Getting Started with Blackjack Online - Rules & Guidelines

Would you like to beat blackjack? We can help you with that. In this article, we’ll tell you all the main rules of the game, as well as reveal the best tactics to win. Moreover, we’ll brief you on the important vocabulary you need to know as well as what to say at the table.
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How to Play Blackjack

In contrast to some casino games, blackjack requires knack, devotion and patience. It is a game of skills, which means that luck plays little to no role in it. Instead, it all goes down to the player. You, the player, have the control over the famous Twenty-One, what some call this casino game.

Blackjack is different in that it is easier to beat the house edge and take advantage of the high RTP.

Generally speaking, blackjack rules are relatively easy to grasp. In the following lines, we’ll share with you the basics of the game first. Then, we’ll move on to provide details about side bets, insurance bets, advanced gaming techniques and more.

Basic Blackjack Rules

Each round of blackjack begins the same way. The dealer (croupier) deals two cards to each player, facing up. He or she also has one face card and one hole card, the one facing downwards.

Once you receive your cards, you need to make a move. There are multiple choices regarding the decisions you can make:

  • Hit – asking for another card
  • Stand – ending your turn; refusing an extra card
  • Double – doubling up your bet and get another card
  • Split – when you have a pair (two of the same card), you can split into 2 hands. Splitting also doubles the bet.

Punters can only double/split on the first move.

Players are advised to stand when they have 17, 19 or 20 in their hand. There’s no use asking for another card for you risk busting.

To “bust” in blackjack means to go over 21 in total.

Which brings us to the ultimate goal of blackjack – to get to, or as close to, 21 as possible.

Reaching 21 in the initial round by getting dealt an Ace and a 10-value card is called hitting a “natural”. That’s the only way to win automatically in blackjack.

There are two outcomes in blackjack:

  • Blackjack – getting a hand total of closer to 21 than the croupier
  • Bust – going over 21, which automatically disqualifies you

Recommended Blackjack Casinos

Blackjack is a traditional casino game that has evolved with the invention of online casinos. Today, all respectable online casino sites offer the most popular blackjack variants for players across the globe. You can play regular blackjack or enjoy the perks of playing live dealer Blackjack which gives you the genuine land-based casino feeling from the comfort of your home.

To make the process of choosing the best blackjack online casinos easier, we have prepared an ultimate list of top blackjack casino sites right here.

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Card Values in Blackjack

Blackjack is playable with 1 to 8 decks with 52 cards in total each. That means you can play with anything between 52 and 416 cards.

Each of the cards has a predetermined value. It’s important for you to know these to be able to play Twenty-One.

  • Face cards or royals (Jacks, Queens and Kings) are worth 10 (ten).
  • Cards 2 through 10 have their pip value.
  • Ace (A) is worth either one or eleven.

The value of the hand is the sum total of the card values.

Special values are given to cards in card counting. More about it below.

Blackjack Side Bets

Depending on the game and software developer, there may be additional bets. In the world of Twenty-One, these are called side bets.

These bets are optional, which means that you don’t have to place any of them if you don’t want to.

Typically, you’ll see modern blackjack variants boast these side bets. More often than not, live blackjack variations have numerous side bets compared to their virtual counterparts.

Here are some popular examples of unforced, voluntary bets:

  • Insurance Bet – If the dealer shows an Ace, you can place the special insurance side bet. That means that you’re placing half of your original wager against the croupier hitting a natural. The insurance bet pays at 2 to 1.
  • 21 + 3 – If your first two cards and the croupier’s face card form a poker hand, you’ll win the 21 + 3 side bet.
  • Bust It (Buster) – One of the most rewarding side bets in blackjack. The hit frequency can be over 28%. In some variants, the buster side bet pays at 2,000:1. If the dealer busts with 7+ plus cards, you win. The more cards the croupier needs, the bigger the payout.

The names of the side bets differ from one game provider to another. Essentially, however, they all do similar things – give players more excitement.

What Do You Say in Blackjack?

Let’s now get familiar with what you should say when you’re at a blackjack table. We want to look professional, don’t we?

At CasinosOnline.com, we obviously believe that online blackjack is the real deal. However, some players will always prefer brick-and-mortar venues to virtual ones. We are here to support them, too.

Nevertheless, there’s some crucial vocabulary that’s applicable both online and offline. Check it out here.

Now, if you’re going to a land-based venue, you want to create a persona.

Some punters like to lie low and keep a veil of mystery around themselves. They keep quiet and say little. In turn, other players are low-key scared of them and deem them unpredictable.

But that’s only as long as you stay in character. Don’t overdo your acting; every pro will see right through you.

So, if you’re opting for this type of players, there’s little to be said at the table then.

On the other hand, there’s always the cheeky type. That player will pull other gamblers’ leg or make jokes and be loud throughout. It’s not forbidden. Casinos allow you to talk as long as you don’t disturb other participants.

You can take up this extroverted, chatty role and talk your way through the rounds.

But don’t stay too much. You don’t want other players to see that it’s just a persona hiding your real intentions. Instead, keep your quips under control.

The Best Blackjack Strategy

To play blackjack successfully and win, you need to know three strategies:

  1. Basic strategy
  2. Card counting
  3. Deviations

Most people who play blackjack for real money first master the basic strategy. Applying this method pays out in most cases and decreases the house edge.

To master it, simply follow the chart and ideally learn it by rote. The table tells you when to hit and stand to increase your winning odds.

However, the basic strategy can never eliminate the house advantage completely. To beat the house edge in blackjack, you need advanced betting strategies. Check those out in the next paragraph.

Finally, deviations condition you to know the whole enchilada about the first two.

In short, deviations in blackjack occur when the count gets too volatile and/or confusing.

Deviations are a large topic on its own so we won’t talk about it too much. In a nutshell, though, deviating from basic strategy is what you do when you come to a true count. There are deviation charts that can help you en route.

It’s important to remember that this blackjack strategy has nothing to do with your gut feeling. It is based on mathematics and it is perfectly calculated.

Additionally, playing deviations come hand-in-hand with betting deviations. Mathematical rules tell you when to increase and decrease your current bet.

Alternative Strategies

The most popular alternative strategy for blackjack is counting cards.

Almost anyone can learn to count cards in blackjack, so long as they devote time and concentration to it.

As a card counter, you need to keep count of the cards that have been dealt. The rule of thumb is to hit when the running count increases. Contrastingly, the house advantage increases with a negative count.

The rules of card counting in blackjack are:

  • Subtract -1 when A, J, Q or K are dealt.
  • Add +1 whenever cards 2 through 6 appear.
  • Keep the same count for cards 7, 8 and 9.

If you want to play advanced blackjack, you should also familiarize yourself with Hi-Lo and multi-tier counting systems.

Live Blackjack

Finally, one of the most burning topics in iGaming has got to be live casino gambling. Live Blackjack is one of the most played live dealer titles out there. Hundreds of reputable casinos offer it.

Live blackjack gives you the luxury of authentic gambling from the comfort of your home.

Not only does a real croupier deal for you, but it also all happens in real time. Moreover, you’ll normally see other tables behind yours so it’ll truly feel like a land-based casino. You just don’t need to dress up.

The rules of live blackjack are identical to virtual Twenty-One. The only difference is that live blackjack typically has more side bets.

After this read, we’d suggest checking out these blackjack tips and tricks we compiled for you.

Let us know if all of the strategies worked for you in the comment section below. Now, let’s learn the whole nine yards about playing blackjack for real money.

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