Beginner’s Guide to Real Money Blackjack Online

Do you ever wonder how to beat a casino in online blackjack? It must be difficult, and it takes a long time to figure it out. ABSOLUTELY NOT! Learn the probability, my tips and life hacks, and which online casinos to avoid in my guide. Or jump to play for real money right away by choosing any of the best blackjack casinos below.

What I Love about Online Blackjack

I’m Rhyker Hackarry. I make a living as a professional gambler and also capture my journeys on YouTube and occasionally do streams on my Twitch channel. Online blackjack has been a love of mine for as long as it is a thing. Some people may ask what is so special about online blackjack that makes me like it so much. Well, these are my reasons:

  • The rules are simple and essentially come down to making sure you have not gone over 21;
  • It takes about 10 minutes for a beginner to remember the value of each card;
  • The threshold in online blackjack for real money is as low as a couple of dollars;
  • You can play the live dealer blackjack, which sets up the right atmosphere;
  • It’s not blind luck, meaning that strats may come in handy.

Game of Blackjack: What You Need to Know

People have been enjoying blackjack for centuries. The game itself originated somewhere in Europe in the 1600s. They say that the Frenchmen sat in the salons of noble lords to play “vingt-et-un” for real money. In French, “vingt-et-un” means “twenty-one”.

Like many modern card games, blackjack was brought to America by emigrants and became worldwide popular after gambling became legal in a small and then unknown city of Nevada – Las Vegas. In fact, the name "blackjack" came from a rule that allowed players to increase their bet tenfold if their first two cards happened to be Ace and Jack of Spades.

Basics of Blackjack Gameplay

If you play online blackjack with a live dealer, the first thing you do is shuffle a classic 52-card deck. Then it’s time for players to make bets, followed by the dealer dealing two cards, one of which is faced up, and the other is faced down.

After that, the face-down card is turned over. Players then evaluate what they have on hand, as well as the face-up cards of their opponents. After that, players can take any number of cards or stay with what they have.

The main goal of blackjack games is to beat the dealer and other players at the table by getting the maximum number of points, which, however, must not exceed 21. If a player scores 21 points with the first two cards, this is called blackjack.

Player’s Cheat Sheet on Card Values

The value of cards from 2 to 10 are counted at their face value (2=2, 3=3, etc.), the Jack, King and Queen give the player 10 points, while the Aces simultaneously have the highest and the lowest value of 11 and 1, respectively. The Aces are valued at 1 only when the sum of points in your hand exceeds 21 together with the other card (cards).

Card Ace King Queen Jack 2-10
Value 11 10 10 10 2-10

Key Playing Options

Just like in poker, real online blackjack has its own jargon. In other words, the lexicon that players use to describe their in-game decisions. Here are the names of the moves and what they mean:

  • Hit – asking a dealer for another card;
  • Stand – player’s refusal to take one more card;
  • Bust – when player’s hand exceeded 21;
  • Double Down – when a player doubles the initial bet after being dealt the first two cards, but can only take one additional card;
  • Push – if the player and the dealer have the same number of points on their hands, then it’s a draw and the original bet is returned to the player;
  • Split – splitting a pair of cards of the same rank into two hands;
  • Re-split – splitting already split card (only allowed with aces);
  • Surrender – when the player refuses to continue the round, which allows him to take back half of the initial bet.

Example of Typical Blackjack Hand

Now, as you already know the essentials, let’s break down the game in detail on a specific example:

  1. You place a real-money bet of, say, 10 dollars.
  2. You and the dealer (or other players if there are any) receive two cards as mentioned, one of which is face-up. For instance, you were lucky enough to get a 10 and a 9, making a total of 19 points. At the same time, you see that one of the dealer’s cards is 7.
  3. Hitting in your case would be very risky, so you decide to stand. The dealer reveals his second card and it’s 2. In this case, the dealer must hit in order to beat you, as the value of his cards is currently 9.
  4. Having 9 on his hand, he hits again and receives a king, which means it’s a push and your initial bet is returned to you. However, if the dealer received an ace, you would have lost since the total value of his hand would have been 20.
  5. When after the first hand of cards is dealt the dealer has an Ace face-up, you have the right to secure yourself and place a so-called “insurance bet”. If the second dealer’s card turns out to be a 10, Jack, Queen or King, you win your insurance bet. In other cases, you lose it.
  6. If you feel like winning the round after receiving the first two cards, you can double down your initial bet. After that, you CANNOT hit more than once.

What’s the Chance of Getting a Blackjack?

The chances of getting a blackjack may vary depending on some factors, the most important of which is how many decks are used by the dealer. Thus, the probability of blackjack in a one-deck game is ~4.83%, while for an eight-deck one, the chances shrink to ~4.74%. In fact, the more decks a casino uses, the bigger house edge it has.

Blackjack Software Providers

When it comes to online blackjack, its quality is solely based on who was responsible for creating the game, in other words, who is the real software provider. These companies have the power to set up the characteristics they want: a number of virtual decks used and how they are shuffled, what is gameplay like, blackjack games with a live dealer.

It is no surprise that the giants of the industry like Microgaming, Betsoft or NetEnt offer many blackjack games for real money, which you can always expect to see on top positions at online casinos. Nonetheless, it’s certainly far from being monopolized, so other companies try to catch up as well.

RealTime Gaming, Visionary iGaming or even Evolution Gaming are some of many examples of the highly competitive environment. The only provider I feel a bit iffy about is Evolution Gaming. Judging from my own experience, many of their casino games seem rigged, but maybe it’s just me, so try them for yourself to come to any conclusion.

Types of Blackjack Games — My Top 10

Being an old game with a long history, blackjack had enough time to be divided into multiple variants. Overall, all the variations have the same principles, although the rules and details can be different. You never know which type will be of great interest to you, so try as many versions as you can. I’ll briefly describe all types there are, however, usually you won’t come across all of them at one blackjack casino.

  • European 21
  • American 21
  • Atlantic City BJ
  • Face Up 21
  • Perfect Pairs
  • Switch
  • Spanish Blackjack
  • Zappit Blackjack

European Blackjack

The first-ever version of the game. The feature of this particular type is that players can double down only when they have a combination of 9 to 11 points. The blackjack pays like five to three, instead of three to two. The RTP rate usually lies within 98% and 99.5%, making the house edge 2% to 0.5%, respectively.

American Blackjack

American blackjack has several variants of the game, they differ in the number of decks used and the dealer’s actions with having a soft 17. The player has the real opportunity to surrender at any time during the game, as well as double down with any cards in hand. With soft 17 with two first cards, the dealer cannot hit. The house edge is more favorable compared to other blackjack games, which allows for bigger money winnings. Depending on the cards in hand, it usually ranges from 0.5% to 0.3%.

Atlantic City Blackjack

Atlantic City is a type of American blackjack. The main distinguishing feature of this variation is that it uses 8 decks, and players can surrender late in the round. The house edge and RTP here are as low as in real American blackjack.

Face Up 21

As you can tell by the name, all the cards in this blackjack type are dealt face-up. Among other features, there are 8 decks, 1:1 payout for blackjack, double down only with 9-11 on hand.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack

In this type of online blackjack, players can place an additional bet hoping that the cards will make a pair (same number – 5:1, same number with same/different color – 10:1, 30:1, respectively). Perfect Pairs bets are accepted only before the dealer deals the first two cards.

Blackjack Switch

The main difference between the ordinary blackjack is that each player has two hands, instead of just one. And two of the face-up cards can be switched, which is why this version is called like that.

Double Exposure Blackjack

If you ever heard of this type of blackjack, know that it is just an alternative name for “Face Up 21”.

Deal or No Deal Blackjack

Three hands feature with a surrender option to get some portion of your real bet back. The other features include 3:2 for blackjack, 5 decks of cards, split is allowed only once (on aces), average house age is as low as 0.3%.

Spanish Blackjack

Virtually, it is a classic version with the only exception of not having 10s in decks of cards.

Blackjack Zappit

The cool feature of this type of blackjack is that when your hand is between 15 and 17, you have an option of replacing one of the cards with two random ones.

The list surely does not stop here, as there are more thrilling and exciting blackjack games for real money, such as Blitz/Infinite Blackjack, Blackjack Party, and others. So whenever you feel bored of the blackjack variant you play, come explore something new!

Top Tips for Choosing a Blackjack Game

There are some vital factors to consider if you want to play exclusively at the real best tables.

  • Threshold. The minimum and maximum limits per table are different, so if you are just a beginner, you want to make sure the threshold is low to avoid losing too much money.
  • Number of decks. For normal blackjack gameplay the number of decks does not really make a difference, but if you are planning to use stats like counting cards, the fewer decks the better.
  • Types. As you already know, there are many blackjack variants. Depending on which one you’ll go with, the house edge, RTP, number of decks, and other rules may be different, so get familiar with them beforehand.
  • Software provider. The games of certain providers are often not available in certain countries.

Go Live for Real Blackjack Atmosphere

Online Live
Free Mode Yes No
Outcome RNG Random
Win Chances Less Higher
Variety More options Less options
Bet Range Up to $1,000 Up to $15,000

How to Get Great Bonuses in Blackjack: Personal Hacks

One of the key things at online casinos for me is whether there is a bonus that I could use in blackjack and what it is like.

  1. First of all, pay attention to the minimum deposit allowing you to get a bonus.
  2. Unfortunately, every bonus must be wagered before you can cash it out, so check whether those wagering requirements are adequate and possible to meet.
  3. Then, of course, do not forget about the time within which you should wager your bonus, otherwise it will be gone for good.
  4. Usually, you cannot wager your bonus in any blackjack game you wish, so keep that in mind.
  5. There is also a restriction regarding a maximum bet amount, which is even more relevant for those playing for big money.
  6. And finally, if you have successfully wagered your bonus, look up the maximum and minimum withdrawal amount allowed.

Blackjack Real Money Tournaments

If you want to feel a real competitive spirit, you may want to play online blackjack tournaments, where you can win up to $5K. At online casinos, Blackjack tournaments have an entry fee, which gives players the right to participate. The rules may also vary, for instance, the number of rounds and players, time, format (elimination), etc.

The good news is that you won’t lose more money than your initial entry fee, as after losing all the chips, you get eliminated. While you can try your first minor blackjack event any time you wish, you cannot do it like a pro without gaming experience under your belt, including the knowledge of strategies, which we will touch on further in the review.

The main types of online blackjack tournaments are:

  • Single-elimination tournaments;
  • Sit and go tournaments;
  • Major and minor Major events are not as frequent and have the more generous prize money).

How to Make Your Blackjack Gameplay Profitable?

The last thing you want to do as a beginner is try to learn complicated and difficult strategies. Instead, basic ones would not be too hard to follow, yet very useful to help you take your blackjack skill to the next level.

Unfortunately, there is no universal strategy that can be applied to every blackjack game. However, when I was just starting off, the table below had a great impact on my game. Please note that it works primarily for classic online blackjack.

Win Probability

Even though I have never really maintained statistics of table games, I still wanted to find out how likely I am to win some money in online blackjack. Having read multiple articles, I saw many terms I was not familiar with, such as variance, covariance, and so on. The first number I came across was 1.16, which is the standard deviation. Confusing? Don’t worry, I didn’t fully get it too, but what I did get was the key information: the probability to win (not considering ties) is 42.21%. Ties will happen in 8.47% of cases, while the chance of loss is 49.1%.

What Are the Chances of Winning X-times in a Row?

If we do, however, take ties into account, the probability of a win increases by a couple of percent and adds up to 46.35%. If you want to calculate what are the chances of getting a winning streak, you simply multiply 0.4635 by the number of wins. Thus, the chances of winning 4 times in a row are 0.4635*4=1.85%.

Side Bets for Increased Odds — My Choice

In addition to normal real-money bets, players make before each round in online blackjack, some types of the game offer you to make extra bets in order to minimize the potential financial damage, or win even more.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack

The perfect pairs in blackjack are called:

  • Perfect Pair – identical cards (winnings – 30:1);
  • Colored Pair – same cards of the same color, i.e. 2 of spade and 2 of club (winnings – 10:1)
  • Mixed Pair – same value, but different color (winnings – 5:1).


Insurance bets help players secure themselves from a possible money loss with the dealer’s blackjack in case his face-up card is ace. The payout odds tend to be 2:1.


This side bet is somewhat similar to perfect pairs, but the combinations are made up of two of your cards plus the dealer’s revealed card. The hands are:

  • Suited Triple – three cards are identical;
  • Straight Flush – sequential cards of the same suit;
  • Three of a Kind – identical cards of a different suit;
  • Straight – sequential cards (i.e. 2, 3, 4);
  • Flush – cards of the same suit.


There are more side bets you can make, including Blazing 7’s, Block Bonus, Bust, Fire Bet, Hi Lo, Lucky Ladies, Streak, Super 4, Bonanza Blackjack, C3, EZ Bust, Pair Square, Tie, Tri Lux, and more.

Good Strategies for Pros

As someone who wanted to make the most out of my online blackjack experience, I started delving and looking for strategies to boost my outcome. Having examined quite a few sources, including books and articles, here is what has helped me.

  1. Flat Betting. It is all about stopping being chaotic in your bets and becoming disciplined, which requires putting your emotions aside. Flat betting means making bets of the same amount with a fixed percent of your bankroll.
  2. Miller’s Strategy. Who could be a better adviser than a professional gambler? John Miller wrote the book, where he offered his system for more successful betting. According to it, you can bet on any game with odds as close to 2 as possible, which blackjack is. At first, your bets are 1% of your starting bank until you increase it by 25%, after which you increase your initial bet under the current bank. The bet must never go over 1%.

My Life Hacks That Will Save You From Losing

Throughout my long experience with online blackjack, I’ve had ups and downs. It allowed me to come up with a list of things you should avoid.

  • Blind guesses. Blackjack never forgives hunches. While you may get lucky a couple of times, blind guessing is a no-go as a permanent way of playing. Remember this next time you want to make a reckless move.
  • Doing the same thing as the dealer might sound like a wise idea, except you neglect the dealer’s hand, as well as other possible scenarios like splitting and doubling down. As a result, you are always a step behind.
  • Bust. Taking risks can be helpful at some points in your life. In a game like a blackjack, it just won’t work. Try not to hit with 12 or more on hand and see how it unfolds in the long run.

Final Blackjack Tips From Rhyker

I have played blackjack with my own money for two years, and I have some tips to beat the house.

  • Split when you can. If there is an opportunity to split tens and aces playing blackjack for real money, use it as it will increase your chances of winning. However, do not split other cards even if you can.
  • Avoid insurance bets. Yes, it can save you from the dealer blackjack, but most of the time, you will lose money.
  • Know when to double down. Do it when your hand value is eleven or ten, while the dealer’s face-up card is four or five.
  • Use the power of the hard hand. Essentially, your hand can either be soft or hard. The latter says you have no ace, but you can deal with it in the next round.
  • Use the power of the soft hand. A soft hand means that you have an ace, which automatically increases your chances of winning.
  • Stand and hit when it is necessary. You should not hit with a soft hand of 19 or higher. You should hit with a soft hand of 17 or less.

Laws Regarding Online Blackjack for Real Money

The conjecture of the online gambling market is constantly changing, including playing blackjack for real money. Back then, even in the most progressive and liberal countries of Europe, North America, and Asia, online gambling was banned or restricted. Now many of them are growing more acceptable towards the industry. They contribute to its development under the principles of responsible gambling.

Nonetheless, a lot of countries still ban online gambling of any sort. These include some European countries like Poland, Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and many Asian countries like Brunei or Singapore. However, many players have found a way to bypass these restrictions by making cryptocurrency deposits.

What About Card Counting?

This review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the infamous strategy to count cards. Сard counting is a strategy invented by the mathematicians to win in blackjack most of the time. In fact, it does not require any superpower or special qualities, and this is not illegal, but rather disapproving.

Nowadays, card counting is almost useless as it requires a lot of time, concentration, plus frequent shuffling gets on the way. Even if you succeed, the money you get in the end simply won’t be worth it. As for counting cards online it’s difficult to gain the edge as they cut cards in the middle of the shoe.

Interesting Fact: From 1979-2000, MIT players, including Bill Kaplan (on the photo), were the first team to succeed at counting cards in blackjack at land-based casinos. They called themselves the “Thorp Group” after their mentor, Edward Thorp, a math professor who devised the system in the 1950s. The team went on to win $10M during the period.

How to Decrease the House Edge

Remember that lower House Edges are more profitable for you. Keep in mind the following things when playing online blackjack.

  • A number of decks. The fewer decks there are, the lower the house edge is.
  • 3:2 blackjack payout. While there are different types of payouts for blackjack, 3:2 is the middle ground in the long run.
  • Soft 17. When the dealer stands on soft 17, the house edge is lower than when the dealer hits with the same hand.
  • Side bets. Those are fun but expensive, since the house edge skyrockets when placing side bets.
  • Surrender. Surrendering when it’s reasonable is also a house edge reducer.

Recently, I’ve noticed that the online casino industry is becoming polluted by all sorts of shady tools for lowering RTP rates. These trends are likely to jeopardize your chances of fair play. Below I’ll tell you more about operators who haven’t been entirely transparent about their House Edge and terms.

Don’t Play BlackJack at These Casinos!

In pursuit of the best online blackjack experience, I, as a keen gambler, sometimes come across dubious online casinos, which seem totally fine at first glance! Such casinos as Planet 7 and Rushmore fell out of favor, since both of them engaged in lowering the RTP rates of their games. Read why I wouldn’t recommend them below.


  • Is online blackjack random or a controlled scam?
  • If you choose reputable and licensed online casinos, there is no doubt that all the games there, including blackjack, are random and not biased.
  • Which game offers the most favorable house edge?
  • One-deck classic blackjack has the lowest house edge out of all blackjack games (0.26%).
  • Can I play free online blackjack?
  • Yes, you can play free online blackjack using a demo mode. Thus, you can try the game out before playing blackjack for real money.
  • Can I use bitcoin to play blackjack online?
  • Many online casinos nowadays offer Bitcoin as a payment method. So check whether it is the case for the casino you are planning to play.
  • Can I play online blackjack for real money on mobile?
  • Yes. Both are present. Top online casino brands have a separate app for iOS and different operating systems. Otherwise, there are well-optimized mobile websites. They both make it possible to play online blackjack for real money on mobile.