mode is the ideal way to go. You can always switch to real-money play when you gain a better understanding of the game mechanics.

Low-Limit Online Blackjack Games

If you’re on a tight budget, low-limit blackjack tables are the perfect match for you. These come with different odds, payouts, and low betting limits for players that have smaller bankrolls. Until recently, you would be lucky to find a $5 minimum blackjack table. This was not appealing for recreational players that just wanted to try a couple of hands of blackjack. 

Nowadays, you can play real-money blackjack with extremely low betting limits. In almost every US blackjack online casino, it’s possible to play the game with wagers as low as $1 per hand.

Ways to Play Blackjack for Real Money

In this section, I’m going to show you how to play blackjack online for real money. After all, isn’t that why you came here in the first place? 

Even though there are dozens of different blackjack varieties, there are two main types of real-money blackjack games in online casinos — RNG-based blackjack and live dealer blackjack. The outcome of the first type is determined by RNG (random number generator) software, and the second type is played in real-time, against real dealers. 

Naturally, you’ll need to create an account with an online casino and deposit some funds, regardless of the chosen type. Once you do that, go to the game library and look for table games for the RNG version or the live casino for live dealer blackjack. 

Mobile Casino Blackjack

With the advent of mobile casinos, it has become possible to play blackjack games even when you’re far away from home. With a stable internet connection and a compatible device, you can take on the dealers on blackjack sites, whenever you want to, wherever you are. Better yet, you don’t need to download anything as most online casinos offer the option of playing through your mobile browser, thanks to instant-play technology.

Real-Money Blackjack Apps

There are two types of blackjack casinos for mobile —those running on instant-play technology, and those using native casino apps that feature dozens of blackjack games for real money. For the first type, you won’t need to download anything. If you opt for a blackjack app, you’ll need to download it to your mobile device. The download links can be found on casino websites, or in the Google Store/App Store.

Live Dealer Games

The most important thing that you’ll find missing in online blackjack is authenticity. That’s where live dealer games come in. With live dealer blackjack, you can enjoy the buzz of playing in a real casino, without ever leaving your sofa. Live dealer games are hosted in an actual casino or a studio, and they feature real-life dealers, dealing actual cards. The results of each hand are live-streamed to the players, so you’ll be able to see the records of your wins and losses on your computer. 

Live dealer online blackjack for real money makes the entire experience more immersive and engaging. You’ll be able to interact with the dealer, which maximizes the fun. 

Mobile Blackjack

To enjoy mobile blackjack for real money, you’ll need a compatible device and a solid internet connection. All mobile casinos nowadays are optimized for all popular mobile operating systems, namely iOS and Android. You can access the blackjack site via your mobile browser and play real-money games, whenever you please. 

In essence, mobile casinos are a close replica of their desktop counterparts. That means that you can make on-the-go deposits, sign up for an account, request a payout, contact customer service representatives, and of course, play your favorite blackjack games.

Practicing Blackjack for Free

There are many benefits of playing blackjack in demo mode, the most notable one being that it can be used as a practice strategy. Players who are learning new blackjack strategies, charts, and systems can perfect their skills in demo games. 

In most blackjack casinos, you won’t need to register an account to play blackjack for free. That means that you can get in on the action without committing to the online casino with a user account. And once you feel like you’re ready to play real-money blackjack online, you can open an account and deposit money into it.