Blackjack Card Game: The Basics
As already mentioned, Blackjack is known for being a game of skill and luck. It’s a card comparing game that plays similarly to Baccarat, although there are some slight differences between how they both work. Generally speaking, players play against the dealer and are required to create a hand combination out of the cards dealt that is equal to or as close to the number 21 without going over it.
At brick-and-mortar casinos, Blackjack supports dozens of players at a time, but the game is strictly between two people; the player versus the dealer. When playing, you are always betting that you have a better hand combination than the dealer, and that your hand is closer to the value of 21 than the dealer.
Like with all other brick-and-mortar and online casino games, there are several variations of Blackjack which all change how the game is played, but we’ll explore this later on in this guide.
Blackjack’s Murky History
The origins of Blackjack are still somewhat unclear, but it’s thought that the game dates back to the 1700s when a basic version of Blackjack, known as ‘Vingt-et-Un’ for 21, was played at French casinos. Other theories, meanwhile, suggest that the game was invented by the Romans, although this hasn’t been confirmed.
Reports suggest the game’s first rules appeared some time in the 1800s in Britain and that the game was brought to the United States by French colonists. Throughout the late 1800s, the game became popular across the United States, particularly in Nevada, and then in the early 1900s, the game was eventually renamed Blackjack, the version we know it as today.
How To Play Blackjack Online
When playing Blackjack online, either in a browser or on your mobile, you’ll load up the game and then, using casino chips, denote your bet by placing them on the Blackjack table. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have to hit a ‘Deal’ button for the casino website, using an RNG (Random Number Generator), to deal two cards for you and itself, although one of the casino’s cards will remain face-down. Once this has happened, your hand and the casino’s hand values will be displayed onscreen. From here, you’ll be given four main options to continue the game:
- Hit: Receive another card
- Stand: Play with your current cards
- Double: If you’re confident with your cards, you can double your bet
- Surrender: If you aren’t confident with your cards, you can surrender the game and end it, losing your bet
If you’re given two cards of equal value, a fourth option may be presented. Known as the ‘Split’, this option will allow you to split the values for smaller hand totals. Once you’ve made your option, regardless of what it is, the game either deals a third card to you or immediately evaluates all hand combinations and declares a winner, either you or the dealer. If you win, your bet combined with the dealer’s is returned to you, but if you lose, your bet is given to the casino.
When it comes to winning for either you or the dealer, there are several scenarios that can occur. They include:
- If you are dealt an Ace and a 10 card, called a Blackjack or Natural, you win and can receive a bonus
- If you and the dealer are both dealt a Blackjack, no one wins
- If you exceed the number 21 with your hand, you lose
- If the dealer exceeds the number 21, you win
- If you achieve a higher hand value than the dealer, you win
- If the dealer achieves a higher hand value than you, you lose
What’s important to note about these occurrences is that some of them can be used for side betting in Blackjack online, and you can discover more about that below.
Although the main bet in Blackjack online will always be on you winning the game, many Blackjack games also allow you to make side bets which are small predictions on which cards will be drawn during the game. Generally speaking, side bets are only available at brick-and-mortar casinos, but some live casino or traditional online Blackjack games can offer them, so they’re worth knowing about anyway should you ever wish to try them.
Insurance is one of the most common side bets available in Blackjack, and can usually be found in most Blackjack online games. If the dealer’s first card is an Ace, you can take out Insurance which pays 2:1 if the dealer achieves a Blackjack. The price of Insurance is usually half the value of your initial bet, but if you take Insurance and the dealer does not receive a Blackjack, you lose the bet.
Another popular side bet is Perfect Pairs which is based on your cards only. Essentially, this Blackjack bet pays out if you are dealt two of the same cards, including a Mixed Pair where the value is the same but the suit and colour are different, Coloured Pair where the value and colour are the same, and Perfect Pair where the two cards are identical. What you get paid will vary depending on the casino and game, and it’s worth checking this before you start playing.
Finally, there’s also the 21-3 Blackjack bet, which is similar to Perfect Pairs but takes the dealer’s upturned card into consideration. This side bet revolves around classic poker hands and pays different depending on the hand, the casino, and the game you’re playing. The hand combinations focused on as part of the Blackjack side bet include a Suited Three-Of-A-Kind (Three cards of the same suit), a Straight Flush (Consecutive cards of the same suit), Three-Of-A-Kind (Three of the same card), Straight (A hand of consecutive cards), and a Flush (Three cards of the same suit).
The above three Blackjack bets are some of the most common and popular side bets available. There are others available, such as the Royal match or Super Sevens, but they aren’t as well-known or as widely used as the three we’ve already touched on.
Blackjack Table Explained
The Blackjack table is incredibly simple to understand as it simply involves you and the dealer. When playing online, your cards will be located at the bottom of the screen, while the dealer’s will be located at the top. Depending on the game, underneath your cards should be a series of chips that you can select to mark your bets, and underneath the chips will be your betting options, such as ‘Stand’, ‘Hit’, ‘Double’, and more.
Between your set of cards and the dealer’s will be writing which explains how much your Blackjack online game is paying out or the game’s odds. Generally speaking, on your table you should see “Blackjack Pays 3 To 2” or “Blackjack Pays 6 To 5”, as well as when dealer’s will take certain actions, and a note on the payout and odds of Insurance bets too. All of this will vary depending on the game that you’re playing.
Are There Any Blackjack Promotions?
While there aren’t any Blackjack-specific promotions, most online casinos in the United Kingdom offer new customers a welcome bonus or package with bonus funds that can be used on Blackjack games. Some casinos impose tight terms and conditions on their bonuses, requiring you to only use the bonus on select games, but most casino sites will allow you to use your funds on Blackjack games.
Online Blackjack Variations: What Can You Play?
Like all other games, there are numerous variations of Blackjack online. These variations generally follow the same rules, but there are some slight differences in how they work which change how the game plays. Some of the most common online Blackjack variations include:
- European Blackjack: You are dealt one card and do not receive your next until all players have completed their hands
- Spanish 21: There are no 10s in the deck, making it harder to create a good hand
- Blackjack Switch: You are dealt two different hands and can switch cards between them
- Perfect Pairs: In Blackjack Perfect Pairs, you are given the Perfect Pairs side bet option before cards are dealt
- Super Fun 21: You can double-down on any cards and the ‘Surrender’ option is available at any time
- Blackjack Double Exposure: Both of the dealer’s cards are exposed before you make a decision
There are numerous other variations available and there are several unique variations that are all based on the location a game is played in, such as American Blackjack, European Blackjack, Vegas Blackjack, and Atlantic City too. These variations usually do not have any gameplay changes, but do have design changes.
One very popular form of online Blackjack is live Blackjack where real dealers are streamed directly to you over the internet. You are able to interact with the dealer and other players via a messaging system. Most online casinos offer live casino content, and that includes Blackjack. Now, these live Blackjack games come in unique variations too, but the basic version follows the same rules as traditional Blackjack. The only difference here is that you’re playing with real people rather than with a computer. Some of the most common live Blackjack variations include:
- Blackjack Party: Traditional Blackjack but with a party-like atmosphere with lots of casual talk and jokes
- Diamond VIP Blackjack: Designer for high-rollers with high stakes
- Free Bet Blackjack: Offers you free bets under the right conditions
- Power Blackjack: Does not have any 9 or 10 cards but features a unique multiplier bet
- Blitz Blackjack: Rounds are much faster than in traditional Blackjack
There are a number of other variations available at UK online casinos, and most of them are similar to the games we’ve already described above. The selection of live Blackjack variations is great as it prevents the game from becoming boring and can keep you entertained for a much longer period of time.
It’s also worth pointing out that many online casino sites in the United Kingdom also offer live casino promotions which can be used only on live Blackjack games. If you’d like to find out which sites offer these special promotions, check our best live casino bonus sites guide here.
In the United Kingdom, you cannot play free Blackjack online. The reason for this is due to rules by the UK Gambling Commission, the country’s gambling regulator, which forbids free gaming, particularly for unregistered and unverified users. Anyone looking to play online Blackjack and win real money will need to register with an online casino, verify their account, and make a deposit to play the game.
If you really do want to play free Blackjack online but aren’t bothered about winning real money, you can always try out some of the numerous social casinos which allow you to play free Blackjack and other casino games. However, these casinos do not award real money, and they usually only allow you to play a set number of rounds or games before timing you out or requiring you to purchase credits to continue playing.
Where Can You Play Online Blackjack?
Since Blackjack online is one of the most popular casino games, it’s widely available on most UK casino websites. The problem you’ll have, however, is that there are hundreds of online casinos to choose from. Thankfully, we’ve curated a list of our best-recommended casinos for online Blackjack, all of which are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. Just keep on reading to find out what they are!
Genesis Casino is one of the best online casinos and a great website for online Blackjack too. The website offers a choice of one of two welcome packages for traditional online casino games or live casino content. What’s more, the site accepts most major payment methods and it provides great customer support too. If you’d like to know more about what makes Genesis Casino so good, make sure to read our review here.
Playjango is an online casino from SkillOnNet Limited. The site is home to a large catalogue of casino games from well-known developers like ELK Studios, Evolution, Play’n GO, Red Tiger Gaming, and more, all supplying exciting and high-quality titles such as Blackjack. Finally, the website is home to a generous welcome package as well as plenty of rewards for long-term users too. Check our Playjango review for more details here.
Klasino, operated by White Hat Gaming Limited, is another great casino website for online Blackjack. The website offers a generous welcome package as well as plenty of bonus spins for you to enjoy, and a loyalty scheme too. If that isn’t enough, the website accepts numerous payment methods too, allowing you to select your preferred payment options. Read our Klasino review for more information.
The Grand Ivy Casino
The Grand Ivy Casino is an online casino that exudes elegance. The website is hugely popular among players in the UK for its gigantic collection of casino games, including video slots, live casino titles, and table games like Blackjack online. More details about the website can be found in our Grand Ivy Casino review.
Our final suggestion for the best casinos for online Blackjack is Casimba, a lion-themed online casino that is giving all new users a very generous welcome bonus, access to a gigantic selection of casino games, and great customer support too. Check our Casimba review for more information on all of this and more.
As mentioned, all of the above online casinos offer both traditional online Blackjack and live Blackjack too, and they’re all mobile-friendly too via in-browser and mobile apps. If you’ve looked at our reviews of the above casinos and don’t find any of them interesting, we suggest you check our expanded list of the best online casinos.
Online Casino Safety
All of the online casinos we suggest at CasinostoPlay.com are all licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, the country’s regulator for all things gambling. This means that the websites are all completely safe to play at since operators with a Gambling Commission license are required to follow stringent rules designed to keep you and your personal information safe. They also require operators to offer fair games that provide a good chance at making wins.
In addition to that, casino licensed by the Gambling Commission usually also offer great safer gambling tools, such as deposit, loss, and time limits. Some even have lock withdrawals, which prevent you or the casino from reversing or cancelling withdrawals.
The Blackjack strategies available for you to use is a little different when compared to most other casino games. There are several strategy charts that exist for offline and online Blackjack, giving you some guidance on which actions you should take when you are dealt with specific cards, such as pairs or an ace. If you decide to use these strategy sheets, just make sure that you’re using the correct strategy sheet for the game that you’re playing; a sheet for the same number of decks in your game and correct sheets for whether the dealer hits or stands on 17.
Alongside this, there are several Blackjack betting strategies you can follow when placing your bets. These betting strategies act as great guides for anyone new to casino table games, and they have all been designed to help you recover losses. The most notable betting strategies for Blackjack include:
- Martingale: Double your bet with every loss to win back all of your losses.
- Reverse Martingale: Double your bet with every win.
- Fibonacci: Place your bets by following the Fibonacci number sequence where previous numbers add together to make the next number.
- D’Alembert: Raise your bet by one unit on every loss and lower your bet by one unit on every win.
- Labouchere: Select a betting amount and split the value into a series of smaller numbers. Move along the sequence from both ends, cross off numbers on wins, and add losses to your sequence.
The above Blackjack betting strategies are popular among gambling, generally because they can be used for other games like American Roulette. If you decide to use any of the betting Blackjack strategies we’ve listed above, it’s important to note that they’re not guaranteed to trigger wins, they’re just guides designed to help you place and manage your bets.
Blackjack Online Tips
If the above online Blackjack strategies aren’t enough, we’ve put together a list of tips for Blackjack online that you can use to make the game much more fun for you to play.
#1 – Learn The Game
One of the most important online Blackjack tips we can give you is to encourage you to learn the game inside out. This means you should try researching and learning the various hand combination names and use the above basic Blackjack strategy guide sheets to help you determine what actions to take. Over time, you’ll learn the rhythm of the game and will become a pro in no time.
#2 – Try Different Variations
Once you feel more confident with Blackjack, it’s worth trying out the different variations of the game. Some of these variations alter the rules or mechanics of Blackjack enough to make them feel like completely different games. Others, meanwhile, simply change the design, which, if you’ve been playing the same game over and over again, might be a refreshing change of pace.
#3 – Avoid The Insurance Bet
Many players have suggested avoiding playing the insurance bet. Even though it may be tempting to play the insurance bet for some extra money, you should avoid doing so as it’s easy to lose your bet if the dealer does not get a Blackjack.
#4 – Start With Small Bets
Even if you see yourself as a pro Blackjack player, it’s always a good idea to start with small bets. Blackjack is predominantly a game of chance, and if luck isn’t on your side, it’ll be a good idea to start slowly with small bets or risk losing a lot of funds. What’s more, playing with small bets gives you greater control of your spending too!
#5 – Don’t Be Afraid Of Losing
Our final Blackjack tip is to not be afraid of losing a bet. Since Blackjack is a game of chance, there’s always the possibility that you may lose a bet. This happens, so don’t panic. Only worry and consider leaving the game if you make numerous consecutive losses or no longer feel comfortable with the game.
The above Blackjack tips won’t guarantee you any wins, but we believe they’ll help keep Blackjack entertaining and can help you stay safe while gambling online.
Questions & Answers (FAQ)
Can you play Blackjack online for fun?
Yep! Like all other online casino games, you can play Blackjack online for fun. In the UK, however, you will be required to play with funds, there is no way to play Blackjack for free.
What are the Blackjack rules?
You can find the Blackjack rules in our guide on the game right here. By reading our guide, you’ll be able to learn how to play Blackjack both online and offline!
What is a Blackjack?
A Blackjack is a special hand combination that you can create in Blackjack to win the game. The hand combination consists of an Ace and a 10 card, but it can be incredibly rare to learn.
Is Blackjack easy?
Blackjack is a relatively easy casino game, as it simply requires you to create a hand combination that totals as close to the number 21 as possible without going over it. While this may seem hard, it’s actually very simple and you can read our guide for all the Blackjack rules!
Are there any Blackjack promotions?
Online casinos in the United Kingdom don’t offer dedicated Blackjack promotions, but most do offer general casino promotions which can be used on Blackjack games and other websites run live casino promotions which can be used on live Blackjack games. Just make sure to read through the terms and conditions before claiming any promotions!