Online Blackjack Guide
Blackjack is one of the world’s most popular card games, and that’s especially true at online casinos. The game has many variations, but the end goal is always to end up with a score higher than the dealer without busting over 21. Strategies can differ depending on the variation — sometimes the dealer sits on soft 17s, sometimes not. While there is always an inherent house edge, players can slim the margin greatly. Doing so takes practice, so you can scroll down to the bottom of the page for a free blackjack game (flash based), or head on to one of our recommended Canadian blackjack casinos to start playing:
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The Rules: How to Play Online Blackjack
- Make a bet.
- Players are dealt two cards, both facing up. Each card has a value, with the 2-10 cards value equaling their number; face cards (Jack, Queen, King) worth 10 and Aces worth either 1 or 11 points, depending on what’s most beneficial to the player.
- The dealer is also dealt two cards, one face up and one face down.
- The value of your hand is equal to the sum of your cards. Find your sum, then determine whether you’d like to hit, stand, split or double down (see the Glossary section below).
- Players continue until they either decide to Stand or ‘bust’, which means going over 21. Busting results in an automatic loss.
- The dealer plays his or her hand last, hitting until he/she reaches a certain plateau, often hard 17, or busts.
- If you finish with more points than the dealer (but less than 21) or the dealer busts and you don’t, you win.
Hit: If you choose to hit, you draw a card from the top of the deck and add its value to your total number of points. You can continue to hit until you stand or bust.
Stand: If you choose to stand, you may not draw any more cards from the deck. You finish the game with the number of points that you have in hand at the time of the stand. Once you stand, the dealer takes his or her turn.
Split: If your original two cards are of the same value, you can split them into two hands. Each hand will be dealt a second card, and the game continues with you playing two hands against the dealer. Players are usually required to place a second bet equal to their original wager, with the latter going on one hand and the former on another.
Double Down: Doubling down is when you agree to take only one more card (hit) before you stand. To do this, you must double your original bet. After doubling down, you are stuck with whatever three-card hand you stand, but it has the potential to increase your winnings if your first two cards are promising.
Top 5 Tips for Online Blackjack
- There are a number of strategies players can and should try to use to reduce the house edge. Feel free to try our free blackjack game below while trying the strategies in our blackjack strategy page and try to slim that edge to less than 0.5%.
- There is no card counting online because the digital cards are shuffled after every hand and some sat that there are also a few advantages to this.
- Be sure to check the bonus rules at your casino. Sites will often credit players only a small percentage of the wagering requirement for cashing out welcome bonuses.
- No matter how well you play, there is always going to be a house edge in online blackjack. Though you shouldn’t lose much if you play correctly, you are more likely to lose more money the longer you play. Don’t go chasing your losses.
- Blackjack is a game to play for entertainment. Feel encouraged to cash out after a nice run of winning hands, and don’t let yourself be stressed by your losses. Just have fun!
Free Blackjack Online
One of the greatest advantages to playing online games such as blackjack, is that you can also play for free! All of our top online casino choices offer free demo blackjack flash games for versions such as European, Atlantic city, MH bonus, Streep, Spanish Blackjack and more.
So whether you’re a beginner blackjack player that wants to know the game better and get some practice before betting for real money, or an advanced player looking to try out some advanced strategies, free blackjack games can get you up and running without any risk.
Online Blackjack Games
As we mentioned, there are many variations of blackjack. The game can be played using only one deck or several. In some games, the dealer follows different rules (such as hitting or standing on a soft 17). Payouts also vary. Here are some online Blackjack variations.
European Blackjack: The dealer does not deal him or herself a hole card and does not win automatically if he or she is dealt 21.
Blackjack Switch: Players are allowed to play two hands at once against the dealer, allowing for more hands in a shorter span.
Pontoon: The dealer is not dealt a hole card, and a dealer 21 is not an automatic loss for all the players like in other versions. There are more regulations on the player — an Ace in a pre-double hand always counts as 1 post-double, and players can only draw once on split Aces. Hands featuring an Ace and a 10/face card are “Pontoons” and pay out extra.
Double Exposure: In this game, the dealer places all of his cards face up, so players always know what the dealer has. The catch is that the dealer wins all ties.
Spanish 21: Spanish decks contain 48 cards counting 2-9 plus the Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces. The game is mostly the same as standard blackjack, though players receive bonuses for things like having been dealt a 7-7-7 hand.
There’s a reason blackjack and all its variants have become such a casino mainstay. The game is incredibly fun to play, challenging players to test strategies while offering the chance for extended entertainment at minimal cost. A great online game, blackjack has also become a favorite among gamblers who play on smartphones, and just about all mobile casinos feature a quality blackjack game. If you haven’t before, check out the blackjack offerings at Royal Vegas, one of our Five-star recommended casinos.