Blackjack at Online Casinos – Guide to Play Blackjack for Real Money and where to play

Blackjack, also known as 21, is widely considered the casino card game most popular. Its appreciation stems from the fact that its both easy to learn and its extremely entertaining while being available world-wide at both online and land-based casinos, providing players with one of the lowest house edges when compared to other games within the casino industry.

The casino industry underwent a revolution with the arrival of the online casino. And this turned out to be great news for blackjack lovers as now they could play their favourite gambling game directly from the comfort of their home. Playing blackjack at an online casino is an entirely different experience compared to playing it at a land-based casino. On this page we outline how blackjack works at online casinos.

In this article, we are going to explore the rich and vibrant history of blackjack by starting with its origins and then walk you through how blackjack evolved into the popular casino game we can now enjoy online at almost any online casino you register with. We will also include basic blackjack rules, how you can get started with blackjack in an online environment, give you step-by-step instructions on what is required during each hand, and complete our article by looking at the advantages of playing blackjack online.

Blackjack at an Online Casino: Getting Started

You play blackjack from your home when you decide to play it at an online casino; there is no need to head out to your favourite casino any more. Each game is played with between 1 and 8 decks of cards. Games like Single Deck Blackjack use just one standard card deck of 52 cards, for instance. Of course there is a process that you have to follow before you are able to start playing.

At some casinos you may be required to download the software to your computer, while at others you can play in instant play mode directly from the browser.

Regardless of how you wish to play, the first step is to register yourself with the casino. Click the Sign Up/Join Now button on the home page.

  • Fill in the required information in the form provided.
  • Get a unique username and password (usually a minimum of 8 characters).
  • Click the Submit or OK button once you have provided the required information. Your account is
    now created.
  • If you are playing for real money, the next step is to deposit funds into your casino account. Once
    the funds are in your account you are ready to play blackjack online for real money.
  • Click the Games tab on the casino’s home page.
  • Click on the blackjack game you want to play.

Now you are all set to get started playing for real money.

Playing Blackjack for Real Money at an Online Casino

Playing blackjack for real money at an online casino is fun and easy. Of course, you have to know what the hand values are and be familiar with blackjack game strategy. Here is how you play for real money.

Once you are at the table, place your bets.

Click the Deal button to initiate the deal – two cards to you and two to the dealer. The second dealer card is dealt face down, and is called the ‘hole’ card.

You make your next move based on your hand and the dealer’s. You could opt to:

  • Hit
  • Stand
  • Double down
  • Split

The commonly available option in case of a tied first hand is the ‘push’, which takes the game to another round. Some games offer additional options like:

  • Insurance bet
  • Re-splitting
  • Re-splitting or hitting a split Ace

You also have the surrender option in some games; this allows you to quit the game and retain half your original wager. The dealer then makes his move based on the strength of the hand. Standard rules in most games require the dealer to stand on a soft 17 and hit on a hard 17. The dealer also has the option of picking additional cards to strengthen his hand till it:

  • Adds up to a hand total of 21 and the dealer wins
  • Exceeds your hand and the dealer wins
  • Overshoots 21, in which the dealers busts and loses

Advantages of Playing Blackjack at an Online Casino

There are numerous advantages to playing blackjack at an online casino. These include, among others:

  • Ability to play multiple games simultaneously.
  • Fast game speeds.
  • Assurance of fairness and reliability because of the RNG that the casino uses.
  • Access to superb bonuses and promotions; some casinos offer special blackjack bonuses.
  • Access to information about basic rules, payouts, and other important data directly on the blackjack table graphic on your computer screen.
  • The luxury of playing from your home.

The History Of Blackjack

The history of this sensational card game has managed to elude researchers and historians for centuries. Even today, there hasn’t been a definite consensus as to how blackjack was originally invented and there’s unfortunately no set point in history to give us an indication as to where this game originated from.

18th Century – The Origins

One widely agreed upon theory is that the origins of blackjack evolved from Vingt-et-un, an extremely popular card game that was enjoyed in France during the 18th century which translates to twenty-one. The game was so popular in France that is was frequently enjoyed during the reign of King Louis XV in the Royal Court.

There are also a handful of other popular card games that could have influenced the origins of Vingt-et-un, which in turn can be considered as precursors to the popular card game we know as blackjack. These popular card games included Spanish Trente-un, Italian Sette c Mezzo and French Quinze. Each of these popular card games followed the same basics rules as blackjack where values were assigned to each playing card and the primary objective was to reach a certain total value without going over a specified hand value. Some of these games even contained an Ace card with flexible values which is very similar to the blackjack we all know and love today. Since Spanish Trente-un, Italian Sette c Mezzo, and French Quinze originated during the 15th century and are all older than the popular card game Vingt-et-un, we can safely assume that each of them played a role in the creation of Vingt-et-un that only made its introduction during the 18th century. The primary reason Vingt-et-un become so immensely popular, compared to the older card games, is the fact that it involved a great deal of skill to play the game instead of solely relying on luck.

During the 18th century, Vingt-et-un made its introduction into America thanks to French colonist where it also received a new name, becoming known as 21. The initial game rules had an array of distinct differences as well. For instance, between cards being dealt, there was an additional betting round, and at times, the second dealer card was visible. In addition, it was normal for the casino dealer to make decisions on the hand they were dealt. Shortly after 21 was introduced to America, casino dealers began adhering to mandatory blackjack rules where a dealer stands on 17 and is required to hit on 16.

19th Century – Blackjack Comes To America

Vingt-et-un did not manage to further develop until the 19th century due to various gambling bans in France. However, 21 managed to gain immense popularity in the America’s and due to this, flourished. The first legal blackjack games were available in 1820 in New Orleans. However, non-legalised and player banked blackjack games were quite common in other parts of the country.

The fascinating story of Eleanor Dumont was born during this time. She was born in the country of France and managed to immigrate to the U.S while still young. Eleanor was a renowned and skilled dealer and both banked and dealt the game of blackjack to anyone, regardless of the bet size. She continuously moved from one destination to the next, finally settling down in Nevada, California where she managed to open her own Broad Street gambling parlour called Vingt-et-un. Only those who were wealthy well-to-do gentlemen were able to enter her gambling parlour and women were not allowed in at all. Despite having the nickname “Madame Mustache”, she was famous for her beauty and men across the globe travelled to enjoy a game of blackjack against such a beautiful female dealer. She was a huge flirt towards men, ensuring they return on a frequent basis, but also kept a safe distance to avoid any unnecessary trouble.

She made a huge success of herself until the era of the gold rush came to an end. Thereafter, she returned to travelling across America as a gorgeous female dealer, trying her best to expand on her wealth. In 1879, Eleanor was discovered dead in California and reports suggest her death was self-inflicted due to large debts.

20th Century – The Era of Blackjack in Casinos

During the early stages of the 20th century, blackjack was still referred to as 21 as it continued to gain popularity across America, especially in Nevada after gambling became legal in 1931. To attract card players, most land-based casinos started offering a whopping 10 to 1 payout once a player successfully reached twenty-one points with a hand consisting of a Jack of Spades and an Ace of Spades or Clubs, known as the blackjacks.

Even though this staggering payout was quickly removed from all land-based casinos, it ensured that the game of 21 was renamed to Blackjack and remained the same to this day. As the legalisation of gambling came into effect, it demanded clear, standardised game rules surrounding blackjack. The Nevada Gaming Commission decided to redefine the game rules which are the rules that are still used in most casinos to this very day.

The Beginning of a New Era – Online Blackjack

Despite casinos taking several measures to prevent card counting, blackjack as a card game continued to explode in popularity across America as well as across the globe. The introduction of the World Wide Web introduced a brand-new chapter in the rich and vibrant history of Blackjack. Online casinos at first only managed to offer a standard variation of the popular card game, but within a short space of time, players could indulge in a plethora of exciting blackjack variations containing unusual and innovative features as well as various unique rules.

You will find an almost endless supply of blackjack variations in the online gaming industry, each presented with a unique name and a set of distinctive rules to make the game even more appealing than ever before. Over and above this, you will also be introduced to a wide range of fascinating side bets, such as 21+3, Super 7’s, and Perfect Pair just to mention a few. If that’s not enough, you can play for one of several progressive jackpots that are neatly tied into a game of blackjack, attracting both high rollers and novice players alike. A perfect example of an online variation is the game Blackjack Switch, which is currently considered the most innovative blackjack variations you can play online. In Blackjack Switch, you have the option to play two hands at the same time.

After the cards are dealt by the dealer, a player will have the ability to switch the cards for both their hands which enables them to create the best possible hands. Another prime example is 21 Prime, it features two community cards dealt face-up in the centre of the table. The player and dealer will then need to select a community card to form a hand. The player and dealer will also have the option to choose the same community card.

The largest disadvantage when playing blackjack online is that players are unable to count cards. Even though there are between 6 and 8 playing decks in play and these are always reshuffled after each round, making it impossible to card count, regardless of your skill level.

Live Dealer Blackjack

After online casinos introduced the beautiful game of blackjack to the world, players were able to enjoy the game at any given time, regardless of the size of their pocket. In addition, it offered more variations of the game than any land-based casino ever could. However, despite all these wonderful advantages of online blackjack, there was still one vital flaw and that was the fact an online casino could not match the atmosphere obtained by playing blackjack in a land-based casino. Although the big attraction for online blackjack was convenience, it was the ambience found in land-based casinos that players longed for and the random number generator also didn’t assist in attracting blackjack enthusiasts as most believed it was rigged.

To successfully counter all these drawbacks, online casinos developed live dealer games and blackjack was one of the first card games to be introduced in the realm of live casinos. Initially, blackjack was streamed live from various land-based casinos to eliminate the random number generator and to give the game more ambience. However, the video quality was poor, players kept obscuring the game, and chatting to the live dealer was impossible. Fortunately, as technology advanced over time, online casinos created dedicated live dealer rooms with HD quality graphics and the ability to interact with dealers while you play from home.

Basic Rules of Blackjack

Blackjack game rules are extremely simplistic, the game is truly exciting, and it provides plenty of chances to use high strategy in every session. In fact, a veteran blackjack player that utilises a decent strategy will often see the odds being in his favour to walk away a winner. Even a casual player with a good understanding of the game will have far greater chance at beating the casino as oppose to other casino games with much higher odds. Before you test your luck at a game of blackjack, we highly recommend reading through the objective of blackjack, learning the card values, knowing the difference between soft hand versus hard hand, and grasping the betting rules as well as the basic rules that need to be followed by dealers.

The Objective of Blackjack

Most novice players are under the impression that the objective of blackjack is the reach a hand value of 21 or at least get as close to the value without exceeding it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The objective of blackjack is to merely beat the dealer. You can achieve this by reaching 21 when the dealer busts or when you total exceeds the hand held by the dealer.

Card Values

All cards, while playing blackjack, will count their own value. Picture cards, such as the King, Queen, and Jack will contribute 10 points to your hand total, while an Ace can either contribute 1 point or 11 points, depending on your hand total.

Soft Hand vs Hard Hand

A soft hand is basically a hand that contains an Ace contributing 11 points. For example, 8-A is considered a soft 19, while 4-2-A-2 is considered a soft 18. A hard hand is basically a hand that doesn’t contain an Ace, or if it does, it will only contribute 1 point. For example, J-9 will be considered a hard 19, while A-2-10-6 will be considered a hard 19.

Betting Rules

Blackjack is usually enjoyed on a semi-circular table with a maximum seating of 7 players. Each blackjack table will feature a circle or betting spot where players can place their chips for each betting round to make a bet. The responsibilities of a dealer are to deal playing cards, payout winning wagers, and collect bets from losing wagers.

Dealer Rules

The basic rules surrounding blackjack will also apply to the dealer. Seeing as they are in control of paying out winning wagers, they are unable to take insurance. Dealers are also not allowed to split, surrender, or double down. Another limitation that dealers need to adhere to in most variations of online blackjack is to hit when they have 16 and to stand when they have a hand value of 17.