Online Blackjack Guide 

Known for being one of the most popular casino games around the world, Blackjack is a classic table game that combines luck and strategy while offering the chance to win big. The rules are pretty easy to learn and if players can find the right strategy to play with, it could affect house advantage by reducing it from 5% to 0%. Online Blackjack is just as popular as the land-based and has the advantage of providing convenience to players who want to stay home and play, as well as usually having better blackjack rules, competitive online casino bonuses offered upon signing up, and 24/7 customer service. Whether it is an online version or live table game, blackjack continues to be one of the most played casino games in the world and enjoyed by all players.  

What’s great about online blackjack is that players will be able to find free and real money games on the four live Pennsylvania online casinos, provided they are located within PA borders. Playing online blackjack for free also has its advantages in giving players the chance to practice different strategies, learn the rules and perfect the way they play without losing anything.

How to Play Online Blackjack

It is recommended that anyone playing blackjack for the first time starts with the online version, as online casino software provides good guides for those with questions. The goal when playing online blackjack is to score 21 points with the cards dealt or make the dealer go bust. 

  • The online game begins by players deciding how much money they want to bet on the hand, and usually amounts offered start from $1, $5, $25, and $100, but this can vary depending on the online casino. Once an amount has been wagered, players can click “Deal” to receive the cards.
  • The dealer will give two cards to the player and two to themselves which includes one being left face up for the player to see. After the cards have been dealt, players will be given the choice to either Hit, Stand, or Double Down. Players can also choose to Split if they have been dealt with two cards. 
  • The cards are valued as; an ace can count as 1 or 11 points, face cards are 10 points, and all other cards are worth their face value. An example would be if a player obtains a Queen, 4, and 7 then they have hit 21 points and won. Anything over 21 is a loss

Online Blackjack has many variants so it’s always a good idea for new players to check the rules for the online casino they’re playing on as well as blackjack online free demos before starting to wager real money. 

Online Blackjack Strategy

While online Blackjack seems like a fairly easy game to learn, having the right strategy going into a game could be the deciding factor on how much money a player walks away with, if any. If a player receives two cards and neither includes an ace, this is a “hard” hand and usually means the sum of the two cards is inflexible. For example, a King and an 8. If a player receives two cards that include an ace, this is a “soft” hand and the ace will represent 11 points. The following are tips to help players learn basic online blackjack strategy. 

  • Players should be aware of when to hold onto their hands. If, for example, a player is in possession of a hard 18 then they should “stand” because it would not be worth taking the risk of a bust as chances of winning are low in this case. 
  • If the dealer has a soft hand then most likely they will try and hit to try and make the score 21, which will be advantageous for the player who should take the opportunity to double down or split to add more money into their pot once the dealer busts. Players should keep this in mind when they see the dealer has a 4,5, or 6 in their hand. 
  • A 10 should never be split as recommended by experts, but to always split aces and eights as this gives players two chances at winning the pot.
  • Some variations of online blackjack (not all) give players the option to take insurance however statistics prove this never really helps the player in the long run and is advised as a waste of time. 

Double Down

Players on online Blackjack are given the option to double their initial bet in the middle of a hand but only take one extra card - this is called doubling down. It is a very popular option amongst players, especially if the dealer has been dealt a bust card (5 or 6) and the player has an ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. The following are the best situations for a player to double down on as attaining any of these cards should result in a high hand. 

  • The player is dealt a total of 9 against the dealer's low card (anything under a 7, excluding the ace). 
  • The player is dealt a “soft” 16 to 18 and the dealer is showing low cards which could be anything equalling 2 to 6. 
  • The player is dealt a “hard” 10 or 11 and the dealer’s hand is lower. 

Doubling down is a great strategy but players are advised to not overdo it as this could result in losing a lot of money and to be wary of the online casino rules as they differ which could affect the player's decision. For example, some online casinos make it possible to double down with three cards or more in which case players should pay special attention to the amount in their hand before deciding whether or not to double down.