A Guide To How To Play Online Blackjack

Blackjack is a popular game where one or more players compete against the dealer or an RNG machine. There are plenty of variations, but the key objective is always to win by getting as close to 21 as possible. In this guide, we cover the basics of how to play online blackjack at some of the best online casinos.

Top List

Top-Rated Online Blackjack Casinos



Introduction To Online Blackjack

Whether you know it as 21 or blackjack, chances are you’ve come across the game. As simple as it is to learn, there’s a lot of strategy that goes into it, with the odds often falling in your favour.

The rules to online blackjack aren’t overly complicated, which is another reason for the game’s popularity. So, what do you need to know before you start playing blackjack online? Keep reading our guide to learn the basic rules, bets and blackjack variations.

online blackjack

Blackjack 101

Online Blackjack 101 – How To Get Started

Whether you want to practice playing online blackjack for fun in demo mode, or you’re ready to wager real money, knowing the basics is essential for your success. Fortunately, the general rules couldn’t be simpler.

The whole idea behind blackjack is to win against a dealer and to do that, you need to have more points than the dealer without going over 21 (bust).

Counting your points is easy:

  • Face cards count as 10 points
  • Aces can be a 1 or 11
  • Number cards count as their pip value

While the dealer begins by dealing cards, he or she has the advantage of acting last, with players only getting to see one of the dealer’s cards during a game.

online blackjack guide

The Odds

Know Your Online Blackjack Odds

If you hit 21, you can look forward to a 3:2 payout, which amounts to 2.5 times your bet. If your hand adds up to 20, it’s unlikely that the dealer will beat you.

Calculating the odds and figuring out the house edge is important. There are several factors to take into account, though, and once you familiarise yourself with them, you’ll learn that the standard blackjack house edge is around 0.50%, but it can go as low as 0.43%.

House Edge Factors

Factors That Determine The House Edge And Payouts In Blackjack

What it isHow it works
Number of decksA standard game uses 8 decks, but there are online blackjack variants that use 4 and 6 decks.
Dealer’s action on a hand of 17Whether the dealer hits or stands on a soft or hard 17 impacts the house edge.
Cards in the first hand that may be doubledDoubling is allowed on certain hands, such as a hand of 9-11, 10-11 or any 2 of the same cards.
Re-splittingThe number of hands you can re-split, including re-splitting an Ace, doubling after a split and hitting a split Ace.

How To Play Online Blackjack

How To Play Online Blackjack


When a round starts, you’re dealt two cards. The dealer also gets two cards – one face down and one face up. If the dealer’s card facing up is a 10 or Ace, the dealer will peek at the second card to check for blackjack. If neither you nor the dealer has 21 points, it’s time to start betting.


calculate count card blackjackHit or Stand – calculate the value of your hand and that of the dealer’s and decide whether you want to Hit or Stand. If you want to Hit, you ask the dealer for another card, based on the value of your cards. If you don’t want more cards, you Stand, which is usually done when the value of your cards is quite high (over 17).


blackjack croupierOnce all the players have made their decisions, the dealer reveals their facedown card.


blackjack cards close to 21If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, you win. If the dealer’s hand is 21 or closer to 21 than other players, the dealer wins.

Soft 17

What Is Soft 17 In A Game Of Blackjack?

We couldn’t bring you a guide to how to play online blackjack without discussing the rules on Soft 17.

In most games, the dealer’s hand will stand at 17 or more. So, if the dealer has a hand of 16 or below, they must draw an extra card.

But some online casinos apply the Soft 17 rule, where if the dealer has an Ace, it’s counted as an 11, and in this case, the dealer has to hit on 17, changing up the house edge. At first glance, it seems like this rule would increase the likelihood of bust, but that’s not the case. If the dealer doesn’t bust, the hand is high and will likely win.

Advanced Betting

how to play online blackjackAdvanced Betting Options In Online Blackjack Games

There’s more to the game of 21 than just standing or hitting. In fact, there are various options to try and get as close to 21 as you can.

Double Down

If you’re after a bigger win, you can double your ante. Standard online blackjack rules let you double down if you have between 9-11 points, so you can get one more card.


If you receive a pair of matching cards, you have the opportunity to split them and create two separate hands to play during the round. You’ll need to place a second bet and then you’ll be dealt two more cards to complete your hands.


If the dealer has an Ace showing, you can protect yourself by buying insurance. If the dealer has blackjack, at least the insurance will pay out.


If you’re not too keen on the odds at the start of the hand, there are some online blackjack games that let you surrender the hand and get back a portion of your bet.

Side Bets

Only available in some online blackjack variants, side bets add a little extra excitement to the game and payout regardless of the outcome of your hand. Player and Dealer are the two most common side bets, and there are different payouts if you have the same number, matching suits or the same number and colour.


Different Types Of Online Blackjack Games

One of the best things about playing online blackjack is that you have plenty of choices when it comes to different versions of the game. When you’re learning how to play online blackjack, you need to know about other options and how they differ from one another. Below are the most popular variations of blackjack.

how to play online blackjack 2022

Classic Online Blackjack

This is the game we all know and love. Once you’ve got to grips with the basics of classic blackjack, you’re ready to stretch your betting wings and try out different versions of the game.

Single Deck Blackjack

Classic online blackjack is usually played with six to eight decks of 52 playing cards and no jokers. But you can play this game with just one deck and all the same rules.


There are some blackjack tables that let you play as many as 5 hands simultaneously, giving you even more winning opportunities.

Blackjack Switch

In this variant of the game, cards are dealt face up using six decks. You get to play two hands and must place equal bets on both hands. Only the second card that’s dealt to each of the hands may be switched for other cards. You cannot switch your first card from one of the hands with a second card from the other hand.

Progressive Blackjack

Here, you have all the same rules as classic online blackjack, with the option to place a side bet with the progressive jackpot. The jackpot ensures that payouts for winning hands are even bigger than they’d usually be on other versions of the game.

Live Casino Blackjack

Live Casino Blackjack Feels Like the Real Deal(er)

Up to now, we’ve been talking about online blackjack that uses random number generators to mimic the real-life game. In these games, all decks in a shoe are shuffled between hands, making it trickier to hit a winning streak.

With Live Dealer blackjack, you get the feel of being in a land-based casino, complete with a multitude of blackjack variants and real dealers who stream live from casino studios. Some software developers work with brick-and-mortar casinos to bring the action live directly from the tables.

When you log in to a live blackjack game, you can view the action, place bets and talk with the dealer as all the action unfolds.

Live online blackjack, though, has higher minimum and maximum bets to cover the costs of running a studio, the equipment and even the live dealer salaries.

What’s more, the game is a little slower than standard online blackjack versions as it’s a real person manning the tables. That said, the average RTP of digital and live dealer blackjack are pretty similar.

Mobile Blackjack

Play Online Blackjack On The Go

If you’re a fan of mobile casinos, you’ll be glad to hear that thanks to advanced technology, software providers have come up with plenty of mobile-compatible blackjack games for you to play whenever you want to. Whether you’re an iOS or Android aficionado, a tablet or a smartphone fan, you can put your skills to the test in an effort to score 21, or at least more than the dealer without going bust.

There is a long list of leading software developers that have a variety of both mobile and Live Casino online blackjack games, including names like Real Time Gaming, NetEnt, Playtech and Microgaming. Whether you play on your mobile device or computer, one thing’s for sure – you can look forward to quality online blackjack games with exceptional graphics.


Ways To Win Blackjack At Online Casinos

While many of the online blackjack strategies out there look pretty cool and claim to work, nothing in gambling is guaranteed. No complex system or mathematical formula can defeat the house and the odds of the game remain the same.

However, there are a few strategies you can learn in an effort to maximise your gameplay and try to boost the odds in your favour, and you’ll find them in our Strategy section. Just remember, there’s no guarantee when it comes to winning any casino games, so you might as well have fun, learn new skills and figure out which version is your favourite.

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