Interested in learning how to play blackjack? The first step to becoming a capable blackjack player is learning the rules inside and out. This will ensure you’re using every tool in the box to chip away at the house edge. Different rules affect your chance of success in different ways, so knowing how they affect gameplay will round out your blackjack knowledge, making you a stronger player overall. With the addition of a brand-new suite of blackjack games at Slots.lv Casino, there’s never been a better time to play online blackjack.

 

 

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Blackjack Rules

Since blackjack betting rules vary game to game, we’re going to use The New Blackjack rules as a guide. These rules are the exact same as our Classic Blackjack, which is distinct in style only.

 

The Shoe

As is the case with most standard blackjack games, a six-deck shoe is used in The New Blackjack and Classic Blackjack. Here’s one of the top blackjack tips for beginners: When all else is equal, the fewer decks in a shoe, the lower the house edge. We offer blackjack games with one deck, two decks and six decks. With all our blackjack games, the cards are shuffled after every round.

 

Soft 17

One rule that divides blackjack into two is whether the Dealer hits or stands on soft 17. In The New Blackjack and Classic Blackjack, the Dealer is required to hit on soft 17 – a rule that favors the house. If you’re looking to play a game where the Dealer stands on soft 17, check out our Double Deck Blackjack games.

 

Payouts

More and more casinos are reducing the payouts for hitting a Blackjack from 3:2 to 6:5. Rest assured that the New Blackjack and Classic Blackjack pay the industry standard 3:2 for Blackjack hands (a hand comprising an Ace and a 10-value card). Insurance side bets pay 2:1 and cost half the original wager.

 

Surrender

Surrendering involves forfeiting your hand right after receiving your initial two cards. The inclusion of the surrender rule benefits players and is available in The New Blackjack and Classic Blackjack. You can’t surrender in Single Deck Blackjack.

 

 

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Double Down

 

The ability to double down is a useful option for players. Some games don’t let you double down after splitting a hand, which mitigates its usefulness. With The New Blackjack and Classic Blackjack, there are no restrictions on doubling. Feel free to double down after splitting your hand – unless you’re splitting Aces.

 

Splitting

Splitting a pair into two hands benefits the player, and to control this benefit, there’s a limit on how many times you can split. With The New Blackjack and Classic Blackjack, you can split two hands per round for a total of three split hands.

There is one caveat with split hands, and it’s with Aces. Aces can’t be re-split. They receive one more card and then the hand is forced to stand. If you receive a 10-value card on a split Ace, it’s not considered a Blackjack. It will get the standard even-money payout, but not the 3:2 payout awarded to Blackjack hands.

 

Betting Parameters

The New Blackjack and Classic Blackjack have wide ranges for betting. You can bet as little as $1 a round and as much as $500 per round.

 

 

Online Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack Basic Strategy

Basic blackjack strategy involves memorizing strategy charts that dictate the optimal move for every hand and dealer upcard combination. There are three charts: one for soft hands, one for hard hands, and one for pairs. A soft hand is any hand that has an 11-point Ace. Alternatively, a hard hand is a hand that doesn’t have an 11-point Ace. Pairs are hands with two cards of equal value; many of these get split.

When you look at the charts, you’ll notice that there’s often one action prescribed for Dealer low cards (Two to Six) and another action prescribed for Dealer high cards (Seven to Ace). That’s because the Dealer is at risk of busting with a low up-card. Let’s look at the bust-out rates for each dealer upcard:

 

 

Upcard Bust %
2 35%
3 37%
4 40%
5 42%
6 42%
7 25%
8 23%
9 23%
10 21%
Ace 11%

 

The Dealer’s risk of busting is highest with cards Four to Six, so you’ll be doing a lot of standing in these scenarios – even when you have a score as low as 12. Keep in mind, blackjack isn’t just about getting a high score; you also win when the Dealer busts.

When the Dealer doesn’t show a bust card, you need to step up and hit frequently. You should always hit with a score of 14 and below when the Dealer has a high card (Seven to Ace). The worst scores to get include 15 and 16, which are too low to be competitive and pretty risky to hit. Depending on the Dealer’s upcard, you’re going to want to surrender some of these. For exact directions, consult with the Blackjack Strategy Card below.

 

Online Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack House Edge

One reason why blackjack is such a popular casino game is because of its low house edge. Playing with “Total Dependent” basic strategy (basic strategy that is based on the hand totals), our standard blackjack games (The New Blackjack and Classic Blackjack) offer a house edge of 0.539%. That’s with the Dealer shuffling after every round. The house edge is different with other versions of blackjack that have alternate rules.

Blackjack Rule Variations

While some blackjack rules are the same across the board, others are game specific. Knowing which rules help you and which harm you are crucial to being able to pick a good game at a casino. We’ve rounded common rule variations and have categorized them as Player Friendly and House Friendly. Keep these rules in mind when you compare blackjack games.

 

 

Player Friendly
Single Deck (best)
Double Deck
Six Decks
Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Double After Split
Split up to Four Hands
Re-split Aces

 

House Friendly
Split Limited to Three Hands
Double Only on Hard Nine to Eleven
No Hole Card (European)
Dealer Hits on Soft 17
Dealer Bust on 22 is a Push
Eight Decks
No Re-Splitting Hands

 

Online Blackjack Strategy

Strategy cards are charts that tell you the optimal move for every hand total and dealer upcard combination. You also need to learn why these actions are prescribed by the experts; we’ve already covered some of that in the Blackjack Basic Strategy section above, but you’ll want to do additional research to make sure you understand the fundamentals of blackjack gameplay. To use the charts, locate your hand total in the column on the far left. For example, if you’re dealt a Six and Eight, you’d locate the number “14” in the column. Once you find it, locate the Dealer’s upcard in the top row. Check the optimal action, which is located where the two numbers intersect in the chart.

The first chart is used for all hands that don’t include a:
- Soft Ace (A soft Ace is an 11-point Ace, which can still be converted to a 1-point Ace if need be)
- Pair (two-cards of equal value)

 

 

Hard 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
5-8 H H H H H H H H H H
9 H D D D D H H H H H
10 D D D D D D D D H H
11 D D D D D D D D D D
12 H H S S S H H H H H
13-14 S S S S S S S S S S
15 S S S S S H H H Sr Sr
16 S S S S S H H Sr Sr Sr
17 S S S S S S S S S Sr
18+ S S S S S S S S S S

 

The soft chart is for hands that include an Ace that has the flexibility of being a 1-point Ace or an 11-point Ace. As soon as the Ace loses its ability to be an 11-point Ace, it becomes a hard hand.

 

Soft 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
13-14 H H H D D H H H H H
15-16 H H D D D H H H H H
17 H D D D D H H H H H
18 D D D D D S S H H H
19 S S S S D S S S S S
20+ S S S S S S S S S S

 

 

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In blackjack, Pairs include cards that are different, but have the same value. For example, a Queen and Ten are different, but they’re both worth 10 points, so they’re a Pair, which can be split.

 

 

Pairs 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
2-2 P P P P P P H H H H
3,3 P P P P P P H H H H
4,4 H H H P P H H H H H
5,5 D D D D D D D D H H
6,6 P P P P P H H H H H
7,7 P P P P P P H H H H
8,8 P P P P P P P P P Sr
9,9 P P P P P S P P S S
10,10 S S S S S S S S S S
A,A P P P P P P P P P P

 

 

While playing at a land-based casino, you may get poor blackjack advice from the Dealer or other players. Steer clear of these four suggestions that are all too common in the amateur field of blackjack.

 

Online Blackjack Strategy

Try to get as close to 21 as possible.

This advice is one dimensional. One facet of the game does involve getting a score that’s closer to 21 than the Dealer. But another facet involves settling for a conservative score when the Dealer’s at risk of busting. It’s all part of balancing your risk with the Dealer’s risk.

Follow the Dealer.

The casino is in the business of winning, so people think that their strategies should be duplicated. But think of all the tools that you have access to that the Dealer doesn’t have access to: Surrender, Double Down, and Split. Using these tools appropriately decreases the house edge. Ignore them at your peril.

 

 

Don’t Lose/Bust

If you bust, you lose, so many players play conservatively to safeguard them from busting. Getting fixated on the “never bust” strategy will cause you to focus on your hand total and not take into account the Dealer’s upcard, which is crucial information. If the Dealer has a strong upcard, you need to make sure you enter the ring with a competitive score.

 

Assume every card will be 10-value.

In blackjack, there are more 10-value cards than anything else, so the thinking behind this strategy makes sense. The issue is, a lot of players will forego learning basic strategy, and simply operate on the assumption that Tens are lurking around every corner. The strategy charts are much more precise and should be used instead of this strategy.

Now that you know the rules and strategy behind blackjack, it’s time to put some of the theory into practice. Power up a session of The New Blackjack on Practice Play mode and follow the actions dictated by the chart. Once everything starts to come together, switch to Real Play mode to win real money payouts like a blackjack professional. Good luck at the tables.

 

 

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