Welcome to our Online Blackjack Guide

You won’t be surprised to hear that blackjack is one of the oldest casino card games around.  Here at the Online Pokies Club, we aim to offer information about playing blackjack.

In this game, players play against the dealer and are dealt two cards. The aim of the game is to reach, but not go over, a total of 21 by adding up the values of their cards. Aces are worth 1 or 11, depending on which you choose, other cards have the number value they show and jacks, queens and kings, have a value of 10.

There are numerous videos on YouTube, which will guide you through the hand movements required, but essentially they are as follows;

Hit – either tap or scrape the table with you index and forefinger a couple of times.

Split – if you are dealt two cards of the same face value, you can split them up, and play them as though they were two hands. You must place an equal amount to the initial bet on the new split hand. To signal a split, you shape your hand into a fist, palm down, and then extend the forefinger and the index finger into a
‘V’ shape on the table.

Stand – flatten out your hand, palm down and move it in a left to right movement several times – intimating that you have finished.

Double down – if you have a 9, 10 or 11 you can double down and place an equal or lower extra bet next to your initial bet. Place the extra bet and when the dealer gets to you point your index finger onto the table showing you want one extra card.

Surrender – if you are playing in an establishment where it is permitted, you can surrender your hand after it is dealt. To signal this, draw a line on the table in front of you with your index finger, moving from one side of your body to the other.

Of course, the reason you need to know these hand signals in a casino is so that the cameras can see your clear intensions with regards to your play.

Words can be misheard, where as hand signals are a sure fire way of knowing what was asked for, should there be any misunderstanding between you and the casino.

At some later stage the game became popular in America. Gambling establishments over there tried to make the game more appealing by offering a 10-1 bonus payment if a player could produce an ace of spades with either a jack of clubs or a jack of spades.

If you got this hand, you had ‘blackjack’ and that name stuck, despite the 10-1 bonus being withdrawn.

The way that the game is played is as follows:

A dealer stands behind a semi-circular card table. Players stand opposite the dealer. Between 1 and 7 players can play the game at any one time, and because players are playing against the dealer, and not each other, it makes no difference whether you sit at a table on your own or with lots of other players.

The dealer has between 1 and 8 decks of cards, which are shuffled together and dealt out from the ‘shoe’.

The cards are dealt from left to right. One card is dealt to each player, including one for themselves.

All player cards are dealt face up and the dealer’s first card is dealt face up. The dealer then goes on to deal the second card face up to all players. They deal their own second card face down in ‘hole card’ games. The dealer peeks at this card, and if it makes their hand a blackjack, they then reveal the card.

European casinos differ a little to American ones because over here, ‘no hole card games’ are more popular. The dealer will not draw nor look at their second card until all players have played their hand.

The aim of the game is to have the total of your cards beating that of the dealers total, without going over 21, commonly known as ‘bust’. You have to total the corresponding values for each of your cards.

Each card is worth its face value (5 of clubs = 5, 10 of diamonds = 10 etc), or if they are face cards; a jack, king or queen, their value is 10. Additionally, and Ace can be worth either 1 or 11, the player can choose which value suits their hand the best.

Once the dealing has been done, each player takes their turn to either; add to their 2 cards, (by the dealer dealing them another card, a player will often say ‘hit me’ for this); or to stick with their initial 2 cards, (to ‘stand’ or ‘stick’).

Additionally, a player can choose to ‘double down’, whereby they increase their initial bet and are given just one more card. Or, a player, upon receiving two initial cards of the same value, can split their hand, in order that they are essentially playing 2 hands at once.

When you do this, you have to match your initial bet on the separated card. Once all players have finished play, the dealer will draw cards for their hand.

If they reach 17, they can stick, but the dealer cannot stick on any number less than 17. The dealer never doubles, splits, or surrenders. If you get more than the dealer, then you win, if they beat you, then they win. If you get the same total, then its called a ‘push’, and you get your stake back. It’s really that simple.

One thing to remember when you are in an actual casino as opposed to playing blackjack online from the comfort of your own home, is that you have to use hand signals in the land-based casinos.

If you are interested in the best blackjack casinos online, you are looking in the right place. We know where some of the best blackjack bonuses can be found But of course, if you choose to play blackjack online – you won’t have to worry about these hand signals – yet another advantage to playing online blackjack!

Whilst you can play free play blackjack games online, it is totally understandable if you prefer to play blackjack online for money. Let’s face it, it is one of the most thrilling and adrenalin-fuelled games you can play in an online casino.

And provided you play in a sensible manner, sticking to a method of play and not ‘hitting’ on your 18 hand because you ‘feel in your bones’ that the next card is going to be a 3… you should fair pretty well at the table!!