How to Play and Win at Online Blackjack

Blackjack is a simple card game that has been around for hundreds of years, offering players the chance to face off against the dealer and potentially come out on top to win money. Luckily, you don't need to live near a land-based casino to enjoy this game as there are many hundreds of online casinos that host plenty of variants for you to explore. But how do you actually play online Blackjack? And more importantly, how do you win? Whether you're just starting out and learning how to play, or you need a refresher of the rules, you're in the right place. Here you'll learn everything you need to know about how to play and how to win at online Blackjack.

How to Play Online Blackjack

Blackjack is a very popular card game, arguably the most popular in the world, and one of the reasons for this is the game is very simple to learn. The basic aim of the game is to bet that you can beat the dealer with your card total versus theirs.

Each card is assigned a points value, with the cards 2 to 10 given their face value, face cards (ie. J, Q and K) given 10 points, and the A is valued at either 1 or 11. Both you and the dealer are dealt two cards (one of the dealer’s may be face up) before you get to choose whether to Stand (stick with the cards you have) or Hit (request an additional card). The dealer then gets the same choice. Once finished, the cards are revealed and whoever has a points total closest to 21 without exceeding it is the winner. The best hand in the game, called a Blackjack, is when you hold an A and a 10 point value card, which beats any other 21.

This is a very simplistic view of the game, but it’s a good description of the basic gameplay. There are other bets, different rules and several variants of the game that can change how you play, but not to a great extent. We’ll cover those shortly.

How to Win Blackjack

While it may at this point seem obvious that winning involves beating the dealer’s card total with yours, it’s not the only way to win. Let’s take a look at the various ways you can win and what you get when you do:

Online Blackjack Strategies

Are there any ways to get an edge when playing online Blackjack? The answer to that depends on a variety of factors. A game like Roulette is purely based on luck, but Blackjack involves a certain element of skill, and focus on the mathematical side of the game can be your best ally in this respect. Here we’ll briefly cover a few online Blackjack strategies for improving your chances of winning.

General Tips

Here are some basic tips when playing online Blackjack:

Choose the right game variant

The different game variants offer various ways to tweak the odds in your favour. For example, the European variant only uses 2 decks, so card counting and probabilities would be more effective here. Any rules that push the dealer closer to busting are the better options, such as the online Blackjack games that have the Hit on Soft 17 rule. The American variant is better for allowing more flexible splitting and doubling down, as well as offering the more attractive Surrender option. And in Spanish 21, your 21 will always beat the dealer’s 21!

Card Counting: Yes or No?

Card counting is generally frowned upon at land-based casinos, but the mathematical basis is solid. It involves working out the possibility of the next card being high or low depending on the previous cards that have appeared.

This strategy works best on the European variant, which only uses 2 decks, but bear in mind that RNG based table game results are completely random, with previous cards having no bearing on the next.

What about Side Bets?

The side bets of Insurance, Perfect Pairs and 21 + 3 offer you additional chances to win and may seem really attractive. However, the reality is that since online Blackjack already has the most attractive house edge (less than 1%) of most online casino games (eg. slots, which can be 5% or more) from a player perspective, online casinos introduced these bets as a way to make more money. They’re fun to try though!