Absolute Beginners Guide to Online Blackjack
Blackjack is a simple game which can be picked up in just a few minutes as the rules are easy to learn. There aren’t many bets which can be placed and the decisions you have to make are generally fairly straightforward.
The Basics of Blackjack
Blackjack is a card game in which players compete directly against the dealer and is played with one or more standard decks of cards. Each card in the deck is valued as follows:
- An ace can be valued at either 1 or 11
- All cards numbered 2-10 are valued at their face value
- All picture cards (J, Q, K) are valued at 10
- Suits are entirely irrelevant
There is no more action once the dealer has reached 17 or gone bust. Bets are then settled on the following basis:
- A player wins an amount equal to their stake if they avoid going bust and have a higher valued hand than the dealer or if they avoid going bust and the dealer does go bust
- A player is paid out at 3:2 if they are dealt a blackjack and the dealer does not have blackjack
- If a player goes bust, they lose their stake, irrespective of the dealers hand
- A player loses their stake if the value of their hand is lower than the value of the dealer’s hand
- A players stake is returned if the value of their hand is equal to the value of the dealer’s hand or if both they and the dealer are dealt blackjack
Step-By-Step Guide to Playing Online Blackjack
- Starting the Hand
At the start of the hand, you will place your chosen stake in an available betting spot.
- The Deal
When playing online blackjack for real money you will be dealt two face-up cards. The dealer will also receive two cards, but only one will be face-up.
- Hitting or Standing
After you’ve been dealt your two cards, you will have to decide which action to take – the standard options are to hit or to stand. You will receive another card if you choose to hit and you can keep hitting until your hand values 21 or you go bust. If you stand you will receive no more cards and then you have to wait to see what happens with the dealer’s hand.
If the dealer’s up-card is an ace you will be given the option of taking out insurance against the dealer having blackjack which will cost your half of your original stake. This bet pays out at 2:1 if the dealer does have blackjack and loses if they don’t.
You will have the option of splitting your cards into two hands if you’re dealt two cards of the same value. The price of splitting is equal to your initial stake and each card will then form a new hand which is played as normal.
Depending on the situation, you will be able to double your stake once your initial two cards are dealt, but the exact rules of the blackjack variant you are playing will determine when you can double.
Some blackjack variants give the player the option to surrender after the first two cards are dealt and if you choose this option you forfeit half of your stake.
- Dealer Options
Dealer options are limited as they can’t split, double, or surrender. Dealers can only hit or stand and they have very strict guidelines to follow with regards to this decision. The dealer must stand on 17 or above, and must hit on 16 or below.