How to Play Blackjack Online
If you already know the basics of how to play blackjack and are ready to play online or on your mobile, this article will take you step by step to playing blackjack the right way. If you don’t know how to play yet then be sure to read the Blackjack Rules article to learn the rules of the game and how to play. Plus, if you are already an online player, there are many valuable tips below.
If you are reading this article, then you clearly have the skills to navigate the web and are more than capable to start playing the world’s most popular card game online…Blackjack.
Select a Reputable Online Casino
The first step when learning how to play blackjack online is to identify a good internet-based casino which is reputable. A reputable online casino has typically been around for many years and has established a good reputation, offers excellent support, safe and secure transaction processing and especially important, makes payouts to players promptly. If you are not sure which online casino to choose, all the casinos and offers on Blackjack.org are proven, tried and trusted. Here some recommended casinos with excellent Welcome Bonuses to choose from:
Signing Up for a Casino Account
Once you have made a decision of which casino you want to play at, you will be required to register in order to setup your player account. You will be presented with a short registration form that you will need to complete with some personal details. It’s very important to put all the correct and complete information as you may be required at a later stage to supply proof of identity and residence. This is also for your safety especially when it comes to cashing out your winnings.
With the quick and simple registration completed, you now need to deposit money into your playing account. All the online casinos accept all major debit and credit cards and most offer you the option of using e-wallets such as Neteller, Skrill and others, depending on your location.
Choosing Which Blackjack Game to Play
Almost all online and mobile casinos offer variations of blackjack such as American Blackjack, European Blackjack, Pontoon and various others. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the most common version, American Blackjack, sometimes also referred to as Classic Blackjack. Once you are logged into your account, you will be in the casino lobby and should see the option of ‘table games’ or ‘blackjack games’. From here, you should select the ‘Classic’ or ‘American’ blackjack option.
The Blackjack Table
Let’s familiarize ourselves with the table and the various options. Unlike playing in a brick and mortar casino where you can physically place your chips on the table or communicate with the dealer, playing online requires you to click on the various options in front of you.
Here is what a typical online blackjack table looks like. It might vary slightly from casino to casino or version of the game but it will pretty much have all these elements.
As you take you virtual seat at the table you will see the following:
- Account Balance – This how much money you have in your player account available to play with. One of the advantages of playing online is you can see your balance and winning amounts instantly, no need to count chips.
- Table Limit – Almost all blackjack tables will display the minimum and maximum bet you can make on a single hand. In the image above, the minimum is 1 and maximum is 100.
- Betting Box – This is where you will place your chips and receive your payouts.
- Deal Button – The deal button initiates the dealing of the hand. Depending on the casino you are playing at, you may or may not see the deal button until you have placed a bet.
- Double Button – This will be for doubling up your bet at the appropriate time.
- Split Button – This is used for splitting your identical cards into 2 separate hands therefore entitling you to draw against each hand and in essence doubling your bet and doubling your opportunity to win more.
- Clear Button – Before starting the ‘Deal’, you may wish to clear your bet and place a new one as well as after the hand is completed, the hand remains on the table until you press clear.
- Hit button – Once you have received your first 2 cards, the hit button allows you to request additional cards.
- Stand button – When you no longer wish to receive more cards, you use the stand button which then signals the dealer to draw their cards. Again depending on the casino, the ‘Stand’ button may only be visible once you have been dealt a hand.
Other Features to Take Note of on the Blackjack Table
- Blackjack pays 3 to 2 – This indicates that if you achieve a winning Blackjack hand, you will be paid out 3 to 2 based on your bet. For example if you were betting $100, you will be paid out $250, That is, $100 (your initial wager) + $150 winnings.
- Dealer must stand on 17 and draw to 16 – This means that when it’s the dealers turn to draw cards, they have to draw another card on 16 and must stand on 17 or more.
Example 1: You have a hand of 14 and you choose to stand, and the dealer has a hand of 15 or 16, the dealer cannot simply stand at this point and win the hand but must keep drawing cards until he achieves 17 or more.
Example 2: You have a hand of 19 and the dealer has 16 and draws a 2, giving him 18. At this point the dealer must stop drawing cards as he has achieved of score of 17 or more and you will then win the hand.
Starting to Play
Now that you are familiar with the table, it’s time to get some Blackjack action rolling:
Step 1 – Choosing your bet/wager
Click on a chip to select that denomination. To select a different amount, simply click on a different chip.
Step 2 – Placing your bet
Now that you have clicked on a chip denomination, you need to click in the betting box and will see the chip appear there. If you want to increase your bet, just click again in the box and another chip of the same amount will be added. If you want to change your bet completely, then click on Clear and begin again.
Step 3 – Deal the hand
Click on the Deal button and the dealer will start dealing the cards. Look at your cards and be sure to take note of the dealer’s face up card. One of the advantages of playing online blackjack is that it shows the point value of your cards without the need to think or calculate this for yourself. This is particularly useful to beginners especially with the Ace that can sometimes confuse players due to its 1 or 11 value.
Step 4 – Play your hand
Now you need to make a decision whether you want to Hit (Draw), Stand, Split or Double. If the dealer has an Ace face up, you will be prompted if you want to take Insurance. Based on your decision, you will click the appropriate button. If you still not sure what each of these options are then revisit our Blackjack Rules page for a more detailed explanation.
When you are satisfied with your point standing, click ‘Stand’ and the dealer’s turn will begin.
Step 5 – Hand outcome
Once the dealer completes his turn, there are only 3 possible outcomes: Win, Lose or Push (standoff). If you have the winning hand, it will say on the screen that you have won and how much you have won. If the dealer has the winning hand, then it will show that the dealer wins and if you and the dealer have the same score, it is a Push/Tie or standoff and your original bet will be returned.
Step 6 – Play again
The table may clear automatically or you might need to click the ‘Clear’ button. At this point, you are ready for the next hand and can simply repeat Steps 1-5. Some casinos have a ‘Repeat’ button which allows you to repeat your same bet and initiate the dealing of the cards. This is quite useful as it speeds up game play and eliminates the need to keep clicking on chips and placing them in the betting box.
Polishing Your Game Play
We have covered the basics to start playing blackjack online. If you are playing on a mobile phone or tablet, the process is identical. Many online casinos have a help screen in the game which gives you valuable information related to the variation of blackjack you are playing. For example, whether the dealer must draw on a soft 17 or not; if you are allowed to hit more than once on a double up, etc. Be sure to check this information as there are slight variances that will help you to make better decisions and to apply the appropriate strategies.