The aim of playing blackjack online is to get more points than the dealer without going over 21. The best hand is blackjack, where the sum of the values of the first two cards dealt is exactly 21.
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You will find this popular card game in many casinos and in many variations. You can play different types of blackjack in both the physical and online casino, there is live blackjack , and you can now even play blackjack on your mobile. Blackjack may be one of the most traditional games of chance, but it is one that moves with the times.
Play blackjack for free
Are you aware of everything about the rules of blackjack? Then you can play online blackjack for free below. You can do that, for example, to improve your blackjack tactics, but also just to have fun with this card game. The online versions of blackjack generally work with the same game rules as the classic blackjack.
The blackjack game
The goal in itself is not that difficult in blackjack: as a player you have to get as close to 21 points as possible. What you should of course pay attention to is that you do not exceed 21 points. A score of 22 is of course immediately disastrous. I will briefly go into the game of blackjack, but for a complete explanation please refer to the blackjack rules page:
How does blackjack work?
For the rules of blackjack it is important to emphasize that there are different types of blackjack. A number of those blackjack variants are discussed on this page. So I’m going to talk to you about:
- Classic Blackjack.
- Pontoon Blackjack.
- Double Exposure Blackjack.
- Surrender Blackjack.
- Early and Late Surrender blackjack.
Learning to play blackjack in itself is not rocket science. There are a number of steps that you must fully master before I recommend that you play for money.
1. Place your bet
As with many other games, the first step is to make a bet. At every blackjack casino there is a minimum that you can inquire or read at the casino you prefer. Do you play online? Then you will have to deposit balance first, unless you use the demo version and practice for free. To bet, go to the desired denomination, select the betting box you wish to bet on and confirm the bet.
2. The dealer deals the cards
With online blackjack we are talking about a game that is played by several players at one gaming table. Despite this, the players do not play against each other: they play against the dealer. Once you have placed your bets, you as a player receive two playing cards. The dealer then deals the playing cards. That is done:
- Clockwise (left to right).
- Each player is dealt 2 face up cards.
- The dealer himself gets one face down and one face up card.
Value of the playing cards
These playing cards each have their own value, in the case of the numbers this is according to the numbers on the cards:
- 2 to 10: this case logically concerns the numbers 2 to 10.
- Jack, Queen and King: each has a value of 10.
- Ace: The ace is a special card, its value can be either 1 or 11 points, depending on the game situation. Do you have an ace and a 5 and are you going for a third card? Then this could theoretically lead to you being over 21. But by changing its value, the card automatically adjusts from 11 to 1. This also applies in the reverse scenario when it suits you.
3. View your cards and make a decision
Your task is to get as close to the (maximum) number of 21 and you do that by playing against the croupier, also known as the bank. You win when your cards have a higher value than the dealer’s and in the most favorable case you immediately have 21 points with the first two open cards. In that case, you have blackjack and you will be paid 1.5 times your stake as winnings. In this case, that is on top of your investment.
In most cases, however, with your first two cards you will achieve another score that is lower than 21. An extra playing card could help you with this, but in many cases that would also mean that you would go over 21. It is at this point that a good blackjack strategy comes in handy. You have a number of choices that you can make after the first cards have been dealt. Below I’ll tell you exactly which ones they are.
4. The dealer plays his or her hand
After you have made a choice for yourself, the dealer deals his or her hand. A number of fixed rules apply to the bank:
- Does the dealer have 16 points or less? Then the dealer must draw an extra card.
- Does the dealer have 17 points or more? Then the dealer ‘stands’ and no more extra cards are added.
Regardless of the values of your cards, the dealer will always have to follow these steps.
Imagine that you have 20 points and the bank 17. Then the dealer can still stand. Do you have exactly 14 points, while the dealer comes to 16? Then another playing card is drawn. That can work out very well for you, because with the card still to be followed, the dealer can still exceed 21 points. In that case, the ‘bust’ follows and you automatically win.
5. Play on or cash out?
Payouts follow after each round of play. A number of scenarios apply:
- Have you managed to get more points than the dealer? Then your investment is doubled.
- With the same number of points as the dealer, you get the stake back. In that case you win or lose nothing.
- Do you have fewer points than the bank? Then you lose and the dealer wins the bet.
- Do you have more than 21 points (‘bust’)? Then you lose and the dealer wins your bet.
5 popular blackjack variants
Blackjack is one of the most popular table games around the world and that has also ensured that different variants have arisen throughout history. Below you will find a number of variants of blackjack and I will give a brief explanation.
1. Double Exposure Blackjack
In many ways Double Exposure resembles the traditional, classic blackjack variant. In the case of blackjack, however, a 1:1 win is used in this variant. Furthermore, the croupier also wins the draws unless it is blackjack. In other words: these deviating rules ensure that the house has an extra house edge. However, there is also an advantage of this variant for the player: the croupier’s cards are dealt face up.
2. Surrender blackjack
In Surrender blackjack you are given the opportunity to withdraw if a loss seems likely. As a player, this gives you a way out and that also explains why Surrender blackjack is so popular among players. How it works? The moment you see after 2 cards that there is little good left in the round, you choose to surrender. You do that? Then you lose half of your bet instead of the full 100%. Do you notice that you have 2 bad playing cards, but do you see that the croupier actually has very strong cards? Then it may be an idea to use the Surrender option.
3. Early and Late Surrender blackjack
All kinds of new variations have arisen on the Surrender blackjack variant mentioned above, Early and Late Surrender.
- With Early Surrender blackjack you have the option to avoid the croupier’s blackjack early. After the dealer’s first card and your first 2 cards, you get the option to surrender. It is wise to give in Surrender if, for example, the dealer shows a 10 or an ace.
- In the Late variant , the croupier is given the opportunity to see if he or she has blackjack. If this is the case, the player loses the entire bet. This makes the Late variant a lot less attractive for the player.
Are there different blackjack tables offered where you can choose from, for example, Surrender and Early Surrender? Then choose the latter option. At this table, the profit expectation is higher, while the opposite is true for the house edge.
4. Pontoon Blackjack
Pontoon is also known as the predecessor of modern blackjack. In this case, there is a unique rule that makes the card game even more profitable. If a player has a blackjack hand of 5 cards, the player is paid double. With a 5th card that does not exceed 21 points, you get paid 2 times. This is independent of the croupier’s hand. The dealer will also have to ask for another card with a Soft 17. In this way, the advantage created by the 5th card rule is again slightly reduced.
|Twist||Player asks for extra card|
|Buy||Double the bet, player gets another card|
|split||Cards are split|
5. Single Deck blackjack
The Single Deck blackjack variant is played with one deck of cards. The cards are reshuffled every round. In Single Deck blackjack, players can play one hand at a time, the basic rules do not differ from the standard blackjack game.
7 common blackjack mistakes
Although thanks to our extensive blackjack guide you now have a global picture of the game, I do want to base it on the fact that many novice players still make the mistake of playing blackjack. Reason for me to discuss some common mistakes with you so that you don’t make the same mistakes as so many other players. This is how I want to protect you from:
1. The thought that it is only about counting to 21
No, you don’t need to be a professional card counter to get decent results with blackjack, but you are expected to know what you’re doing. It is about more than just counting to 21. Do you think that with a score of, for example, 14 you can go for ‘stand’ against a 10 from the croupier? Then I advise you to delve into the rules a little more. Isn’t that the case with you? Then I didn’t say anything.
2. Be tempted by side bets
Casinos want to make a profit in as many ways as possible and one of those ways is to offer the side bets. You can see this as kind of additional games that you encounter at the (online) table. For example, you have the option to bet on a few ‘women’ and if you get that right, you can get ready for a nice prize. However, you can imagine that these kinds of extra bets do not always come true. I’d say don’t be tempted by it. Yes, you can make a hit in the short term, but in the long term you will never make a profit from it.
3. Compensatory Behavior
If things go wrong, then things go wrong and you will have to make peace with that. In practice, however, that is easier said than done and that is why there are many blackjack players who start to show compensatory behavior after a number of losses. That in itself is not blackjack inherent, but I would still advise you to keep yourself in check. Because you are sitting at a (live or physical) table with other players, you can get quite rushed. Do not.
4. Double on 11 if the dealer has an ace
If the dealer shows an ace, you’d better be careful. In this case it is wiser to choose a ‘Hit’ instead of a ‘Double’. Are you sitting at the table with a blackjack variant where the croupier chooses to hit on Soft 17? Then I would choose the Double if the croupier has an ace.
5. Hit instead of double at 11 against a 10 from the croupier
If you have the option to double your bet against the dealer then I advise you to make good use of it. Take, for example, a score of 11 against a 10 from the croupier. In a case like this, it’s a good idea (at least statistically) to opt for a doubling.
6. Stand at 16 on a dealer’s ace
If you have a 16 and the dealer has an ace, you should also be careful. At 16 you really don’t have any top cards at your disposal and the dealer can easily beat you. It is therefore important to choose a ‘Hit’ and thus get an extra card. Yes, you then have an increased risk of a ‘Bust’, but the chance that after choosing a ‘Stand’ you still lose it to the dealer is even higher.
7. Buy Insurance or Even Money
The same situation applies here as with the Side-Bets. These ‘extra services’ are only beneficial for one party: the house. The premium you pay for insurance is, in relation to how often you can expect a payment, much too high. In addition, blackjack is a game of taking a certain degree of risk. Insurance? Do not.
Playing Blackjack Online Frequently Asked Questions
How does card counting work in blackjack?
There are several ways to count cards in blackjack. One of the most commonly used ways is the Hi-Lo variant. In any case, it is recommended to:
- Divide the cards into groups. Each group is given a value.
- Counting in pairs. This way you can count cards faster.
- Use this info to calculate the count per deck.
- Change your bet. This increases the real count.
By the way, counting cards in blackjack is not possible in the online casino, because the cards are dealt there via a computer-controlled system. In a physical or live casino you can see how cards are dealt and it is possible to count cards. When using only one deck of cards, card counting gives you an advantage, but with six decks (which is usually common) you get no advantage.
Is it illegal to count cards in blackjack?
New. But casinos will not be happy. Counting cards increases the player’s chances of winning and that is why as much as possible is done to prevent it. For example, multiple decks are played and the cards are shuffled regularly. In this way, it should become impossible for the player to count cards.
What is the house edge in blackjack?
The house edge in most variants of Blackjack can be called very low and is between 0.50% and 1%. In addition, there are many different variants and therefore rules of play in Blackjack.
How do I increase my chances of winning at blackjack?
I recommend that you work on your blackjack strategy and above all don’t use side bets, split tens, and take out insurance.
When should I pass at blackjack?
Of course, this depends on the croupier’s upcard. But in general I recommend that you go with a:
- Soft 20 (ace/9).
- Soft 19 (ace/8).
- Soft 18 (ace/7) if the croupier has a 2 to 8.
- Hard 17, 18, 19 and 20 (10/10).
- Hard 18 (9/9) while the dealer has a 7, 10 or ace.
- Hard 13, 14, 15 and 16 while the croupier has a 2 to 6.
- Hard 12 while the croupier has a 4 to 6.