The most widely held belief is that the classic game of Blackjack (or 21 as it’s sometimes called) has been around since at least 1700 and originated in French casinos. Of course, that’s still a debated topic to this day, but if true, Blackjack has been thrilling casino players for over 300 years at this point, although in the early days (apparently), it was more akin to poker than the game we know today. It wasn’t until the 1930s that it evolved to become the game beloved by casino players today. And part of the reason it’s so beloved is that Blackjack offered – and continues to offer – higher odds than other card games. Blackjack is also sometimes known as 21. This is because the goal is to get 21 points without going over. Of course, you don’t always have to hit 21 to win, and that’s the beauty of the game. As long as you have a better hand than the dealer, or they go bust trying to hit 21, you win!
How To Play Online Blackjack
The specifics of Online Blackjack may vary depending on the ruleset, whether that’s American or European. In general, however, all variants follow the same set process. The aim, as we’ve said, is to reach 21 without going over. Go over 21, and the game automatically ends with a victory for the dealer. One thing to note as well is that in Blackjack, players compete directly against the dealer and not other players.
The European version of Blackjack is played using 2 standard 52-card decks. This is how the number 21 as the ultimate goal was arrived at. Take two cards from a standard 52-deck and add them together, and the highest combination possible is 21.
Speaking of cards, It’s probably worth looking at their values before we move on. All cards from 2 – 10 are worth their numeric value. The royal playing cards J – K are all worth 10, no matter the club suits. So if you’re dealt a Jack of diamonds and a 4 of clubs, your hand total is 14: Jack (10) + 4 (4) = 14.
The Ace is where things get interesting. Say you’re dealt an Ace of Spades after the Jack and 4; the option exists to take it as a low value (1) or high value (11). In this case, you would take the Ace as a low-value card to avoid going over 21. In that case, your hand would total 15 (Jack (10) + 4 (4) + Ace (1). The strategy here is to study your hand and decide when to take additional cards to get to 21 without going bust!
The first move in online Blackjack is to decide how much you want to stake. This has to be at or above the minimum table stake limit and below the maximum amount. The minimum and maximum stake amounts may vary depending on which online version of Blackjack you’re playing. Once the stake is set, the dealer deals you two face-up cards. The dealer receives two cards, but only one is dealt face-up, with a suit and card value visible. Then the real game begins.
How To Win Online Blackjack
Let’s go through the nitty-gritty of how to play Blackjack and what you have to do to win. Several options are open to you once the cards get dealt. These are:
- Hit = another card is dealt to you, and its numeric value is added to the total.
- Double Down = offers the chance of increasing your bet by 100% after seeing your first two cards and one of the dealer’s ones. They then deal you another card, and you stand. This is considered a gung-ho move in some Blackjack circles.
- Split = if you have an identical pair of cards (say, two aces), you can split your cards into two hands by doubling the original bet.
- Stand = refuse any additional cards and stand on your current hand.
The above options are available until you stand or go bust (i.e. the total value of your cards exceeds 21). Going bust (of course) means you lose your stake. However, if you stand at 21 or lower, your hand is still competitive against the dealer.
Blackjack is played in turns, and once you’ve had yours, the attention focuses on the dealer. Standard online Blackjack rules state that the dealer must continue to have additional cards dealt to them until the total hand reaches 17 or more. They can (of course) take on multiple cards, but these usually lead to two outcomes. Either they stand on 17 or more or exceed 21 and go bust. If both you and the dealer stand at this point, the totals are compared and a winner is declared.
- Player wins = you’re declared the victor if your total hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s without going over.
- House wins = the dealer is declared the victor if their hand is closer to 21 than yours, without exceeding it.
- Push = both totals (yours and the dealer) are the same.
It’s worth noting that you win if, at any time, the dealer’s hand exceeds 21 and vice versa.
Obviously, there are some additional variations depending on what version of online Blackjack you’re playing, but these are the basic rules to start you down the path to Blackjack domination!
Popular Online Blackjack Strategies
So now you know the basic rules of Blackjack, let’s talk about some strategies. First of all, it goes without saying there’s no magic bullet to becoming the master of Blackjack, no shortcut to success. The best strategy anyone can follow is to learn the Blackjack ruleset you want to play within, whether American or European. Each has slightly different rulesets. For example, European and American Blackjack is played with different card decks, while doubling down, splitting and surrendering also work slightly differently in both versions. Again, in the American ruleset players can double down on any amount, whereas players can only double down on hands worth 9, 10, or 11 using the European ruleset. Then practise playing that Blackjack variant as much as possible, ideally at online casinos where you can play a demo version.
Another factor to consider is that online Blackjack games also offer different RTPs, house edge, and maximum and minimum stakes, among other factors. So it comes down to personal preference on that front. And having said all that, there are some other general strategies one can look at to help you navigate your journey through the world of online Blackjack.
Another tool you can use is a Blackjack Hit Chart. You might have seen one before. They tend to look something like this:
Charts like these are meant to teach you when to hit or stand, double down or split, or even surrender (if available). Pretty neat. However, you’ll need to know a few things before using one. First, you’ll need to learn some new terminology, specifically “soft total” and “hard total”. The former is a hand with an Ace as part of the first two cards (where the Ace is worth 11 points). The latter occurs when you have the opposite or a hand with an Ace worth 1 point.
Second, you’ll need to use a chart with the correct ruleset, whether that’s for American or European Blackjack. For example, the above chart assumes that doubling down after splitting a pair is allowed. This might not be the case for all Blackjack variants. Other charts may assume the dealer can hit or stand on soft 17. So use a chart if you want/need to; just be aware of the above caveats.
Here are some more strategies to help you on your Blackjack journey:
- Split 8s and Aces but not 10s or 5s.
- Stand when you have a hard 17 or higher, or on a soft 19.
- Double down on an 11, especially if the dealer has 2 – 10.
- Hit when your hand is 11 or below.
There are some other advanced strategies that you can use, but the above should suffice for beginner players.
Online Blackjack Games at Lottomart
Here at Lottomart, we have some of the best online Blackjack offerings. Let’s take a look at some of them!
Switch Studios’ European Blackjack offers a classic game of Blackjack, following the traditional French ruleset with 2 standard decks. Doubling down is allowed for numbers 9, 10, and 11, while splitting is limited to once. This straightforward rendition of the game, developed by Switch Studios for Microgaming, emphasizes simplicity and clean visuals.
Meanwhile, Evolution Gaming’s Blackjack (also known as First Person Blackjack) faithfully recreates the American ruleset with minimal changes. It features Perfect Pairs and 21+3 side bets for added excitement and allows players to bet on up to 5 hands, adding a strategic element to the gameplay.
For those seeking the thrill of live Blackjack, Infinite Blackjack Live by Evolution Gaming is a top choice. It retains the core objective of reaching 21 or less while competing against a real dealer in a global setting. Unique features include unlimited players, one-on-one dealer interaction, and four main side bets: Any Pair, 21+3, Hot 3, and Bust. It’s a refreshing departure from traditional American and European rule variants, making it a standout option for a unique Blackjack experience.
The above three games serve as an introduction to the multitude of online table games on the Lottomart website, comprising classic card and dice games alongside game show-themed titles for those players wanting to dig further! Lottomart’s ever-expanding online slots library now boasts 1,500+ games across multiple themes and genres that also include progressive jackpots, instants, and more. So there has never been a better time to sign up and play! New players in the UK can also gain access to a generous welcome offer!
This is a real money gambling site. Please always keep your play safe and fun and only bet what you can afford.