Blackjack

The Best Online Blackjack: Everything You Need to Know

See our top recommended blackjack casinos here

If you’re a beginner, read about blackjack rules, strategy, and more, and try your hand for FREE on practice mode at a reputable online blackjack casino. 

If you’re already a pro, check out our picks for the best online blackjack for real money. Get ready to play all of your favorite variations and win huge tournament prizes!

 

How do we rate blackjack online casinos?

We only recommend blackjack casinos that are top-performers in the following categories and blacklist those that don’t meet our strict criteria. 

 

1) Payout speed

When you win big, the last thing you want to do is wait around for your money. We only recommend casinos that deposit your winnings within a few working days. 

 

2) Game selection

Our best blackjack casinos offer a wide range of game variations, giving you the power of choice! 

 

3) User-friendliness

No matter how tech-savvy you are, playing blackjack online at the wrong casino can be headache-inducing. We only recommend the best blackjack sites with the most user-friendly interfaces. 

 

4) Customer Service

All of our top blackjack casinos offer reliable 24/7 live chat customer service. 

 

5) Licensing 

We make sure that our recommended blackjack online casinos are properly licensed, taking the worry out of your game.

 

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Real Money Blackjack vs. Free Games

Unlike land-based casinos, online blackjack casinos are able to offer free games

Free play, or ‘practice mode,’ is especially valuable for beginners who want to hone their skills before gambling with a real bankroll. If you are already confident in your blackjack game, perhaps online blackjack for money is a better choice for you. 

Check out our chart to see which style of play suits you best!

Real Money Blackjack Free Games
  • Win massive real money prizes
  • Enjoy playing with zero financial risk
  • Receive exciting bonuses and promotions on top of regular winnings
  • Perfect your skills in a low-risk environment 
  • Have the option to play with a live dealer for a more dynamic and social experience
  • Ideal for those who want to play for entertainment purposes only
  • Access all of your favorite blackjack variations
  • Super convenient play, often requiring no signup or login

 

Blackjack: Rules, strategies, and tips

Blackjack is considered the ‘most popular’ casino game for a reason. It offers the best odds of winning, and although it’s easy to learn, you can improve your play significantly through skill and strategy!

Whether you’d classify yourself as an amateur, novice, or something in-between, we’ll help you brush up on important blackjack rules, strategies, and tips

 

Basic Rules 

If you’re new to blackjack, don’t worry - it’s a fairly easy game to learn. The goal is to get as close as possible to 21 without going over and to have a higher score than the dealer. If you or the dealer go over 21, you ‘go bust’ and lose the game. 

Remember that although there may be other players at the table, you’re not competing against them. Blackjack is a game of comparison between you and the dealer. 

Let’s walk through the motions of a typical game of blackjack. 

Join the table

When you join the table, each player is dealt two cards, face up. The dealer also receives two cards, but only one is face up.  

 

Make a move

Now that the cards have been dealt, you have a basic decision to make: hit or stand. 

You should base your decision on the combined value of your cards, as well as on the value of the dealer’s face up card. Players can choose to hit or stand based on experience, or use our strategy cheat sheets!

 

  • Hit

To ‘hit’ means to ask the dealer for another card. It’s a good idea to hit when 

you’re sure an additional card won’t make you go bust (reach a score over 21). 

*The dealer must hit if their hand is valued at 16 or lower. 

 

  • Stand

To ‘stand’ means to ask the dealer NOT to deal you another card. It’s a good idea to stand if you have a high initial score. A common rule of thumb is to stand on scores of 17 and over, but of course, this will not guarantee a win. 

When you get comfortable with hitting and standing, here are some additional decisions you can make during your blackjack game.

 

  • Split

If you are dealt two cards of equal value, you have the option of splitting them: turning your hand into two separate hands, which gives you an extra chance to beat the dealer!

*You should never split two face cards or two 10s. If you do so, you will lose the high probability of winning with a 20!

*You should always split 8s and Aces, as keeping these pairs together gives you the ‘unfriendly’ totals of 16, 12 or 2. 

 

  • Double Down

If you believe that taking one more card after your initial deal will allow you to win the game, you might want to double down! Your bet will be doubled, but your turn will be over after you receive that additional card. 

 

See your hand value

After you’ve made your move(s), there’s a good chance that the value of your hand has changed! If you’re at or under 21, you’re still in the game. 

 

See the dealer’s hand value

After all of the players at the table are finished, the dealer will reveal their face-down card, displaying their hand’s total value. 

 

See who is closer to 21

If you are closer to 21 than the dealer, or if you have a blackjack (21) and the dealer doesn’t, you win the game! Likewise, if the dealer is closer to 21 than you are, or if they have a blackjack and you don’t, they win! 

If your hand is the same value as the dealer’s - even if you both have a blackjack - it’s called a ‘push.’ When this happens, you don’t win or lose. You simply get your bet back. 

 

Payout

If you’ve won the game, the dealer will distribute your winnings! Your payout amount will depend on the bet you’ve placed, as well as how you’ve won. 

Regular wins: (When your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s) pay 1 to 1. For example, if you bet $100, you will win $100. 

Blackjack wins: (When your hand equals 21) pay 3 to 2. For example, if you bet $100, you will win $150. 

 

Advanced Rules

Insurance

Insurance comes into play if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. If this occurs, the dealer will invite players to take insurance - a side bet that acts as a safety net in case the dealer’s face-down card is valued at 10, giving them a blackjack. 

Taking even money

Taking even money is another form of insurance. It’s offered by the dealer if their face-up card is an Ace AND you have been dealt a blackjack. If the dealer gets a blackjack, too, they will push. Taking even money ensures that in case you don’t win, you’ll still get a payout of 1 to 1. 

Soft 17

We’ve established that the dealer must hit if their hand is valued at 16 or less. Some casinos also require the dealer to either hit or stand on a ‘soft’ 17. Soft simply means that the hand includes an Ace, which has two possible values: 1 or 11. Before you play, be sure to check the casino’s rules.

 

How much are the cards worth?

2-10

Cards 2-10 are worth their numerical value 

 

Face cards

Jacks, Queens, and Kings are all worth 10 

 

Ace

Aces can be worth 1 or 11 

 

Blackjack Strategy

There is no way to win every time at blackjack, but strategy offers a surefire, mathematical way to better your odds - and your winnings! Once you’re familiar with blackjack’s basic rules, try the following strategies to boost your game. Just remember to stay consistent. Even if luck is treating you badly, the best way to win at blackjack is to stick with the strategy you’ve chosen. 

Strategy Cheat Sheets

1) Pair splitting

So, you’ve been dealt a pair. Decide whether or not, statistically, you should split using our handy chart!

2) Soft totals

If one of your cards is an Ace, it may feel as if your options are endless. Check out what you should do next using our chart. 

3) Hard totals

Without an Ace, your hand’s initial value is set in stone. However, your next move isn’t! Use our cheat sheet to see which action is in your best interest. 

 

Blackjack Tips

1) Don’t bet with money you can’t afford to lose

Any gambler worth their salt knows that basic bankroll management is crucial when playing blackjack - just like with any other casino game. Set a budget before you sit down at the table to ensure you don’t get carried away, and read our bankroll management guide for more helpful suggestions. 

 

2) Don’t spend too much money on any one wager

A common rule of thumb is to never bet more than half of your bankroll (the money you have to play with). Anything more will cut down sharply on your playing time and enjoyment. 

 

3) Memorize a basic strategy (or keep one open on a separate tab)

The more you play blackjack, the better you will become at strategic play - the use of probability to ensure you have the best odds possible. The great news is, if you’re a beginner who’s playing blackjack online, it’s easy to keep a strategy cheat sheet open on a separate tab while you play and learn. 

 

Blackjack Betting Systems

Savvy blackjack players have developed betting systems to improve their chances of beating the dealer. These systems are applied to a series of plays at the blackjack table. We’ve outlined two of the most common systems, but there are plenty more out there for you to experiment with. 

1) Martingale

This betting system is on the riskier side. When players are losing, they double their bets so that one big win can (hopefully) get them back in the black.

 

2) d’Alembert

This system is one of the safest out there. Players raise their bets by one unit every time they lose, and lower their bets by one unit every time they win. 

 

Blackjack Variations

Thanks in part to the versatility of online casinos, many exciting variations of classic blackjack are rising in popularity. If you haven’t already, try one of these crowd favorites!

 

European Blackjack

European blackjack differs slightly from American blackjack in that it uses only two decks of cards, and players are permitted to double down ONLY if they have a hand of 9, 10, or 11. Additionally, there is no ‘hole card’ (the dealer’s face-down card). Instead, the dealer receives their second card after all of the players’ hands are complete. 

 

Single Deck Blackjack

This blackjack variation offers the best house edge for players - so long as they are aware of basic or optimal game strategy! As its name implies, single-deck blackjack uses only one deck of cards. 

*When playing single deck blackjack, be sure to check the casino’s payout rules. Since the house edge is small in this variation, some institutions will change the payout to make it more profitable for them. For the best odds, look for the traditional 3 to 2 blackjack ratio. 

 

Atlantic City

Originating in the iconic casinos of Atlantic City, New Jersey, dealers in this blackjack variation can stand on 17 - even if it’s soft. Also, if the dealer’s top card is an Ace or has a value of 10, they can peek at their hole card to see if they’ve got a blackjack! Players are permitted to split their cards up to three times, except for aces which can be split only once.  

 

Perfect Blackjack 

This blackjack variation allows players to make side bets on whether they or the dealer (or both!) will be dealt a hand of two cards with matching values. If someone is dealt a matching pair in the exact same suit, it’s called a ‘perfect pair,’ and the payout can be as much as 25 to 1!

 

Live Blackjack

In this self-explanatory variation, players can enjoy the perks of online blackjack while playing in real-time against a live dealer via video chat. Live blackjack is great for those who love the social aspect of the game - usually only found at traditional, land-based casinos. 

 

Blackjack Surrender

This variation is almost identical to classic blackjack - with a twist. Players have the option to ‘surrender’ after their first two cards are dealt, allowing them to recover half of their bet if they don’t believe they will win. 

 

Blackjack Switch

In this exciting blackjack variation, players play two hands at the same time! After the first four cards are dealt, they have the option to ‘switch’ the top cards from each hand if they wish to do so. Blackjack Switch also allows for side bets called ‘Super Matches,’ which pay out if the player’s first four cards include either a pair, three of a kind, or two pairs. 

 

Double Exposure Blackjack

Both of the dealer’s cards are face-up in this blackjack variation! To make up for this huge player advantage, Double Exposure Blackjack only pays 1 to 1 for a blackjack, as opposed to the standard 3 to 2. Also, the dealer wins on every push, except when you both have a natural blackjack.

 

 

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