Blackjack is loved by gamblers across the world. So, what’s the big deal? It’s a card game that involves a dealer who plays against the players, the aim being to get as close to scoring 21 as possible. This exclusive blackjack guide will cover:

  • Basic rules and aim of the game
  • Best strategies to boost gameplay
  • How to avoid getting blacklisted
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If you can master a decent, basic strategy in blackjack, you can greatly reduce the house edge

How to Play Blackjack

How to Play Blackjack

So, you’ve found a top online casino to play blackjack and you’re eager to get started, but you’re clueless about the rules. Well, we’ve simplified the basics for you.

Firstly, place your bets. Next, each player will be dealt two face-up cards, whilst the dealer will give themselves one face-up and one face-down card. Assuming the dealer’s face-up card’s not a blackjack you can start the play.

You have a choice, you either “stand”, meaning you’ll take no more cards, or “hit” and ask for another card. You can ask for as many cards as you want, one at a time. You want to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. Whoever manages this is the winner. And if the dealer goes over 21, you win. Aces are worth 1 or 11, you decide, and picture cards are worth 10.


  • It’s easy to cheat by counting cards, so casino staff are specially trained to spot it, resulting in you being kicked out or blacklisted.
  • In blackjack, your decisions count for everything. Know when to hit and when to stand.
  • Did you know skilled players can drag the house edge down from 4% to 3% with basic strategy? Some tips see it fall even further to .05%.
  • A hard hand doesn’t have an ace, a soft one does.

Best Blackjack Strategies

Now you’ve got a better understanding of how to play blackjack, it’s time to learn some expert strategies. Since your decisions are such game changers when you’re handling these cards, it’s essential that you learn when to hit and stand, amongst several other expert-used strategies.

  • Surrender when you’re positively sure you can’t win. Early surrender can happen any time before the dealer reveals their hole card. Late surrender can only happen after the reveal - if they have a blackjack, you’re scuppered.
  • Doubling down means you can double your wager on a new card. It’s smart to do it when the dealer is weak (e.g. any card from two to six). However, it’s usually only allowed after you split.
  • Pair splitting is when you when you get two of the same number and you split them, giving you two hands to wager on and more chance to win. Never split two face cards, they bring you up to 20. Always split Aces and 8s, they’re both lethal pairs so you’ll either be out the game or stuck on 16.
  • Hit or stand? It’s the biggest question you’ll face when playing. Knowing when to do which is crucial to nailing a win. Always stand on a hard 17 and soft 19 and above, always hit on a soft 17 or a hard 11 or less.
  • Card counting is a popular method to use but only possible to do in a live casino as a random shuffle is used online and you can’t see the other players’ cards. To do it effectively you need to be in the game for quite a while and the best method to use is the “high-low strategy”. Using the other players’ cards, you can get an idea if the next card to come out will be high or low, and bet on it.
  • No hole card pushes the house edge up by .1%, meaning a better payout if you win. The dealer will only take one card in the first deal, face up, and not take out their second card until players have completed their hand.
  • Know the odds you’re up against. A standard blackjack payout is 3:2 but it can vary across different variations. Make sure you’re clued up on what you’re playing is offering and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Avoid the even money bet. As tempting as it seems to cushion yourself with a little insurance, it doesn’t actually help you win. It’s basically a side bet with odds stacked against it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If you play at one of our trusted sites you can rest assured that you’re safe. All our sites are rigorously tested and audited by international auditors to ensure safe play for players. To learn more about security, head here…
  • Yes. All modern online casinos offer mobile-compatible platforms - be it a browser or an app - so that you can play on your mobile devices. These include everything from iOS to Android.
  • Regular blackjack relies on random number generators (RNGs) to deal the cards whereas live dealer blackjack is manned by a real-life croupier dishing out the cards. These games are live-streamed to you wherever you, putting you in the heart of the action.
  • Yes! We recommend loads of sites that offer free play so you can hit up your favourite games without risking your cash.
  • We wouldn’t advise it. With RNGs in action it’s not like a real deck is being used, eliminating with certainty the chance of a specific card coming out again. Instead, you’ll take away from the fun of the game when you could just enjoy yourself.