The Rules of Playing Blackjack Online

The perfect Blackjack hand

Playing Blackjack online is incredibly enjoyable, and it’s one of the most popular games at Lucky Nugget Casino. Get familiar with the basic rules here, and then try out all our different variations to find the ones that you like best.

Game Objective

Whether you’re betting on Blackjack online or at a land-based casino, the objective is always to get a hand total of 21, or as close to that as possible without hitting 22 or higher. At the same time, you need to beat the dealer’s total. Getting 21 exactly is called Blackjack, and is the best possible result.

Card Values

The number cards from 2 to 10 are worth their face value, while the Jack, Queen and King count as 10. Depending on what works best with the rest of the hand, Aces are worth 1 or 11. Check the specific rules of the version of Blackjack online that you’re playing; sometimes any total of 21 counts as Blackjack and sometimes the hand must be made up of a face and an Ace card – this is also known as a Natural.

Structure of Play

A Blackjack game in progress
Source: pixabay

Up to 7 players can sit at a Blackjack table, and once all bets have been placed everyone, including the dealer, gets 2 cards. Player cards are visible, and 1 of the dealer’s cards also faces up. Based only on the cards you can see and your knowledge of probabilities, you need to decide what move you want to make. At the end of the round, your hand is compared to the dealer’s to determine the results.

Possible Moves

The basic moves in Blackjack online are to Hit, Split, Double Down and Stand, as explained below:

  • Hit: Get another card dealt to your hand.
  • Split: Split a Pair of cards into 2 new hands, and get another card dealt to each new hand. In some Blackjack variations only Pairs of the same cards can be Split, such as 2 Queens or 2 Jacks, while in others any Pair of 10-value cards, like a Queen and a Jack, can be Split.
  • Double Down: Get dealt another card and double your stake.
  • Stand: When you’re satisfied with your hand, you Stand and end your turn.

Payouts

If you get Blackjack, your return is a generous 3:2. Be wary of any games that offer 6:5 returns on this hand, since that payout actually increases the house edge. If neither you nor the dealer get Blackjack, you’ll get a 1:1 return if you beat the dealer. This happens if both hands are less than 21 but yours is greater, or if your total is less than 21 while the dealer’s hand exceeds 21.

Number of Decks

Playing Cards
Source: pixabay

As many as 8 decks of cards can be used in games of Blackjack online, or just 1 deck can be used, depending on the variation. This number only really makes a difference if you’re trying to use a card counting strategy.

American vs European Games

Blackjack originated in Europe, so the European version is older. When settlers brought the game to America, they adapted the rules to put the odds slightly more in players’ favour by introducing the concept of Peeking for Blackjack.

Peeking for Blackjack means that if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, 10 or face card, their hole (face-down) card can be checked for Blackjack before players make any further moves or bets. This way, you don’t waste money placing losing bets when the dealer has Blackjack.

Blackjack Insurance

Insurance in Blackjack online is a side bet that insures you against the dealer landing Blackjack, and is totally independent of the main game. If the dealer hand wins with Blackjack you lose your main game bet, but are paid out your insurance 1:1 so you lose less money overall. Taking insurance is a very personal choice, so think carefully about if it’s the right option for you.