Playing online blackjack is nearly the same as playing in brick and mortar and casinos. You place your bet before the cards are dealt and face off with the dealer in every hand. Card values, hand rankings and betting structures are the same and players may “Double Down”, “Split” bets and purchase insurance. Read our rules article to familiarize yourself with the game and learn about its unique aspects.
It's fairly simple to learn how to play blackjack. However, to really master it requires time, practice and a good teacher, which is where Gambling City's Online Blackjack Guide comes in. The regulations provided here include both basic and advanced blackjack rules and strategies.
It's fairly simple to learn how to play blackjack. However, to really master it requires time, practice and a good teacher, which is where Gambling City's Online Blackjack Guide comes in. The regulations provided here include both basic and advanced blackjack rules and strategies. After reading them, practice blackjack online with our free internet blackjack game. Play blackjack risk-free and hone your newly acquired skills.
The object of the game is to get a better total score than the dealer. To do this, players aim for a score of or as near to 21 as possible without exceeding 21. If you exceed 21 you “bust” and lose your bet. When you are satisfied with your hand, the dealer reveals his hole card and the winner is determined.
The game commences with each player placing his bet. The dealer then distributes two cards to himself and each player at the table. Player cards are both face up. The dealer holds one face up (up card) and one face down card (hole card).
The player to the dealer’s left begins the action by deciding if he wants to receive or decline additional cards (hit or stand) and the action continues counter-clockwise. The round concludes when all have refused additional cards. The dealer then exposes his hole card, hits or stands, and awards wins accordingly.
The Dealer’s Hand — Black Jack Rules
The dealer's hand is scored as the highest possible score after the first cards are dealt. Any Ace in the dealer's hand is presumed to be worth 11 points.
There is one exception to this rule, and where it exists, it is typically indicated on the surface of the blackjack table itself. If your table has “Dealer Must Hit on Soft 17” written on its surface, the dealer must get an additional card with a starting hand of Ace-6.
This rule puts players at a disadvantage. Your odds of winning improve if you only play games that force the dealer to stand on a soft 17 score.
When the dealer's score is less than or equal to 16 points, he is required to take an additional card.
Black Jack Rules—Winning & Losing Hands
When the dealer concludes with a lower score than you and neither have exceeded 21, you win. If your scores are equal, you “push” (tie) and neither wins nor loses. If your score is less than the dealer's score and he does not go over 21, you lose.
- A “Blackjack” Hand
This is specified as two starting cards that have a total score of 21. This hand is also called a “natural” 21. Any two-card 21 carries a higher rank than a score of 21 achieved with three or more cards. Thus, if the dealer has 9-6-6=21, and you have K-A=21, you win. This rule forms one of the exceptions to a tie or push bet
- “Natural Blackjack”
If you are dealt a natural 21, your bet pays off at a better rate than an ordinary winning bet. Almost all variations of the game pay out at a rate of 3-to-2 for a natural. This means that for a $10 bet, you make $15 rather than the usual $10. To phrase it differently, such a win pays out 150%
- What if The Dealer's Up Card is an Ace?
Numerous rules come up when the dealer shows an Ace as his up card. Almost all game variations offer Even Money bets and Insurance bets. In very rare cases, some may also extend the Early Surrender rule.
Payouts & Types of Blackjack Bets — Black Jack Rules
Aside from your initial wager, there are several types of bets available when particular situations arise, each of which possesses its own unique payout ratio.
- Insurance Bet
Virtually all ames permit you to make an Insurance bet if the dealer shows an Ace. This opportunity arises after starting cards have been dealt. Also called side bets, insurance bets are placed to safeguard players against the dealer’s natural blackjack.
Insurance allows a player to place another bet of up to one-half of his first bet. If the dealer has a natural, the insurance bets win at a rate of 2:1. Thus, a $5 insurance bet wins you $10.
- Even Money
If you receive a blackjack hand and the dealer shows an Ace as his up card, the dealer might propose that you take Even Money for your hand. The dealer is proposing that you will accept a secure win at a lower payout rate (1:1 rather than the traditional 3:2). Nearly all gambling strategists recommend declining even money bets.
- Early Surrender
Early Surrender, though rarely available, is another option that can be especially valuable when the dealer shows an Ace. Here, players may abandon their hand and relinquish only one one-half of their wager.
Once all of the first choices have passed, the dealer reveals his hole card and players commence their actions
- Splitting Pairs
If you hold a paired hand, like two Fives or two Jacks or two Aces, you have the choice to split your pair.
The universal convention for separating pairs is that the value of each card be an exact match for the other (suits are irrelevant). Two Tens form a precise match. Two Jacks form a precise match. A Ten and a Jack do not form a precise match, although each card is valued at 10 points
- How do you Split Pairs?
To split your pairs, place a bet equal to your initial wager by its side. If your first bet was $10, you must put down exactly $10 to split your pair. The dealer will separate your cards, forming two distinct hands, each of which now holds a unique bet and requires separate actions.
Should you receive a blackjack after a Split Pair, the house will not recognize this as a natural and your hand will, therefore, be regarded as a lower value 21 when judged against another
- Double Down
Double Down is defined as duplicating your wager, and getting only one additional card. In order to Double Down, you place an extra wager on the table adjacent to your first wager for the same amount of money. The dealer will give you a single additional card for that hand, and you're finished with that hand
- Late Surrender
In those casinos that offer late surrender, this is the point at which it is used; namely, after a dealer’s up Ace and hole card have been revealed to total less than 21.
Before the dealer accepts additional card(s), players may surrender, losing only one half of their wagers instead of the total amount. Those with two hands in play make two separate decisions regarding late surrender.
Taking Hits — Black Jack Rules
You have received your starting hand and assessed your options. It is now time to either hit or stand. Determine if your hand's total score could be a winner as it is, or if you must attempt a better score. Remember, because the dealer must continue hitting until 17 or higher, his potential for busting with hands of 15 or 16 is great.
End of Game Payouts — Black Jack Rules
Once all players have received or declined cards and settled on their hands, action returns to the dealer, who will reveal his hole card and either stand or take cards until he reaches a required total of 17 or more.
If the dealer's score exceeds 21 (bust), all hands still in play win their bets. Whenever the dealer does not bust, each hand remaining is scored against the dealer's hand. Whoever has the better total score wins, except in cases where there is a tie.
Practice! Practice! Practice! — Black Jack Rules
Now you know the rules. All that’s left to do is play. But before you put your hard-earned cash on the felt, test your skills with our free internet blackjack game. It’s free, it’s fun, and it provides you an opportunity to become familiar with the game’s setup and software, as well as test out your game rules reading comprehension.
After you have mastered online blackjack, play our other free online casino games. We love this game—don’t get us wrong—but there are plenty of other fun gambles waiting to be played. Good luck.