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How to Play Blackjack Guide for US Players

How to Play Blackjack

There are hundreds of webpages and books explaining how to play blackjack online. But not everything you read will be helpful. So, we had our expert create a step-by-step guide detailing how to blackjack. The best part is that this guide is from a player’s perspective.

Whether you are playing at an online or live dealer casino, these rules will stay the same. All you have to do is understand the basic rules and strategy. The more games you play, the better you will become.

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Getting Started: Playing Blackjack

For anyone who is interested in playing blackjack online for money, first, you have to identify an online casino that has the kind of variation of blackjack that you are interested in playing. Whether it be for real money or fun, choose to play at a casino that is safe and regulated. There are US casinos that offer a great bonus that are redeemable on the blackjack tables.

Once you have registered at the casino, you will be able to play blackjack online as per our guide below.

1. Learn to Play Blackjack Rules

The main objective of playing online blackjack is to have a hand that is close to 21. It played against the dealer. The value of the hand is determined by adding the values of the cards.

In only five steps, you will know how to play blackjack. All you have to do is follow the rules, and you will be ready to start playing.

  1. Make a bet.
  2. The dealer will give you two cards and deal two to himself too. In most variations, one of his cards will be face up and the other face down.
  3. Decide if you want to surrender, hit, stand, or split.
  4. The dealer will act last. He will have to stand in a hand of 17 or more and hit on a hand of 16 or less.
  5. You win if your hand score is better than the dealers.

A part of learning how to play blackjack is remembering the aim is to get as close as possible to 21 without going over. All cards keep their face value apart from the picture cards. The king, queen, and jack count as 10. The ace counts as  either 1 or 11.

2. How to Win at Blackjack – Know Card Values

When playing the game of blackjack online, eight card decks will be used, and the decks will have 52 cards. The cards have values, and the joker is not included when playing online blackjack. The Ace has the value of 1 or 11. 2 until ten are valued at face value while the J, Q and K are counted as 10.

3. Best Way to Play Blackjack – Know the Table

The online blackjack table is set out in a simple way and understanding how it is laid out will help you better understand how the game it is played. Each table will be laid out for the specific variation that you will be playing. You will see on the table that there will be a place indicated for a minimum and maximum bet. There will also be a payout of the variation of Blackjack, insurance bets. Players will place bets on the circle that is opposite where the cards for the dealer will be.

4. Blackjack How to Play Hard and Soft Hands

A hard hand happens when you have an ace card that is valued at 1. If you also don’t have an ace for your hand, then it is considered to be a hard hand. When using a basic blackjack strategy, you can use any of the options we are suggesting.

  • If you have a hand that is a hard 11 or it is lower, then you can either double down or hit.
  • You should stand when you have a hard 17 hand or higher
  • If you have a hand that is a hard 12 to 16, it is considered a still hand and your options include to stand, hit or surrender. However, this depends on which card the dealer shows as his up card

When you have a hand that has an ace that is valued at 11, this is considered to be a soft hand. A strategy for this hand is much easier to understand as you can see below:

  • When you have a hand that has an ace together with an 8 or nine, it is a soft 19 or 20. With this hand, your option is to stand.
  • Should you have a soft hand that is 17 or less, you can either double down or hit.
  • If you have a hand that has an ace and 7, it is a soft 18. Your decision here will be based on how the dealer shows his cards, the number of decks of cards being used and the rules the dealer will use to play his cards. So, your option could anything from standing, hitting or even doubling down.

5. Busting When Playing Blackjack Online

Busting in blackjack means that you have a hand that is higher than 21 which result in a loss. Should you bust before the dealer has to draw his second card, it is still considered a bust. When the dealer busts then you will win and be paid out.

6. Basic Blackjack Rules for Hitting

When you want to hit in blackjack, you will point at your cards, and the dealer will deal a card for you. This option is done when your current is not close to 21, and you are attempting to get it to be close. You can hit as many times as you want as long as your hand doesn’t go over 21.

7. Splitting Pairs When Playing Blackjack

When you are dealt two similar cards and these are when you can choose to split the cards and have two separate hands to play. You will have to place bets for the second hand as well, and the dealer will deal a second hand for both hands.

8. Standing Rules

When you choose to stand when playing blackjack online, it means that you are sticking to the cards that you have been dealt. This mostly happens when you have a hand that has a probability of winning or busting. The dealer has to stand on a hand that is 17 or more.

9. Learn to Play Blackjack Doubling Down

When you double down in blackjack, you are doubling the amount of your wager to swap one card. Once you have exchanged the card, you will not be allowed to hit. This is a risky decision to make because it has the potential to end the game. However, there are three possible hands that you can choose to double down on:

  • If you have a hard 9 and the dealer reveals a card that is below seven excluding the ace, you can double down.
  • When you have a soft 16 to 18, and the dealer reveals a card that is 6 and lower excluding the ace, then you can double down.
  • If you have a hand that is hard at 10 or even 11 excluding the ace and the dealer has a total hand that is lower than yours, then you can double down.

10. Surrender Rules

Surrendering in blackjack means that you have evaluated your chances of winning once the cards have been dealt for you and the dealer and your chances of winning are less than 25%. When you choose to surrender the dealer will discard your cards and take 50% of your wager.

11. Insurance to Play Online Blackjack

An insurance bet is when you as a player makes a side bet that the dealer will win. You can use half your bet. The best time to make the insurance is when the dealer has an ace as the upcard. Should he get a 10, j, q or k on his second card then it is blackjack, and you win with your insurance bet. The insurance bet pays 2:1.

Online Strategies: How to Win Blackjack

There are strategies that you can use to improve your winning chances; however, they do not guarantee you a win. Always use blackjack strategies that you fully understand how they work especially when you are playing blackjack for real money.

Tips on How to Play Blackjack and Win

  • Before deciding on your hand, check for the dealer’s upcard
  • When you are starting wager small and increase your wager once you see how the gaming is going
  • Reconsider the insurance bet because the house edge percentage for the bet can get to 6%
  • Play at an online casino that offers low stakes on playing blackjack online
  • Always slit the 8 and aces pairs

Blackjack Online with Friends

We know how fun blackjack can be, and playing with friends is even more fun. There are several blackjack apps, games, and websites that let you play with your friends.

For instance, if you want to play free blackjack games with friends, there are apps you can download on your mobile. These apps are compatible with Android and iOS  devices. You can create private tables for you and your friends and invite them to join with a code.

If you want to play for real money, we suggest that you and your friends play live dealer blackjack games. All of you will have to join the same table to play against one another. This a great way to claim your bragging rights and make money.

Real Money Blackjack Online

The best part of playing blackjack is that the game has several variations that you can enjoy. You can play all these games online for real money. You will have to read the modified rules for each game before making real money bets. Also, learn the strategies for each variation to improve your odds.

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