How to Play Online Blackjack
The mechanics involved in playing blackjack online are much the same as those at a blackjack table in the “real world”.
However, online blackjack games have certain advantages over their land-based counterparts.
Seats at online blackjack tables are almost always available, regardless of the stakes. Also, players can play for much lower stakes at blackjack casinos online.
When a player selects a seat at an online blackjack game, he must put down a bet before he receives any cards. A small sign on the table will often display the minimum and maximum bets for that table.
After every player has placed their bets, they click the button labeled “Deal” to get their first two cards. Once the software deals the cards, players can’t change their bets. During the course of a hand, however, players have to decide the actions with options such as “Stand”, “Hit”, “Split”, “Double Down”, “Insurance”, and in certain games, “Surrender.”
Objective: The goal in blackjack is to get a hand total as close to 21 as possible, or to be more specific, come closer to 21 compared to the dealer (if you go over 21 your hand is dead.)
You draw cards, add them and decide when it’s too risky to draw any more cards.
These are the card values:
- Aces = 11 or 1
- Face cards = 10
- Numeric cards = their regular value.
A Player’s Choices in a Hand
Stand: When you choose stand you’re finished with the hand ad you let the dealer complete his.
Draw: When you choose draw you’ll get one additional card. After that, you can decide whether or not you want to stand (unless your card total has exceeded 21.)
Split: When you get a pair on your first two cards you’re allowed to split them thus creating two hands. When doing this, you have to match your initial bet so that you have two hands with identical wagers.
After this, you play these two hands separately just as you would have if they were your first two cards.
However, different casinos have different rules regarding re-splitting (when you get a pair on an already split hand) and when you get blackjack on a split hand, some casinos treat that as a regular 21.
Double down: When you choose double down, you double your initial wager and get one, and only one, additional card.
This is often done when the dealer has, say, a six and you have ten or eleven. Chances are good that you’ll get 20 or 21 (a lot of cards are valued 10.) Also, if the dealer gets two high cards, he’ll bust.
Insurance: We don’t have to talk much about this since it’s always a bad decision. But Insurance is basically a side bet you pay when the dealer shows an ace.
If the dealer has blackjack, you’ll break even.
The only thing you need to remember though is that it offers negative expectation.
Online Blackjack Tips
In order to start playing blackjack online, players often do not need a deep theoretical knowledge of the game. In many cases, online blackjack players can use several easy-to-use blackjack tips to get themselves started down the winning path.
A player should hit his hand if:
- His total is lower than twelve.
- His total is between twelve and sixteen and the dealer shows a card between seven and ten.
- He holds a “soft 17” (e.g. ace-six) and the dealer shows a card between seven and ten
A player should stand if:
- His total is higher than sixteen.
- His total is between twelve and sixteen and the dealer shows a card between two and six.
Other strategy tips:
- A player should split pairs of aces and eights
- A player should not split pairs of tens and fives
- A player should double down if his first two cards total ten or eleven, especially if the dealer shows a card between two and six.
Players can practice these tips by playing free blackjack online. Most online blackjack casinos offer “play money” games to allow new customers to become familiar with the software, graphics and pace of the game.
Once a player gets the feel of the game, he can play the real-money games and start winning cash right away.