Blackjack is one of the worlds most popular casino games. There are countless variations on the 21 theme that are played in casinos around the world and online.
Is is one of the few casino games that can be beaten over the long term with a bit of skill. It's a great game to play as it has a very low house edge for the casino.
The following online casinos offer the best real money blackjack experience for US players, feature several variations and multiple tables.
While there are many variations on the game of blackjack, the general rules and card values are all very similar. If you have never played blackjack you should be able to get started after reading our guide.
The game is played with between one and eight decks of playing cards with no jokers. All numbered cards have their face value. Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth ten and Aces can be either one or eleven.
Your goal is to beat the dealer. To do this you want to get cards totaling 21 or as close to 21 without going over.
To play you need to first place a bet on the betting spot on the table. In most cases this will be your total bet. It is not like an ante with poker games. The dealer then deals you two cards and the dealer two cards, one face up and one face down.
At this point you can look at you hand and one of the dealers cards. You can then decide if you want to make another move. Possible moves are Hit, Stand, Split, Double Down and Insurance. If you have a hand totaling 21 with your first two cards you have blackjack and the dealer reveals his hand straight away.
Hit - Take another card as many times as you like
Stand - Take no more cards and stay with what you have
Split - Make two separate hands out of your initial cards. Requires two bets
Double Down - Double your bet and get one more card only
Insurance - If the dealer has an Ace up card you can bet that he will have blackjack
There are several possible blackjack hand outcomes. Following are the details and the pay offs for each of the outcomes.
Blackjack - Any two card hand consisting of an Ace and a Ten. Pays 3 to 2
Win - Your total is higher than the dealers or the dealer busts. Pays 2 to 1
Push - Your hand ties with the dealers. You bet is returned to you.
Lose - If the dealer has a higher hand you will lose your bet.
Insurance - If the dealer has blackjack then you will get paid 1 to 1
There are a number of different variations of blackjack games including blackjack switch, pontoon, Spanish 21, Super Fun 21, Double Exposure, High Streak and Triple 7's blackjack. All of the different variations offer different rules and in some cases jackpots based on particular hands.
Learning blackjack rules is one thing but learning to play correctly should be your real aim. By using to correct strategy for each and every hand you will ensure that you keep the casinos edge to it's lowest possible point. In the blackjack world this is known as learning basic strategy.
An important point to note when learning basic strategy is that there will be slight variations based on the game rules you are playing with. Different casinos both online and land-based almost always have rule variations most commonly regarding the amount of decks, when the dealer hits, splitting and doubling down.
We recommend reading Peter Griffin’s Theory of Blackjack or Stanford Wong’s Basic Blackjack books if you want to get into all the details of basic strategy.
There are three hand types you can be dealt on the initial deal. These are known as Hard, Soft and Pairs. Hard totals are any two cards that do not contain an Ace (Example : 8 and 7 = Hard 15). Soft totals are any two cards with one being an Ace (Example A and 5 = Soft 16). A Pair is simply two cards of the same value.
If you're looking to get started without too much time spent learning then these tips will give you a better chance of winning in general.
Can I count cards online?
Unfortunately counting cards is not possible online as the decks are shuffled either before every hand or too frequently for counting to give you an advantage.
Are the Live Dealer games better than the virtual games?
This is really a matter or personal preference. Live dealer game tend to be slower which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you play. Both variations online are popular among players.
Is blackjack a good game to play?
In terms of house edge, if you play perfect strategy blackjack can have one of the lowest house advantages you'll find at a casino.