How to Play Blackjack Online

How to Play Blackjack Online

A crowded room. A crescendo of noise. And suddenly silence. You feel the sweat pool at your neck. You grip your glass of bourbon tighter as your free hand tickles the luxuriant green cloth. Opposite you, a slender finger slides the card from its slot and across the table. Your heart leaps to your throat. Waves of excitement, anticipation, and nerves crash over you. You take a breath. The deep breath before the plunge. Then he turns the card…

Fade to black.

Just a typical night in the life of a high-rolling blackjack player, right? Well, with online casinos that’s not as crazy as you might think. And considering the fun, exciting, and varied nature of blackjack you should get used to that sort of feeling. It’s one of the best casino table games you can play. And the beauty of it is that you can pick it up very easily. So, let’s take a look at some of the basics, as well as a few tips and strategies. Before you know it you’ll be moonlighting as a world famous blackjack master!

How to Play Blackjack Online – The Basics

So, how to master blackjack online. Well, first things first, you need to know the rules. Basic blackjack (there are variants) is played with a traditional deck of 52 cards, often up to 8 decks, but it depends on the number of players. The goal is, ostensibly, to score as close to 21 as possible.

The players each bet, and then the dealer deals them two cards each, face down, and two to himself. One of the dealer’s cards is facing up, while the hole-card faces down. This is fundamentally a two-player game, you vs. the dealer. And this is where the intricacies of blackjack come into effect. The aim, really, is to accumulate a higher score than the dealer, without going over 21.

Let’s look for a minute at card values. The number cards up to and including 10 are worth their value. Face cards, i.e. King, Queen, Jack, are also worth 10. And an Ace can be valued at either 1 or 11, it is the player’s choice.

There are three ways to win at blackjack:

  • 21 points on your first two cards, without the dealer getting the same, i.e. Ace plus 10 or face card. This is referred to as a ‘blackjack.’
  • A final score of higher than the dealer, but lower than 21.
  • The dealer draws additional cards until his hand exceeds 21.

Once the pairs of cards are dealt the dealer will then continue to add cards until the value of the hand totals 17 points or higher – without going bust. After this, it is up to you what you do. You can stick with the total you have, or ask for another card. There are all sorts of tips and hints you can employ, and we’ll get into those later. But, you have to remember that you can’t exceed 21 or the game is over, and you must endeavour to beat the dealer’s total.

Blackjack Terminology

You have to be aware of some of the terminology you might hear when playing blackjack. There are variants on this depending on where you play. But, these are the basics, and you need to try to get to know them as much as you can.

  • Blackjack – Also called a “natural.” Getting 21 on your first 2 cards, with the Ace as 11.
  • Bust – Where the hand exceeds 21. Game over.
  • Hit – Asking for an additional card. This can be done multiple times.
  • Stand – Ending your turn with the hand you have.
  • Double – To double your original wager in exchange for a single card. A good opportunity to maximise your winnings as much as possible!
  • Split – Separate 2 cards of the same value, and make two hands.
  • Push – Where player and dealer have the same hand. This is uncommon but does happen.
  • Hard – A hand not containing an Ace, or where the Ace counts as 1.
  • oft – The opposite of ‘hard,’ a ‘soft’ hand is where the Ace counts as 11.

Useful Tips

Winning at blackjack is all about the sort of strategy you use. There are a lot of different strategies that can be employed with blackjack, and many of them are very advanced. But, it’s probably best to focus on a simpler and more basic guide that will help you make the best possible decisions during a game.

The cardinal rule of blackjack strategy is to ALWAYS account for the dealer’s face card. Always. This is the key tool you’ll use in your decision-making. If the dealer has a strong upturned card (usually 7-11), you should “hit” (remember the lingo?!) until you reach 17 or higher. Conversely, if the dealer has a poor face card (4-6) you should stop drawing at 12 or more. If the dealer’s card is decent (2-3) then you want to stop at 13 or higher. The basic idea is to stop yourself from going bust, and that means not putting yourself in a position where that could happen. The idea is to make the dealer have to draw and end up going bust himself.

Knowing the exact machinations of what to do and when depends on how much you’ve studied the game. But this basic guide should help you give yourself a better chance of being successful.

If you want a more in-depth look at a blackjack strategy chart, you can check out the link below.
https://www.blackjackapprenticeship.com/resources/blackjack-strategy-charts/

Additional Info

Something you won’t often hear about, but something that’s very important, is the ‘surrender’ option. This is where you forfeit your hand immediately and lose half of your bet. Crazy, right? Wrong!

Used properly the ‘surrender’ option can be a hugely smart play for a player. Odds wise it can actually be more cost-effective to give up a hand than to play it. But, you have to know when to surrender and when to carry on playing. You can do a late surrender or an early surrender. Late is after the dealer has checked to see if he has a blackjack, an early is before.

Knowing when it’s right to use the surrender option can be tricky, and warrants further investigation.

Summary

So, gentle reader, are you ready to embark on your blackjack odyssey? There is so much to experience and enjoy. And, the best way to learn is by doing. There are so many online casinos that will allow you to play blackjack with simply the click of a button. The best thing to do is to play some practise hands first until you get the hang of it. Then you can progress to real money games.