The rules of online casino blackjack
The rules of blackjack are simple and easy to learn. At online casinos, the blackjack table typically features between one and five playing positions. A single player can control and bet on as many playing positions as are available.
Blackjack betting and the dealer
To play, you must first make a bet by placing chips in the betting area in front of your playing position. The blackjack dealer then deals the cards, with two face-up cards in each playing position. The dealer also deals itself two cards – one face-up and one face-down. The face-down card is referred to as the ‘hole card.’
At a regular casino, the dealer deals from a ‘shoe’, and deals a single card clockwise to each player, followed by their face-up card, and then a second card to each player, and finally the hole card. At an online casino, however, the cards are dealt automatically.
Standing and busting
The dealer doesn’t reveal the hole card until all players’ decisions have been made and each hand has been played, with each player either ‘standing’ by taking no further cards or ‘busting’ by scoring in excess of 21 and thus losing their hand.
The object of the game is to finish with a card total higher than the dealer’s, but that doesn’t score higher than 21. If a blackjack hand goes higher than 21, it has ‘bust’ and automatically loses. All face cards (jacks, queens and kings) count as a 10, while aces can score as either an 11 or 1.
Hitting, standing, doubling and splitting
Once the cards are dealt, each player is given a choice to ‘hit,’ by taking another card, or ‘stand,’ by taking no further cards. Depending on their first two cards, players may also have the option to ‘double,’ by doubling their bet and taking only one more card, or ‘split,’ by making two hands out of a pair.
After all players have either chosen to stand or have bust, the dealer reveals the hole card. The dealer must deal themselves cards until their hand is worth 17 or higher, at which point he must stand. The dealer never splits or doubles.
If you have a hand higher than the dealer’s, you win. If the dealer busts, every player that hasn’t also busted wins, regardless of the value of their hand. If the dealer’s hand is equal to a player’s hand, the hand is called a ‘push’ and the player’s bet is returned to him.
Casino.com is among the world’s premier online casinos. To start playing blackjack at Casino.com, download our great software and create an account. Make sure you read our how to play blackjack page first. For more information on the game, visit our History of Blackjack page, and to read more about the particular terms and phrases used while playing blackjack, see below. Have fun playing blackjack at Casino.com – the ‘only place to play.’
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Online casino blackjack terms
- Burn cards: cards that are not given out to players.
- Bust: if a player’s hand value exceeds 21, they have bust and their hand automatically loses.
- First base: the first position to act in a round of online blackjack.
- Flat bet: betting the same amount as the previous blackjack hand.
- Hard hand: a hand that does not include an ace.
- Heads up: a blackjack game in which only the dealer and a single player are playing.
- Hit: the act of drawing a new card.
- Hole card: in casino blackjack, this refers to the face-down card that belongs to the dealer.
- Natural: two cards with the exact value of 21 in blackjack. Also called ‘blackjack’.
- Push: in online casino blackjack, this refers to a tied round. The player’s original bet is returned.
- Soft hand: a blackjack hand that features an ace card, which is the equivalent to the number 11, and any other card whose value does not bring the total above 21. If the player’s hand does score higher than 21, the value of the ace is reduced to a 1 to prevent them from busting.
- Split hand: in online blackjack, this term refers to a hand with two cards of the same value that can then be split into two independent hands and played separately.
- Spread: when a player places more than one bet in advance.
- Stand: the decision not to draw any more cards.
- Stiff: this refers to a hand in online blackjack that has little or no chance of winning, no matter what card is drawn next. This usually refers to hands that have the value of 12 to 16.
- Face-up card: the dealer’s first card which is dealt face up.