How to Play Blackjack – A Guide For Blackjack Players

It’s one of the most popular casino games in the world, but how do you play blackjack? Well, if you’re a beginner, we’ve got some good news. Blackjack is not only easy to learn but, if you acquire the right skills, also a potentially profitable game. In this guide, we’re going to answer the question “what is blackjack?” and show you how to play. So, if you’re ready to start chasing the hallowed total of 21, here’s our expert guide on how to play blackjack.

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What is Blackjack? Blackjack 101

You can’t learn how to play blackjack without knowing the basics. So, without any further ado, let’s break down the casino card game where 21 is the best number in the world.

The 21 card game explained

The easiest way to think about blackjack is that it’s a head-to-head battle between you and the dealer. Both you and your opponent are using cards from a standard deck in an effort to beat each other. In practice, there are multiple ways to win in blackjack. However, for now, let’s stick with the idea that blackjack is a battle. Therefore, when you’re thinking about how to play blackjack, you need to put your mind into a competitive mode.

What is the goal of blackjack?

The goal of blackjack is to beat your opponent, i.e. the dealer. As with any battle, winning can be done by any means necessary. However, in this game, there are certain rules. We’ll go into more detail later in this guide on how to play blackjack at a casino. For now, let’s just say that your goal is to get a better total than the dealer without going bust. To put it another way, you need to get a total as close to 21 (or 21 exactly) without going over.

Beating the dealer in blackjack

Continuing this idea of blackjack being a battle between you and the dealer, your main aim should be to make the best total possible.

A lot of beginners want to know how to play 21 because they’ve heard 21 is the best score you can make. That’s correct, but it doesn’t tell the whole store. Yes, 21 is the top total and the one you should always aim for. However, you don’t need to make 21 to win. Just as a boxer doesn’t have to knock out their opponent, you have a variety of ways to emerge victorious. For clarity, these include:

  • You hit blackjack (an Ace + a card with a value of 10).
  • Your total is closer to 21 (or 21 exactly) than the dealer's.
  • The dealer goes bust (gets a score over 21) but you don’t go bust.  

Playing blackjack for real money

Regardless of whether you’re trying to learn how to play blackjack at home or inside a casino, money matters. Even though this is a tactical card game that’s extremely engaging, the ultimate goal for many people is to win some cash. Of course, you’re free to play for fun if that’s your preference. However, there may come a time when you want to put your skills to the test.

For those times, real money games are necessary. Here at Paddy Power Games, you’ll not only find a variety of blackjack tables, but you’ll be able to play at stakes that suit you. That, for us, is crucial. On our part, we can answer the question “how do you play blackjack?”. However, once you start betting, your fate is in your hands.

Basically, if you wager more than you can afford, you run the risk of going broke and having to sit on the sidelines. Therefore, if you are thinking about playing blackjack for money, make sure you know the rules and, importantly, make sure you stick to limits you can afford. 

Why is blackjack called “the 21 game”?

Blackjack is called the 21 game because that’s the best score you can make. Even though you don’t have to make this total to win, it’s the score you’re always aiming for. So, if someone asks you how to play the 21 card game, you’ll know they mean blackjack. Moreover, once you’ve made it to the end of this guide, you’ll also be able to tell them how to make blackjack.

Blackjack Game Assets: What You Need to Play

To play blackjack, you need a few things. Firstly, you need a table and a dealer. Secondly, you need some betting chips. Finally, and most importantly, you need some cards. Without a standard deck, you won’t be able to make winning totals and earn a return on your investment. However, what most novices don’t realise is that different types of blackjack have different deck dynamics. Even though the main premise remains the same (i.e. you’re trying to beat the dealer), the number of cards you’ll have at your disposal will vary.

Blackjack deck of cards

A blackjack deck of cards is no different to one used in poker, baccarat or any other classic casino game. Even though the rules of blackjack differ from other card games, they all work with a standard 52-card deck. In practice, this means there will be cards with values running from two to Ace in four different suits (hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs).

One important point to note is that suits don’t matter in this game. The only time this isn’t true is when certain bonus bets come into play. However, in general, you only need to worry about the value of each card and, in turn, the total they make when you add them together.

How many cards are there in a blackjack game?

In practice, the number of cards in a game of blackjack will vary depending on the variant you play. As we’ve said, standard decks are used. However, each variant of blackjack will use a different number of decks.

For example, if we’re talking about how to play blackjack at home, you’ll probably use one deck (52 cards). However, in a casino setting, the likelihood is that there will be more decks. As a general rule, the average game of casino blackjack will feature six or eight decks. To put it another way, there will be between 312 and 416 cards.

Why does the number of decks in blackjack vary?

The simple answer is odds. As it is with all casino games, the odds favour the house. When you add more decks to the mix, the house has slightly better odds over the player. This doesn’t mean you can’t win if there are eight decks in play. In fact, quite the opposite is true. However, all things being equal, the more decks there are, the greater the house edge is.

Fortunately, things are rarely “equal”. Different types of blackjack have different rules. These rules can be used to mitigate some of the advantages the casino has when more decks are used. Put simply, it’s never the case that six-deck games are always better than eight-deck games. The house edge is always a result of all the rules in play, not just the number of decks on the table. So, while it’s important to note how many cards there are, you shouldn’t focus on this fact alone.

Type of deck game in blackjack (French)

We can’t talk about blackjack card values and not give you a brief history lesson. Even though you don’t need to know where the game came from, it helps. According to the majority of experts, modern blackjack is a descendent of the French game vingt-et-un. This 17th century game is thought to derive from chemin de fer and French ferme.

The former was similar in structure to blackjack but used elements of Italian baccarat. In this game, Aces were worth one, number cards were worth their face-value and picture cards were worth 10. Compared to today’s game, the French blackjack deck was different in the fact Aces were worth one. When you play today, Aces can be worth one or 11. This evolution over time has led to some interesting nuances that make modern blackjack highly entertaining.

Playing blackjack with one single deck of cards

As we’ve said, if you’re learning how to play blackjack at home, you’ll probably use one deck. In some casinos, you’ll also find single-deck games. If you can find these games, they’re worth playing. The reason for this is that single-deck blackjack games aren’t as favourable to the house.

In blackjack, one of the dealer’s greatest assets is that multiple decks mean there are multiple cards with a value of 10 in play. Given that the highest total you can achieve without going bust is 21, it’s easy to see why a greater number of high-value cards can be a disadvantage.

If you can’t see that, let’s spell it out: having more high-value cards increases your chances of going bust when you draw more than two cards. Therefore, if there’s just one deck in play, the chances of going bust decrease. In fact, when you run the numbers, single-deck blackjack becomes a 50/50 proposition if you employ basic strategy.

Playing blackjack with multiple decks of cards

Even though single-deck blackjack may have better odds, the reality is that most games feature six or eight decks. We don’t need to go over why this is the case. What’s important to note here is that more decks does increase the house edge. In general, six-deck blackjack has a house edge of 0.40%. With eight decks in play, the house edge increases to 0.43%.

If we’re talking strategy, it pays to play games with fewer decks. However, the counter to this is that more decks means more opportunities. When you factor in special moves such as splitting, doubling down and bonus bets, more cards give you additional ways to get ahead of the dealer. So, while more decks favour the house in a general sense, there are specific scenarios where extra cards can be useful.

Blackjack card values – what are cards worth in blackjack?

We now know that blackjack can feature one, six, eight or, sometimes, more decks. With that understood, let’s delve a little deeper into the value of each card. We’ve touched on this point already, but it’s important to expand on a few concepts in order to provide a complete overview of how to play blackjack.

Blackjack cards at face value

The easiest blackjack card values to deal with are numbers. Basically, anything that’s not an Ace or a picture card will be worth its face value. For example, a five is worth five points, a seven is worth seven and so on. That’s really all there is to know about number cards in blackjack.

The cards with a value of 10

In addition to cards with a face value of 10, picture cards are also worth 10 each. What’s a picture card? Simple: any card with a picture on it. In a standard deck, the picture cards are:

  • Jack
  • Queen
  • King

Any time you’re dealt one of the above, it will be worth 10, regardless of suit. For example, Queen + Jack = 20. Alternatively, King + five = 15.

The value of the Ace in blackjack

When it comes to blackjack card values, an Ace is both the most interesting and the most powerful symbol in the game. We’ll discuss the concept of hard vs. soft hands later in this blackjack casino guide. For now, we can say that any hand with an Ace in will be described as soft. The reason for this is that Aces are worth one or 11. In most situations, you’ll be able to choose whether you want an Ace to be worth one or 11. However, there are instances when the value can only be one or the other.

Can you change the value of the Ace in blackjack?

Yes, but it depends. For example, if you’re holding an Ace + four, the Ace can be worth one or 11, so one + four = five or 11 + four = 15. However, if you were holding Ace + 10 + nine, the Ace could only be worth one.

Why? Well, if you opted to make the Ace worth 11, your total would be 11 + 10 + nine = 30. Under the rules of blackjack, 30 would cause you to go bust. Therefore, in situations where taking the higher value causes you to go bust, an Ace will always be worth one.

Blackjack Table Layout

Another component of blackjack is the table. Although you don’t have to worry too much about the table shape and dimensions, it is important to know what the markings mean. Moreover, when you’re at a table with other players, it’s helpful to understand the value of positioning.

Blackjack table size

When we refer to the size of a blackjack table, we don’t necessarily mean its physical dimensions. Instead, we’re referring to the number of active players. If you check out the blackjack lobby at Paddy Power Games, you’ll see that certain games have room for one player, while others can seat five or six players at a time.

As you’d expect, the number of active players matters because it affects how many cards are dealt at the start of a round. Now, we’re not going to dive into the nuances of card removal right now. However, when you’re not the only player at the table, you need to remember that this will have an impact on the game's dynamics.

Casino blackjack table vs. online blackjack table

The beauty of online blackjack is that it’s almost identical to its offline counterpart. Everything from the look of a table to the way you make bets will be the same. In fact, today, online blackjack incorporates features such as “bet behind”, which allows non-seated players to bet on the action too. Therefore, if you’re comfortable with the look of a blackjack table in one setting, you’ll be comfortable in the other.

Components of a blackjack table

A standard blackjack table will feature the following components:

  • Bet boxes where the player must place their chips.
  • Card boxes where the player cards will be placed.
  • A shoe, which is a device that holds the non-dealt cards.
  • A burn tray where dealt cards are placed once a betting round is over.
  • The dealer line, behind which the dealer’s cards sit.
  • Side bet boxes where you can make extra bets on various outcomes outside of the main game.

Does the table layout influence the outcome of the blackjack game?

No. The actual layout of a table won’t influence the outcome of a game but your position at the table might. For example, if you’re sitting in seat five, you’ll be the last player to active before the dealer makes their move.

In this position, you have the benefit of seeing what everyone else has done and the cards they’ve been dealt. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to make the right move. However, there is a slight advantage to acting last if you’re a skilled player.

Blackjack chips value

Blackjack chip values are easily identifiable because each chip has its value printed on the front and back. However, there are certain colour conventions in casino blackjack. So, even if there aren’t any numerical values on the chips, you can ascertain how much they’re worth based on their colour:

  • White chips = 1 unit
  • Red chips = 2 units
  • Green chips = 25 units
  • Black chips = 100 units
  • Purple/Pink chips = 500 units
  • Yellow chips = 1,000 units *Units = the casino’s local currency. For instance, pounds, euros or US dollars.

Before a Blackjack Game Starts

You can’t learn how to play 21 blackjack and not know how to approach the game. Yes, you need to know what to do once the cards are dealt. However, there are a few things that happen before the action starts. So, in the spirit of “if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail”, here are the steps you need to know before a game gets underway.

Exchanging cash for chips

To play blackjack, you need chips. Regardless of whether you’re online or offline, cash doesn’t play. So, to ensure everything is fair and there’s no confusion about how much you’re betting, you need to buy chips. To do this, you specify how much money you’re bringing to the table. From there, the dealer (or the blackjack software) will give you a selection of chips that equal the amount of cash you brought to the table.

How many chips should you buy?

You should buy as many blackjack chips as you want and can afford. The general rule of bankroll management is that you should sit down with no more than 2%-3% of your total bankroll. So, if your bankroll is 1,000 units of currency, the maximum you should use at the table is 30 units. Even though that sounds like a small sum compared to your total bankroll, it’s the best way to protect yourself from the ups and downs of blackjack.

Chips value and colours

If you skip back to the previous section of this guide on how to play blackjack, you’ll see the breakdown of chip values and colours. However, for the sake of clarity, there are standard values and colours in the casino world. These combinations are:

  • White chips = 1 unit
  • Red chips = 2 units
  • Green chips = 25 units
  • Black chips = 100 units
  • Purple/Pink chips = 500 units
  • Yellow chips = 1,000 units *Units = the casino’s local currency. 

Only put chips in the betting circle

Once you’ve sat down and bought some chips, the crucial rule you need to remember involves where to place said chips. In general, you should keep your chips in front of you and well back from the betting area. This avoids any confusion with regards to making bets and receiving payouts.

To make a bet, you need to place some chips in the betting circle. This will be clearly marked (often with the word "ante") and will be either next to or in front of where the cards are dealt. Only chips in the designated betting area will be counted as a bet.

Chips in brick and mortar casinos vs. chips in online casinos

Learning how to play blackjack at a casino will also show you how to ante up online. In fact, the opposite is also true. Because our online blackjack games are virtual representations of live games, everything is virtually identical, even down to the chips. The only difference is the way you place bets and dictate the action.

In a live blackjack game, you’ll have to physically place chips in the betting box and signal your move (tap the table for another card, wave to stand). Online, you simply have to click. By using your mouse or by tapping your mobile’s screen, you can set your bets, start the action and make moves with the minimum amount of fuss.

How to Bet in Blackjack

OK, at this point we know how to play blackjack from a theoretical standpoint - i.e. you’re trying to beat the dealer. We also know what the table looks like, how much you should spend and the chips you’ll use. Finally, we know how to make bets and what the differences are between live and online blackjack.

The next stage in the process is to start and control the action. Once you’ve mastered the following skills, you’ll be 90% of the way to knowing how to play blackjack online and live.

Choose the amount you want to bet

The amount you bet in blackjack will be a matter of personal preference. However, there are some points you should bear in mind.

Firstly, you have to bet at least the table minimum and not more than the maximum.

Secondly, your bet should be consistent with the amount of money you brought to the table. For example, if you sat down with 100 coins, it would be crazy to bet 95 coins on a single hand.

Finally, you may want to vary your bets as the game develops. Indeed, if you’re on a hot streak, it may be a good idea to increase the size of your bets. If things aren’t going your way, you can decrease them. This is one of the best things about blackjack and a reason it’s great for beginners.

“Stand” meaning in blackjack

After making your bet and receiving two starting cards, the dealer will ask if you want to hit or stand. The latter option means you’re happy with the total you’ve got. In other words, you’re standing pat. If you’re not happy with the total, you can hit. Later in this guide, we’ll give you some blackjack when to hit tips.

How to organize the chips on your table

If you’re playing in a bricks and mortar casino, you’ll also need to keep your chips in order. As well as keeping chips stacked in front of you and away from the betting area, it’s a good idea to arrange them by value. Either place all the same value chips in a pile or make on neat stack where the values run in descending order (i.e. highest value chips at the top). This will help you know what you're betting easily.

How to Play Blackjack Step by Step

By now, you should have a pretty clear idea of how to play blackjack cards as they’re dealt. However, to fill in any gaps and provide a quick overview of the betting process, here’s a step-by-step guide to blackjack:

Step 1: Bet

Make a bet that’s at least equal to the table minimum and not more than the maximum. Additionally, make sure your bets correlate with the size of your table funds. As a general guide, each single bet should be worth around 5% of your table funds.

Step 2: Dealer prepares

Once you’ve placed your bet, the dealer will draw cards from a pre-shuffled deck. As we’ve said, there may be more than one deck in play. Whatever number of cards there are, they will be shuffled ahead of time and placed in a special type of housing known as the shoe. The dealer will pull cards from the shoe.

Step 3: First cards dealt

The dealer will give each active player/hand, two cards face up. Following that, the dealer will give themselves two cards. However, only one of the dealer’s cards will be face-up. *Note: in certain types of blackjack, the dealer will only receive one card during the initial deal. They will then draw a second card once all active players have made their moves.

Step 4: Hit or stand?

Once you receive your cards, you have to decide whether you want to hit or stand. If you believe your total is strong enough to win the round, you can stand (i.e. not take any more cards). If you feel your total is weak, you can hit (take a third card). After hitting, you have to reassess your total. If your total is still weak, you can hit again. If it’s strong, you can stand.

Of course, if your total exceeds 21 at any point, the hand is dead because you’ll have gone “bust”. So, if you hit and the next card takes your total to 22+, you can’t choose to stand or hit again because the round is over.

Step 5: Win or lose?

Once every active player has stood on a total, the action is on the dealer. The dealer goes through a similar process of hitting and standing. However, the one caveat is that they can only stand on a score of 17 or higher. In other words, the dealer has to keep hitting until their score equals or exceeds 17. Eventually, when the dealer has fulfilled their obligations, the player with the best total (i.e. closest to 21 or 21 exactly) will win.

Alternatively, if you bust before the dealer completes their moves, you lose. If, however, you don’t bust and the dealer does, you win. Finally, if you and the dealer have the same total, the round is declared a tie (a push) and you receive your stake back.

Soft 17 meaning

Within all those moves, you should also consider something known as soft 17. As we mentioned earlier in this guide to playing blackjack, soft hands are ones that contain an Ace. Any time the dealer has soft 17, they will either have to hit or stand. This goes back to the rule about the dealer having to hit until they have a total the equals or exceeds 17. In some blackjack variants, soft 17 counts as a valid total. In others, it doesn’t. Therefore, in some games the dealer will stand on soft 17 and, in others, they’ll have to continue hitting until they get a valid total. This is not their prerogative: the casino has set these rules, and the dealers have to follow them.

Special Rules in Blackjack

Alongside the main moves you can make in blackjack, there are some “special” plays. These options aren’t always available. That’s what makes them special. However, when they are, you can use them as a way of getting more value from the hand.

Splitting meaning

Whenever you’re dealt a pair in blackjack, you have the option to split. For example, let’s assume you’ve placed a bet and the dealer gives you a nine and a nine. At this point, you can stand on 18, hit and take another card, or you can split. If you choose to split, you’re telling the dealer that you want to turn your pair into two separate hands.

When you split, it costs extra. In this instance, the cost is the size of your opening bet. So, if you wagered two coins at the start of the hand, it would cost you two coins to split. Once you’ve paid the proverbial piper, the dealer will separate the cards and deal each one a companion. At this point, you treat the two new hands as individuals and go through the same hit/stand process you would normally.

Doubling down meaning

Like splitting in blackjack, there are times you can match your opening bet and double down. In general, you can double down on any total of 11 or less. However, there are certain blackjack variants that only allow you to double down on starting totals of 10 or 11. Either way, the process of doubling requires you to match you starting bet. Once you’ve done that, the dealer will give you one card and one card only. In essence, doubling down is your way of saying you want to hit but only once, as well as that you're confident you will win, and are thus staking more.

Blackjack insurance meaning

The final special blackjack bet is called the insurance. Any time the dealer is showing an Ace, you’ll have the option to take insurance. Again, this bet costs the same as your opening wager. If you elect to take insurance in blackjack, you’ll receive a 2:1 payout on your insurance bet if the dealer has blackjack.

In practice, you will lose your main bet. However, the insurance rebate does mean you’ll end up even. Of course, if you pay for insurance and the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, you’ll lose the extra bet. According to basic blackjack strategy, insurance is a losing long-term play. Therefore, in theory, you should never take insurance.

Winning and Losing a Blackjack Round

What is a blackjack winning hand? What is a blackjack losing hand?

Well, as we've already established, a winning hand is one that's either close to 21 than the dealer's or still alive when the dealer has gone bust. Of course, there are some additional nuances you need to know once the cards start to fly.

What is the impact of busting on your wager?

If you bust in blackjack, you’ll lose and the round is over. Busting means the dealer doesn’t have to make a move and, more importantly, it means you lose your stake.

Who wins when the dealer busts?

When the dealer busts, everyone with an active hand wins. Regardless of the total you’ve got, the dealer busting is great news because it means you’ll win (unless you've also bust).

What happens if all players bust?

If every active player busts, the dealer wins. In fact, the dealer doesn’t even have to make a move if everyone else busts.

What happens when your hand is equal to the dealer’s hand?

If your hand is equal to the dealer’s, it’s declared a tie. In blackjack, a tie is also known as a push and means you’ll receive your stake back.

What happens if you get 21 before hitting?

If you get 21 before hitting, it’s known as blackjack. In practical terms, you’d need to be dealt a card with a value of 10 (either a 10 or a picture card) and an Ace. Because this is the best total possible, you won’t have to decide whether you want to hit or stand, because there are no more moves to make.

What’s more, you can’t lose with blackjack. The worst that can happen is that the dealer also has blackjack and the hand is declared a tie. Finally, if you hit blackjack, you’ll receive a better payout. For standard wins, you’ll receive a 1:1 payout. If you hit blackjack, the payoff is 3:2 (6:5 in some games).

How to Play Blackjack If You Are a Beginner – Six Tips for Success

So, that’s about all you need to know with regards to the basics of blackjack. Even if you stopped reading here, you’d know how to play blackjack at a casino, online or at home.

However, if you want to get the most from your time at the table, it’s worth knowing when to hit, stand, split and double. To help improve your performance, here are some top tips for playing blackjack as a beginner.

1. Check the dealer’s face-up card before making decisions

The most important move you can make at the blackjack table is checking the dealer’s up-card. The mistake novices make when they first start playing is to focus on their own two cards and nothing else. However, if you’re going to make the best moves, you need to know what the dealer is holding too.

The reason you need to know the dealer’s up-card is that it will determine your next move. For example, if the dealer is showing a 10, you know they’re in a strong position. Why? Because there are more high-value cards in the deck. So, it stands to reason that their hidden card will likely combine with the 10 to give them a strong total.

Conversely, if the dealer is showing a six, they’re weak. Why? Because the dealer has to hit to at least 17. Therefore, the only card they could turn over that would stop them from having to take a third cards is an Ace. In blackjack, any time you have to hit, you’re at risk. So, in this scenario, the dealer is at risk of going bust and, therefore, weak. In short, by checking the dealer’s up-card, you can ascertain whether they’re weak or strong and react accordingly.

2. Play basic strategy until you get familiar with the game

Checking the dealer’s up-card is an integral part of basic blackjack strategy. If you’re a novice, you should follow these basic ideas:

  • When the dealer is strong, hit any total that’s lower than 17.
  • When the dealer is weak, stand on any total.

That’s a very rough guide to basic blackjack strategy but it should give you a general idea of how to play based on the dealer’s card.

3. Have a blackjack chart at hand

Once you’re comfortable with assessing the strength of the dealer’s hand, you can use a blackjack chart to direct your moves.

These charts are based on mathematical concepts known as probability and expectation. Basically, they tell you when to hit, stand, split and double down based on your hand and on what the dealer is holding.

4. Bet a small amount at the beginning

We’ve said it once but we’ll say it again: only bet what you can afford. Every blackjack beginner should start off betting small. This will give you an opportunity to get a feel for the game without going broke. Simple!

5. Avoid playing insurance

Insurance might sound appealing but it’s a bad bet. Without delving into the maths, we'll say that you’ll actually lose money over time if you take this bet. The reason for this is that the dealer is less likely to have blackjack than have it when they’re holding an Ace. If you constantly fear the worst and take insurance, you’ll lose money in the long run.

6. A hard hand vs. soft hand in blackjack

The final tip you should take on board involves hard and soft hands. In blackjack, soft hands are ones that contain an Ace. They’re known as soft because you can’t go bust on them. For example, Ace + five + three can either equal 9 or 19. This is true because Aces can be worth 1 or 11.

Let’s assume you opted to use the Ace as a one in this scenario. There are no cards in the deck that can cause you to go bust. Therefore, it’s ok to hit. The skill here is knowing how to use soft hands. Most professionals will be aggressive in these spots.

In other words, they won’t be afraid to hit. Additionally, they may even double down on low soft totals when the dealer is weak. The reason for doing this is that they’re able to get more money onto the table and, therefore, win more when the dealer is a bad position.

How to Play Blackjack Online

That’s it, you’re all set. Everything you need to play blackjack is here in black and white.

The only decision you need to make is where you’re going to play first. In our opinion, the best option is online. As well as accessibility and affordability, online blackjack is a convenient way to try various formats and variants.

Can you play blackjack at home?

Yes! In fact, that’s the beauty of online blackjack. Because the games run 24/7 and available on all internet-enabled devices, you can play at a time and location of your choosing.

Online blackjack vs brick and mortar blackjack – which is best?

If you’re trying to decide if online blackjack is better for you than its offline counterpart, here are some benefits of playing via the internet:

  • The operating costs per game are lower online. This means you can play for smaller stakes.
  • Online blackjack lobbies are filled with dozens of tables, each of which can offer different rules and options.
  • Online casinos have various bonuses and incentives to help you get extra value when you play.
  • You can play whenever and wherever you like, 24/7.
  • Online blackjack is extremely safe and every game is 100% fair.

Online blackjack or live blackjack – which one to choose?

At the end of the day, it’s your choice. However, keep in mind that the blackjack lobby here at Paddy Power Games is set up for novices and pros alike. So, if you want the greatest amount of choice at betting limits that suit you, online blackjack should be your go-to option.

Can you play online blackjack against other players?

Yes. In general, you can play blackjack at single or multiplayer tables. In both settings, it’s you vs. the dealer. However, blackjack tournaments are also an option. These tournaments pit you against other players in a race to make the most profit in a set amount of time.

How to Play Blackjack - Tips

✔What happens if you draw in 21?

If you draw 21 with your first two cards in blackjack, you’ll beat any dealer hand except blackjack. If the dealer also has blackjack, it’s a push (a tie). However, if you have blackjack and win, you’ll receive a 3:2 payout.

✔What is a push 22 in blackjack?

Push 22 in blackjack is a rule that’s specific to certain variants. If this rule is in place, all active hands will be declared a draw if the dealer gets 22. This rule is mainly used in Blackjack Switch, which is a variant that allows you to switch cards after the initial deal. In this game, any total that’s not blackjack becomes a draw if the dealer hits 22.

✔Who wins on a push in blackjack?

When a blackjack hand is declared a push, no one wins. In this game, push is the technical way of saying the hand is a tie. Whenever you tie with the dealer, you neither win nor lose. Instead, you receive your stake back.

✔What should you not do in blackjack?

In blackjack, you should never bet more than you can afford. Additionally, when it comes to specific moves, you should never do the following:

❌Split a pair of 10s

❌Hit on a total of 18+

❌Take insurance

❌Stand on total of 11 or lower

❌Split a pair of fives

❌Double down when the dealer is showing an Ace

✔Can you play online blackjack for real money?

Absolutely. Here at Paddy Power Games, we’ve got dozens of real money blackjack games designed for all players. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a pro, our tables have betting limits to suit. What’s more, you’ll have a variety of ways to win, including standard bets and bonus options that can give you some serious returns.

To try out our best blackjack games and put your newfound skills into practice, use our sign-up link and become a Paddy Power Games player today.



Yes. Knowing when to leave the table is one of the most powerful moves you can make in blackjack. Naturally, this comes down to personal preference, timing and feel. However, the beauty of blackjack is that you’re not tied to a certain number of hands. In fact, you can play a single hand, win and leave instantly, if you wish.


Ties aren’t that common in blackjack but they do happen. Under a standard set of rules, you should expect to tie with the dealer around 8% of the time. In contrast, you can expect to win around 44% of the time.