Online Blackjack is an easy game to learn how
to play. Before you sit down at a blackjack table, glance at the
sign that sits on the table because it will tell you the minimum
amount you must bet per hand. If you are a $5 per hand player
than you want to locate a table that allows $5 minimum bets per
When you take a seat at a blackjack table, you need to convert
your cash into casino chips. Just wait until the dealer completes
the hand in progress and place your cash on the table in front
of you preferably outside of the betting box (otherwise the cash
could be mistaken for a bet on the next hand). The dealer will
exchange your cash for an equivalent amount of casino chips. Place
the chips in front of you. You are now ready to make your first
bet but first let's make sure you understand the playing rules.
The objective of online blackjack is to beat the dealer's hand
by either 1) having a total that exceeds the dealer's total or
2) by not going over 21 when the dealer does. Exceeding a total
of 21 is known as 'busting". The casino's edge comes from the
fact that players must go first and when they bust their hand
they automatically lose even if the dealer subsequently busts.
All cards count their face value in blackjack. Picture cards count
as 10 and the ace can count as either a 1 or 11. Card suits have
no meaning in blackjack. The total of any hand is the sum of the
card values in the hand. A hand containing a 4, 5 and 8 totals
17. Another containing a queen and 5 totals 15. It is always assumed
that the ace counts 11 unless your total exceeds 21 in which case
the ace reverts to a value of 1. For example, Ace, 5 is a 16.
If a player draws a 9 the total is now 15. Generally hands which
contain an ace that counts as 11 are known as soft hands (i.e.
ace, 7 is a soft 18 hand). A hard hand is any hand that either
does not contain an ace of if it does it counts as 1 (i.e. 10,
8 and 5, ace, 10, 2 are hard 18 hands).
Prior to the deal of the cards, all players must make a bet
by placing chips in their respective betting boxes. Every player
and the dealer will receive two cards. One of the dealer's card
(known as the dealer's up card or face card) is dealt up so that
players can see its value. The other dealer's card (known as the
dealer's down card or hole card) is unseen. The two player cards
can be either dealt face up, face down, or sometimes one up and
one down. In general, games that are dealt from dealing shoes
(normally containing 4, 6 or 8 decks of cards ) the player's cards
are dealt face up. In this case you should not handle the cards.
In games in which the dealer deals from the hand by pitching the
cards to the players (single or double deck games) the player
cards are usually dealt both face down. In these games it is permissible
for the player to handle the cards.
After the player looks at his initial two cards and sees the
value of one of the dealer's two cards, the player must make a
playing decision. This includes the following:
Hit. This means you want the dealer to give you another card
to your hand. In shoe games, indicate to the dealer that you want
a hit by making a beckoning motion with your finger or tapping
the table behind your cards with your finger. In hand held games,
scratch the edges of the cards in your hand lightly on the felt.
Standing. This means you are satisfied with the total of the
hand and want to stand with the cards you have. In shoe games,
indicate that you want to stand by waving your hand over the cards.
In hand held games, tuck your cards under the chips that you have
in the betting box.
Pair Splitting. If you have two like cards (e.g. a pair of 6's
or aces), you could exercise the option to split. When you split
you must make another bet equal to your original bet. By pair
splitting you play each card as a separate hand and you can draw
as many cards as you like to each hand. For example if you were
dealt a pair of 8's (16) and split, you would have two separate
hands containing an 8. You would be required to play out one of
the split hands first before the other. In shoe games you indicate
that you want to split by placing another chip next to the original
chip. For hand held games toss your cards on the table and then
make the secondary wager. Most casinos will also allow players
to split all 10 value cards such as a jack and ten or queen and
Doubling down. This playing option allows you to double your
bet in return for receiving one and only one draw card. In most
casinos you can only double down after you receive your first
two cards and before drawing another card. To signal the dealer
that you want to double down just place your chip next to the
original chip bet on the hand or toss your cards on the table
face-up in hand held games and then make the secondary bet.
Surrender. This playing option is sometimes permitted. It allows
a player to forfeit the hand with an automatic loss of half the
original bet. Player's can surrender their initial two card hand
only after the dealer has checked his cards for a blackjack. Once
a player draws a card the surrender option is no longer available.
If the dealer has a blackjack hand, then surrender is not available.
When a player surrenders (to do so tell the dealer "surrender")
the dealer will remove the player's card from the table and place
one half of the players bet in the chip rack. The player is no
longer involved in that round.
The above rule is known as late surrender. In some casinos players
can surrender before the dealer checks his cards for a blackjack.
This form of surrender is much more player favorable than late
surrender but it is rarely offered.
Insurance. When the dealer's up card is an ace, the dealer will
ask players if they want to make the insurance wager. It is a
side bet in which players are betting that the dealer's hole card
will be a ten-value card. Players can make an insurance bet equal
to one half of the initial bet made on the hand. To make the insurance
bet you simply place your chips on the insurance line, which is
located right above the player betting box. You win your insurance
bet if the dealer has a ten-value card in the hole. A winning
insurance bet pays off at 2 to 1 odds.
Even Money. When the player has a blackjack hand and the dealer
has an ace showing the dealer will ask the player if he wants
"even money". Even money means the dealer will automatically give
you a 1 to 1-1 payoff on your bet before he checks his down card
for a potential blackjack. Taking even money yields the same result
as making an insurance bet on your blackjack hand.
Unlike players, the dealer in blackjack has no playing option.
Casino rules specify that a dealer must draw when the dealer's
hand totals less than 17 and stand when the total is 17 to 21.
In some casinos, dealer's must stand on soft 17 and in others
they must hit (it's better for the player if the rules specify
the dealer must stand on soft 17).
If the player's hand exceeds a total of 21 the player automatically
losses. If the player's hand exceeds the total of the dealer's
hand, the player wins the hand and is paid at 1 to 1 odds. If
the player and dealer have the same total, the hand is a tie or
push and the player retains his bet.
In most European casinos, the dealer will give himself only
one face card and wait until all the players play out their hands
before dealing his second card. This is widely known as the European
No-Hole card rule and it can change a player's strategy slightly.
Always remember that when you play online blackjack it's you
against the dealer. The two variables that determine how you should
play your hand are the dealer's up card and your hand. With more
experience, you'll also be able to use the information of all
the cards that you see on the table to make a more informed decision
on how much to bet and how to play the hand.