Blackjack Game Review: All You Need to Know

Laptop with online casino written on screen and blackjack cards and dice around it.

You may have played Blackjack at home without knowing it as it goes by several more commonplace names: twenty-one, pontoon, or vingt-et-un are some that you may have heard.

Blackjack is the best game to play at a casino as you have one opponent and the best odds.

History of the Game

Many believe that the game originated in the 18th century French court, although some insist it goes back as far as the Romans; we may never know. What is important is that it remains one of the more popular casino games, so much so that a blackjack table is usually the first thing you see when you enter a casino. 

How to Play 

Other than slots, blackjack is probably the easiest casino game to play. Still, it’s always worth spending a little time familiarising yourself with the rules of the variation you’ve chosen, as there can be subtle differences. If you have ever played at home, you can expect differences: you may have played against several players at home, but online blackjack is just you against the dealer.


The objective is to score 21 or close to 21 without exceeding it. If the dealer scores 21 or is closer, you lose.


              1. Place your bet.
              2. The dealer deals each of you the first two cards (the dealer’s first card remains face down and is called the ‘hole card’). Your cards are exposed.
              3. Check your cards. This is where the fun begins. One of you may have already scored 21, in which case the game is over: whoever made the lucky score is the winner. You’ll often find you have a different combination of cards, and this is where you apply your strategy. 
              4. Call your move (see play terminology).

Card Values and Terminology

The card values remain the same wherever you play. However, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with the terminology used in the blackjack casinos and games you choose. Different game variations can have slightly different rules.

Card Values

              • Ace is worth either 1 or 11 (you choose)
              • Number cards are worth exactly their face value
              • Face or Picture cards are each worth 10 points

Play Terminology

Here are some of the terms you’re likely to come across and may need to use:

              • ‘Hit’ is to request another card from the dealer. 
              • ‘Stand’ means you are happy with the cards you have and don’t want any more.
              • ‘Split’ literally means to split your hand. You usually do this when your first two cards are a pair. Once you’ve done this, you will be playing two hands. 
              • ‘Double down’ means to double your bet and receive another hand to play. 
              • ‘Insurance is a side bet, independent of your primary wager, and is only available when the dealer’s exposed card is an ace. You’re betting the dealer has 21. If you’re right, you’ll win on the side bet but lose your original bet unless you also have 21. If the dealer didn’t have 21, you lose on the side bet but still have a chance to win with your original bet.
              • ‘Surrender’ is where you walk away from the game, restricting your loss to half your bet. You may come across early or late surrender. The difference is whether you surrender before or after the dealer has checked their hole card. If they have 21, you lose unless you also have 21.
              • ‘Bust’ is a hand scoring over 21. If both the dealer and the player are bust, the dealer usually wins.
              • ‘Natural’ is a score of 21 in two cards. 
              • ‘Card counting,’ contrary to popular belief, is not illegal, although casinos don’t like it and may even block you. It means what it says – counting cards to keep track of what’s already been dealt. It’s hardly worth the trouble these days as many online blackjack casinos use multiple decks and continuous shuffling machines, making it practically impossible. We advise against trying to master this technique, as you could be wasting time and energy better spent developing and refining your game strategy. 


Each casino or software provider has its brand names for variations, so you will come across many.

The house advantage increases with the number of decks in play. Keep a lookout for this when you choose a game. The casino should disclose the RTP (Return to Player) which indicates how likely you are to win.

Best Place to Play – How do I Choose a Casino?

Find a legal, licensed and registered casino. The home page of the casino site should display where it’s licensed, who the regulator is, and where the casino is based.

Look for a license from UKGC or MGA.


Don’t be dazzled by what look like generous bonuses. Be sure to check the rules for cashing out your bonuses too.

Check the rules in your welcome email. Follow up and clarify any discrepancies between this and the site rules before you part with any money.


Check for advanced security (a padlock sign in the browser) and encryption, especially around deposits, withdrawals, and your details.


The more support channels, the better. Online chat, phone, email should be available.

Top-rated UK blackjack casinos

Almost all online casinos offer blackjack, so you may want to base your decision on factors like user experience, bonuses, payment and withdrawal methods, brand recognition, and trustworthiness. Here are some of the best we’ve found:

              • All British Casino
              • The Sun Vegas
              • Grosvenor Casino
              • Betfair Casino

Final Thoughts

We hope you’re now ready to choose the casino that’s right for you and enjoy many hours of entertainment. Remember to play for free for a while to ensure you understand the rules and practice your strategy. Even more importantly, budget your time and money when playing. This is an excellent habit to get into and will help prevent the development of problem gambling behavior.


              • Are online blackjack games rigged?

This is highly unlikely as all online casinos must comply with industry and regulator’s fair play standards. For more peace of mind, look for certifications on the website.

              • What is the house edge?

You can work this out as the difference between 100 and the displayed RTP (Return to Player). Always look for a higher RTP to maximize your advantage.

              • Can I play for free/fun?

Yes, most online casinos will offer the option to play for free. It’s a good idea to do this for a while before risking any money.



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