JacksPay Online Blackjack: Tips, Rules, and Strategy
Jack is a man of the people and he knows that not everyone is a blackjack pro like him. So to help raise your game, JacksPay online casino has put together a quick-fire guide to the rules and basic strategy of blackjack, as well as a few extra tips to push the odds in your favor.
How Blackjack Works: A Quick Overview
If we cut out all the variations and side bets for a minute, and we stop thinking about strategy, blackjack becomes a pretty straightforward game. Here’s a quick breakdown of how every hand plays out:
The goal - You’re only playing against the dealer, so ignore everyone else. At the end of the hand, whoever is closest to 21 (the total value of their cards) without exceeding 21, is the winner.
Everyone at the table is dealt two cards, face up. One of the dealer’s cards is face down. No one knows his total.
You can ‘hit’ (be dealt another card) to increase your total, or you can ‘stand’ if you’ve got a good hand.
Hit as many times as you want, but get more than 21 (going ‘bust’) and you lose automatically.
Once everyone has played, the dealer flips their 2nd card.
In general, if their total is 16 or less, they must hit.
If hitting pushes the dealer over 21, they are bust and everyone left at the table wins.
Once the dealer's total hits between 17 and 21, they must stand.
Once the dealer stands, you compare hands: higher hand wins!
If it’s a tie, then it’s a ‘push’ and you get your wager back.
And that’s it. Every blackjack variation is a twist on this classic setup.
The JacksPay Blackjack Fast Track
Itching to hit the tables? Here’s our 4 JacksPay trusted steps to get you started.
Download a ‘basic strategy card’ from Google.
Select a Jacks Pay online blackjack variation from our casino lobby.
Set a bet amount within your budget and hit “deal” to start playing!
Basic Strategy: How to Win at JacksPay Online Blackjack
There is a mathematically optimal way to play every hand at the blackjack table: it’s called basic strategy. The goal of basic strategy is to maximize your wins and minimize losses. It assumes that all you know is the value of your and the dealer’s hands.*
The best players in the world apply basic strategy in real-time, using hard-trained knowledge. But for everyone else, the way to practice basic strategy is to download a basic strategy card. This is a color-coded matrix that tells you what to do - hit, stand, double down, split - in every situation.
*You’ve probably heard of card counting too. This isn’t some secret magic reserved for math geniuses: it’s just an evolution of basic strategy. In addition to playing each hand optimally, players attempt to track which cards are left in the deck. They gain extra knowledge about the state of play and can vary their bets when the chances of winning are highest.
Jack will cover card counting techniques in another post, but the basic message is this: winning at blackjack requires meticulous strategy, one way or another!
Getting started as a new player
Becoming a high-level blackjack player requires a lot of practice. Learning the rules, adopting the strategy, playing without emotion - you’re going to lose a lot of blackjack hands along the way. At Jacks Pay online casino, you can play free demo versions of all our blackjack games.
These have identical mechanics and payouts to the real versions, making them perfect for improving your basic strategy, studying your odds, and learning to win more at the table. These RNG games are no use for card counting (since decks are auto-shuffled between hands) so if you’re at that stage, Jack recommends finding a low-stakes live dealer table to practice.
Jacks Pay Trusted Advice for New Players
Look for tables that pay 3:2
When a player is dealt blackjack, the classic payout is 1.5x (or 3:2) on top of the initial wager. So blackjack on a $10 bet returns $25. However, many online casinos now pay out 6:5 for blackjack. In brief, this more than doubles the house edge, so avoid these tables wherever possible.
Choose bet limits wisely
Your bankroll should usually be at least 50x the minimum bet at your table. Blackjack is a long game, and recklessly high betting is just asking for trouble. Play slow, and play sensible.
Remember the ‘soft 17’ rule
This rule requires the dealer to hit on a soft 17: a total of 17 that contains an ace, such as A-3-3. This again increases the house edge, so look for tables which don’t apply this rule.
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Key blackjack terminology
Hit, stand, bust - In order, these are “Give me a card,” “Don’t give me any more cards,” and “Oh no I’m over 21.”
Soft 17 - A ‘soft’ 17 is when the dealer hits 17 including an ace. Most games require dealers to hit on soft 17 (favoring the house) while for some, the dealer stands, benefiting the player.
Payout - Your payment for a winning hand. Most games are 3:2, so wagering $10 will win you $25 (for blackjack) or $10 for any other win.
House edge - This is a measure of the casino’s advantage over players. Using basic strategy massively reduces the house edge and means you win more hands.
Surrender - In multi-deck blackjack, there is sometimes the option to surrender (foreit) your hand and receive half your stake back. Can improve house edge when the dealer receives a strong hand.
Double down - Double your wager and draw one single extra card. The goal is to take advantage of certain hands for a larger payout.
Splitting - A strategy of splitting two matching cards (e.g. two 10s) into separate hands, giving you two shots at winning.
Blackjack rules & strategy FAQs
Is card counting allowed in blackjack?
Card counting is perfectly legal, both in physical and online live dealer casinos. However, some casinos will remove players if they see them counting - fortunately this can’t happen online.
What is house edge in blackjack?
House edge is a measure of the casino’s advantage over you, the player. Adopting basic strategy reduces this to nearly 0%; effective card counting can push it below 0%.
How many blackjack variations are there?
There are hundreds of online variations, each with their own rules, quirks, and limitations.