Online Blackjack Guide


When it comes to strategic game play, there’s no better casino table game than Blackjack for real money. Every time you face off with the Blackjack Dealer, you must make a critical decision that will lead to victory of real money, or loss in this game. Choose right, and you can double your real money. Choose wrong, and the Blackjack Dealer takes your offer off the table at all casinos. In no other table game at casinos do you have the ability to influence the outcome as much as in games of Blackjack. As a result, knowing optimal casino play strategies to capitalize on betting potential at the table can take you to a new level of Blackjack play for real money.

In this free online Blackjack Strategy guide, we offer to help you make the best decisions possible when you play Blackjack games for real money at Bodog Casino. We offer to discuss the best times to hit, stand, double down and split. We offer to also explain how to use online Blackjack strategy charts for quick reference during games, which is a very useful tool when learning how to play. Finally, we will offer information on casino house edge during games, so that you can make the best informed choices when selecting a new or known Blackjack game to play at our online casino. By reading this new online Blackjack Strategy guide, you’ll have the tool set needed to take the tables by storm when playing for real money online or at other casinos.

The Theory Behind Blackjack Strategy 

Quite often, the goal of Blackjack games is described as getting as close to 21 as possible without going over when you play live or online, but this is poor advice and not anything new in playing these Blackjack games. Sure, part of the goal of Blackjack games at all casinos is to get a good score, but this Blackjack explanation ignores the other part, which is assessing the Blackjack Dealer’s probability of winning, and we offer information to help determine your next move online. 

When you play Blackjack games strategically, there will be times to push forward and times to stand back, and both your score and the Blackjack Dealer’s up-card factor into which approach is optimal. To understand this at a theoretical game level, you must know about Blackjack Dealer bust probabilities during games and how that affects your chances of winning a hand online or live.

When the Blackjack Dealer is at risk of busting when playing for real money, you want to reduce your risk by standing with a lower score during the game live or online. Fortunately for you, recognizing the Blackjack Dealer’s bust potential is simple, as his moves are systematic; he must continue to hit until he reaches a score of 17 (whether that’s a soft or hard 17 depends on the version of Blackjack you’re playing). If we assume he has a 10 in the hole, an up-card of Six and below would require him to hit at least once, which increases his odds of busting. That’s why you’ll be better off to win real money standing when you’re up against a low (Six and below) Blackjack Dealer up-card.

On the flip side, if the Blackjack Dealer has a high up-card, like a Seven and above, and we assume he has a Ten in the hole, the odds of him busting are slim because, quite often, he won’t have to hit. This is why you must be more aggressive with your online play with hitting when facing a high Blackjack Dealer up-card. For exact play instructions on when to hit and when to stand, you can refer to an online casino Blackjack Strategy chart.

Using Blackjack Strategy Charts

It’s always best to understand the theory behind casino Blackjack strategy before referring to the casino strategy charts, as memorizing the charts will lead you to make the right move when playing, but won’t give you a solid understanding of why you’re making these play moves. 

Widely available online, a casino Blackjack game strategy chart lists the optimal play options to make for every possible play combinations of Player score and Blackjack Dealer up-card in the games. On the left rows of the chart, you’ll see the full range of Player scores; there is one chart for hard scores, one for soft scores and one for splitting hands. To use the Blackjack chart, simply follow the grid that connects the Player score and the Blackjack Dealer up-card you’re facing, which is at the top row. You’ll be directed to hit, stand, double, surrender (if possible), or split. When starting out, you can print out a chart and keep it visible for future Blackjack sessions—just make sure to download online the right Blackjack chart; there are different versions depending on the number of decks in the shoe and the Blackjack Dealer’s reaction to a soft 17 (whether he hits or stands). 



Understanding Blackjack Basics

The more one uses a Blackjack game strategy chart, the greater one understands what kind of hands should be hit, stand, split, and doubled. But to expedite your play learning, we’ll cover some of the Blackjack basics, which is more general in nature than what you’d get from a chart online. When we refer to a high Blackjack Dealer up-card, we mean Seven and above, and when we refer to a low Blackjack Dealer up-card, we mean a Six and below.


Scores below 12 should always be improved upon by either hitting or doubling. If the casino Dealer has a high up-card, you can hit with a score as high as 16.


Hard scores of 17 and higher should are good enough to stand. If the casino Dealer has a low up-card, one can stand with a score as low as 12. 


Hands that should (almost) always be split include: Eights, Nines and Aces. When the Dealer has a low up-card, you can also split Twos, Threes, Sixes and Sevens. For more information, refer to our Understanding Blackjack Pair Splitting article. 

Double Down 

The best score to double down on is an Eleven. Tens are almost as good. One can double down on Nines when the Dealer has a low up-card. Doubling down with soft hands is a bit more complex, so for more information on when to double down, refer to our Blackjack Double Down Strategy article online at Bodog Casino. 

Casino Blackjack House Edge

Even if you play Blackjack flawlessly at all casinos for real money live or online, it’ll be an uphill play battle if you choose a game with rules that put you at a disadvantage even online when playing for real money. Knowing how certain rules affect the house edge is a critical component of any sound casino Blackjack strategy. We’ll cover three of the most common rule variations, so you know how to spot value as soon as you approach any Blackjack table at all casinos.  

Casino Dealer Hit or Stand for Soft 17

All casino Blackjack games, live or online, have the play Dealer hit until he reaches a score of 17, but whether that’s a soft or hard 17 depends on the game. When all other rules are equal, having the play Dealer stand on soft 17 reduces the house edge during games. 

Blackjack Payout 

The standard payout for landing a natural Blackjack is 3:2, but sometimes you’ll encounter games that offer less—typically 6:5 instead of 3:2. This change increases the house edge during games by 1.39%, as you’re paid 1.2X your stake as opposed to 1.5X your stake. 

Doubling After Splitting

Be sure to check rules regarding doubling when choosing a Blackjack game to play, as some games ban it after splitting, which increases the house edge during games by 0.10%.

You’ll be pleased to know that at Bodog’s online Casino, Blackjack can be played with the Dealer standing on soft 17, with Blackjack paying 3:2 and with no limits on doubling. You’ll find all of these player-friendly rules in our Double Deck Blackjack game, with both Classic and Modern games to choose from. Best of luck at the casino tables and may your strategic play approach lead to win after win when you play for real money online.

Blackjack Game Variations

Back in the day, there was only one casino blackjack game: Single Deck Blackjack. Times have changed and now there are plenty of different ways to play this casino staple. Two- and six-deck variants are available in both classic and modern formats, allowing you to choose between a traditional blackjack experience and a mobile-optimized one. See below in our online blackjack guide for a full list of options available in our casino.


Blackjack (New and Classic): Play with six decks and the popular “Surrender” rule.


Single Deck Blackjack (New and Classic): One deck is all that’s needed in these versions.


Double Deck Blackjack (New and Classic): Play with two decks and enjoy the benefit of the Dealer standing on soft 17s in this popular version.


European Blackjack: What makes blackjack European? The Dealer doesn’t get a hole card until you’ve completed all your actions.


Perfect Pairs: Get a bonus payout for landing a pair right off the bat in this version of 21. Zappit Blackjack: Got dealt a 15, 16, or 17? No sweat—zap it and the cards are replaced with fresh new ones with Zappit Blackjack.


Online Blackjack Payout OptionsPayout Options

With the exception of Perfect Pairs, which offers bonus payouts for a side bet, blackjack offers three unique payouts depending on how you win. We’ll start with the most common way to win:


Standard Wins: Beat the Dealer the old-fashioned way—by getting a higher score than him without exceeding 21 points. When you do this, you earn a 1:1 payout. Ex. $10 bet wins $10.


Blackjack Win: Getting a perfect score of 21 from your initial two-card hand is a step-up from standard wins—it’s considered blackjack (also known as a natural). This premium hand pays 3:2 in our casino. Ex. $10 bet wins $15.


Insurance Win: When the Dealer’s up-card is an Ace, you get the opportunity to take the insurance side bet, which pays 2:1 if the Dealer has blackjack. Ex. $10 bet pays $20.


Quick Tips to Win

Splitting is a great way to turn a weak hand into a competitive hand and should be used for Eights, Aces and often Nines. However, one hand that should never be split are Tens. A score of 20 shouldn’t be risked through splitting.

Some new versions of blackjack have reduced payouts of 6:5 for a natural. That equals $12 for every $10 bet instead of $15 for every $10 bet. It’s a lot harder to overcome the house edge with these reduced payouts. When looking at casino games, blackjack with 3:2 payouts is your best bet.

Unless you’re counting cards, taking the insurance bet is not advised. The house edge is too high for this to be profitable in the long run.


Optimal StrategyOnline Blackjack Optimal Strategy

When formulating your blackjack strategy, you need to take into account your score and the Dealer’s up-card. If the Dealer has a strong up-card, your score needs to be competitive. However, if the Dealer has a weak up-card, you need to protect yourself from busting.


To help you know when the Dealer has a strong or weak up-card, we’ve ranked the Dealer’s up-cards from best to worst (for the Dealer) based on the Dealer’s probability of busting.


1. Ace (lowest probability of busting)

2. 10

3. Nine

4. Eight

5. Seven

6. Two

7. Three

8. Four

9. Six

10. Five (highest probability of busting)


In general, you want to try to get scores of 17 and better, but when the Dealer has a card in the latter half of this list (6-10), you need to focus more on avoiding a bust. This is rudimentary blackjack—once you’re ready to adopt optimal strategy, you’ll need to memorize three blackjack charts that tell you exactly what to do with each hand. We’ve included charts for our standard six-deck blackjack, which has the Dealer hit on soft 17.


Hard 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
5-8 H H H H H H H H H H
9 H D D D D H H H H H
10 D D D D D D D D H H
11 D D D D D D D D D D
12 H H S S S H H H H H
13-14 S S S S S H H H H H
15 S S S S S H H H Sr Sr
16 S S S S S H H Sr Sr Sr
17 S S S S S S S S S Sr
18+ S S S S S S S S S S



Soft 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
13-14 H H H D D H H H H H
15-16 H H D D D H H H H H
17 H D D D D H H H H H
18 D D D D D S S H H H
19 S S S S D S S S S S
20+ S S S S S S S S S S



Pairs 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
2, 2 Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp H H H H
3, 3 Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp H H H H
4, 4 H H H Sp Sp H H H H H
5, 5 D D D D D D D D H H
6, 6 Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp H H H H H
7, 7 Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp H H H H
8, 8 Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp P P P Sr
9, 9 Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp S Sp Sp S S
10, 10 S S S S S S S S S S
A, A Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp


H: Hit

S: Stand

D: Double

Sr: Surrender

Sp: Split


For quick reference, pin these charts up by your computer and read our guide, and then start practicing blackjack for free at Bodog Casino. It shouldn’t take you long to know when to hit and when to stand—at which point, you’re pretty much playing blackjack like a pro.


Online Blackjack Guide

bodog since 1994

Bodog is home to the best Online Slots and tables.

Gambling should be entertaining. Remember that you always risk losing the money you bet, so do not spend more than you can afford to lose. If you think you may have a problem, click here. is operated by II Nido Limited, incorporated in Antigua and Barbuda under company number 14821 and licensed via the Antigua and Barbuda Financial Services Regulatory Commission under Interactive Gaming License #2392 and Interactive Wagering License #2393. Payment related services provided by Isle Nest Limited, incorporated in Cyprus under registration number HE 435538