Learn to Play Online

a Step-by-Step guide to winning Online Blackjack

1) What do I need before I start?

You will need a few different things. You need access to a computer, understanding of the basics of blackjack, and some cash available for entertainment purposes. If your goal is to simply practice online, you can skip the cash. I learned to play in Atlantic City by practicing online.

2) Should I play blackjack online?

You should only play online if you can afford the money, have enough time to play, and are willing to keep accurate records of your play. If you can’t do this, I don’t recommend playing online.

– Is it fair? We believe the most reputable online casinos are fair. Our internal calculations based on over $200,000 in wagers from the casinos represented on OBS are consistent with the posted odds by the casino. Be careful though, many of the online casinos have posted odds that simply are not that good. Make sure you understand how the subtle changes in the rules of the game influence the odds tremendously. Try to stick to well know casinos to avoid even the possibility of beinf ripped offf.

Most of the casinos on OBS also use proprietary software owned by other companies. These companies independently verify the odds of the individual games and the casinos are unable to change the odds on the games themselves. These software companies don’t want to rish their reputations by manipulating the odds. The added protection of the software companies is a consideration in picking an online casino.

– Is it safe? We have wagered over $200,000 online without any hitches. No money stolen, no identities stealing, no bogus credit card charges, nothing. We’re not saying that these things don’t happen, but if you stick with reputable online casinos, you should be safe. All casinos on OBS use SSL (secure sockets layer) for transactions, downloads, and gameplay. SSL helps protect your personal information. This is the same technology used when you make a purchase at Amazon or Ebay. Here’s a link to read more about SSL.

– Is it legal? We have spent thousands of dollars trying to get the answer to this one! We have paid several lawyers to look into this for us and they all came up with the same thing…. maybe! The thing is, no one has ever been charged, arrested, convicted, or even accused of gambling online. In fact, there has only been 1 person arrested for anything to do with gambling online. His name was Jay Cohen and he was the owner of an online casino that was in the US. The law is clear that you can’t operate a casino online on US soil, but as far as playing online, the law is far from clear. Lawmakers are still arguing over internet commerce and online gambling appears to be in the “gray” zone for now. We’ll keep you posted of any major changes.There are many resourced to get more information on this.topic: www.gamblingandthelaw.com, www.igamingnews.com, and www.gambleonthenet.com. Read this recent article in the Detroit Free Press.

– Will I get paid? After attempting over hundreds of cash ins at hundreds of casinos, we can reports the we have NEVER been stiffed. While it may have taken a very long time for some of the less reputable casinos to pay up, we have always been paid. Understand that most of the online casinos will ask for extra paperwork before processing any cash ins to help prevent fraud. Always keep good documentation of all your records in case of any discrepancies. If you have any problems with any casinos, we want to hear about it. Email us HERE.

– Is online better than offline? Yes and no. Take look at our Online vs Offline page.

3) What are the rules in blackjack?

The object of Blackjack is for the total of your cards to be closer to 21 than the dealer’s cards, without exceeding 21. In Blackjack, aces count as either 1 or 11, face cards as 10, and number cards as their face value. If you receive an ace and a ten-value card as your first two cards, you have Blackjack and win 150% of your original bet (if you bet $10, you get $25 back). If the total value of your cards is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, you win 100% of your original bet (if you bet $10, you get $20 back). If the total of your cards is more than 21, you “bust” and lose your bet. If you and the dealer have the same card total (17 and up) neither of you win and your bet is returned to you in a “push”. Blackjack is an ace with either a ten, jack, queen, or king on the first 2 cards. An ace with a face card after a split will only count as 21, not blackjack. Since an ace can count as a 1 or 11, any hand where the ace is acting as an 11 is a “soft” hand. Ex: ace plus 5 is soft 16. If you hit the soft 16 and get a 10, you now have a “hard” 16.
Player Options: These rules vary from casino to casino. It’s how the casinos change the odds.
If your first two cards have the same point value, you may split them into two separate hands by placing a second bet equal to the original bet. You then proceed to draw cards. You may draw as many cards as you like on each split hand. Some casinos let you resplit a split hand, some don’t. Also, many casino’s will only give you one card after splitting aces. If you receive an ace and a ten-value card in a split hand, it is counted as 21 and not Blackjack.
After you are dealt two cards, and think that another card will allow you to beat the dealer’s hand, you can increase your bet by an amount up to your original bet or “double” your bet. Your wager is doubled, and you are allowed to receive one more card. Some casinos will allow you to double after a split, and some casinos will limit the point totals for doubling only on hard 9,10, and 11’s.
Insurance is a suckers bet and we NEVER recommend it under any circumstances. We’ll tell you how it works, but don’t recommend it. Insurance allows you to try and protect yourself when you think that the dealer may have Blackjack. When buying insurance, you place half of your initial bet by pressing the Insurance button. If the dealer does have Blackjack, you are paid 2 to 1 on your insurance bet. If the dealer doesn’t have Blackjack, you lose your insurance bet.

4) What are the odds in blackjack?

The odds in blackjack vary with the rules of the game. They can vary anywhere from being in the players favor by 1% to the dealers favor by 2.5%. You should understand that the better the odds are, the more likely your chances of winning.
How are the odds determined? The odds depend on a number of factors. We will list each factor and state how in influences the game. The overall odds of particular casinos can be seen on the blackjack strategy cards.


Number of Decks: The more decks the casino uses, the lower your odds. This is because it lowers the odds of you getting a blackjack. 1 deck blackjack is the players best option usually (be careful to look at the other rules, too.)

Dealer soft 17’s: Better odds if dealer stays on soft 17’s, worse if dealer hit’s soft 17’s.

Double after Splits: Better for you if the casino allows you to double after splits. This rule may change your strategy because you may decide not to split a pair if you can’t double after a split.

Number of Splits: All casinos will let you split at least once. Some will let you split up to 4 times. The more times the casino lets you split, the better odds you have.

Doubling: Some casinos let you double any 2 initial cards, while some may limit you to doubles on 9.10, adn 11 only. Better for you if you can double any 2 cards.

Split Aces: Most casinos give you one more card on split aces and that’s it. They won’t give you a choice of hitting. Some casinos will let you hit after splitting aces. A very valuable rule to find.

Surrender: Surrender allows a player with a poor hand to give up half of his/her bet and be counted out of the game and keeps half of the wager. Surrender can only be requested on the first 2 cards. Surrender is termed Late surrender if the surrender bet is valid after the dealer checks for blackjack. The dealer still collects the whole bet with a blackjack in Late Surrender. Early Surrender is a rare rule which we have never seen online. Early surrender allows a player to keep half the bet even if the dealer has blackjack.

European vs American Rules: In American rules, the dealer immediately checks for blackjack after the first 2 cards. Players must declare whether or not they want insurance, then the dealer checks for blackjack. If he has BJ, then the players lose their bets immediately. If no dealer BJ, then the players may continue to play. This is true if an Ace or a Face card is showing for the dealer. The American rules protects the player from increased losses on dealer blackjacks, which increases the odds.

In European rules, there is no hole card and the dealer can’t check for blackjack. Players have the option to still double and split in this version even though the dealer may get blackjack. So, the European version allows the player to lose potentially more money on dealer blackjacks, lowering the odds.

A third possibility is the no peak option which the dealer wins only the original wager plus any bets where the player busts (such as busting after splitting 9’s). This is termed Australian rules and is in between the American and European versions.

– How do the rule changes affect the odds? Coming Soon
– What are the major software companies for online blackjack? Coming Soon
– Where can I verify the odds on OBS? The odds we have posted on our website are from our own internal calculations that we verified with other sources on and offline.On the internet, here are two really good links that will help you verify our odds: www.thewizardofodds.com and www.blackjackinfo.com

5) What is the best blackjack strategy?

– Where can I find blackjack strategy cards for each casino?

OBS has created strategy cards for several of the casinos. We are constantly developing more cards. These cards are mathematically derived to give you the playing option for every possible hand in the game. The strategy varies with the rules as described above. To use a strategy card, all you have to do is find your hand in the vertical column, the dealers hand in the horizontal column and line them up for your play. To see our available free strategy cards go to Blackjack Strategy now.

6) How do I pick a casino to practice or play for real?

You should stick with the most reputable casinos to ensure your chances of fair, accurate, fun play and quick payouts. All of the casinos on OBS have been thoroughly researched and look for the OBS approve site tag to ensure safety. Make sure to check out our CASINO RANKINGS page.

– Where are reliable casinos? We consider all casinos on OBS to be reliable. We do not place a casino on our site if it is not reliable. For a list of BLACKLISTED casinos, email us HERE.

– What casinos have the best bonuses? We have done all the homework for you. These bonuses are the absolute best on the internet, guaranteed. Be careful to read the terms of conditions of each particular casino and understand that there are wager requirements in order to cash out a bonus. We have broken the best bonuses down by whether or not blackjack counts towards the wager requirements to take out a bonus:

Top Blackjack Bonuses:
1. Riviera Gold: 200% match on $100 ($200 free)
2. River Belle: 150% match on $100 ($150 free)
3. Five Roses: 125% match on $100 ($125 free)
4. Winward:100% match on $500 ($500 free)

– What casinos have the best odds? The best odds we have found online so far is the Microgaming Software single hand game with a house edge of 0.24%. This is much better than Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Press here to see the MicroGaming Casinos. Update: Boss casinos actually have PLAYER advantage odds of 0.10% HERE.