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Online Blackjack

Blackjack is also known as “21” – and for a good reason. The goal of the game is to collect cards that add up to 21, but without going over. The earliest known reference to a blackjack-like game is in a short story by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, written around the turn of the 17th century. While the game was originally known as twenty-one, it got the moniker “blackjack” when it moved to the United States. There, casinos would offer bonuses to players who got an ace of spades and a black jack (spades or clubs). The name stuck, and is now used in brick-and-mortar casinos as well as in the online casino.

Luck or skill?

In online blackjack, like in a real casino, you need a combination of luck and skill in order to win real money. Many players come up with strategies in order to beat the dealer; in fact, blackjack is one of the more popular games in which the illegal tactic of counting cards has been used. However, card counting doesn’t really work in online blackjack – so don’t get any ideas!

While you can’t control which cards you are dealt, you can control whether you ask for another card and base your decisions on what’s going on with the dealer and other players. These principles work in the online casino, as well as in the real casino.

Blackjack Terminology

Here are some of the basic terms you need to know to play blackjack whether you're playing in an online casino or a more traditional game using actual cards:

Bust – To exceed 21 and thus lose the hand

Hit – To ask the dealer for another card

Holecard – The dealer’s second card, which remains facedown

Push – A tie between the dealer and a player

Stand/Stay – Don’t take any more cards and stick with what you have

Further Reading

Blackjack Hall of Famer Edward O. Thorp wrote the seminal, “Beat the Dealer,” about devising strategies to win at blackjack. Another Hall of Famer, Ken Uston, wrote the aptly titled, “Ken Uston on Blackjack.”