Online Blackjack, which is also commonly known as 21, is one of the most popular card games in the United States, where players attempt to get the value of their hand to be 21, without exceeding this number. Even among the numerous casino games American players have to choose from, Blackjack remains a classic American favorite Between the giant kingdoms of Las Vegas and Atlantic City it’s easy to feel a little intimated by the millions of gambling pros that grace these shores every day. Now with online casinos you don’t have deal with the professional Blackjack player’s glare or spend hours waiting to play your favourite game. That is why Casino US has compiled a handy 2018 guide to help you rival the Blackjack pros both online, and in your favourite American casinos.
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Blackjack history - online blackjack America

The game of Blackjack has many influences from around the world. Some of these include Quinze, One-and-Thirty, Trente-et-Quatre, Seven-and-a-Half and Baccarat. Each of these games required the player to reach a certain number. The one theory most players agree on is that it originated in the 1700’s in France with the game Vingt-Un which literally translates to 21. In the late 1800’s the game made its way to America and the first recorded game of Blackjack was in a gambling hall in Indiana around 1910.The games popularity grew when gambling halls offered a large payout to the player whose hand was an Ace and a Jack. This lucky hand became known as the ‘Blackjack’ hand and thus the name was born. The game was legalized in the state of Nevada in 1931, which led to the rise of the game online in the 1990’s.


Man holding phone playing cards - online blackjack USA

Online Blackjack, also known as 21 or pontoon is a simple game that requires a mix of luck, strategy and concentration. To better understand the game let’s take a look at how the game works. The aim of Blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible, before the dealer does. The dealer hands out two cards to each player, including him/herself. One of the dealer’s cards, known as the ‘up’ card, is placed face up, and the other, known as the ‘hole’ card, is placed face down. The game then moves in a clockwise direction beginning with the player on the dealers left. Once each player has accessed their own cards and has looked at the dealer’s ‘up’ card, each player makes a decision to:

  • Stand-this means that you are happy with your current cards and choose not to take anymore
  • Hit-this means that you would like more cards (players can hit until they reach a desired value or go ‘bust’ which means to go over 21)
  • Double down-this action is used if you feel very confident about your hand as it doubles your bet, and allows you to take one more card only
  • Surrender-this action is used if you feel you have a losing hand and results in losing half the amount you bet, this action can only be played on your first two cards and not after you ‘hit’
  • Split-this action can be used to split two cards of the same value, forming another hand, which doubles your bet

Click here for a more detailed guide on how to play Blackjack


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The rules are simple and easy to follow, try to memorise them to improve your game:

  • The aim of the game is to get as close as possible to 21, using the value of the cards in your hand, and if need be, the cards you get from choosing to hit.
  • The game is over when the player or the dealer busts or surrenders.
  • If neither the dealer nor the player busts or surrenders, the person with the highest valued hand wins.
  • The numbered cards keep their value
  • The King, Queen and Jack are each valued at 10.
  • The value of the Ace can be chosen by the player, and can either be valued at 1 or 11.
  • A pair of cards made up of an Ace and 10 is known as Blackjack.


Card Type Value
King of hearts - online blackjack King 10
Queen of hearts - online blackjack Queen 10
Jack of hearts - online blackjack Jack 10
Ace of hearts - online blackjack Ace Either 1 or 11
face cards - online blackjack Other The indicated card face value


Image of hand with money through laptop - online blackjack America

With time and practice, every Blackjack player develops their own strategy, but here are few tips and general strategies we think are important for you to know.

  • Learn and memorise the rules and card values to better your game, and make quicker decisions.
  • Always remember that the goal of Blackjack is not to get to 21 but to beat the dealer.
  • Set a bankroll limit and stay within it.
  • Never play Blackjack when you are intoxicated as it will limit your ability to concentrate and make decisions.
  • Always take the dealers ‘up’ card into consideration before making any decisions.
  • A general rule of strategy is to always hit on a hard eight or less.
  • Always split aces and two 8’s.
  • Stand on 18 if you do not want to double down
  • Stand on a 17 if the dealer’s ‘up’ card shows seven or less
  • Hit if your hand is between 12 and 16, and the dealers is seven or higher


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  • Online Blackjack is a game that is loved locally and internationally so knowing how to play it well will work in your favour.
  • The rules are simple and the goal is clear.
  • You have a great influence over the outcome of the game as you make the decisions.
  • You can control the amount of money you win as the game relies on constant betting.
  • You do not need a big bankroll to play online Blackjack.
  • There are different variations of online Blackjack so you will never get bored of playing your favourite game.

THE 2018 GLOSSARY OF ONLINE BLACKJACK TERMS FOR USA PLAYERSImage of red book with magnifying glass - online blackjack America


You have gone over 21 and have lost the game

The up card

The dealer’s card that is placed face up

The hole card

The dealer’s card that is placed face down


When both the dealer and the player have a hand of 21, the player wins


This is a side bet that is placed by the player if the dealer’s ‘up’ card is an ace

Dealer peeks

Depending on the variation of the game, the dealer is allowed to peak at his/her cards if the ’up’ card is an ace or a 10

Hard value/hand

A hand without an ace or when the ace counts as 1

Soft value/hand

A hand with an ace or one that counts as 11


Online Blackjack FAQ

What happens when a dealer ‘draws out?’
What should I do if I feel like I am being cheated?
Why should I not split my tens?
What varieties of Blackjack are there?