Online Blackjack Guide

online blackjack guide

Long seen as one of the world’s most popular casino games, Blackjack is a game that’s super easy to learn but requires quite a bit of time and effort to master. As one of the games with the lowest house edge in the casino, usually around 1%, real money Blackjack is a game played against the dealer that involves as much skill as it does luck.

The object is simple, get as close to 21 as possible without going over and beat the dealer’s hand. The key to winning at Blackjack is knowing when to hit, i.e. take another card on your way to 21, and when to stand, when the odds that the dealer will either end up with a hand too low to win or go over 21 are the highest.

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How to Pick the Best Online Casino for Real Money Blackjack

Now that you’ve decided Blackjack is the game for you, it’s important to know what to look for when picking an online casino to play real money Blackjack and win. Remember, Blackjack is a game of both luck and strategy, and doing a bit of homework can ensure you’re on the road to tons of fun and piles of cash. In this section we outline what you should look for when selecting an online Blackjack game for fun and profit.


Without a doubt online casino bonuses are what separate the wheat from the chaff. When it comes time to sit down at the online Blackjack table, selecting the casino with the best bonus can dramatically extend your bankroll, play time, fun and potential earnings. Casinos offer a wide variety of different bonuses that come with different rules. It’s essential to read the fine print before you select a bonus to make sure it applies to real money Blackjack at your casino of choice. Some bonuses, for example, will only apply to slots and keno, so pay close attention to the details.


Obviously, when playing Blackjack for real money at an online casino, security is of paramount concern. Make sure the casino is properly certified and has the necessary security protocols and internal rules in place. All of the casinos we review here at USA Online Casino have been vetted to ensure your security and privacy are a top priority and that the casino uses state-of-the-art security protocols and leading industry standard personal data protection procedures to keep you safe and secure.

Game selection

Blackjack comes in many shapes and forms. While all real money Blackjack games are played against the dealer and are based on getting to 21, the rules may vary slightly regarding when the dealer can hit or must stand, and how much a Blackjack, i.e. hitting 21, pays out. Different variants include: Blackjack 21, European Blackjack, Face Up 21, Match Play 21, Suit ‘em Up and Super 21 just to name a few.

Start to play

One of the unique things about playing online casino games for real money is that you’re not limited to playing in one, single physical location. When selecting an online casino to play real money Blackjack, make sure the casino offers complete cross-platform support, so you can play on your desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile device (whether iPhone, Android or Windows phone), to ensure you have the freedom to play when and where you want, whenever the mood strikes you.


As we mentioned before, one of the great things about Blackjack is that it is a game of both luck and skill. Seasoned Blackjack players know “when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em” (to quote the immortal Kenny Rogers) and can dramatically increase their odds of winning by laying smart bets no matter how their luck unfolds. That’s the skill part, something anyone can learn with a little bit of time, patience and practice. There’s a reason why Blackjack is a long-standing world favorite, because when you play online Blackjack for real money well you really can beat the house again and again and again.

Learn Basic Strategy

There are hard and fast, mathematically tested rules regarding when to hit, when to stand and when to split in Blackjack. Take some time to learn these rules. You can find them on Blackjack cheat sheets. Print out a copy and keep it at hand as you learn to play, you won’t regret it.

Find the Best Tables

As mentioned earlier, you can find a number of variants of Blackjack to play for real money at different online casinos. Online Blackjack tables that require the dealer to stand on a “Soft 17” lower the house edge and give you an advantage. Different games also pay out at different rates for Blackjack (21), the higher the payout the quicker your bankroll will grow.

Avoid Insurance

While it may be tempting to hedge your bets, as a general rule Blackjack insurance is rarely, if ever, a good bet. Insurance is generally best left to professional players who know how to count cards well and hence can recognize the few times insurance actually makes sense and pays off.

Stay Sober

Remember, Blackjack is as much a game of skill as chance, so it’s always a good idea to keep your focus and make sure you stand when you need to stand and hit when you need to hit and not vice versa. Staying in control at the real money online Blackjack table can significantly increase your odds of consistently winning.

Avoid Impulse Bets

This should come as a no-brainer, but one overlooked aspect of real money online gambling, or gambling in general is successfully managing ones’ bankroll. The key is to set a loss limit, and not to exceed it once you have laid out a proper strategy. Don’t get greedy or chase your losses.

Don’t Go All In

Blackjack allows you to split your hand when dealt the right cards. Say you get two aces, there is nothing worse than having gone all in at the start and not being able to double or split when the odds are clearly in your favor. Always keep something in reserve.

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Thanks to its long history as one of the most popular casino games in the world, Blackjack is known to come in a number of different forms. Obviously, the object remains the same, beating the dealer or getting to 21, but the game’s nuances can vary widely by type. Here is a list of some of the most popular online casino variants of Blackjack available today include:

european blackjack

European Blackjack

unlike American Blackjack, in which the dealer is dealt two cards, one face down and the other face up (the face down card is referred to as the “hole card”), when you play European Blackjack there is no hole card. The dealer receives one card face up, and plays out the hand face up after the players complete their bets. Moreover, players can only double down in European Blackjack on hands with a value of 9, 10 or 11, unlike American Blackjack, in which players can double down on any value hand.
face up 21

Face Up 21

Like the difference between European and American Blackjack, Face Up 21 has no hole card, so both the dealer’s cards are dealt face up. Furthermore, unlike European Blackjack, in Face Up 21, players can double down at any time or choose to split if the player is dealt two cards of equal value. There is also a surrender option, meaning if you have a bad hand you can surrender and get half your bet back. Also, the Blackjack hand payout is even money.
suit em up

Suit ‘Em Up

Suit ‘Em Up Blackjack has a unique twist, in so far as it allows you to bet on the odds of your first two cards being the same suit in a side bet. Better yet, the house edge in Suit ‘Em Up Blackjack is a lean .37%, giving you not only more betting options but a significant statistical edge over classic American and European Blackjack.
super 21

Super 21

Like the Blackjack variants listed above, Super 21 adds some unique twists to the classic game. In Super 21 you automatically win if you are dealt 6 cards without going bust, no matter what hand the dealer holds. If you reach 21 using 5 or more cards, your winnings are doubled. Better still, player Blackjack always wins, even if the dealer has 21. And, while Blackjack pays even money, you can double down at any point, not only after the first two cards.
perfect pairs

Perfect Pairs

Perfect Pairs is a Blackjack variant that incorporates active side betting. You can wager on whether the first two cards dealt in a hand will be a pair of the same value. If the two cards are of the same suit as well, the payout improves. If the two cards are not pair, you lose the side bet but can still win the hand.
match play strong

Match Play 21

In Match Play 21, all the 10s have been removed for the deck. Blackjack means reaching 21 with only 2 cards, 3 card 21 is not considered Blackjack in Match Play 21. Two card Blackjack pays out at 2:1. If the player has 3 7s of the same suit (the game uses 8 decks of cards) and the dealer’s face card is a 7, the payout is a phenomenal 40:1.


Origins of the name

blackjack historyThe original name Blackjack comes from a French term, “Vingt-et-Un”, which means 21. In the early days of the game, dealers would offer a payout of 10:1 if a hand contained a Blackjack. The name stuck and became used around the world to define variants of a card game in which players tried to beat the dealer and hit 21. The earliest mention of the game is a Spanish variant called “Ventiuna”, found in a 1602 book by Miguel de Cervantes, the author who would become famous for his epic Don Quixote.

Celebrity Fans

blackjack fansBlackjack has long been one of the world’s most popular games, and as a result has picked up a long list of celebrity devotees. Napoleon Bonaparte was said to be a fan of the game and spent countless hours playing when in exile. Oscar winning actor and director Ben Affleck is a notorious Blackjack fanatic, spending untold hours playing the game at high stakes Blackjack tables in Las Vegas. Paris Hilton, Sean “P Diddy” Combs, 50 Cent, Matt Damon, Dana White, Michael Jordan and Prince Harry are just a few of the celebrities known to love real money 21.

Beating the Casino

card countingAmerican mathematics professor Edward O. Thorp turned the Blackjack world on its head with the publication of a 1962 book titled “Best the Dealer”. In it, he showed how the combination of mathematics and card counting skills could change the odds dramatically and lead skilled players to beat the game.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the best online casino for Blackjack?

The easiest way to find the best online casino to play Blackjack is to browse our reviews right here at USA Online Casino. Our experts have taken great pains to vet a host of online casinos, providing you with reviews of only the best casinos when it comes to game quality, game selection, deposit and withdrawal methods, security and mobility.

Do I need to download software to play online Blackjack?

For most of the casinos we review here at USA Online Casino, the answer is both yes and no. If you are interested in free play practice, there’s no need to download anything at most of the casinos reviewed here. Simply click the instant play feature, log in or register and away you go. To play Blackjack for real money, you have the option of downloading the full casino and hence a greater selection of games or playing live online via your browser.

Can I practice online Blackjack for free?

Yes, as noted above, there is no download necessary to play online for free to brush up on your game skills. Simply click instant play, register or log in, and start playing immediately.

What do I need to play online Blackjack for real money?

An internet connection using a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, is all you need to get started. Simply select one of the deposit methods, which include, for example: American Express, Visa or Mastercard debit and credit cards, Bank Transfer, Bank Cheque, Neteller or Bitcoin, make your deposit and you’re good to go!

What is a bust?

A “bust” is when a player or the dealer goes over 21

What is a hit?

A “hit” is when a player or the dealer asks for another card trying to get as close as possible to 21.

What is a stand?

A “stand” is when a player or the dealer chooses not to take another card, hoping the opposing player or dealer comes in lower or goes bust. In many versions of the game, the dealer is required to stand on a “Soft 17”.

What is a “Soft 17”?

A Blackjack hand in which the ace is counted as “11” instead of “1” is called a soft hand. For example, a hand with an ace and a 6 equaling 17 is a “soft 17”.

Can you cheat at online Blackjack?

For the most part, not really, unless you are some sort of super hacker who can get into the casino’s system and alter things to your advantage. Cards in online Blackjack are dealt using a random number generator to select the card, so it’s impossible for the dealer to stack the deck. Unlike in brick and mortar casinos, where cheaters have tried to mark cards with ink or folds, this is impossible online.

Is card counting legal?

Technically yes, but in reality, it is not tolerated in casinos. The fact is that most land-based casinos set their own internal rules and tend to frown heavily on card counting. Where a land-based casino to catch you card counting, the odds are you’ll be thrown out on your ear. That said, card counting at online real money Blackjack is simply impossible. Online casinos today use something called a random number generator (RNG) to determine the outcome of each hand. This means that each and every hand is a mathematically unique event, making it impossible to count the cards already played.

Can I use casino bonuses to play online Blackjack?

Yes, but it’s advisable to read the fine print. Almost all of the casinos reviewed here at USA Online Casino offer bonuses that apply to Blackjack. That said, it’s important to keep in mind not all online casino bonuses will be applicable to playing online Blackjack. Be sure and read the terms and conditions of any bonus to make sure it can be applied to Blackjack play.

How do I deposit to play online Blackjack for real money?

Once you log in or register, simply head to the cashier. There you will be presented with a number of different options for how to make a deposit. The most common, in terms of the reputable casinos we review here at USA Online Casino, include: American Express, Visa or Mastercard debit and credit cards, Neteller, bank transfer, bank check and Bitcoin. Once you’ve made your deposit your account will be credited immediately, and you can start to play Blackjack and win.

Why is it better to play Blackjack online vs a brick and mortar casino?

Two reasons. First, only at online casinos can you play Blackjack for free to practice your game. In brick and mortar casinos you always have to pay to play. Second, online casinos offer casino bonuses to entice you to play, a perk you won’t find at brick and mortar casinos, and a key way to massively expand your bankroll, playtime, fun and potential winnings.

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