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Blackjack is the most popular casino table game played at casinos all over the world for money, and Cafe Casino's online site is no exception. This is a great starting point for gambling beginners looking to become casino-savvy; Blackjack’s low casino house edge, ease of play and simple strategy have made it an incredibly popular game since its debut in North America in the 20th Century. It’s even more popular today, now that you can play Blackjack online at Cafe Casino.

Whether you’re new to Blackjack or you just want to brush up on your playing skills, we have everything you need to know in our latest online Blackjack game play guide. We’ll touch on the history of online Blackjack, then we’ll dig right in and show you how the casino game works. We’ll even look at the simple play strategies you can use to get the most out of your Blackjack experience at Cafe Casino's online site. There’s always more to learn about this great casino card game, but this is the perfect place to start.

Introduction to Blackjack: History

Many countries lay claim as the birthplace of Blackjack. In Spain, a similar game called ventiuna was mentioned by writer Miguel de Cervantes (most famous for Don Quixote) at the turn of the 17th Century. Not long after, records show a card game known as Vingt-et-Un becoming popular in France. Both ventiuna and Vignt-et-Un mean “21” in English. We’ll explain why that’s important in a moment.

French colonists would eventually bring Vingt-et-Un to North America, but it wasn’t until 1931 that casinos started offering the casino game, enticing players with a special 10/1 bonus for hands that included both a Jack and an Ace, either spades or clubs; this “Blackjack” bonus changed the name of the game. The 10/1 bonus payout has been abandoned, and the rules have undergone some changes over the years, but Blackjack continues to thrive in casinos all over the world.

Like most casino games, online or live, Blackjack found a new global audience when the internet came along. It’s become an indispensable part of life since then, and millions of people playing around the world are now able to play Blackjack online, either on their desktop computers or mobile devices.

The Blackjack Basics

The reason the number 21 matters to online Blackjack players is simple: This game pits one against the casino Dealer, and in each round, the winner is the one with the casino hand that’s closer to 21 points in value, without going over (also known as “busting”). In Blackjack, the paint cards – Jacks, Queens and Kings – are worth 10 points each. Aces can be worth 11 or 1, and all other cards have face value. One's score is the sum of all card values in one's hand, so if you have an Eight, a Three and a Queen, your score is 21.

Time to Play!

The casino game of Blackjack starts when you place your play bet on the casino table and hit the “Deal” button. You and the play Dealer will then receive two cards each; you get two face-up cards, while the Dealer gets one face-up and one face-down. At this point, if either of you already has exactly 21, that’s known as a “Blackjack” (even if you don’t specifically have a black Jack and Ace) or a “natural.” These are important play hands, because they pay out at 3/2 instead of even money like the rest. If you get dealt a Blackjack and the Dealer doesn’t, you win. If each of you have 21, it’s a push – all play bets returned.

Basic Blackjack Rules

If neither you nor the Dealer has a Blackjack after receiving your first two cards, it’s time to make a gambling decision. You get the first turn, and you have the following play options:

  • Stand: Keep the cards you have and face off against the Dealer.
  • Hit: Draw another card.
  • Double (aka Double Down): Double your original bet, and draw a third and final card, thus ending your turn.
  • Split: After being dealt a pair, split those cards into two separate hands and double your original bet.
  • Surrender: Give up your hand and forfeit half of your bet.

You also have the option of buying Insurance anytime the play Dealer’s up-card is an Ace. The Insurance side bet is half of your original wager, and pays 2/1 if the play Dealer has Blackjack. Most casual gambling players are familiar with hitting and standing; the other options are a bit more advanced, but there’s a time and a place for each one, as we’ll show you when we look at the basic Blackjack gambling strategy.

For now, let’s take a closer look at hitting. This play gives you the chance to get your running score closer to 21 points, and after you’ve hit once, you can keep hitting until you either reach 21 or go bust. You have the same opportunity after you split your cards; you’ll be dealt a second card for each of your new hands, and you can hit, stand, double or re-split from there – although many Blackjack variants won’t let you re-split a pair of Aces.

Once your turn is over (and provided you haven’t busted out already), the play Dealer gets a turn, but their options are limited. Generally speaking, they’ll keep drawing cards until the reach a score of 17. Once they reach 17 points, they usually have to stand. The lone exceptions are with certain Blackjack variants where the Dealer has to hit on Soft 17 – that’s any 17 that includes an 11-point Ace. Other variants force the Dealer to stand on Soft 17.

Different Versions of Blackjack

As you can see, it’s important to know which real money game you’re playing when you learn about online Blackjack. The standard Blackjack game at Cafe Casino's online site uses a six-deck shoe, but other games are available, like Single Deck Blackjack and Double Deck Blackjack. This is where the play rules can sometimes change; for example, the play Dealer must hit on Soft 17 in Single Deck Blackjack, while they stand on Soft 17 in the Double Deck variant.

You’ll also find three special Blackjack games at Cafe Casino's online site: European Blackjack, Zappit Blackjack, and Perfect Pairs. Each of these games puts an extra twist on the original classic – you can find out more by consulting the game descriptions for each variant, which you can see on the left of your display when you open the game in your browser.

Basic Blackjack Strategy

To close out our online Blackjack guide, let’s take a moment to talk strategy. You can’t count cards when you play online – the online decks are automatically shuffled before each hand. But you can use the “basic” Blackjack strategy to lower the house edge as far as possible. This basic real money strategy tells you the optimal play for each situation you might find yourself in. Say you’re playing Single Deck Blackjack at Cafe Casino's online site and you receive a pair of Fours, while the Dealer shows a Six. In this case, you should split your pair, but if the online Dealer shows a Seven or higher, you should hit instead.

Basic Blackjack real money playing strategies for each variant on the Cafe Casino's online site menu can be found online, although you might want to start with a simplified playing strategy that you can use with all the different games. This might not get you the minimum house edge possible, but it will be much easier to learn, and you can build from there. You can even work on your Blackjack real money strategy for free using the Practice mode before switching to real money play. Try out all the different Blackjack games at Cafe Casino's online site to see which ones you like the most – and discover what makes Blackjack the most popular real money table game in the world.

Play online Blackjack for money at Cafe Casino