How to play Blackjack online: Rules and gameplay

When it comes to the iconic casino card game Blackjack, there are many ways you can try your chances in an attempt to hold a hand totalling 21. You could visit a brick-and-mortar casino establishment or use a device with a strong and reliable Internet connection and select an online Blackjack game of your choosing.

That’s why we’ve put together a guide that provides an in-depth look at how to play Blackjack online. It details the rules and gameplay you need to know before being dealt a digital hand of cards.

How to play Blackjack online: Rules and gameplay

The objective of the game

The main aim in Blackjack is to beat the dealer by having a hand value as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it. Your hand must hold a higher value than the dealer’s.

Card values

To hold a hand of 21 or under, you’ll need to know what cards hold which value.

  • Number cards (2-10): Their face value. For example, a two of Hearts will hold a value of two.
  • Face cards (Jack, Queen, King): Each worth a value of 10.
  • Aces: Can be worth either one or 11. Whoever holds an Ace in their hand gets to decide the value.

Setting up

  • Decks used: Online Blackjack games typically use between one and eight standard 52-card decks, shuffled before each round to ensure fairness.
  • Betting: Players place their bets using virtual chips before any cards are dealt.
  • Dealing the cards: Each player receives two cards. The dealer also gets two cards, one face up (the upcard) and one face down (the hole card).

Player actions

After the initial deal, players must decide how to play their hand based on their cards and the dealer’s upcard. The main actions available are:

  • Hit: The player requests an additional card to increase the hand’s total value. Players can hit multiple times, but if the hand’s total exceeds 21, they bust and are out.
  • Stand: The player keeps their current hand and ends their turn. No additional cards are drawn.
  • Double down: The player doubles their initial bet and receives exactly one more card. After doubling down, they must stand.
  • Split: If the first two cards are of equal value, the player can split them into two separate hands. A new bet, equal to the original bet, is placed on the second hand. Each hand is then played individually, with the option to hit, stand, or double down.
  • Surrender: In some versions of Blackjack, players can surrender their hand after the initial deal. This allows them to forfeit half of their bet and end the round immediately.

Dealer’s turn

Once all players have completed their actions, the dealer reveals their hole card and plays according to set rules:

  • Dealer’s play: The dealer must hit until their hand totals 17 or more.

Determining the outcome

The outcome of the game is determined based on the hand values:

  • Blackjack: A hand with an Ace and a 10-point card (10, Jack, Queen, King) dealt initially is called a Blackjack. 
  • Winning the hand: If the player’s hand value is closer to 21 than the dealer’s without exceeding 21, the player comes out on top.
  • Push: If the player’s hand and the dealer’s hand have the same value, it is a tie, and the player’s bet is returned.
  • Insurance: If the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, players can choose to take an insurance bet, which is a side bet on the dealer having Blackjack.

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