Blackjack is no longer relegated to land-based casinos; in fact, a huge number of blackjack play now happens online, where players from around the world stake money, just as they would in Las Vegas, in the hopes of making a profit on the tables. Playing online is a great way to get started, because you can take your time playing at low stakes tables without feeling the pressure to look calm and collected that you might feel in person. Let’s run through everything you need to know before you play your first game of blackjack online.
Choose where you play
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide where you’re going to play blackjack online, since this popular casino classic is offered in various different formats at hundreds of online casinos. Do your research, read casino reviews, and choose a trusted online casino with a strong following of seasoned blackjack players. It’s probably best to start off with a fairly standard version of blackjack, because variant rules can add more complicated elements to the gameplay. Once you’ve gained confidence, trying out blackjack variants and live dealer games are both great next steps.
Before you play for real money, you’ll have to deposit funds in your casino account. If you’re just starting out, make sure you deposit enough to enjoy a good game but not so much that you couldn’t bear to lose it; it’s not prudent for beginners to gamble their mortgages on a first game of blackjack. Different online casinos will accept different payment methods, but many accept bank transfers and payment via e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill.
Make a bet
Once you’ve loaded up your first game of online blackjack, you’ll begin by placing your starting bet. The available betting range will depend on the game and casino you’re playing at, but you’ll want to start with low bets and work your way up once you’re feeling more confident. Remember that the higher your bet, the more you stand to win, but the more you can lose, too. Once you’ve selected your starting wager, click ‘deal’ to get your cards.
Play your hand
This is where it gets interesting. The aim of blackjack is to get a hand totalling as close as possible to 21 without going over this number. You’re always playing to beat the dealer. Cards are worth their face value, except Ace, which can be either 1 or 11, and picture cards are all worth 10. To begin, you’ll be dealt a hand of two cards initially, and you’ll then be given the options to Hit, Stand, or Double Down. Hit will draw you a new card; this can get you closer to 21 but could also push you over, in which case you will automatically ‘bust’, or lose. Stand means you wish to keep your hand and bet as they are. Double Down means you want to double your bet, get a new card, and then stand. There are a few extra actions which may be useful in certain scenarios, too. If you’re dealt two identical cards, you can choose to Split the cards into two hands with two separate bets and play both. You may also choose to Surrender after the initial deal, which means you will lose half of your bet – this can be beneficial if you think you’ve got little chance of winning a hand. If one of the dealer’s face-up cards is an Ace, you may also make an Insurance side bet, which is worth half the value of your original bet and pays off if the dealer has ‘blackjack’, or 21. After you’ve taken all of your actions and the dealer has played, you’ll see the outcome of the game and either be paid your winning (or lose your stake) depending upon whether your hand or the dealer’s was closer to 21. And that’s your first game of online blackjack played!
There are strategies you can use when playing blackjack online to increase your chances of winning, and whether or not you choose to use these depends largely on what you’re playing for. If it’s just for fun, you may wish to play without a strategy and simply roll with the punches instead. By using optimum blackjack strategy, which will tell you which action you should take for each and every possible hand, it’s said that you can raise your average return to 99.63%, minimising the house edge substantially. Blackjack strategy charts and cards can be found online detailing this strategy.
Withdraw your winnings
If you’re lucky, you’ll have some winnings left over at the end of the night. Don’t forget to withdraw these from the casino using one of your chosen withdrawal methods to enjoy your hard-won cash in person. Now you know how to play online blackjack like a pro, it’s time to try your hand at the game and choose an online casino to get started with.