If you are an experienced blackjack player who knows how to play different hands in Blackjack, in the long run, you will win significantly more than the one who only relies on luck.
In this guide, you will, therefore, be able to learn how to play Blackjack, the house’s advantage in different bets, what the different terms means and how to optimize your chances of winning in this thrilling card game that is also called 21.
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Frequently asked questions
What is soft 17 in Blackjack?
An Ace can be either 11 or 1, depending on the situation, and the soft 17 would be where the dealer has an Ace and a 6 (A/6). That is soft 17 because it can be 17 or 7. So if the dealer hit that and get anything higher then a 4, they would not bust, because the ace would be calculated as 1 and not 11.
How many decks do casinos use in online Blackjack?
Online Blackjack casinos in most cases use 8, 6, 4, or 2 decks and shuffle after the half hand was dealt. So if you are considering card counting that will be a little heavier.
Can i count cards in online Blackjack?
In land-based casinos, there are players who really know how to count cards and make money off it, but in online casinos that are a little heavier. If you play against RNG ( computer) there is no way to count cards because the deck is changing after every hand. In live casinos whew live dealer deals the cards there is a way to count cards, but for that, you need to be a very strong expert. Don’t rely on those strategies.
What is the probability of winning?
|Card value 20||92 % chance of winning|
|Card value 19||85 % chance of winning|
|Card value 18||77 % chance of winning|
|Card value 17||69 % chance of winning|
|Card value 16||62 % chance of winning|
|Card value 15||58 % chance of winning|
|Card value 14||56 % chance of winning|
|Card value 13||39 % chance of winning|
|Card value 12||31 % chance of winning|
|Card value 11||0 % chance of winning|
Types of online blackjack at a casino
At online casinos, we have two main types of Blackjack. We have:
- RNG Blackjack (Online Blackjack is played against the computer, the random number generator)
- Live Blackjack (Online Blackjack is played live, against the real human dealer)
This is an option a player is given when playing online Blackjack. The computer software picks the computer player. You play Blackjack on a virtual table against the Random Number Generator (RNG). RNG online Blackjack can be played for free at almost every casino, even without creating an account. Playing free Blackjack is a great chance to get to know better a game before making a deposit.
Live online Blackjack is an option that allows the player to face a live dealer and play against them online, from the comfort of their home. Very interesting way to play where you can chat with the dealer and other players in real-time.
How online blackjack works?
Everybody heard about the popular card game called Blackjack or 21, but how many people have actually tried it out and learned how it works. Probably not so many… Blackjack online is a simple game where you need to get a better hand than the dealer. There are 52 cards in the deck and your goal is to beat the dealer.
How to beat the dealer in blackjack? Well, here are the three most common ways and outcomes that you can expect:
- If the value number of cards goes over 21 for the dealer, then it is considered a bust and you will automatically win.
- Cards having a total value of “21”, are called Blackjack and if you have this hand that hand, you will automatically win.
- If the dealer and the player both get 21, then the game is considered a draw. This means the dealer and the player(s) get to take their bets back and no one loses any chips or money.
The goal of the game
That was the rules of the blackjack game, but what about the main goal of that game?!
When someone mentions online Blackjack, we all think that the goal of the game is to get as close as possible to the number 21 when we sum cards in our hands. In some way that is true but the real goal of the game is a little different.
The main goal of Blackjack is to beat a dealer and to win as much cash as possible!
Online Blackjack is like other casino games, a game of pure luck, but few Blackjack basic strategies in our sleeve can influence to increase our chances of winning in every aspect of that word.
That is why below for beginning we have listed you the 5 online Blackjacks beginners hints or must do’s before you even start to play online Blackjack!
5 online blackjack beginner hints
These are 5 beginner strategies, guidelines, or hints for all those new rookies that want to try themselves in online Blackjack for the first time.
- Learn how the Basic strategy works!
- Know when to split the identical cards and when not to!
- Know when to hit and when to stand!
- Know when it is safe to increase your bet and double down!
- Do not play when drinking alcohol!
- If you start losing. Know when to quit!
How to play online blackjack?
Now when we have learned some of the most important basic things about this card game, it is time to learn how to play Blackjack online. Below we have carefully explained you step by step all that you need to know about gameplay. Read carefully and increase your knowledge and theory.
In order to play online Blackjack, first, we need to do is:
- Choose an online casino from the list
- Create an account
- Found Blackjack in the casino games
- Start to play
*If you want to play for free you don’t have to create an account, these steps apply only if you want to play for real money
Blackjack card values
Now when we have visited the online casino and took our seat at the table, first we need to know the card values.
See herea ll the card values in Blackjack:
- Ace has a value of 1 or 11
- A queen and 4 become 14
- An Ace and 4 become 5 or 15
- Colour of the cards do not play any role in the game
- Cards from 2 to 10 are equal to the numerical value on the card
- A hand that contains an ace changing its value and it is called a soft hand.
- Jack, Queen and King cards have a value of 10, are referred to as face cards
- A hand that does not have an ace is called a hard hand because it has only one value.
- Each card has a value that when given to the player(s) or dealer, the total value of the hand depends on each card’s value
Players decision options
When a croupier deals the cards then the game begins. We put bets and follow the course of the game. In the text below we will explain what options we can play when we get the cards.
- Hitting: This happens when a player or the dealer has been dealt 2 cards and they decide they would like to be dealt another card to add to the total card value.
- Standing: This happens when a player or the dealer decides their total card value is already as high as they would like to go, so they do not want any more cards from the deck added to their total.
- Doubling Down: This happens when a player after receiving the first card, decides to double bet in exchange for receiving one more card.
- Splitting: This happens when a player has 2 like cards in their hand and they would like to split the 2 cards and make 2
- Surrendering: This is when a player surrenders in the game and loses half his bet as a result.
- Insurance: The option of buying insurance is offered when the Ace is the dealer’s first face-up card.
As insurance, we can split half of our original bet, and bet on the dealer to win. If the dealer gets a Blackjack, our insurance bet is paid 2:1, but our main bet is lost. We lose our insurance if the dealer does not have Blackjack at the end of the hand.
Always play a game where the dealer stands on the soft 17!
Now we are going to learn the most important thing in the game, and that is the outcome for the played hand or payout.
Below we have listed all options that can result in different hand outcomes. So let’s take a look:
- When we get Blackjack, 3:2 is what the dealer pays us!
- If the dealer has 21 and player have the 21, it is called a “push”, or “draw”, and no money will be taken or given from both sides.
- If the dealer busts or we have a higher total amount in our hand that the dealer, then the dealer must give us the amount of our bet.
- If we bust or we have a lower total amount in our hand, that means that dealer wins and takes our bet.
Play your cards right: Online Blackjack tips
Here are some tips on how to act when we get certain cards.
- Know when to stand: Stand when the total value you have is equal to the numbers 12 to 16 and the dealer has a total value that equals 2 to 6
- Don’t be afraid to split: Split always when you have 2 Aces or 2 8s the total of 2 aces is 12. This is a bad total. Since 16 is considered a total to stay away from, having 2 eights should be split. This gives the player(s) a better chance of winning and not having a total that is too low or busting.
- Mighty number 19: Always stand when your card’s total value is a soft 19. This is true when playing in a building or online. If the player(s) hit a soft 19, they are likely to bust.
- Aces to 6: Hit or double when you have Aces to 6. Having Aces to 6 is considered a soft hand. It is much easier to hit and reach a total card value that is greater than the dealers without going over 21. This means the player can increase their chances of winning the game one way or another if they chose to hit or double anytime their dealt Aces to 6 as their first 2 cards.
- Observe the dealer’s hand: Hit, when you have a total value equal to 12 to 16 and the dealer, has a card of a 7 to Ace. The dealer can have two options that will cause the dealer to win the game, and the player(s)to lose.
Option 1: The Ace can be used as a 1, given the hand of a total of 8. The dealer can then hit making it possible for the dealer to take that 8 value and turn into value over 12 to 16.
Option 2: The Ace can be used as 11, and if the player hits and receives a card with a value of 10, then they will have Blackjack.
House edge and rule variations
As we have seen in other card games, so the Blackjack has a lot of variation in the rules. All players should decide which rules apply to the online casino you play, as it will affect the payment. Once you know the rules variations, then you have to adjust your strategy.
Let’s introduce the most common variations in rules:
|Dealer Hits Soft 17||This is when the dealer has 2 cards, an Ace and a 6, and if the player decides to hit, they have a good chance of getting a higher value than 17 without busting. This could possibly put the house at a disadvantage since the player(s) have a chance of holding higher total value than the dealer. Always choose tables where the dealer stands on the 17. If you play Blackjack where the dealer does not stand at 17 that put a house in advantage by 0.2% edge.||0.2%|
|Re-splitting of Aces Permitted||In this case, the Ace and 10 total value maybe not be considered a Blackjack. The house has a better edge (0.06%) since the player’s winnings will not be as much due to the lack of having a natural Blackjack.||0.06%|
|Late Surrender||After the dealer has checked for Blackjack, the player may then surrender with a penalty of losing half of his bet. This strategy based upon the player(s) cards, the dealer’s up to the card and the number of decks. This option is provided in both land-based and online Blackjack NZ. The house has a better advantage in this instance.||1.3%|
|Dealer wins ties||This is when the dealer and the player(s) hold the same total card value.||4.37%|
|Double Downs Limited to Hard 11 and Hard 10||This variation rule puts a player in a better position than the house if the dealer card is lower. This includes the player having any cards with a total value of 10 or 11, and not holding any Aces. If the table does not support this rule then the house edge is increased by 0.2%||0.2%|
|Blackjack Pays 6-5||The house is increasing their edge by 400% however players may not notice the difference unless they play overtime. Players receive 6 dollars for every 5 dollars they wager instead of the receiving 3 dollars for every 2 dollars wagered. Avoid this payout and always choose natural Blackjack with 3-2 because if you play at 6-5 house edge is increased by over 1.3%||1.3%|
|Double Downs After Splitting Pairs Permitted||The player would have to check with the casino’s rules. This would allow the player to take double the winning for each split if they win.||0.13%|
What about the altered payout for a winning Blackjack? Well, this is when an online or land-based casino changes the payout from 3 to 2 to 6 to 5.
For example, if someone was to bet $10 with the 3 to 2 payouts, they would win $15. Then on the other hand, if someone is to bet $10 with the 6 to 5 payouts, they would only $12.
The number of decks
The total number of decks provided in land-based Blackjack can range from six to eight, where online version has the option of one or two decks. You can forget on strategy counting cards because after every hand the dealer changes the deck.
|Number of decks used||Advantage of house|
The player can surrender only lose half their bet if the following scenarios are true:
- Dealer ace Vs. hard 5-7
- Dealer ace Vs. hard 12-17
- Dealer ace Vs. pair of 3’s, 6’s, 7’s, or 8’s.
- Dealer 10 Vs. hard 14-16
- Dealer 10 Vs. pair of 7’s or 8’s.
In this case, of course, the house has a better position.
Popular types of RNG Blackjack
At online casinos, there are different types of RNG Blackjack games. As we have so many casino game developers it is quite normal that we have so many different types of this popular game.
Below we have listed the two most popular online Blackjack NZ types of game that you can play against the RNG (random number generator).
European Blackjack is played with two decks, sometimes with 4 decks, and possibly even with 6. It is considered to be one of the most played games in land-based casinos across Europe. The dealer always stands at soft 17 a draws at 16. Surrender is never allowed.
Atlantic City Blackjack
This card game is popular across America’s land-based casinos but online also. Surrender is allowed. The dealer also stands on soft 17. It is played with 8 decks. Game is popular due to its low house edge.
Why should we always use a basic Blackjack strategy?
Blackjack is one of the best games played at the online casinos because it has the lowest house edge. However, that low house edge it can be only used in our advantage if we know how to play our hand.
There is only one best way to play our hand, no matter what the situation is. Other casino games like roulette, baccarat, craps are games of pure luck, but when it comes to online Blackjack, besides luck, here are skills involved too.
We have different variations of Blackjack strategy charts because the strategy will change slightly depending on a couple of factors like:
- The number of the decks it is used in the game (single deck strategy is different than multiple decks strategy)
- Rules variations 1: It will change whether or not the dealer will allow you to double after splitting
- Rules variations 2: It will change whether or not the dealer will stand or hit on the soft 17
How to use a Blackjack chart?
Many of us have seen before Blackjack strategy charts, but it looks so complicated and we never used it. On the first look, it looks really complicated but actually it is not. If we take a look at the basic Blackjack chart image above we will see across the top it says:
- The dealer’s upcard: it shows all the possible card that dealer can have showing as their upcard
- Your hand: It shows all possible card that we can get (it has 2 categories: hard hand, soft hand, and pairs)
So when we get our cards we just follow this chart and act by the basic strategy. for example, if we have a soft hand of A,7 and the dealer upcard is 10, by the chart we should hit.
Below is the strategy chart that can be used at online casinos.
History of blackjack
The game of Blackjack dates back to the early 17th century even earlier, where we find the first written clue about this game in the book “Rinkoneta and Cortadillo” written by Miguel de Servantes.
Cervantes is the author of the famous book Don Quixote and is known for being a gambler himself.
The “Rinconete y Cortadillo” are two cheaters from Seville who make a living by cheating on the “ventiuna” game (in Spanish” 21 “).
The book says that the goal of the game is to reach the sum of cards 21 but not to exceed that sum. It is also written that the ace in the game is worth 1 or 11. The story was written around 1601.
The casino game was later spotted in France. After a while, the game arrived in the USA as well, and in the beginning, the casinos offered bonuses to entice players to play.
Today this card game has so many different types and it is one most popular casino games in the world. The first Blackjack table in New Zealand was in the Christchurch casino.
The Christchurch casino was the first land-based casino in New Zealand and it was opened in 1994. Today casino has 36 gaming tables with most popular casino games including standard, plus and 2$ Blackjack.
- Bust: When the dealer or player(s) hand has a total value over 21
- Heads up: This game usually only involves 2 players and a large prize pool
- Burn card: After the shuffling and cutting the cards, this is the first card of the new deck.
- Double down: This is when a player doubles their original bet and receives only one more card.
- Face cards: These cards hold the value of 10 and have faces on them such as the Jack, Queen, and King.
- Hard hand: When a player has a hand of cards that are worth their face value, without an Ace has a value of 11
- Royal match: This is a side bet where the online player receives a payment if their first 2 cards are from the same suit.
- Hit: This is a term when the player(s) are dealt an additional card from the deck, adding to the total value of the cards they have.
- Counting cards: This is when a player keeps track of the number of high and low valued cards they have seen dealt from the deck.
- Lucky ladies in a bet: This is a side bet that is a wager based on the first 2 cards in the player(s) hand. The cards must have a total value of 20 in any combination.
- 21+3: This is a side bet that depends on the player(s) 2 cards and the dealers up card. If the 3 cards form a flush, straight or three of a kind, the player wins the side bet.
- Match the dealer: If the total value of the player(s) cards matches the total value of the dealer’s cards. The game will be considered a draw. In this case, no one wins or loses.
- Natural: When a player is initially dealt 2 cards, an Ace and a card with a value of 10. This is called a “natural 21” or a “Blackjack”. Landbased and online games keep this rule at all times.
- Lucky-Lucky: This is a side bet that is based on the 2 cards given to the player online and the dealers up card. The payout is 2 for 1 for any 3 cards of 19 to 20 and up to 200 to 1 for a 3-card hand suited 777, which has a total value of 21.
- Soft hand: This is the type of hand in Blackjack online or in land-based games where one single card determines whether the hand is soft or hard. The single card is the Ace. The Ace is a card that can be used as a 1 and allow the player to take another card without going over 21 or busting.
- The book”The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book” by Lance Humble and Carl Cooper
- The book “Playing Blackjack as a Business” by Lawrence Revere
- The “American Casino Guide book” by Steve and Matt Bourie