How to Play Online Blackjack

Last Updated on January 30, 2024

Learn to Play Blackjack and The Basic Strategy

How to Play Blackjack Online

Experience the Excitement of Blackjack: An In-depth Guide to Mastering the Game

When it comes to casino table games, none can rival blackjack in terms of its allure. With its gameplay, thrilling moments, and potential for winnings, players are drawn to this game like moths to a flame. Whether you’re a gambler or simply curious about trying your luck, this comprehensive guide provides you with all the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the blackjack world.

From gameplay rules to strategies, we will unravel the mysteries behind this captivating game and empower you with valuable insights. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to make decisions and maximize your chances of success. Whether you prefer playing in a brick-and-mortar casino, or online our guide will equip you with everything necessary to face off against the dealer and emerge victorious.

What Are the Variations in The Game of Blackjack?

If you are a beginner, it is not overly important how different variations of blackjack there are because you will only just have began learning how to play the game. It is not until you become a more advanced player do you need to start taking note of the different rules each table or casino applies to the game. It would be at this point when you begin to apply basic strategy to your game, which we will speak about more below.

Deck Sizes

Some casinos will use just a single deck, others two decks, and so on. Some blackjack tables hold up to eight decks in the shoe. The shoe is basically where the cards are kept.

Bonus Bets or Side Bets

There are quite a few blackjack tables that come with a variety of bonus bets. Some require a bet to participate in the progressive jackpot. There are other side bets that are quite well-known and popular such as Perfect Pairs, 21+3, Royal Match, Over/Under 13, Super Sevens, Lucky Ladies, Pair Square, Insurance, and loads more on top of this.

In general, side bets are fun to play. That said, if you want to be an optimal blackjack player, then you will avoid side bets because the house edge on all bonus bets is heavily weighted in favor of the casino.

Variations Blackjack Games

Blackjack Hand IconIn general, blackjack is blackjack, no matter where you play. However, there are places that have slightly different rules. This could include rules on how and when you can split your hand. Some casinos do not allow you to double down on your bet.

This is just a very small sample of some the different types of blackjack games you will find in land-based casinos as well as Canadian online casino sites.

  • Spanish 21
  • Classic Blackjack
  • European Blackjack
  • Atlantic City Blackjack
  • Progressive Blackjack
  • Vegas Blackjack
  1. Multi-Hand Versus Single Hand Blackjack

There really is not much to explain here except that you can play one hand at a time at a table, or you can choose to play multiple seats. This is more common when playing online. At a casino, you will usually have to ask if you are allowed to play more than one seat at a time.

  1. Live Dealer Blackjack

Playing Live Blackjack at NetentThe only reason we are mentioning this is because some people get confused about the terminology. Now, most people assume live dealer blackjack is playing in a land-based casino. Therefore, physically sitting in the seat I the casino playing versus the dealer. To some extent this is true because casinos also have video blackjack games available, so you do not have to sit at a live table with a dealer.

Yet, the online terminology refers to playing versus a dealer online. Live dealer blackjack is a webcam pointing at a dealer and a blackjack tables while you sit at your computer or on your mobile device streaming the webcam video. You then place bets using your mobile device or computer. Enjoy the Thrill of Interacting with Real Dealers and Players.

It is a fun way to play the game online and gives you an authentic casino experience without actually having to physically be in the casino.

  1. Double Down Bets

If a casino table allows double down bets, then you can double your bet for just one more card. This will in effect end your hand because you cannot ask for any more cards after this. You would only do this if you feel confident your hand is a good one and you stand a high chance of winning versus the dealer. You will not be able to double down after you have ‘hit’ or chosen to ‘stand’.

  1. Split Bets

When you are dealt a pair, so two of the same cards, you have the option to split them into two different hands. You will need to add an additional bet for the extra split too. You then play each hand separately versus the dealer. You can only split once you have been dealt your cards and not after you have ‘hit’ or chosen to ‘stand’.

Be careful of the rules though because some casinos do not allow you to split Aces or certain pairs. It’s not a big deal, but if you are a basic strategy player, then it could be!

  1. Surrender

You can surrender your hand. This means that half your bet is returned. Usually, this only occurs in basic strategy when the dealer’s up card is an Ace or Nine and your hand dealt is a total of 16.

How to Play Blackjack?

Blackjack Table Overview, Arrows Showing Players, and dealer cards, play options, and choosing bet size

Blackjack Table Easy Overview Screenshot

It really is not a hard game to play . At least it is not hard to get used to the sequencing, how to double down, when to split and so on. Only when you start to apply basic strategy can blackjack become little tricky. You can read more about basic strategy in our final section below.

There are 4 main parts to the game assuming you have already read part 6 and 7 above covering double downs and split bets.

See The Card Values in Blackjack:

Blackjack Cards Values

Blackjack Cards Values

The basic sequence to blackjack:

The aim of blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over while also making strategic decisions to maximize your chances of beating the dealer’s hand.

  1. The dealer deals the cards, giving each player at the table two face-up cards.
  2. After receiving their cards, players have to make decisions. They can choose to “hit,” which means taking another card, or “stand,” which means not taking any cards and hoping to beat the dealer’s hand.
  3. In addition to hitting or standing, players also have the option to “double down.” This involves doubling their bet and receiving one card. Another choice available is to “split” their hand. This means dividing their hands into two hands and placing bets on each.
  4. Once all players have completed their hands, the dealer reveals their cards one at a time.
  5. If the dealer has a total of 21, it results in a blackjack. They automatically win.
  6. If the dealer has less than 21, they will continue drawing cards until they reach 17 or higher.

The one with the highest ranking hand wins the pot.

The dealer’s hand:

The dealer does not get to choose to whether to hit or stand. During the deal, the dealer will be dealt two cards, but one of those cards will be face down. Once all the players have had their turn to act and their hands are over, then the dealer will turn over his/her card.

The rules are dictated by the table. Normally the dealer needs to ‘hit or draw’ on any hand that total less than 17, so 16 or under. Then any hand 17 or over the dealer must stand. Very few casinos will make the dealer hit on 17 and if you can find one, then let us know!

Winning A Hand Versus the Dealer:

So the rules of blackjack are simple. Your hand has to beat the dealer’s hand total. That is it. The highest hands closest to 21 wins.

Now any hand that goes over 21 is considered as a bust. It means the bet is lost if it is the player’s hand or if it is the dealer’s hand, any player hands that did no go bust automatically win.

Aces can count as 1 or 11, and all picture cards count as a total of 10. Pretty simple gameplay that anyone can learn. Nonetheless, if you want to become an optimal blackjack player and take advantage of the 0.5% house edge, then you need to learn basic strategy.

If you win your bet, you will be paid back even odds. That means if you bet $10, you will be paid back $20, which is $10 profit and the other $10 is your original bet.

Screenshot of a blackjack winning hand 21

Screenshot of a blackjack winning hand 21

If you win with a blackjack hand 21, you will typically receive a payout of 3 to 2 on your bet. This means that if you bet $10 and win with a blackjack, you will receive $15. However, some casinos may offer a lower payout of 6 to 5, which means that you would only receive $12 if you bet $10 and win with a blackjack.

Here is a table summarizing the payouts for blackjack hands:

Blackjack (21)3 to 2 or 6 to 5
Dealer wins0
Player wins (other than blackjack)1 to 1

What is Basic Strategy in Blackjack?

It is a table of actions that you should take according to the hand you are dealt by the dealer versus the face-up card the dealer has.

Here is an example of some basic strategy actions:

  • At all times hit hard 11 or less
  • Stand on a soft 18 or hit versus 9, 10, or A dealer card
  • Stand on a hard 13 to 16 versus 2 to 6 dealer cards, and all other times hit
  • Double a soft 15 or 16 versus 4 to 6 dealer cards
  • Double a hard 9 versus 3 to 6 dealer cards
  • Split 7s versus 2 to 7 dealer cards
  • Surrender a hard 16 (but never a pair of 8s) versus 9, 10, or A, dealer card and hard 15 versus dealer 10 card

Here is Also an Basic Strategy Blackjack Chart

Player's HandDealer's UpcardAction
210-ADouble down
310-ADouble down
5ADouble down

These formulas have been mathematically proven to work according to variation and probability. It takes a long time to learn exactly to play basic strategy. Also, it will change slightly according to the table variation and rules you are playing against, so make sure you check the basic strategy that applies to the number of decks, double down rules, whether you can surrender and so on.

In the long run, if you play basic strategy, then you will be playing at the 0.5% house edge giving yourself a 99.5% RTP. If you do not play basic strategy, then you are giving the house a much better edge, which is often up to 50% for inexperienced players.

As a beginner, accepting the house is going to win while you learn is all part of the game. As long as you enjoy yourself, play limits that you can afford, then you will soon become an established blackjack player.

In the end, the answer to playing winning blackjack online is learning the game, its variations, then mastering basic strategy.

If you are interested in counting cards, you can also read our guide on How to Count Cards in Blackjack and practice on our free card counting game.

The House Edge/RTP on The Different Blackjack Games

The Return to Player (RTP) rates for types of blackjack games can vary depending on the rules and the casino. Here’s a general idea of what you can expect in terms of RTP for the most played blackjack games;

  • Classic Blackjack: Among casino games, Classic Blackjack usually offers one of the RTPs, between 99.4% and 99.6%. The exact RTP may depend on whether the dealer takes action on a 17, the number of decks used, and if doubling after splitting is allowed.
  • Spanish 21: Typically, this game has an RTP ranging from around 99.2% to 99.5%. However, it’s important to note that factors like whether the dealer stands on 17 or the number of decks used can influence this rate.
  • European Blackjack: In general, European Blackjack tends to have an RTP ranging from about 99.3% to 99.6%. This variation typically involves playing with two decks and having the dealer stand on 17.
  • Atlantic City Blackjack: This particular variant usually provides an RTP of 99.5% to 99.6%. It is known for its rules, including late surrender and having the dealer stand on soft 17.
  • Progressive Blackjack: The RTP for Progressive Blackjack can vary significantly, typically between 95% and 99.5%.

Player Tips

Below are some good players tips from of our Blackjack Expert Nick Gough

To find a blackjack game, with the lowest advantage for the house (House Edge) it’s important to consider games that have rules favoring the players.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Look for games played with a single deck: Generally blackjack games with less decks tend to have a lower house edge. Single deck blackjack usually offers the lowest advantage for the house. However it’s important to check rules of the game well as certain single deck games may have unfavorable rules that offset the advantages of having only one deck.
  2. Favorable rules: Seek out games that have rules to players. These may include:
  • The dealer most stand on soft 17.
  • You are allowed to double down after splitting pairs.
  • You can re-split aces.
  • Early or late surrender options.
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2 (avoid games that pay 6:5).

3. Avoid side bets and variants with rules: Games like Progressive Blackjack or those offering side bets generally come with a higher house edge. To reduce the advantage for the house it is recommended to stick with traditional versions of blackjack.

4. Learn strategy: Regardless of which game you choose playing with blackjack strategy is crucial. Even a game with no house edge can become disadvantageous if played poorly.

5. Consider Playing Online Blackjack: You’ll find that some online blackjack games, have a really low house edge. This is because online casinos have less costs to cover.

6. Specific Variants to Consider. Classic Blackjack is a choice both, in land based casinos and online, it usually comes with a low house edge. If you come across games like European Blackjack or Atlantic City Blackjack they can be options as long as they follow the favorable rules I mentioned earlier.

Keep in mind that the rules of the game can vary from one casino to another and even from one table to another, within the same casino. So always double check the game rules before you start playing. These rules can significantly impact the house edge so it’s important to choose wisely based on them.

By considering these tips and applying strategy you can maximize your chances of winning against the house.


It is a good idea to play for fun before playing for real money, you can practice online blackjack right here:

Practice Online Blackjack Here Free:

Learn more about Blackjack:

Explore The History of Blackjack

Nicky Smith, Editor at, also fact-checked this review.
Register New Account