How to Play Blackjack Online
If you already know the basics of how to play blackjack and are ready to play blackjack online or on your mobile, this article will take you step by step through 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 blackjack. Plus, if you are already an online player, there are many valuable tips below.
The Benefits of Playing Blackjack Online
When you play blackjack online, all you need to do is get online and start playing. You no longer have to worry about the hassle of going to a physical casino. You do not have to fight traffic on the road or look for a parking space once you get to the casino. And you don’t even have to think about tipping your dealer, a practice that while not strictly mandatory, is considered courteous. This allows you to save a lot of money that would have otherwise been spent on commuting, parking, and tips.
Available Blackjack Variations of the Game
One aspect that many gamblers appreciate when they play blackjack online is the fact that this environment contains more variations of the game than are available in any brick and mortar casino. This makes online gambling a much more attractive prospect for many players since they are all looking for variants of the game that offer the lowest possible edge to the house.
More Hands Per Hour
Many experienced blackjack players will tell you that the chances of winning big increase quite significantly if you choose to use a mathematical blackjack strategy. When you play more hands as well, your chances become increasingly better. When playing in an online casino, a gambler can play up to 209 hands every hour when heads-up versus their dealer, compared to only 52 hands per hour which can be played on a physical table with a full complement of seven players.
Players Are Allowed To Change Tables With No Qualms
When you play blackjack in a physical casino, you may sometimes be forced to play the game at a table with a bad shoe. This will leave you with the dreadful feeling that the dealer cannot lose. There may be little you can do about this if there are no other tables for you to move to or no other chairs available. On the other hand, when you play blackjack online and find that nothing is going right at your table, you can easily move to a new table or even a different website.
Play Heads Up Versus the Dealer
Playing blackjack directly against your dealer offers many benefits and opportunities. Regardless of how good your gaming strategy is, and how well you follow it, your chances of winning can be easily blown out of the water by an uneducated player. Playing heads up against the dealer in an online casino’s blackjack table eliminates this possibility.
Tips for Choosing a Reputable Online Casino
The first step when learning how to play blackjack online is to identify a reputable online casino. Reputable online casinos have typically been around for many years and have established a good reputation, offer excellent support, safe and secure transaction processing and make 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 are some recommended casinos with excellent welcome bonuses to choose from:
Once you have decided which casino you want to play at, you will be required to register in order to set up your player account. The casino will present you with a short registration form that will require a few personal details. It’s very important to put all the correct and complete information as you may be required to supply proof of identity and residence at a later stage. 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. 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.
Playing Regular Online Blackjack vs. Live Dealer Blackjack
Many casinos today are offering Live Dealer blackjack games, which means that you get the opportunity to experience interaction with a real live dealer, all from the comfort of your home or smartphone. Live dealer blackjack has quickly become popular with many players globally, and many leading casinos will provide you with top-class access to some of the best live dealer blackjack games on offer.
Regular online blackjack is powered by software and feature graphics and sound. While there are many top-quality online blackjack games available, the reality is that these games are not able to simulate a real live dealer blackjack experience. While many players enjoy the experience of gambling exclusively at a brick-and-mortar casino, online blackjack today has many benefits. These include access to a number of game variations, alternate blackjack rules, and various betting limits. In addition, playing regular online blackjack also enables a player to keep a better record of their wins and losses, as well as the amount of money they have spent. In this way, a player is able to fine-tune their gambling strategies.
One of the many benefits of playing Live Dealer blackjack over “animated” online blackjack is the sense of familiarity that this real-time game gives a player. We all know how good it feels to be sitting at a casino table, surrounded by other players, while the dealer deals the cards. Live dealer blackjack online is presented via video streaming from dealer studios which are maintained by large casino companies such as Microgaming and Playtech. With years of experience, these companies hand select each dealer to ensure they offer players the opportunity to play against an attractive blackjack dealer who is friendly, professional and helpful. While playing, the camera is always on the table and dealer—as if you are sitting at a real table in Vegas—and if you have an issue, you can always talk to the pit boss, just like you would in a land-based casino.
Once you start playing, you will immediately notice that Live Dealer blackjack provides a nice hybrid form of play; you are able to play online while still experiencing the features of a live dealer, just like being at a traditional casino.
Other Advantages of Live Dealer Blackjack
Trust: Playing blackjack online against software might be boring for some players. In many cases, the player might feel like they’re missing the realism of a casino—especially when you simply cannot get one winning hand and the dealer has won 15 times in a row! With Live Dealer blackjack, everything is in plain sight; you can see the dealer shuffling decks of cards and dealing, the entire time. In addition, if you have a question or are not happy with something you see, you can easily interact with the dealer, as well as the pit boss. In terms of trust, playing Live Dealer blackjack excels in this area.
Interactive Multiplayer Mode: Another upside of playing Live Dealer blackjack online is the fact that you can enjoy the company of other players at the table. When playing online blackjack, you only play against the “automated” dealer. Some live casinos allow multiplayer games, but chat options are usually limited, which deprives players of an authentic casino-like experience.
Choosing Which Blackjack Game to Play
Almost all online and mobile casinos that allow you to play blackjack online offer multiple game variations 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 Online Blackjack Table
When you play blackjack online you’ll find various options available on the table layout. 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 between different game versions, but it will typically have all of these elements.
As you take your virtual seat at the table you will see the following:
- Account Balance: This is how much money you have in your player account that is available to play with. One of the advantages of playing online is that 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 the 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 down at the appropriate time.
- Split Button: This is used for splitting your identical cards into 2 separate hands—entitling you to draw against each hand—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 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 a score of 17 or more and you will then win the hand.
How To Play The Game of Blackjack
Now that you are familiar with the table, it’s time to get some blackjack action rolling. When learning how to play blackjack, it’s important that you have an understanding of the following steps.
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, where you will see the chip appear. 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 differing values of one or 11.
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 given the option to take Insurance. Go ahead and click yes or no, depending on your strategy. If you are 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. If you and the dealer have the same score, it is a Push/Tie/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.
Tips to Polish Your Blackjack Skills
Here are a few basic pointers for the game of blackjack that you can quickly memorize before hitting the online tables or a traditional casino. These tips are easy to apply even for those who are just learning how to play blackjack. Applying these easy to remember tips makes it possible to greatly lower the house odds by about 1% and to increase your odds of winning:
- Hit until hard 17: If your dealer holds a face up card of 9 or better, the best course of action is to hit until you have at least a hard 17.
- The dealer has a face-up card between 4 and 6: The blackjack dealer’s weakest position is when they have a face-up card between 4 and 6. If you find this to be the case, you could choose to stand on a hard 12, or above, each time, and you could even double down on A-4 or better.
- Doubling down: When the dealer has a face-up card of 9 or lower, you may want to double down on your 10 or 11. Some players may choose to take a risk of doubling down if the dealer has an Ace showing and has already peeked at the face down card, which assures them that the dealer is not holding blackjack, but this approach can be risky.
- Splitting aces and eights: Basic blackjack strategy dictates to always split Aces and Eights. There are some exceptions where you do not split Aces, but that is part of a far more advanced strategy. The reason for splitting 8’s is because your current score would be 16 which is one of the weakest positions in blackjack, especially since the dealer will only stand on 17, making you vulnerable. The reason for splitting Aces is to increase your chances of drawing a 10 or face card, therefore giving you 21 and a sure win.
It’s important to note that these strategies do not guarantee a win. In fact, there is no proven strategy that can ensure a win 100% of the time. Our aim with these strategies is to reduce the house edge and increase your winning potential.
The Blackjack Strategy Card
Although it may be much faster to play blackjack with a memorized strategy, most experienced gamblers advise new blackjack players to pick a strategy card when they are still learning how to play online blackjack. Blackjack strategy cards are important because they tell you the moves you should make depending on your score and the dealer’s face up card. These strategy cards can be downloaded from the internet and are also available here, on our blackjack strategy page. One of the great benefits of playing online blackjack is that you can play at your own pace, which means you can take your time and reference the strategy card to test what works for you.
Even if you know very little about blackjack strategy, it should be obvious that skill and experience come into play. It cannot be reiterated enough that blackjack is all about odds and skill. By applying the right strategy to sway the odds in your favor, your ability to win more hands is greatly enhanced—which means you can generally walk away from a blackjack session with cash in hand.
The key to blackjack success is not to let your emotions get in the way of proven strategies. Stick to the plan and play like a pro.
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.