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There’s a Blackjack renaissance happening right now. Thanks in large part to the internet and the growth of online gaming at Bovada, tens of thousands of people around the world are learning how to play Blackjack – and becoming very good at it, too. We want to help you become one of these online Blackjack masters and enjoy the game to its fullest. Part I will cover the basics, then we’ll get to some more advanced topics.


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Blackjack Rules

When you’re playing Blackjack online at Bovada, it’s you versus the Dealer, using at least one (and up to six) standard deck of 52 playing cards. The object of the game is to make a hand worth as close to 21 points as possible without going over (aka busting), and to have that hand be worth more points than the Dealer’s if he doesn’t bust. Blackjack card values are simple to remember: Face cards (Kings, Queens and Jacks) are worth 10 points each, Aces can be worth either 1 or 11 points, and every other card is worth face value.

You start every hand of Blackjack by placing your bet and receiving two cards, both face-up; the Dealer gets two cards, one face-up (known as the up-card), and one face-down (known as the hole card). If you haven’t already made Blackjack, which pays out at 3-to-2 if the Dealer doesn’t have Blackjack as well, you now have a number of possible decisions, depending on the particular Blackjack variant you’re playing. You could stand and not draw any more cards. You could hit and draw another card. You could double your bet and receive one single card, then be forced to stand with whatever you’ve got. If you’ve been dealt a pair, you could split those cards into two separate hands, doubling your original bet in the process. And in some games, you can surrender your hand right away and retrieve half your bet.


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Beat the Dealer

If you choose to hit in Blackjack, you’re allowed to keep drawing until you decide to stand, or you go bust. Once you’ve decided to stand, or you’ve doubled and haven’t gone bust, the Dealer will reveal his hole card. Again, there are different ways to play Blackjack online, and each variant will put a different spin on the rules. Some will force the Dealer to hit until he has at least hard 17 (any 17 without an Ace); some will force him to hit on soft 17 (any 17 with an Ace) as well.

Eventually, a result will be achieved and the winner declared – if you win without making Blackjack, you get paid even-money on your hand. To learn more about the rules for each Blackjack variant, check out the game descriptions at Bovada, and make sure to come back for Part 2 of our series.