Blackjack is the most widely played casino game. The popularity of the game has much to do with the combination of chance and elements of skill. There is much publicity given to card counting in the game as players calculate the probability of winning based on the ratio of high to low cards.

We will guide you with some Blackjack basics that will be useful when you enter the world of online Blackjack.When playing Blackjack you are playing against the dealer and not the other players participating in the game. The winning hand is determined by the total points that you hold; to beat the dealer's hand your points must be higher, have blackjack (21 points) or hope the dealer goes beyond 21.

Blackjack points allocation

•    Ace - 11/1
•    King, Queen, Jack, Ten - 10
•    The rest of the cards have their face value, i.e. 7=7.

Terminology to indicate your online play

Hit: take another card.
Stand: take no more cards.

Split: if the 2 cards dealt in the online casino have the same value  you may split them and make 2 hands; if you choose the split you are required to double your bet.
Doubling Down: the online casinos player, doubles the bet and takes another hit, then stands.

How the game is played

There are 3 to 5 decks of cards used. You and the dealer are dealt two cards face up. Thereafter if your 2 cards do not total 21 (which will make you a winner automatically, unless the dealer has 21 as well, then it's a "draw", nobody wins), you have the option to "hit" (ask for one more card) or "stay" (you are satisfied with your cards and do not want any more cards).

If you "hit" and your total goes over 21 - you lose. You can hit as many times as you want, until you decide to "stay" or until you "bust" (your total goes over 21 points).

When you decide to "stay" the dealer should hit automatically if he is under 17 points (16 at some casinos), if he has 17 points or more from the first two cards - the dealer automatically "stays".

Outcomes of Blackjack online

•    You lose if you do not have a blackjack and the dealer does;
•    The dealer loses if you have a blackjack and he does not.
•    When you and the dealer has a blackjack it is called a "push" and neither wins.
•    When neither one has a blackjack all the players play their hands and the dealer then follows.

The turn of the online casinos player is over after they stand, double down or bust. If the player goes bust they lose even if the dealer goes bust.

When all the players in the online casinos have played out their hand, it is the dealer's turn to reveal his hand. The dealer is required to hit until he has a total of 17; if the dealer goes bust all the players (who didn't go bust) win.Many online casinos offer the players "insurance" when playing a hand of blackjack. If you think that the dealer may have a blackjack you may buy insurance for half of your initial bet; if the dealer does have a blackjack your payout is 2:1 on your initial bet; if not, yu lose your insurance bet.

The above are only the most basic rules for playing Blackjack with online casinos. It is advised that you familiarise yourself with the rules of the online casino you choose to play Blackjack with as these may vary. There are reputable online casinos with the option of playing "free" allowing you to get the hang of the game before parting with your money.