Blackjack is essentially a simple card game with rules pretty much anyone can learn in next to no time. Luck plays a major role, same as in all other casino games, but there is a way to use skills to improve your chances.
Don’t waste time learning about card counting, though. In online blackjack, each round uses freshly shuffled deck of cards and that makes the counting exercise inapplicable. However, there’s a little something called the basic strategy that, if implemented correctly and consistently, can significantly increase the return-to-player.
It may take some time to master and will not guarantee a payout in every single round but learning about it will be well worth your time.
Basic online Blackjack Rules & Payouts
The objective of the game is to get a better hand than the dealer’s without going over 21. The best possible hand is blackjack (an Ace plus a 10-value card) and in most cases it pays 3:2 (vs 1:1 one can win with any other hand). Players have multiple ways of impacting the outcome as well as the payout.
Having received their first two cards and seen the dealer’s up-card, they are offered to Stand (play with the hand they got), Hit (ask for one or more additional cards), Double Down or Split. The latter is an option when holding two cards of the same value. Splitting them creates two hands which are played simultaneously and requires an additional investment equal to the player’s original stake.
Double Down option offers an opportunity to win more by doubling the bet when one expects that a single additional card will form a hand stronger than the dealer’s.
Basic Blackjack Strategy
The most important thing is to know which of the available decisions to take based on your own cards and the one card your opponent is showing. The recommendation to Hit or Stand will differ according to the number of decks the game uses and depending on whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17. You don’t necessarily have to learn all rules by heart; one of the advantages of online play is that one can keep a “cheat sheet” handy and consult it to decide on the best move in any particular situation.
When considering a Split, you may want to play two separate hands if holding Aces because there’ a good chance of getting a 10-value card. Two 8’s form a poor hand of 16 so you may want to split them to improve your winning chances. At the same time, splitting 10’s is far less likely to better your hand and therefore isn’t recommended. One should Double Down when their card total equals 10 or 11 because of the aforementioned likelihood of the next card having a value of 10. If the total is more than 11, it’s generally advised not to double unless the dealer shows a „bust card“ such as a 5 or a 6.