When playing online blackjack (or when playing in a casino for that matter) you have a number of choices after being dealt your first two cards. Here we explain your options so you can be a confident and efficient player of this fantastic casino favorite.
Stand – If you are happy with your two cards you can simply stand, meaning you keep what you have and play passes to the next in line (either another player or the dealer).
Hit – If you want another card from the dealer to get closer to 21 you can hit. If your new card takes your total to 22 or over you have bust. You can hit as many times as you like as long as your combined card total is 20 or below.
Double – Different variants of blackjack will have slightly different rules when it comes to doubling down, but in general you have to bet the value of your stake again when requesting to double (which you can only do after you’ve received you first two cards). When you double you will receive just one more card and will not then have the option to hit or double again.
Split – If you are dealt a pair (for example two 7s or two kings) you will be able to split, which costs you the value of your initial stake again. You will now have two hands and each will receive a second card and be played independently of the other. As with doubling, splitting rules vary according to the specific game variant you are playing, and you may or may not be able to re-split hands if dealt a second pair.
Insurance – Insurance is offered in the form of a side bet if the dealer’s open card is an ace and gives you the chance to bet on the dealer having a blackjack (i.e. that their second card is a 10 or a picture card). The bet pays out at odds of 2/1 and your hand is played out independently of the insurance bet. Some blackjack game variants will offer you an early payout of evens (instead of the usual 3/2) if you already have a blackjack yourself, which you can opt to take or refuse as you see fit.
Surrender – Early surrender rules are sometimes played whereby you can surrender your hand early for the loss of half your stake without completing the hand. This may be done, for instance, if you have two poor cards and the dealer’s first card is worth 10.