Real Money Blackjack

Blackjack is widely played across online and brick-and-mortar casinos the world over. The game emerged several centuries ago but has undergone multiple changes to become what it is today – one of the select few casino games where the player can actually gain an edge over the house through skill, optimal decisions, and advantage play.

Blackjack is also an appealing option for recreational players since its rules are quite easy to learn and follow even if one lacks substantial experience at the tables. In the last decade or so, the game of Twenty-One has gained a huge popularity among online players as well, with numerous exciting variants being offered across a great number of interactive casinos.

Playing blackjack on desktop or mobile devices is a straightforward process and a highly recommended option for beginners until their become better acquainted with the intricacies of this enticing card game. The following guide aims at introducing players to some key points concerning blackjack’s rules, strategies, and online play.

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Basic Rules

blackjack rules imageBlackjack is a comparing card game in which players are competing against the house i.e. against a casino croupier. Each gambling venue has set up its own blackjack rules which for the most part agree with those of other establishments on the pivotal points but there may be huge differences in the rules’ details.

Depending on the variation, there can be anywhere between one and eight full 52-card decks in play. In games where one or two decks are used, the cards are usually dealt face down but multiple-deck games utilize a shoe, where all cards are placed to reduce the time between the shuffles.

Before the game starts, the dealer would shuffle the decks and a player would cut the pack. The dealer would then remove or “burn” the top card from the pack and place it either in the discard tray or at the bottom of the deck, depending on the number of decks in play. Players then position their chips in the betting boxes at the layout and the game can commence.

Additional Rules

As was mentioned in brief, there may be huge discrepancies in terms of rules in different gambling establishments. An example would be a blackjack game where players are allowed to split pairs only of specific values. Discrepancies in the fixed rules the dealers follow may also be observed as sometimes dealers are required to hit on soft 17, which also gives the house a slightly bigger edge over players.

Various additional rules may apply in relation to the games’ payouts and the rules of doubling down, taking insurance, or surrendering one’s hand. We will touch upon these in more detail below.


In blackjack, all winning hands with the exception of naturals return even money, which is to say the player’s profits are equal in size to their initial bet. For example, if you prevail over the dealer with a higher hand total and has originally put $10 on stake, your winning hand will earn you $20 for a net profit of $10.

Double Down

In addition to hitting or standing, blackjack players are allowed to double down but this option involves placing a side bet which may be equal to the amount the player has initially staked. This is called a full double down. Players can also choose to double down for less than their original bet.


Whenever the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, players are allowed to make a proposition bet to insure their hand against a potential blackjack on behalf of the dealer. This side bet is called insurance and involves the player making a wager that amounts to half of their initial stake.


At some tables, players are granted one additional option called surrender. Whenever the strength of a starting two-card hand bears no improvement, the player is allowed to forfeit their cards in exchange for half of their bet. This resembles folding in poker but in blackjack, players at least get to retain half of their stakes when surrendering their hands.

Soft and Hard Hands

An important distinction is to be made between soft and hard hands in blackjack. Hands which contain an Ace that can be assigned a value either of 1 or 11 are called soft hands. When a player is dealt a soft hand, he or she is in a better position than the dealer since the odds of going bust with such a hand by drawing a third card are nil. In such cases, the dealer would refer to a soft hand total as “3 or 13”, “5 or 15”, and so on, to remind the player that they are the ones to assign a value to the Ace.


Whenever both player and dealer have the same totals, they tie or “push”, in which case the player is returned their initial wager. Nobody wins or loses anything and no money changes hands. There may be deviations from this rule. In some blackjack variations, the dealer takes all ties with the exception of naturals. At first glance, this might not seem like such a big deal but will have a pronounced negative impact on one’s bankroll over time.

Blackjack Types

The game of blackjack has greatly evolved over the centuries and many new variants have sprung into existence, especially in more recent years, following the emergence of interactive casinos. Each variant comes with its oddities, rules, and side bets. Some of the most commonly played blackjack variants are covered in brief below.

Blackjack Surrender

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This is one of the most commonly preferred blackjack variations, which derives its name from the surrender rule, allowing players to forfeit half of their initial stake when folding a hand.

Perfect Pairs

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Perfect Pair is a fun blackjack variant where players can diversify their session a little bit by placing different side bets on whether or not they (or the dealer) will receive a pair on the initial deal.


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Pontoon is a derivative of blackjack which is prevalent in the United Kingdom and Australia. In this version, a natural is referred to as “pontoon” which is where the game derives its name from.

Double Exposure

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Double Exposure is a popular form of blackjack where both cards the dealer receives on the initial deal are exposed. Since this works to the benefit of the players, several adjustments have been made to the rules to neutralize this advantage against the house.

Blackjack Switch

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Blackjack Switch is one of the most engaging blackjack variants since it offers players an interesting twist. The main difference here is that one is actually dealt two hands. The player is then presented with the option to switch the top cards so as to improve both hands. Therefore, the player can win or lose with one or with both hands. Other than that, some online variants you can play for real money involve several side bets, with players being able to bet that they will be initially dealt a pair, a set, two pairs, or four of a kind.

Choosing a Blackjack Casino

Nowadays, blackjack fans will benefit from being able to enjoy their favorite game on their desktop and mobile devices as there are hundreds upon hundreds of online casinos where different variants are readily available at the tip of their fingertips. Those who are considering to switch from landbased to online play are recommended to take into account the following criteria when selecting an online casino to play blackjack at.

Bonuses for Blackjack

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One of the easiest ways to increase your chances of turning a profit when playing blackjack online is by partaking in different promotional incentives and claiming various bonuses, starting with the welcome packages all newcomers are awarded upon signing up with real-money accounts and depositing for the first time.


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Security is an important aspect one needs to consider when playing online as, after all, one is risking not only their money, but their personal and financial information as well. The first thing you need to check when an online casino catches your eye is its license and the authority that regulates it.


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The average return of the available blackjack games also needs to be taken into account. Note that when playing online, the outcome of each round is determined by a special software called Random Number Generator (RNG).

Game Variety

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Versatility in terms of titles may prove to be more important than many players appear to think. If you are a blackjack fan, the best course of action would be to choose an online casino where there is a greater diversity in terms of blackjack variations, preferably by several software developers.

Winning at Blackjack

Being a game of dependent events, blackjack poses as one of the few casino table offerings where the players can actually gain a steady advantage over the house and win consistently. There are several ways to go about this, depending on your own personal goals when playing the game and the amount of efforts and time you are willing to invest into becoming a consistent winner.

Rules and Card Values

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The first thing all rookie blackjack players need to do is learn and master the rules of the game, with a special stress on the word “master”. Knowing which rules are more favorable to you is of equal importance.

Basic Strategy

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One of the simplest ways to reduce the house edge in blackjack is to adopt basic strategy. As the name itself suggests, this is a viable option for inexperienced and recreational players.

Card Counting

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Professional blackjack players resort to more advanced methods than basic strategy to increase the edge they hold over casinos. One of these techniques involves counting cards, which is keeping track of the ratio of high (ten-value) cards and low cards.

Blackjack History

blackjack history imageBlackjack is among the oldest casino card games in the world and as such, boasts a rather rich history. Debates as to when and where it appeared for the first time continue to this day. A similar game was first mentioned in a short story by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, written at the beginning of the 17th century.

Some historians argue that blackjack is based on an old Spanish game where the goal of the players was to obtain a three-card hand with a total of 31. Others are of the opinion that blackjack derives its rules from two other card games, Chemin de Fer and French Ferme which were hugely popular in France several centuries ago.

Allegedly, French colonists brought the game to the United States where it was initially known as Twenty-One. In the 1930s, casinos across Las Vegas temporarily introduced a promotion which paid out 10 to 1 for a natural, consisting of an Ace of spades and a black Jack, which is how the game got its name.

Blackjack FAQ

Is blackjack a game of chance?

Is blackjack a beatable game?

Do the bad decisions of other players affect the odds for me?

What is better – single-deck or multiple-deck blackjack?