In blackjack all picture cards have the value 10. Number cards, 2-10, count at face value and aces are valued at either 1 or 11, depending on which value you decide to use in terms of constructing the best hand.
Online play takes place against a computerized dealer. The dealer is dealt one or two cards (depending on the set of rules used), while you are dealt two face up cards. This is called the initial deal. Your cards are dealt face up. But only one of the dealer's cards is dealt face up.
Based on the result of your cards from the initial deal you have two basic options. Now remember, you want to get as close to 21 as possible without being busted. So, you can either "HIT" and receive another card which will then be added to your two face up cards already on the table, or you can "STAND" this will prompt the dealer to flip over his face down card to reveal the result of the initial deal.
You can keep hitting new cards until you’re satisfied or bust (cards adding to more than 21) and lose the hand.
If the dealer's total is less than 17 the house will automatically draw. If the dealer's total is 17 or above, the house will always stand.
Here you’ll find a more in depth explanation of the games rules. Now the basic tenants of the game are to get as close to 21 (blackjack) without the dealer beating you.
A combination of an ace and any TEN-card on the initial deal is called a BlackJack or a natural. Unless the dealer also makes a BlackJack, the player's hand pays bet 3 to 2. If the dealer makes a natural 21 too, the result is a PUSH.
Box 1: K+9 = 19
Box 2: 7+5 = 12
Box 3: J+3 = 13
Box 1 has 19 and stands.
Box 2 has 12 and hits – receiving a 10 for a total of 22. BUST!
Box 3 has 13 and hits also. Third card is an 8 for a total of 21.
Dealer flips its second initial deal card revealing a 10 for a total of 19 and must stand.
Box 1 PUSH (bet returned). Box 2 LOSS (bet lost). Box 3 WIN (bet pays 1 to 1).
The following features are dependent on the chosen rule set and may vary. Please check the individual sets for variations.
They say it’s better to have insurance and not need it than to need it and not have it. So this is how you purchase your very own insurance.
If the visible card of the dealer is an ace, you can buy "insurance" by betting an additional 0.5 times his initial bet. In case of the dealer hitting a BlackJack, then you’re original bet will lose, but the insurance will win 2 to 1 for a total even result. Thus, the insurance win covers the loss of the original bet.
If the dealer does not make a BlackJack the insurance bet is lost and play continues as normal.
If you are dealt a BlackJack whilst the dealer flips an ace you can decide to go for EVEN MONEY. This means reducing your win from 3:2 to 1:1, but also not risking a PUSH if the dealer makes a BlackJack. The Even money option is only available when the dealer shows an ace.
If you’re dealt two cards of the same value you are entitled to "split" the cards, doubling your initial bet, and will now be playing two hands separately. The first hand is dealt a second card. You must decide as to whether you would like to "STAND" or "HIT". Once you have finished the first hand, you move onto the second, repeating the same process. After you are satisfied with both hands play continues to the next box. You can split a split hand. So an initial deal of 8+8 could be split in to two hands of 8. If another 8 is dealt on any of them making 8+8 again, that hand could be split again making a total of three separate hands of 8.
No matter the outcome, note that split hands that end up with a total of 21 will not receive BlackJack.
You may double your bet after viewing your initial two cards. You will then only be allowed one additional card to complete this hand.
Blackjack is a bit unique among casino games as there's actually a good bit of strategy as far as how to play the game. There are a few decent blackjack tips around, while there are various betting strategies for nearly every casino game, blackjack strategy is different, as there are proven, optimal ways of playing various combinations of cards, based on what the dealer has to improve your odds.
Because of the nature of how blackjack is played (with the players cards displayed and one of the dealer's cards dealt face up) determining whether a player should take another card or stand pat can be calculated mathematically, as far as what's best for the player according to the odds. These calculations are called "blackjack basic strategy", so if a player plays "perfect basic strategy", it means they're making all of the best decisions, based on the odds, instead of hitting when they feel lucky, etc.
For charts that summarize basic blackjack strategy for every hand (and for different games), WizardofOdds is a great resource. Players can simply print out the strategy charts for the game they're playing and use them to guide them when making decisions. This is not only legal to do online, but in brick and mortar casinos as well.
Remember, playing perfect basic strategy reduces the house advantage greatly, but the odds are still slightly in favour of the casino, which is why they allow you to use strategy cards at the table, if you want to. It may seem like it's "cheating" but it's actually far from it, as the house still has an edge.