How to Play Blackjack

Potentially one of the most popular and much loved casino games around the world: Live Blackjack is a table game with the main aim of creating a hand whose points total nearer to 21 than the banker’s hand without exceeding the number 21.

Using the international 52-card deck without jokers, the basic version of this game is popular globally but variations of these game have now also surfaced providing a new level of excitement.

Blackjack was always going to be a big hit when it was taken up by the online casinos. It’s a simple, quick and exciting game and all the thrills remain in online form.

At Unibet, you can play the traditional online version of Blackjack with virtual graphics or, you can switch to the live casino area for real-life dealers and the chance to enjoy an experience that mirrors the tables at Las Vegas, London or Macau.

Online innovation has led to new versions of the game and at Unibet, we’re especially excited about Blackjack Bet Behind. So, if you want to know how to play blackjack step by step, please read on.

Live Blackjack Strategy and Cheat Sheet

blackjack cheat sheet

Since this is a game that has intrigued many, we have created a great guide to help beginners and advanced players alike with great tips on coming out successful at this game.  With our Live Blackjack strategy and tips, you should easily move from beginner’s level to become a real pro in no time.

When is the right time to hit or stand? How does Bet Behind take online blackjack to the next level? Read on to discover.

The Aim of Blackjack

The basic object of blackjack is to score 21, or get as close to that mark as possible without going over. In doing so, the player must beat the dealer’s score - a tie is not good enough as the dealer wins.

With that simple aim in mind, let’s now take a look at the basic gameplay. Blackjack starts with a regular deck of 52 playing cards with the jokers removed. At the start of each hand, the player and the dealer are both dealt two cards and in the online game, the player’s cards are face up while for the dealer, one card is face up and the other face down.

The player then has the option to ‘hit’ - i.e. take another card or they can ‘stand’ if they feel they have a winning hand. Cards are then declared and the winner scoops the pot.

Card values are the next point to take into account: Numbers 2 through to 10 are worth their face value while all picture cards, J, Q and K, count as 10. The anomaly in Blackjack is the Ace which can count as either one or eleven depending on how more advantageous the score is to the hand.

The term blackjack is also used to describe a hand within the game. This is an ace, drawn with any ten point card and it is the most valuable hand that a player can be dealt.

Those are the basic rules in what is, essentially, a very simple game to follow but like all classic card titles, there is a serious strategy to follow. So, if you want to know how to make money playing blackjack, you should move on to the next section.

Hitting and Standing in Live Blackjack

One of the most important decisions you have to make when playing Live Blackjack is to either hit or stand. Knowing when to hit or stand is also crucial in helping you win this game.

The Dealer is likely to hit on any hand 16 or lower. If you’re holding a hand value of 17 or less, your chances of winning are much lower unless the Dealer busts.

Doubling Down in Live Blackjack

In another twist to standard gameplay, Blackjack also features an option called Doubling Down. This involves doubling your bet at any opportunity but, it can lead to an increased loss if you do it at the wrong time.

Players will start to get a feel for when to Double Down as they play the game but, as a starting point, we would always advise doing this when you are dealt 11 on your opening two cards. This strategy also takes its inspiration from mathematical probability as there are more chances of a ten or picture card landing than anything else.

Splitting In Live Blackjack

One key rule in Blackjack allows player to split and this option is open if they are dealt two cards that are the same. So, if there are two aces, two tens, two queens, two sevens etc, they can split those and have two more cards dealt to each.

Once again, if you want to know how to make money playing blackjack then you should listen to advice from seasoned players on the subject of splitting. Some of this is obvious and, for example, if you are dealt two aces then the clear advice is to split.

There is a higher proportion of tens and picture cards left in the pack than any other number so, in this scenario, you are increasing your chances of claiming 21 and hitting blackjack.

In contrast, let’s say you have a hand containing two jacks. Your initial score is 20 and in this scenario, the experts advice is to stand rather than split. You already have a competitive score and, probability dictates that you are more likely to end up with two weaker hands.

This won’t be the case 100% of the time but we mentioned probability and that’s the key word here. Players can easily study further recommendations on when to stand and when to split but those two examples clearly explain the thought process.

The Difference between soft and hard

In Blackjack, the terms ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ are used liberally and most sites already assume that readers know what these descriptions mean. In fact, we did this ourselves in the previous section so let us explain exactly what is meant by each saying. The ace is pivotal here so, for example, if you are dealt an Ace and a six, you have a soft hand because it can count as either 17 or seven.

Alternatively, a hand containing a ten and a seven is hard because it is inflexible and the score cannot be changed. It’s simple terminology but it’s important to understand what each option means.

Understanding your next Blackjack Move

We’ve mentioned the basic principles of hitting and standing but knowing when to act on each option is your first key to success. Remember, we are looking to get to 21 or, as close as possible so, at a very basic level, you shouldn’t be hitting if you’ve reached a score of 20 on the first deal.

With 50 cards left and the potential for four aces to remain in the pack, the chances of an ace being drawn now stand at 12.5 to one. It’s not impossible but relatively speaking, it’s not likely either.

The same principle applies at the other end of the scale: If a player is dealt a 3 and a 2 with a total of 5 then they simply have to hit to stay in the game. This is just basic advice for newbies but from here, there are some advanced strategies to keep in mind.

Experienced players always advise to stand on a hard 17 as the chances of a 4 or lower are also slim. Similar advice is out there and you should check out our guide on building a solid game.

Increase your gaming experience with Blackjack Live Behind

Once you have grasped the basic rules of Live Blackjack, then your next step would be to increase your chances of winning twofold. If you’re set to play Live Blackjack and there’s no seat available at one of our tables, then Unibet has the perfect solution for you.

To get involved, you will need to log on to your account and head for the blackjack tables. If there is a seat free that’s great as you can simply move in and start to play as normal. If, however, all of those seats are taken, a message will flash up stating ‘All seats are occupied but you can place a bet behind any player’.

Introducing Blackjack Bet Behind which gives you the golden opportunity to place bets on another player’s hand while you’re waiting for your turn at the table.


Benefits for Bet Behind players:

  • You can bet behind while you’re waiting for a place at one of 7 main seats at the table so you don’t have to wait to play.
  • You can still bet behind even when you’re seated at the main table.
  • Bet Behind offers lower stakes meaning that new players can easily join in the fun without risking much.

Tips for getting started at Bet Behind

If no seats are available at the Blackjack table a message will pop up saying: “All seats are occupied, but you place a bet behind any player.”

If you’ve decided to take the plunge and try Bet Behind, you will still have the chance to place bets even when seats become available.

Our best advice for being successful at Bet Behind is to pay close attention to the player’s achieved medals which will give you a good idea of how many game rounds they have won. Based on that information, you can decide if you want to bet behind.

Of course if you’re betting behind, you will also start to automatically follow the player’s decisions and potential double bets but with the added advantage that you can adjust your betting strategy along the way.

Playing Blackjack Bet Behind is a popular choice for many reasons. Experienced players like to follow it so that they can simply stay involved while they’re waiting for a main seat to free up. For newbies and those who want to learn how to play blackjack step by step, this can provide another important part of their education.

When to stand in Live Blackjack

This is one of those age old questions that have had many blackjack players baffled over time. The answer to this easy question all depends on whether you think you might go bust if you hit and ask for an extra card.

If your blackjack hand has a value of 11 or lower, then your chances of busting are close to nothing. Your best scenario would be to reach the hand value of 21 turning you into an instant winner.

If the value of your hand is 12 or higher then this is a difficult scenario altogether. If you have 12 in hand and hit a 10 then you will immediately go bust. However if you stand, you only have a hand value of 12 which is very unlikely that it will help you win. Of course, the chance of you losing is much higher if you do stand.

There is however no straightforward answer as it depends on a number of factors including the dealer’s face up card and whether you have a hard or a soft hand. With a soft hand you will be excused for being aggressive. If you exceed the number 21, you can always convert an ace from 11 to 1 so it would be best to hit up to a hand value of 12. Always stand if you have 19 or more.

Moving on the beginner levels of Live Blackjack

Live Blackjack or any other type of online blackjack is one of those games that the result together with your chances of winning are all affected by your skill levels. Most players usually start off by learning the very basic principles while the big majority never even get past that stage. Many players unfortunately end up stuck in the beginner levels and their results tend to suffer the consequences.

Tips on how to move on to the next level

For starters you need to keep in mind that every hand you have has an average win or loss associated to it. For example imagine if you’re doubling with a hard 20 against the dealer who is showing a six, then you’re likely to have a very low payout compared to standing.

This is why we need to eliminate any mistakes you make that have large margins and to work hard at removing mistakes with smaller margins.

Eliminating mistakes in Live Blackjack

As advised earlier, you need to know when to hit and when to stand when the dealer presents you with a weak card facing up if you have a hard total of 12 or higher. In this case you need to come up with your own rules to keep in mind when making any type of play.

When you’re ready to switch up, there is a wide choice of options at Unibet which you can access via the main blackjack lobby. Classic versions of the game are there along with twists on a theme including Infinite Blackjack, Free Bet Blackjack and more.

It’s up to you as to which option you prefer so take some time, play with small stakes or take the demo route if you need to. By coming back to this guide, you can quickly gain experience on your route to becoming a blackjack guru. When you feel like you've mastered Blackjack, you are more than welcome to read how to play Baccarat and try another live casino challenge. 

Join one of our delightful dealers at the Live Blackjack table and good luck!

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