Learning the initial online blackjack basics is the best way to get started playing one of the most popular casino games online. It will also give you the basis for playing the game at the top online casinos. You’ll learn fast what a fun and potentially lucrative game it can be.
In the world of casino games, blackjack stands pretty tall. Many gamblers have moved to online casinos for convenience, and online blackjack has similarly taken off in popularity. If you’re interested in getting started, learning blackjack basics for beginners will give you an excellent foundation.
In the following article, we hope to provide you with the basics of playing blackjack online. We’ll teach you the basic rules of blackjack and also walk you through how online blackjack hands are played. We’ll also talk about learning online blackjack strategy while also answering some frequently asked questions about the game.
The Rules of Online Blackjack
Perhaps the best way to learn the rules of blackjack online is by showing the three different ways that you, the gambler, can win a hand of blackjack.
- Form a hand with cards that have a value higher than the value of the dealer’s cards without exceeding 21
- Form a hand with cards that have a value of 21 or below while the dealer’s hand exceeds 21
- Reach a value of 21 on your first two cards (known as a blackjack) before the dealer can reach 21 with more than two cards
Too many people learning blackjack online think that the object of the game is to get as close to 21 without going over. Always remember that your object is to beat the blackjack dealer.
If you beat the dealer in normal fashion, you’ll win whatever you’ve bet on the hand. Get a blackjack online and you’ll normally be paid at odds of 3:2. And if you should tie with the online blackjack dealer without going over 21, that’s known as a push and your bet will be returned to you.
There are two ways you can lose a blackjack hand online.
- The dealer’s point total is higher than yours without going over 21
- You go over 21 with your cards, which is called a bust
Online Blackjack Card Values
We talked about point values in the rules of online blackjack above. Here are the values for the different cards in the deck:
- 2 through 9: Points are awarded at face value (2’s equal 2 points, 3’s equal 3 points, etc.)
- 10’s, Jacks, Queens, Kings: 10 points
- Aces: 1 or 11 points
When it comes to aces, you will use whatever value helps your hand the most. For example, sometimes it’s better for the value to be 1 point if 11 points would cause you to bust. But if the 11 provides a value which you think will beat the dealer, you might be better off using that.
Playing a Hand of Blackjack Online
You and everyone else at the online blackjack table will receive two face-up cards to start. The dealer will also get two cards, but one of their cards will remain face down until all the players have played out their hands.
You will add the value of the two cards in your hand. For example, if your deal provides you with a jack and a four, your value is 14. (The jack equals 10, and 10 + 4 equals 14.)
Options for Playing an Online Blackjack Hand
- Hit: When you hit, you’ll get another card added to your hand, and you’ll add the value of that card to what you already have. You can continue hitting as long as you don’t exceed 21 and bust.
- Stand: You can stand at any point during a blackjack hand online, either after the first two cards or after you have hit. By standing, you’re letting the dealer know that your hand is complete.
- Double: If you like your first two cards and think you have an advantage over what the dealer is showing, you can double the size of your initial wager. When you double, you receive just one more card from the dealer, then your hand is complete.
- Split: You can only split when the value of each of the first two cards you receive is the same (like a pair of threes, or a ten and a jack). When you split, you are taking each starting card and forming a new hand with it. You have to add a bet to cover the second hand, and after splitting, you can continue to play out each single hand as you always would.
- Insurance: You can only take insurance when the dealer is showing an ace. In the case of insurance, you would bet half of your original bet and get paid 2:1 if the dealer does indeed have blackjack. If the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, you would lose the insurance bet and play out your original hand.
- Surrender: You can surrender if you think that your hand won’t beat the dealer’s based on what you have on your first two cards and what the dealer is showing. By surrendering, you get half of your original bet back and lose the other half. Once you surrender, your hand is over.
How the Online Blackjack Dealer Plays Their Hand
Unlike you, the player, the dealer online really has no choices. The dealer must act in a certain way depending on what cards they might possess.
If there are players still left in the hand, however, the dealer must hit if the first two cards total less than 17. The dealer then continues to hit until the value of cards in their hand is 17 or above, at which point they must stand. And if the dealer busts during this process, all players left in the hand win their bets.
Online blackjack dealers can’t split, double, take insurance, or surrender like the player. Depending on the rules of the table or online casino, they might have to stand on a soft 17, which is one achieved when the ace is valued at 11, even if they’re behind the other players.
Basic Online Blackjack Strategy
When learning strategy for online blackjack, it’s a good idea to get some help. Otherwise you might find yourself making choices about how to play your cards that actually hurt your chances of winning blackjack online.
We suggest finding an online blackjack strategy chart. Blackjack strategy charts online are based on simulations that play out every possible deal, both for the player and the dealer, over and over hundreds of times before compiling the results. These results go into the chart, which you can then memorize so you know how to play every hand.
By using basic blackjack strategy, you can improve your online blackjack odds to the point where you’re earning back over 99% of your original blackjack bankroll. When you add in the rewards offered by online casinos, you can hope to make a profit playing the game.
What You Should Be Looking for in Online Blackjack Games
The following factors will affect your payback percentage in a positive way when playing online blackjack games:
- The dealer has to stand on a soft 17
- You can split more than once
- You can surrender
- You can double on any starting hand
Any time the game you’re playing has different rules than these, your estimated payback percentage will drop.
How to Start Playing Blackjack Online
The first thing you have to do to play online blackjack is to create an account at a casino online. You’ll then have to fund your account so that you can create a bankroll. Finally, you might have the option to download software, although many online casinos let you play via a browser or a mobile app.
Once you begin playing blackjack online, you’ll see icons that let you raise and lower your bet. You’ll see an icon to deal the cards, and you’ll likely see one that allows you to bet the same amount as the previous hand and deal, which can quicken the pace of your play. As you play the hand, there will be icons available for all the major player options available to you that you click on as needed.
Online Blackjack Basics FAQ
Do I Have to Bet the Same Amount on Every Single Hand of Blackjack?
No. You can raise or lower your bet at any time. Most gambling sites will have a minimum and maximum wager allowed, however, so you are limited in that respect.
Do I Have to Beat Everyone Else at the Table to Win My Hand?
No. Blackjack is not like poker in that respect. As we said above, you only have to worry about the dealer.
What Is the Main Difference Between Online and Casino Blackjack?
The main difference is usually the way that cards are shuffled. Online play usually means that the decks being used are shuffled after every hand, unless you find an online blackjack game with live dealers. In casinos, many, many hands will usually be played until the cards are shuffled, which is why card counters might be able to get an edge in casinos.
Final Words About Online Blackjack Basics for Beginners
We hope that this tutorial regarding online blackjack basics for beginners will get you ready to play your first blackjack session online. Refer to it as much as you need to make sure you have all the rules down and you’re playing the game of blackjack the right way.