Blackjack Rules Overview

The first record of Blackjack dates back to the early 1700’s and has since been one of the most popular casino games across the globe. If you are looking to learn how to play Blackjack, or just want to have a refresh of the rules, then you have come to the right place. We’re going to take a look at the rules of Blackjack when you play online at Bovada Casino.

The Rules Of Online Blackjack

Whether you play blackjack games online or in a brick-and-mortar casino, this casino game is always played against the house. Each round, both you and your opponent (the dealer) are trying to build your hand closest to a score of 21. Anyone who’s score totals over 21, they are bust and lose.

Every round of blackjack begins with a bet; as little as $1 per round with the maximum depending on the versions you’re playing:

  • Standard six-deck Blackjack has a $500 max bet
  • Double-deck has a $250 max
  • Single-deck has a $300 max

To begin, you’ll both be dealt two-card hands; the two cards you receive are added together giving you your starting play score. One of the Dealer’s cards on the casino table (known as his up-card), which gives you a small insight of what you’re up against.

Taking into account your play score, and the Dealer’s up-card, you can decide what action you would like to make:

  • Hit: Get another card. (Can hit multiple times until you stand or bust).
  • Stand: Stand with your current points and face off with the Dealer.
  • Double: Double your bet and receive one final card.
  • Surrender: End round prematurely and forfeit half your wager.

If your first two cards equal 21, then this is called “Blackjack” and an automatic win (unless the opponent also gets Blackjack, in which case its a push).

Under certain circumstances, two additional actions will be available to you:

  • Split: When you receive two cards of equal rank upon first deal, splitting is an option. You can divide the pair into two individual hands; each newly split hand will receive a second card, at which point, you decide to hit, stand, double, or surrender. When you play online blackjack at Bovada Casino, and you split with a pair of aces, you only receive one more card. Should that card have a value of 10, it is not considered “Blackjack” and pays out at 1:1.
  • Insurance: When the Dealer’s upcard is an Ace, you can protect yourself from Dealer Blackjack by making an Insurance side bet that’s half the amount of your original wager. An Insurance bet wins if the Dealer’s unseen card is 10-value, resulting in Dealer Blackjack. It pays 2:1, meaning you would not lose any money if it wins.

The Dealer is only given the first two options: hit or stand. He must continue to hit until his play score is at least 17, with some games of blackjack requiring the Dealer to also hit on soft 17s.

The Dealer standing on soft 17, which is a 17-point score that includes an 11-point Ace, is one of the many game-specific rules that you’ll consider when hunting down the best blackjack games. Other game-specific rules include: the number of times you can split a hand, the play rules for splitting Aces (usually split Aces receive just one more card and are not considered “Blackjack” if dealt a 10), and limits on doubling.

Blackjack Card Values

Blackjack uses a full deck of 52 cards, however, some games can use more than one deck. The suit of a card is meaningless in blackjack, only the numerical value has meaning. Fortunately, the card values when playing blackjack are simple and easy to understand as they are more or less face value. Here are each of the card’s values when playing the popular casino game:

  • Ace: 1 or 11
  • 2: 2
  • 3: 3
  • 4: 4
  • 5: 5
  • 6: 6
  • 7: 7
  • 8: 8
  • 9: 9
  • 10: 10
  • Jack: 10
  • Queen: 10
  • King: 10

Online Blackjack Odds and Payouts

At Bovada Casino, you can play online Blackjack for real money. Across all of the blackjack games available at Bovada Casino, the odds and payouts are as follows:

  • Blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • All other hands pay 1:1.

The Best Blackjack Strategies For Beginners

Playing Strategy & Tips

The best strategy tip for blackjack beginners is to aim for a hard 17 or higher. The minimum target should be 19 or higher when you have a soft hand (comprising an 11-point Ace).

The next step involves checking the casino Dealer’s up-card and modifying your play based on the information. If the Dealer’s up-card is between 2-6, there’s a good chance he’s going to bust, so you should stand on a score of 13 or higher. You can stand on a 12 too if the casino Dealer has a Four, Five or Six—the highest bust cards in the game.

Knowing the ideal time to split a pair will give you an edge when playing for real money online. Here’s some solid splitting advice: never split Tens, and always split Aces and Eights. A pair of Eights makes one of the worst scores possible: 16. You’re better off splitting them. As for two Aces, they make a score of 12, so splitting them gives you a chance to get two scores of 21, which is quite the upgrade. When it comes to Tens, they combine for a near-perfect score of 20; something that isn’t worth throwing away.

Betting Strategy

One of the most popular betting strategies in blackjack, or any casino game for that matter, is the Martingale strategy. The Martingale betting strategy is commonly used by casino players across the globe. The strategy stems from the idea that losing streaks cannot last forever and sees players doubling their wager after each loss; once you eventually hit a win, you make back everything you have lost. This betting method does contain some risk as a player may hit the table’s wager limit before winning.

Play Blackjack Online For Free For Practice

The best way to learn blackjack rules is to play for free at Bovada Casino. When you play blackjack for free, it allows you to play with a valueless currency, as opposed to real money; essentially you are in practice mode. This gives you the chance to have a play around and get used to the rules of the game. You are also able to test out and master different strategies without having to worry about risking real money.