How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack is one of the world’s most popular casino games, and you can enjoy it right here among our fun and friendly community of Foxy fans. In fact, it’s one of Foxy’s personal favourites! To play the traditional version of the game you just need the ability to count to 21 (easy!) and learn a few simple rules. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll find that there are many other online variants out there to enjoy.
● Blackjack live
● Live Blackjack (£0.50-£100)
● Multihand Blackjack
● Sidebet Blackjack
With Foxy Casino’s Live games, you get to pit your hand of playing cards against the dealer’s by aiming to get as close to 21 points as you can. If you go over 21, you’ll go “bust”, and the game ends. So, while you can’t control what playing cards you’re dealt, deciding whether or not to pick up more cards is essential to becoming a successful player. And, sometimes, you’ll be lucky enough to be dealt an instant blackjack with your first two cards!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to take a closer look at the rules and the many different ways in which you can win amazing prizes.
All you have to do is understand the basic rules and you’re away. When you play online casino you don’t even have to worry about taking that awkward first seat at the table - you can sit wherever you like, the couch, on the train, a park bench… you get the picture. So, let's kick off with the basics! The following rules apply to classic blackjack:
● Ace can be high or low, totalling either 1 or 11
● Kings, Queens and Jacks (also known as face cards or picture cards) have a value of 10
● All other cards have their numerical value
● Each game uses six decks of playing cards with each deck consisting of 52 cards
● Absolute beginners should think about standing on any score of 16 and above. This gives you a fair chance of winning the hand. Our dealers play by my rules, so they have to hit if the value of their hand is lower than 17, otherwise they’ll stand.
● The player can double down on any two-card hard, which means that you can potentially double your original bet.
● If both the dealer and the player have a blackjack, a tie is declared, and no money is lost or won.
● The player can “surrender” the game and receive half their wager back, unless the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace.
In our Terminology section below, we’ll be explaining what some of these terms (such as ‘surrender’ and ‘double down’ mean).
Like many popular casino games such as baccarat, poker, and roulette, online blackjack uses certain terms to describe the different options that are available to players, as well as the betting types. So, to help ensure you’re not bamboozled by your first encounter with the game, we’ve listed below some of the key phrases you’re likely to come across:
Take another face up card from the dealer. More cards may be requested until the player is ready to stick or until they bust (by accruing a hand exceeding 21).
Sometimes called Stick, this term means to decline to take another card and go up against the dealer with the total of the two cards in their hand.
If the first two cards in your hand are of equal value, you can split them into two separate hands and take an additional card for each one. This means you can play the game with two hands, increasing your chance of success and your potential rewards. You will, however, need to equal your original stake on your newly split hand, so you will be betting double the original amount.
There are a lot of variations and alternative rules which relate to splitting. Some of the most common include:
● Allowing all cards with the same value to be split (i.e. a 10 and a Queen)
● Restrictions on further doubling and splitting after a split
● Considering blackjacks as a non-blackjack 21 score after a split
Increase your original wager (and, therefore, your potential returns) by committing to ‘stand’ after taking one more card from the dealer. To explain in more detail – this move allows you to effectively “buy” one more card face down, thus increasing your stake. In some games players are only allowed to double their initial stake. In other games, casinos will allow players to increase their bet by anything up to 100%.
After the double down, players must commit to playing their hand with no additional doubles, splits or hits. In a live game, players can signal this move by placing their increased stake next their their original bet in the betting box and by pointing with one finger.
Immediately after being dealt your first two cards, you can choose to retire from the current game round if you don’t think it’s possible for you to win the hand. Surrendering of folding means that you lose half of your bet, whereas if you go Bust, you lose all of your bet.
If the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, the likelihood that the downward card will be a picture card is high. This means there's a high probability (slightly less than a third) that they have a blackjack, thus ending the game and resulting in you losing your stake. To counteract this, you can opt to take “insurance” before the dealer checks his face-down card if you think he will obtain a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, these bets win.
In most cases the payout from this bet is 2:1, allowing you to double your money. Many players will place a bet which is half that of their original hand. If the dealer has a blackjack, the player will then recoup all of their losses from the original stake. If the dealer doesn't have a one, the loss remains relatively small.
A soft 17 can consists of an Ace and a 6, an Ace and two 3’s, or an Ace and three 2’s, and the dealer must always ‘stand’ on a soft 17.
If your hand or the dealer’s hand goes over 21, the respective hand loses.
The Jack, Queen, and King.
Learn How to Play
If you’re keen to know how to play Blackjack, sometimes the best way to find out is by diving in with both feet. And, Foxy’s got your back as you can play the game in demo mode while also having access to the in-game rules. But, if you’d like to learn about the game in more detail before taking the plunge, read on.
Firstly, let’s look at how much each playing card is worth. The cards numbered 1 to 10 are worth their face value, i.e. a 2 is worth 2 points and a 9 is worth 9 points). The face cards (the Jack, the Queen, and the King) are all worth 10. The Ace is a great card to have as it can be counted as either 1 or 11; so, not only can it grant you an instant blackjack when added to a 10 or a face card, but it can also prevent you from going bust if you’re dealt an Ace when you’re nearing 21 points.
Once you’ve launched the game, you’ll see a selection of chips of various sizes. Simply choose how much you wish to bet, click on the respective chip, and then click on the betting area. Once you’re ready to begin, all you need to do is click the ‘Deal’ button.
The dealer (whose role is replicated for our automatic casino games) will deal you two face-up cards, and themselves one face-up card and one face-down card. At this point, you can choose to Hit, Stand, Split, Surrender, or Double Down. Plus, if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, you can opt to place an additional Insurance bet.
If you’ve chosen an option which results in you accepting a third card, the dealer will check his face-down card first to see if he has a blackjack. If he doesn’t, the game continues until either you or the dealer gains 21 or goes bust.
After each player (starting from the dealer's left) has had their turn, each trying to reach as close to 21 as possible without going bust, it's time for the dealer to play. The dealer turns over their face down card, then stands or hits in a bid to beat the players at the table. If the dealer busts they will pay every player who is still in the game. If they do not, they will pay any play who has exceeded their score. For example, if the dealer stands on 20, they will only pay out for players on 21.
If you’re ready to get started, head over to our Table games page and see if you can score your first winning hand! Alternatively, why not watch our video demonstration to see a real game being played?
How do you win at Blackjack
You can beat the dealer in one of three ways:
● Score 21 points with your first two cards by getting an Ace and any ten-point card. This is called ‘blackjack’, and unless the dealer also scores one, you win!
● You get a higher final score than the dealer without busting
● The dealer draws additional cards and busts.
For the purposes of placing bets, it would be helpful if we could foresee which cards would be dealt, but then again, where would be the fun in that? So, while you can’t magically shuffle a face card and an Ace to the top of the pack, you can employ some basic strategies that could help to give you the winning edge.
Technically, this isn’t what’s classified as card-counting, but more common sense. All you need to do is keep an eye on what cards have been played to get a better idea of which ones might come next.
Also, if your current hand totals 19 or more, you may wish to consider standing, as the likelihood of picking up a card worth 3 or more points is higher than you being dealt an Ace or a 2 due to the number of playing cards being used.
Choosing to split your cards can boost your chances of winning. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t split if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, or worth between 8 and 10. Remember, you can only split if your cards are of the same value. If your hand consists of two 10s or two 5s, it makes sense not to split as there’s always the chance you could be dealt an Ace to form a Blackjack.
At times, you may be confident that your hand will beat the dealer’s, in which case, doubling down gives you the opportunity to raise your bet and boost your returns should you win.
If you are dealt a hand totalling 9, 10 or 11, doubling gives you a great chance of hitting 19, 20, or 21 with a 10 or a face card. All these hands put you in a good position to take the dealer down. You must also take into account the dealer’s face up card if this strategy is to work for you.
● Always double a total of 10 unless the dealer’s face up card is a 10 or Ace;
● Always double an 11 unless the dealer lands an Ace;
● Only double a 9 if the dealer is showing a 3, 4, 5, or 6.
Splitting two 5s is a dangerous way to play. Experts say, always double down on two 5s. This will give you another card, hopefully a face card or a ten. Splitting the two 5s leaves you open to creating two bad hands rather than one.
All this talk of hitting and doubling is wasted if you don’t know when to stand. It’s a bit like darts, but instead of “trebles for show, and doubles for dough”, your money is made by knowing when to stand.
● Always Stand on a hand of 17 or more (there are some strategies that say you should hit if the dealer has an Ace, but I’m a fox, not a fool. I’d rather play it safe)
● Stand on a hand that totals 13 or above if the dealer’s face up card is a 6 or below
● Stand on a pair of 10s or face cards – you’ll see why below.
Sometimes, things just aren’t meant to be. So, if you’re dealt two duff cards which you can’t imagine will possibly help you achieve a win, you can walk away with 50% of your bet intact by surrendering.
In any blackjack game, there are “best practice” moves based on probability. If a player can memorise and make these moves during a game, they stand to minimise their losses and maximise their wins. However, these “best practice” plays are very detailed. For every visible card a dealer is dealt, and for every total a player reaches, there is a different play which is recommended. From splits, to soft totals, a different approach is required for different scores in different circumstances.
Here's a small snippet of what a basic strategy table looks like. Remember, these tables apply to most games of blackjack, but not all. In Las Vegas casinos, for instance, the hit on soft 17 rule is widely used. This means that best practice play according to basic strategy changes slightly.
● Played with 4-8 decks
● Allow doubling after a split
● Dealer blackjack takes only the original bet
● Dealer stands on a soft 17