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Blackjack, also commonly referred to as “21,” is easily one of the most applauded and appealing of the classic casino games. Blackjack is perhaps better known because of its potential for player profit. Many players dream of the day that they will use their blackjack skills to “beat the system.” Though playing blackjack—and especially playing online blackjack—is incredibly easy, beating the dealer consistently requires a complex understanding of the deck and its odds. Our online blackjack rules can get you started, and our online blackjack strategies will get you to step two, but learning how to play blackjack is a far cry from learning how to win at blackjack. 

Blackjack Rules
Unlike some of the other casino games, whose rules require that players know little more than how to place a bet, blackjack rules are a little more involved. While new players may be intimidated by all of their choices, returning blackjack players like their ability to control the outcome of the game. In a live game, you will be forced to announce your moves, but when you play online, you choose your blackjack actions from a list of linked buttons; be very careful that you click the action you want to make as move mistakes can be very costly in the long run. 

To win blackjack, you need a better hand than the dealer, and more specifically a hand as close to 21 as possible without going over. Determining your hand value is simple; each card is worth the number of points printed on its face, face cards are worth 10, and the Ace is worth 1 or 11 as it suits the hand. You may play the game with other casino members, but unless you're attempting to count cards their hands should be of no concern to you. The only cards you need to consider are yours or the dealer's.

To start each round, the dealer will give players two cards and themselves two cards. Dealers will consider their existing hands and then decide if they want to hit, stand, double down or split. To hit is to request another card. You can hit as many times as you like until you go over 21 or choose to stand. To stand is to stay with the hand total you have. To double down, you will double your original bet and request one additional card; this is generally only done when a player has a hand total of 10 or 11. To split is to take two cards of equal value (ex: two 8s) and make them into two separate hands; this also requires a double bet. 

Blackjack Strategy
There are many online blackjack strategies out there. It's important to have a knowledge of the game before you try to use these strategies, otherwise it may be difficult for you to determine which strategies are better than others, and before you know it you'll have lost your bankroll. The simplest playing strategy is to assume that the dealer's down card is a 10. Combine that total with their upcard, and you know what hand you have to beat. Remember that dealers are generally forced by house rules to stand at 16 or 17; knowing which is also an important part of your playing strategy because it gives you a good starting point when it comes to deciding when you should also stand.