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How to Win at Blackjack

how to win at blackjackLet’s get right to it, how can you learn to win at Blackjack? To start with, observe the game, learn the game terminology, play the game, develop strategies.



1. Observing the game – now that might sound a bit boring, but besides the fact, Blackjack is exciting to watch, fast play, you have a goal in mind, winning! So it stands to reason you need to know as much as possible. Online Blackjack is available in most online casinos, as a table and video game. It is also found at online live casinos, hosted by live or virtual croupiers. You need to learn the game terminology like double down, hit, split, surrender, insurance. This is the basic knowledge that you will need to play and win. But, don’t worry, we have you covered by detailed explanations further in the article.

2. Play the game – maybe start first with some of the free video Blackjack games you can find at online casinos and get a feel for it. Or read through this article and decide to jump right in and start to play yourself. Another reason to watch Blackjack for a while is to help understand how strategic playing help players to win.

3. The importance of strategy – even basic strategy cannot be underestimated. Playing without a strategy, for example, you could play for 6 hours at £25 per hand and expect to lose around £500. Play with basic strategy, the same amount of time, same bet and expect to lose £100 ( if you’re not winning). The house edge reflects this, in that the house edge when you play Blackjack is around 0.5% -1% with basic strategy. Dependent, of course, on the skill of the players. It can go as high as 3% when played with no strategy at all! Strategies are the way forward, and the basic ones we will cover as well as the advanced strategies in this article will help you move from novice to expert smoothly and speedily.

Terminology of Online Blackjack

Blackjack is a game played against the dealer, so no worries over who the other players are or their level of expertise. The challenge of the game is who can get to 21 first without going over or bust.

There are also several Blackjack variations that you might not be familiar with that have slightly different game rules. It is always worth checking the rules before you start to play with real money at any online casino.

Just as it is a good idea to set your betting limits, including win limits and loss limits. For any player to enjoy a game of Blackjack, it is good to understand the jargon that is part of all the Blackjack games. Knowing them helps you appear less inexperienced, and helps make your decision – making that much easier when you are not second-guessing the meaning of words. Playing Blackjack at an online casino, it is normal to be dealt two cards.

blackjack terminologyPlayer’s cards in most variations will normally be face-up. The dealer’s cards in most Blackjack games will only show one card face up. The cards are dealt around the Blackjack table from the player on the dealers left to the last player, on the dealers right, known as the anchor.

Once you are dealt your hands and seen your cards, time to determine your strategy and your bet. Before we go into the various strategies that can be used, let’s first understand the terminology and jargon essential to playing and increasing your chances of a win at Blackjack.

Stay and read on, and we will share and tell all you need to know. It is worth your time to read and learn these – remember the house edge lessens the more you know!

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  • Basic strategy: this term is fairly familiar to you now, and it is talking about the optimal way to play Blackjack. The basic strategy includes a set of rules that inform of the best way to play and bet when your only source of info is your cards and the dealer’s up-card. Learn more about strategies in our section below.
  • Soft hand: this is a hand that has an Ace in it, meaning the Ace can stand as a 1 or 11 in the count, meaning you don’t bust if you decide to take a hit.
  • Hit: this is where you decide the dealer can give you another card.
Play against the house: the beauty of Blackjack is you play against the dealer, not the other players, so your focus is fixed on only the one opponent.
  • Face Cards: these are the Jack, Queen and King cards, all worth 10. A face card coupled with an Ace is a Blackjack. A Hand’s value is the sum of the value of the total cards.
  • Soft Total: a hand that includes an Ace that does not exceed 21, with the Ace value standing as 11.
  • Hard hand: a hand without an Ace or with an Ace with the value of 1.
  • Hard Total: The total number of cards in hand counting Aces as 1. An example of a soft and hard total is Ace & 4, making a soft 15 or a hard 5.

All OK, up to now? Stay with us for more terminology, all interesting and necessary info if you want to play to win.

  • Hole-Card: This is the dealer’s face-down card.
  • Natural: Blackjack or natural 21: this is where the player gets an Ace and a face card making a natural Blackjack hand or 21. Depending on house rules this usually pays out at 3 -1. So bet €10 get €15 back.
  • Bust: when a player or a dealers hand goes over 21.
  • Doubling Down: this can be part of an exciting strategy where you can double your current bet and take one more card. We will cover the opportunities for this further in the article.
  • DAS: doubling down after split allowed by casino.
  • NDAS: no doubling down allowed after a split.

Push: this is a term when both player and dealer have the same hand, a tie. In this event, your bet is returned. If the dealer and player bust, then the dealer takes the bet.
  • Stand: this is when a player wishes to remain with the card value he has and therefore decides to stand. In some Blackjack variants, like Pontoon, the term used is Stick or Stay. Depending on the casino rules, which can often vary between different Blackjack tables & games, dealers often have no choice on whether they stand or hit on a soft 17.
  • A Soft 17: this is when an Ace is counted as 11, like Ace -6 or Ace -2-4 or Ace 3-3. A considerable number of casinos insist that their dealers hit on a soft 17 as opposed to standing. The reasoning being, a dealer who stands on a soft 17, can’t improve his hand.
  • Stiff Hand: this is a hand that is less than 17 points but is likely to go over 21 and bust. *Stand-off: is when both dealer and player have the same value hands.

Insurance or Insurance Bet: this is a side bet that can be made when the dealers up-card is an Ace in the chance he will have a Blackjack hand. The bet is half your original wager and pays out at 2-1. If the dealer’s second hand is a King, Queen, Jack or ten he then makes Blackjack and you win the insurance bet. Should you, shouldn’t you take an insurance bet is hotly debated with the majority of experts considering that unless you are card counting and know the 10 point cards left in the deck, it is not a viable option. Instances, where it can be beneficial, other than card-counters, is when playing with only one deck of cards.
  • Card Counting: this is a strategy that involves creating an edge in a Blackjack game. This is done by keeping track of the ratio of high cards to low cards played in a game. The card counters betting strategy reflects raising his bet what he thinks are the better odds and lowering if the odds are not favourable. Several card counting strategies are available that provide varying degrees of success.
  • Running Count: this is what a player adds up as each card is dealt.
  • True Count: This is the running count divided by the number of decks used.
  • Surrender: if you think your hand will lose, you have the option to surrender half your bet.
  • Betting Systems: Blackjack players often employ these. The most popular is the D’ Alembert System. This is a progressive betting system, known as one of the safest systems you can use in order to increase your bets after a loss or if your bankroll is quite low.
  • Flat bet, Re-bet or Repeat bet: when you continue to place the same bet on every hand.


terminology of online blackjackDon’t let the jargon fool you, Blackjack is not overly complicated, the terminology or jargon has evolved over the years and quickly starts to make sense once you start to play. It may be that you play a few fun or free games of Blackjack at an online casino of your choice to ensure you are familiar with all the terms before moving onto playing with your cash.

Split: another important term to take on board when it comes to planning your strategy. This option is a player’s decision only and occurs when he is dealt a hand with equal value cards, e.g., 8,8 or K,10, also called Pairs.

By the way, there are a few interesting side bets that can be placed on Pairs, check out the strategy section below. Back to splitting, a player can decide to split his hand when his first two cards are equal value. At online casinos, splitting your cards is often allowed up to four times. That is, make two hands instead of one, by being dealt another two cards, one to each hand. and then deciding on another split.

An identical bet is placed on the second – fourth hand. A split decision also has the advantage of improving a bad hand and helping to win more, and lose less. Depending on the play rules for the casino, you can also select to double down on the split hands.

Splitting pairs is about the maths and to play Blackjack you don’t need a mathematics degree, but you do need to recognise it is about numbers and not instinct. Knowing why to split and when is a skill that can be learnt.

Splitting also lowers the house edge sometimes as much as by 5%. Continue to read advanced Blackjack strategies to see how these can be incorporated.

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Online Blackjack Strongest Hands

blackjack the strongest handNow, it is time to put all the terminology you have learnt to use as you start to play Blackjack. Are you ready to start looking at the hands that will be your best ones to win at Blackjack? The first thing to remember you need to look at three cards before you can determine if your hand is strong or not.

These are your two cards and the dealers up-card. The strongest hand we would go with would be Blackjack or Natural 21. This is where you have an Ace and face card, or 10, dealt to you.

The maths indicate you and dealer can expect to get one Blackjack in about every 20 hands played. That is round about 5% of the time.

A pair of 10s should never be split; this strong hand of 20 is often a winning combination. The only people who split a pair of 10s are card counters and inexperienced newbies who think they can discover a new winning strategy. Don’t bother! Play and your pair of 10s and take the money.

Another strong hand is 11. There are numerous viewpoints on this. With a lot of players deciding to double down, irrespective of the dealers up-card. Some opinions think you shouldn’t double against a dealer’s ace showing, only if it’s 10 or below. Pairs of Aces and 8s are good ones to split, in doing so, you are looking to win one and lose the other resulting in a push.

If the dealer’s up-card has 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 showing another option is to stick on 16 and hope the dealer goes bust. While 8,8 is an excellent hand to split, a 16 value hand in itself is not a good one, if the dealer’s up-card is 9, 10 or Ace then consider surrender as your option and at least get half your bet back.

Advanced Blackjack Strategies

advanced blackjack strategiesYou are now into discovering how to put together a strategy. One that will suit your playing style, and improve how you win at Blackjack. Once you have chosen your online casino, you need to check out the playing and betting rules for there. First, select your playing budget for the game and then let’s play Blackjack.


Splitting Pairs

You already know you can split pairs, how many times depends on the casino rules but it is usually up to 4x. Also, some casinos do not allow re-splitting of Aces Let’s look at your options for any pair that is dealt.

10’s – Don’t split! 9s – In theory you should split 9s against every value up-card, except a 7. The reasoning for this is the dealer could have a hole-card of a 10 which gives him a hard 17, if that is so then your 9-9 will win. Splitting your 9 against a dealers 9 is a good idea, if he has a hole-card of 10 then it will beat your 18.

8s – This is a tricky one as if faces a large number of hands that could beat it. However, hitting an 8 is the easiest of moves. Splitting the pair improves your chances of a win and of you losing less money. But, unless the dealer has a stiff hand, it is highly likely you will lose.

If you do split the 8s and draw a 10 or 9 card you are much more likely to get a push or even beat the dealers 17. Even better if you draw low Ace, 2, 3 you could hit again and possibly reach 19 or 20, an excellent outcome for a hard 16.

7s & 6s – Not good hands by anyone’s standards. Stiff hands that could easily bust on hitting. If the dealers up-card is 2 – they stand a higher chance of getting a stiff hand so going for split could be beneficial to you.

5s – like 10s not a good idea to split these as a 5-5 hand is a good opportunity to double down as the chances of high hands, like 18 -20 is good. if you split, you could end up with a stiff hand yourself, 7s – 10s will make a stiff hand. Plus, the opportunity to double down on your split hands will require another 5 or 6, and you have already taken two 5s out of the pack.

4s – if the casino allows doubling down after splitting and the dealer has up-cards of 4, 5, or 6 then split. If you get dealt a 5, 6, 7 or Ace, you have a chance to double down while the dealer gets a stiff hand. If double down not permitted, then don’t split the pairs as 8 is a better starting hand than two 4s.

blackjack winning strategies2s & 3S – if double down is permitted and the dealers up-card is 2 -7 then split. With those cards, the dealer is likely to get a stiff hand. Plus, a pair of 2s and 3s make for a starting that could easily become stiff if you are dealt a 10 or a 9 for 3s and hitting another 2 or 3 makes doubling down a viable option.



Another similar strategy that can be applied when 4 – 8 decks are used, and when the dealer stands on soft 17 and surrender is allowed:

  • Always split Aces and 8s
  • Don’t split 5s & 10s
  • Split 9s against up-cards of 2 -6 & 8 -9
  • Split 7s against dealer’s 2 -7
  • Split 6s against a dealer’s 3 – 6 and with DAS against dealers 2
  • Split 4s only if DAS allowed against dealers 4 or 5
  • Split 2s & 3s if dealers up-card is 4-7.

If DAS allowed against dealer’s 2 or 3:

  • Surrender hard 16 but not an 8s pair against a dealers 9,10 or Ace.
  • Surrender a hard 15 against an up-card of 10.
  • Double soft 17 or 18 against dealer 3-6.
  • Double soft 15 or 16 against dealer 4-6.
  • Double soft 13 or 14 against dealer 5-6.
  • Double hard 11 except against a dealer’s Ace
  • Double hard 10 except against a dealer 10 or Ace
  • Double hard 9 against dealer 3-6.
  • Always stand on soft 19 or more.
  • Stand on soft 18 except hit against a dealer 9, 10, or Ace
  • Always hit soft 17 or less.
  • Always stand on hard 17 or more.
  • Stand on hard 13-16 against a dealer 2-6, otherwise hit.
  • Stand on hard 12 against a dealer 4-6, otherwise hit.
  • Always hit hard 11 or less.

If a dealer hits a soft 17:

  • Double soft 19 against dealer 6.
  • Double soft 18 against dealer 2.
  • Double 11 against dealer Ace
  • Surrender 15, a pair of 8s, and 17 against dealer Ace.

Bet Behind Strategy

This unique opportunity to improve how you win at Blackjack and is only available at Live Blackjack online. It can certainly make life interesting! If you cannot get a seat at one of the tables – usually 7 seats available, you can actually place a bet on a player’s hand from where you virtually stand – behind him, hence the name.

To be successful with this, you need to study the player’s hands. Check out Hot or high achieving players – this is easily done online as you can check out their past rounds and what they have won. The payout on bet behind is fairly standard with the 1-1 payout ratio is active and 3-2 on a natural Blackjack.

Bet Behind can continue even after you take a seat and start playing as one of the side bet options.

Card Counting

card countingWhile frowned upon by some when you play Blackjack, and can get you asked to leave in a brick and mortar casino, card counting is not illegal. There are many systems to be sound. One of the ones used by professional players is the Omega ll Counting system.

This is a complex system, so maybe not your first choice, but it does offer a higher degree of accuracy. It can be used when multiple decks are in play. The core of the system is the running count, in which every card dealt is tallied.

Each card has its own value attached, of which there are four; 0, +1, +2, -1, -2. As the cards are dealt, the player places the value attached to that card, to create the running count. The second step is to divide this by the decks to find the true count.

For example, with a running count of +12, 165 cards have been played, and 3 decks are remaining. Making a true count of +4 ( 12/by the 3 remaining decks). What’s the value of doing this? If a true count is above zero, then the remaining cards in the shoe will be in the player’s favour. Below zero, then the cards will favour the dealer.

There are many strategies for card counting, take your time and work through a few of them if this is how you want to proceed. Not all players use them, but they are an available tool.

Types of Blackjack Casino Games

types of blackjack casino gamesThe decision as which type of Blackjack game you want to play is a personal one. You may want to only play at your favourite casino. Which of course, means you have only their range of games, and providers to play Blackjack.

Most software providers provide video Blackjack with many different variations, and these are fun to explore and learn the game. Try out any strategies you want at minimum bet. Playing by yourself while you hone your skills.

There are considerable ways to play Blackjack, half the fun is finding them and trying them out, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.

  • Vegas Strip Blackjack – this is classic Blackjack, using the standard rule set that is very familiar to casino players. it also carries a low house edge.
  • Blackjack Surrender uses six 52-deck of cards, that are always shuffled prior to any new hand being dealt. The game follows regular rules, except that in this game the player has the option to surrender. That is, to give the hand back and take back half the bet. Very useful when holding a hard 16 and dealer’s up-card is a 10 or Ace!
  • Classic Blackjack or European Blackjack – uses a standard six 52-deck shoe, but with no surrender. You can double down on the first two cards, where you will receive one extra card. You can also split cards, but if you split Aces and your additional card is a 10 this does not count as a natural Blackjack, just 21.
  • Classic Blackjack Progressive – the popular progressive jackpot has slid over into Blackjack, played with no surrender option, players can enter a side bet to be eligible for the progressive jackpot. Tip: when playing this game, check out the status of the jackpot. Over €200,000 and the house edge will be relatively low, under and the house edge rises significantly.

Blackjack Switch – this relative newcomer to the Blackjack family is fun and has very favourable odds. It is played with two hands being dealt to players, who can switch their cards between the hands. To even the huge advantage this play gives a player the dealer automatically ties on 22 if the player has 21 or lower, except for a Blackjack. A dealer Blackjack bests a player’s, and the payout on Blackjack is 1-1. You can also still double down, split and double down on a split hand.
  • Spanish Blackjack – this is an unusual variant in that it is played with 8 decks, but all have had the 10s removed, leaving 48 cards in each deck. At first glance, this seems to take the edge away from the players with fewer potential Blackjacks available. But fear not, a rule change has balanced out that bias in that there are more payouts for other combinations other than Blackjack. These include 7-7-7 of any suit against a dealer 7 pays 50:1. Any 6, 7, 8 or 7-7-7 or 21 with 5, 6 or 7 cards receives a special bonus payout. You can double down on any two cards, and player 21 always wins. You can double down twice and split and resplit hands. Spanish Blackjack needs a bit of flexibility when applying your strategy play, especially hit whenever you have the 6, 7, 8 cards in play.
  • Triple Sevens Blackjack – This progressive game values the &s before the Aces, especially the diamond 7s, three of which will win the progressive jackpot. Played with 5 decks of 52-cards. You can double down on 9, 10 & 11. Pairs can be split. Dealer stands on all 17s. Tip: Always hit on two sevens in this game. Three sevens of any suit payout is 250:1.
  • Pontoon – this is a wide-spread variant of the United Kingdom, played to the same rules as Classic Blackjack, online variations tend to use multiple decks.
  • Multi-Hand Blackjack – an online option that offers several exciting features. A good game if you want plenty of action. In this game, you can play from one to five hands at the same time. The potential for wins is increased the more hands you play. Check the rules as they can differ slightly as to the game provider, as does the player choices on chips and bet range.

Live Blackjack at Online Casinos

live blackjack at online casinosLets set the scene, you ready to play Blackjack? To absorb the atmosphere, challenge and excitement of the live casino lobby? Whatever your device, you can access a Live casino table whenever you want.

There you can find hi and low-roller tables to suit your budget and innumerable variations of Live Blackjack with familiar names from the casino game lobby. Playing live casino Blackjack today with the fantastic video quality and streaming, in-play chat, multiple camera angles is a fabulous user-experience.

Plus, the games are faster, and the table limits higher. All contributing to a social experience that does heighten the adrenaline rush. Live tables also provide a lot of extras in providing player information and statistics. There a couple of provider names that stand out, Evolution Gaming, NetEnt and Authentic Gaming are all well-known leaders of the online Live casino.

Their games have revolutionised Blackjack and the other Live casino games. One of the popular variants is the Blackjack Party. This low stakes game with a party atmosphere and a phenomenal bet behind option. Seven seats are available to play Blackjack, and along with the virtually unlimited players waiting for a seat, they can all Bet behind.

Other features for the players include 21+3 and perfect pairs side bets, insurance, doubling down, splitting pairs and pre-decision.

Some of the terms may be new to you so we can break them down:

  • 21+3 side bet – is the chance to win on some Poker style combinations made up from the players first two cards and the dealers up-card.
  • Perfect Pairs side bet – a player can win increasing payouts if a pair is dealt that are Mixed, (any suit) Coloured, (All red or all black) or a Perfect Pair( same suit ).
  • Pre-Decision – this can make the heart beat faster and speeds up an already fast game. This when all players at the table can decide to hit, stand, double down or split at the same time.

Infinite Blackjack Live
This is a live gameplay with a virtual unlimited player capacity. Multi-player scalability from advanced software makes this low stakes, with four side bet options, a popular choice for newbie and experienced players. Players are dealt the usual two card and are free to double down, split, hit, stand or take insurances. The side bets include:

  • Any Pairs – pays out on any combination of pairs on the players first two cards.
  • 21+3 – as above.
  • Hot 3 side bet – pays out on values of 19, 20 & 21 when made with combinations of the players first two cards and the dealers up-card. 7-7-7 is the one to look out for.
  • Bust It side bet – pays out an increasing amount when the dealer goes bust with 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or more cards in their hand.
  • Six Card Charlie Rule – pays out on six-card hands with a value of 21 or less. A little extra way to win a bit more.

What Is The Future For Live Blackjack
what is the future for live blackjackAs the providers seek to outdo each other in providing better and more exciting Live Blackjack play, it is a win-win situation for players. One thing to remember it is only when playing live that you can use card counting strategies, using them on computer-generated games is foiled because of the RNG – Random Number Generator.

The future is now, in terms of online casino Blackjack, especially Live Blackjack, where online the stakes and rules are more favourable than in land-based casinos. Plus why leave the house when you can bring whichever Blackjack casino table you want to you?

What does the future hold, some say virtual reality, but for the moment, the elegant studio with the professional and friendly croupier is what Blackjack players are wanting.

Sonya Blackjack
This offering from Yggdrasil takes you into a complete 3D experience, but with a virtual hostess, it offers a social experience with in-play chat. The play is classic Blackjack with options for side bets.

If Sonya Blackjack is one-way casinos are developing the Blackjack options, another is the chance to play at a real casino online. In that the cameras and video stream transport you to the floor of an actual casino where you can enjoy Blackjack, a development several providers are looking at.


How To Find a Reputable Blackjack Casino?

We listed the Top 10 Blackjack Casinos in the table above. Not all online casinos are safe! We thoroughly research each Blackjack casino to ensure it has the best graphics, highest payouts, great bonuses and safe and secure withdrawals. Read our page to see which is the best blackjack casino.

Can I Play Blackjack for Free?

Yes. You can visit our free blackjack game page where you can enjoy playing blackjack without spending real money.

How Can I Win at Online Blackjack?

Winning at Blackjack involves luck and skill. You can improve your chances of winning by broadening your knowledge about the game and by applying advanced blackjack strategies.

How Does Blackjack Works?

The goal is simple - players are aiming to get card to make a total as close as possible to 21 without going over it. Also they have to have higher hand than the dealer. Visit our site to learn more about how to play Blackjack.

Can I Count Cards at Online Blackjack?

Yes. But it is almost impossible due to the speed at which the computer plays. Also online casinos automatically re-shuffle cards between every hand.