Online Blackjack Guide

October 23, 2016
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How to Play and Win at Online Blackjack
Your complete guide to playing online Blackjack

It’s long been a mainstay of land-based casinos the world over, and now blackjack is forming the centrepiece of all top online gambling sites’ casino games suites.

Indeed, when you sashay through the virtual doors of any of the industry's leading online blackjack sites, the game of ‘closest to 21’ is at the top of the gaming menu. Taking pride of place at the top of the lobby, Planet 7 Casino's blackjack offerings cover a range of variants. In fact, thanks to the 30 different variants on offer, including European, Multi-Hand and Vegas Strip, you'll be able to enjoy a complete blackjack experience without leaving the comfort of your own home.

And while the game is pretty much the same whether you’re playing online or off – get as close to 21 or go bust – the Internet boom has given gambling fans a whole new range of blackjack options. In the following paragraphs we've outlined some of the basic rules of blackjack; however, each time you ante-up at top online casino sites you'll be given a slew of resources to assist your play. Whether you're looking for a reminder of the game's fundamentals or some slick tricks to help boost your win rate, the leading online blackjack sites will provide you with a wealth of in-game resources.

As you can see, when you play blackjack on the web for real money today you'll be able to access more than just games.

So, with this in mind, let us help you find a top online casino site and you can take advantage of a superb deposit bonus when you sign up.

The Blackjack Basics
Blackjack Strategy

A classic casino card game that has been around in one form or another for centuries, the object of blackjack is to draw a hand whose value is higher than that of the dealer's, but without going over 21. If you go over 21, you "bust" and lose.
In blackjack, the cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value, and all face cards – Jack, Queen, King, etc - are worth 10 as well. An ace is worth either 1 or 11. A hand with an ace that is counted as 11 is called a "soft" hand, so an ace and a five, for example, is called a “soft 16.” A hand with an ace counting as 1 is called a "hard" hand.

Starting A Game of Blackjack

After placing your real money bet you will receive two cards face up. The dealer also receives a card face up. (Check out some of the other variations of blackjack where the dealer may receive two cards face up.) If your two cards make a total of 21 (e.g. A-10, A-K), you immediately have "blackjack" and the dealer will pay you odds of 3/2 on your bet. However, if the dealer also has blackjack you will tie – or ‘push’ – the hand, and your original stake will ride on the next hand.

Playing Your Hand

OK, so getting blackjack right at the start is the ideal scenario, but what if you haven’t hit that magic 3/2 jackpot?

Well, if you haven’t made blackjack, you have a series of options.

First, you can ‘stand’, which is electing to take no more cards. Play will then move on to the next player – if any - and then the dealer. You can elect to ‘hit’, which is to take another card to make your total closer to 21. You can carry on hitting until you go bust or you choose to stand.

You can also, if you are dealt two cards the same, opt to ‘split’; that is to split the cards, double your bet, and play the hands separately. Players can ‘double down’ – or double the amount of your bet, taking just one more card, then stand.

The Dealer’s Play

Blackjack Strategy

What makes blackjack so fun for the player is that the dealer plays too!

Well, kinda. He certainly has some stock moves he or she has to pull when he takes part.

When it comes to the dealer’s turn, he turns over his down card (if he has one) or deals himself a second card face up. Depending on what total his cards come to, the dealer has a few options:

If his cards total 16 or less, the dealer MUST hit. If he has 18 or more, he MUST stand. If he’s dealt a ‘hard 17’ – that is, a card worth 10 and a 7 – he MUST stand. However, if the dealer has a ‘soft 17’ – an ace and a 6, for example, which can count as 7 or 17 – he must hit. Rules vary from game to game online, however, so make sure you read the rules at your favorite online casino to see where you stand (pardon the pun).

Taking Insurance – The Blackjack Kind

Let’s say the dealer is dealt an ace face-up. Here you have the option to take ‘insurance’ - that is, paying another real money bet (equal to half your original bet) in the advent that the dealer’s second card will make him blackjack. If the dealer does make blackjack you’ll win 2/1 on the insurance bet. If he doesn’t hit that magic blackjack, however, you’ll lose your cash.

Finding A Good Blackjack Online Casino

I think we’ve done enough to convince you that real money blackjack online is the thing of the future. Actually, it’s the thing of the PRESENT, as thousands and thousands of Internet gambling fanatics continue to get their fix of betting games at all times of the day.
It’s hard to sort the wheat from the chaff, but luckily sorting wheat from chaff is what we do best at CardsChat. We deposit our own hard-earned dollars onto dozens of sites to find the ones hitting blackjack and the ones most definitely busting.

So, how do you choose from the many real cash Internet blackjack casino websites plying their trade in the virtual gaming space? Other than following our top recommended links on these pages, make yourself a little checklist. Some real money gambling players may have different priorities but everyone shares the same goal: finding the best web casinos offering blackjack.

What Makes a Good Online Blackjack Site

Safe And Secure Blackjack Sites

Baccarat Strategy

Your safety online is a prime consideration when it comes to depositing real money or submitting private information. The very best casinos on the net will be independently audited and regulated, and will come equipped with the best SSL security encryption so your bank details are totally safe. After all, what’s worse than winning a bunch of cash, only for some douche to hack into your account when you’re asleep and steal your dollars?

As we mentioned earlier, Random Number Generators are key to a successful online casino. These RNGs govern the spinning of the roulette ball or the shuffling and dealing of the cards, and the best sites will have their RNGs regularly audited and tested to ensure totally fair gameplay. Remember, it’s not in a reputable online casino’s interest to have crooked games!

Find A Good Range Of Games

You’re probably aware now that there are almost as many blackjack variants online as there are online casinos, and for the keenest blackjack fiends, a casino offering lots of good real cash games – be it regular blackjack, Multi-Hand or Surrender - with a range of stakes to boot is somewhere you should be playing.

How To Earn A Welcome Bonus

Baccarat Strategy

All good Internet casinos will offer a tempting welcome bonus for players making their first real-money deposit.

After you have signed up, downloaded the client, whipped out the plastic and entered the exclusive bonus code (we have plenty on these pages) you’ll be eligible for a generous bonus. The bonuses can vary from 50-100 percent cashback up to a few hundred dollars – it depends on the site.

But don’t get starry-eyed just yet – there’s a catch. To activate the bonus you will often have to ‘play through’ a set amount of money at the blackjack tables in order to earn your bonus cash. There will also be a time limit attached, so unless you’re planning on playing a lot of games, think twice about applying for the bonus.

If you are seriously contemplating a deposit bonus, what could be better? Earning hundreds of dollars of free cash just for playing the games you love!

The Mobile Blackjack Revolution

Baccarat Strategy

In 2016, online blackjack almost seems as old-school as land-based casino blackjack. As mobile technology grows exponentially, so does the number of betting games available to players wanting to play blackjack on the move.

You can now enjoy real money blackjack on your tablet or smartphone for real money, and the number of mobile casinos is growing every week.

Whether you’re on the train to work, sat in front of the TV at night or in the back of the car when your buddy is driving you home, getting in a few hands of 21 has never been so easy or accessible.

Free Blackjack Chart & Guide

Free blackjack chart and guide

Make learning blackjack betting easier with our free downloadable blackjack 'cheat sheet'. Using it regulary is a great way to learn the ins and outs of the game. You don't need to base your every decision on the chart, but keeping it within reach will help see statistically what your best move is. You can print this out and have it alongside you as you play.

Download your free blackjack chart here

Top 5 Tips For Better Online Blackjack

1. Know When To Hit Or Stand

There are no hard and fast strategies about when to hit or stand, but you should get a basic grasp of what to do when you’re dealt certain cards, particularly when compared to the dealer’s cards.

For example, if you’re dealt a total of 4 to 8, and the dealer has any card showing, always Hit. If, however, you’re dealt 12 to 16, and the dealer’s up card is similarly low, you should stand. Remember, the dealer has to make decisions you don’t, so let him go bust if he is forced to. The worst cards for the dealer are the two through six; they will bust more times with these cards showing.

The dealer’s up card will often shape your decisions a lot more than you think. If, for instance, you are dealt 12 to 16, and the dealer has higher cards – say, 7 to Ace – you should hit and get as close to 21 as possible. You may go bust, but the chances of him beating you are higher anyway. Find a good chart of when to hit or stand and stick it on your computer screen before you play!

2. Don’t Take Insurance

Generally speaking, if you are dealt a blackjack and the dealer shows an ace, ignore the dealer’s option for you to take insurance. You are better off winning 3/2 on your blackjack than betting even more money on whether the dealer also has blackjack.

3. Always Double Down On 10 Or 11

When you double down you are allowed to double your bet after receiving your fist two cards. You then receive one card only on your hand. Most casinos will allow you to double down on any two cards.

This move is advisable, especially if the dealer is showing a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, as they are more likely to go bust with an up card like this. Yes, you’ll have to bet double the amount but you’ll have twice the chance of winning!

4. Forget Card Counting

You probably heard about card counting before you even heard of blackjack, and while it has happened before (and in the case of the infamous MIT teams of the 1990s, very profitably) it’s pretty hard to do, especially if a blackjack game has seven or eight decks of cards at any one time. Card counting – working out the rough frequency of tens and low cards being dealt by the dealer so you can alter your betting accordingly – only works in land-based casinos as online Internet sites utilize much more stringent RNGs, so if you are thinking of learning card counting, stick to the brick ‘n’ mortar joints.

5. Understand The House Edge

It’s fair to say Blackjack offers better house edges for the player than say, roulette, but pay attention to the numbers of decks being used. Different blackjack games can use anything from one to eight decks during a game, and the house edge increases as more decks are added.

For example, a single deck game gives the house a 0.17 percent advantage, while this jumps to 0.46 percent for adding a second deck. Seven decks, meanwhile, gives the house a 0.64 percent advantage and this rises to 0.65 percent for eight decks. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you play blackjack online, and do your research.

Different Blackjack Games Online

Blackjack Strategy

Just as with roulette online, blackjack on the web opens up the possibilities as to what games you can play.

Real money Internet gambling casinos aren’t stifled by floor space or limits – if there’s a variant invented, chances are you can play it on the net.

Some of the blackjack variations you’ll find online are played with one deck of cards, others with several; the dealer’s actions on his hand may vary from game to game, and the basic gameplay of each game may be totally different to one another.
Let’s have a look at some of the various real cash blackjack games you may find at your friendly local online casino.

Blackjack Surrender is a common variant of everyone’s favorite casino card game. In Surrender, if, after the dealer has checked for blackjack, you think that your first two cards will not allow you to beat the dealer's hand, you can choose to surrender your hand. If you surrender, your hand automatically loses, but you get half of your original bet back. This way you do not lose the whole bet.

In Double Exposure Blackjack, meanwhile, both of the dealer's cards are dealt face up. In Spanish Blackjack, all of the tens are removed from the deck, and Bonus Blackjack has special bonus jackpots for certain hands. Triple 7s Blackjack is a unique online blackjack game with a big progressive jackpot for big winners. Multi-hand Blackjack games allow you to play multiple hands of real money online blackjack at the same time. Just as single-hand online blackjack comes in many different variations, there are also many variations of multi-hand online blackjack.

Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack Tournaments

Think blackjack is all about playing every hand for cash? Think again. You can now ante up at an Internet casino and play blackjack in a tournament format.

How does it work? Well, after paying your entry fee, players are randomly assigned seats at a blackjack table and play several hands of blackjack. You’ll start with a set amount of chips, just like in a poker tournament, and the aim is to end the rounds with the most chips. The players with the most chips progress to the next round, and players are eliminated along the way until you play a ‘final table’ with the last remaining players. Payouts will be split on a percentage system among the top 10 percent or so of players.

Live Dealer Blackjack

Live blackjack online sites are becoming incredibly popular because they’re so fun and so easy to play. All you need is a computer with a decent Internet connection. After you create your free live blackjack account, you can sit down at any table and start playing.

However, instead of the computer doing the dealing/shuffling/paying, a real-life dealer in a real-life casino, dealing real-life cards oversees the action. Yes, it’s a real dealer, beamed onto your screen through video.

You control the game much like you would a regular real cash Internet blackjack game, using your cursor to move your virtual chips onto the betting area of the felt. But instead of clicking the ‘Deal’ button on the web, the dealer decides when the game starts after all bets have been placed.

What’s great about Live Dealer Blackjack is that you can chat in real-time to the croupier, ask them questions or advice (they can read your questions on their monitor and respond to camera) and have a bit of banter. In all, it’s just like being in a land-based casino – in the comfort of your own home!

Not only that, but Live Dealer Blackjack is a great game for casino players who like the human element when cards are handled and dealt. Of course, Random Number Generators that govern the software at an Internet casino should be above-board, but the Live Dealer element allays any extra fears.

Blackjack Tailored For Your Smartphone

Mobile blackjack games are specifically designed to fit your smartphone or tablet screen, and if you think your particular device won’t support casino games, think again: most casinos now run downloadable apps or instant play suites via the web browser for all models.

So, if you’re an Apple iPad user, and Android nut, or you’ve just got your hands on the latest Windows Phone, hunt out the best blackjack casinos for mobile devices now. Better still, let us do the hard work for you.

Five Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Blackjack

  1. Although the origins of Blackjack are unclear, the variety of the game we know and love in 2016 spread in popularity in the US in the early 1900s. French colonists imported their own twist on the game – Vingt-et-Un – into Canada around the same time. The original version of blackjack included more betting rounds and the dealer was allowed to double down!
  2. The aim of Vingt-et-Un was to get a “natural” 21. The cards were dealt in rounds, with betting inbetween each round. The first person to reach 21 won.
  3. The first scientific study of blackjack – Beat the Dealer by Professor Edward Thorp – was published in the early 1960s. In it he established a basic strategy for beating the game and introduced card counting to an eager blackjack-playing populace.
  4. Ben Mezrich’s Bringing Down the House tells the true story of the infamous MIT Blackjack team, a group of maths students who developed a card counting ring and took Vegas casinos for millions of dollars. The book was later turned into a film – 21 – starring Kevin Spacey.
  5. The chances of being dealt a blackjack is 0.024%, equal to one blackjack being dealt roughly every 42 hands.

Blackjack Jargon – A Rough Guide


The total a player must make to ensure he beats the dealer.

7-Card Charlie

It is theoretically possible for the player to draw 7 cards without going bust. In this case the player’s hand automatically wins.


A player dealt an ace and a picture card at the start of the hand.


A player going over 21.

Card counting

Analyzing the percentage of high/low cards to predict outcome of future hands.

Double down

Doubling an original bet to receive one extra card.

Even Money

A bet paying odds of 1/1. When the dealer shows an ace and a player has blackjack, the player can opt to be paid even money immediately. See Insurance.

First base

The first position dealt to the far left of dealer.

Hard Hand

A hand that does not contain an ace being counted as 11.

High Roller

Players who bets large amounts of money.


A player’s request for another card.

Hole card

A dealer's face-down card.


The casino or gaming establishment.


An extra player bet as insurance against the dealer having blackjack.


A player is dealt a winning hand.


A betting system where you bet double after each losing hand. Can be used in roulette too.


A tie hand between the dealer and player.

Soft hand

A hand containing an ace counted as one or 11.


If a player is dealt two cards of the same rank, he can choose to play each of them separately, putting up a bet for each one.


A player requests no more cards.


The dealer’s card face-up.


A bet.

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