Blackjack is the most popular table game played at casinos all over the world, and is a great starting point for beginners looking to become casino-savvy. The card-game’s low house edge, ease of play and simple strategy has made it a casino staple since it debuted in North America in the 20th century.

In the 18th century, Blackjack was enjoyed by the French, who called the game Vingt-et-Un, which translates into 21. French colonists brought Vingt-et-Un to North America, and in 1931, casinos started offering the game, enticing players with a special 10-1 bonus for hands that included a Jack of spades or clubs and the Ace of spades. The “blackjack” bonus-pay changed the name of the game. The 10-1 bonus pay has been abandoned and the rules have undergone some changes, but Blackjack continues to thrive in casinos all over the world.

Blackjack Basics

The game pits you against the dealer. In each round, whoever has the hand that’s closer to 21 points, without going over (also known as “busting”) wins.

In Blackjack, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 10 points each. Aces are worth 11 or 1, and all other cards have face value. Your score is the sum of all card values in your hand, so if you have an 8, a 3 and a Queen, your score is 21. The only hand that can beat it is an Ace and a 10, which is called “blackjack” and pays 3 to 2.

The game starts by placing a bet and hitting “deal.” You and the dealer will be dealt two cards each. You get two face-up cards, and the dealer gets one face-up and one face-down card. Next up, choose if you want to “hit,” which means take a third card, or “stand,” which means stick with what you have. The dealer has the same options. Whoever gets closer to 21 without busting wins the pot. A tie results in a push, which returns your wager.

Blackjack Side Bets


Blackjack becomes more interesting when you start using the additional betting options; the buttons for them are either on the bottom of the screen or they pop up when they become available to you, such as the supplemental insurance bet. Anytime the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, you’ll be asked if you want to take insurance. The insurance bet is half your original wager, and pays 2 to 1 if the dealer has blackjack.


Whenever you’re dealt a pair, you have the option to split them up and play two hands simultaneously, which will cost a second wager equal to the first. If you split and get blackjack, the pay is 1 to 1.


You can choose to double your original wager after receiving your two-card hand. If you do double, you’ll automatically be dealt a third card.

Now that you’ve learned Blackjack basics, it’s time to develop your online blackjack skills at the tables.