March 28, 2023

How to Play and Master Live Casino Blackjack 21

Nathan Williams
Written byNathan WilliamsWriter
Researched byRajesh NairResearcher
Localised byLeticia "Letty" SantosLocaliser

Playing different games in a live casino is what gamblers do, but is this an ideal thing to do? Well, for fun, yes, but if you want to play for fun and to win, then no. Why is that? Because you can’t perform effectively when you play more games at once. So, what’s the best way to play effectively? Actually, it’s pretty simple. Choose a game from a live casino and learn how to play and master it. 

How to Play and Master Live Casino Blackjack 21

You’re here means you have decided to play and master Blackjack 21, and you have certainly come to the right place. In this guide, we will tell you thoroughly how to play and master Blackjack 21. Keep reading until then to find out all the rules and different strategies in order to master the game. So, let’s get started.

BlackJack 21

Blackjack 21 is one of the most famous and widely known games in a live casino. Perhaps it is the most played table game of all time. It derives from the Twenty-One family of casino banking games, which includes 52-card decks of cards. The European card games Vingt-et-Un and Pontoon, as well as the Russian card game Ochko, are also members of this family. 

Now that you have an idea of what Blackjack 21 is, let's get into the details of how to play it.

Basics Are Necessary

Basics are necessary for everything. Whether you are learning to drive a car or using different technology, you will need to learn the basics. In Blackjack, all you need to do is to beat the dealer’s hand and get as close to 21 as you can. But how to get close to 21? Well, let’s look into it now.

  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10: The points are determined by the Jack, Queen, or King's face value: 10 points. 
  • Ace: can range from 1 to 11 points. Keep these numbers and their points in mind.

Up to 8 standard 52-card decks may be used for the game when you play in a live casino. Although it's uncommon, some casinos might simply employ one deck, and most will use six or eight. Finding games with fewer cards is to your benefit, because every deck reduces your chances of winning. Most casinos use either 6 or 8 decks when playing. Two cards are given to the dealer and each player once the bets have been put in. Cards are dealt face-up to each player. One card is dealt face up, and one card is dealt face down to the dealer.

Now, if no one gets a 21, everyone would have six options which we are going to discuss below:

  • Hit: By using this option, you can request an additional card from the dealer.
  • Stand: By using this option, you simply pass and continue to play.
  • Double Down: By using double down, you will double your bets, and the dealer will deal you one additional card.
  • Surrender: By surrendering, you will lose half of your bet and no longer play.
  • Split: You can divide two identical cards into separate hands if you have two of the same rank, like 44. The options listed above will then be available for both of your hands. Even if a queen and a king have the same worth, they are not of the same rank and cannot be separated; thus, they must be of the same rank. If the newly given cards also have the same rank, some casinos may permit you to split numerous hands. Remember that when you split, you're placing a fresh wager on a new hand, so you're now playing two hands rather than one hand with double the stakes.
  • Insurance: You can spend half of your wager to acquire insurance against the dealer getting a natural blackjack if the dealer's face-up card is an ace.

You should keep in mind that, in comparison to the players, the dealer's options are constrained. He must hit if he has 16 or fewer. He must stand if his score is 17 or above. He is unable to double down, divide, or give up. He loses if he exceeds the number 21 or busts. On the other hand, when the dealer loses, all remaining players win.

Unless the dealer is holding an ace, any player dealt a natural 21 will win instantly. The player wins with a natural blackjack if the second card the dealer reveals isn't valued at 10. It's a tie or push, and the stake is returned to the player if the dealer also holds a card worth 10 points in addition to his ace.

These are the basics you need to keep in mind to play Blackjack 21. But what comes next? Read further if you want to master the game and play effectively.

Set up a Budget

Setting a budget is the most important thing you need to do when playing online. Many online gamblers don’t put on a budget, which results in poor bankroll management. Due to poor bankroll management, they often spend way more than they can, and in the end, they suffer losses. So, to make sure you don’t face such a situation, all you need to do is manage your bankroll. How can you manage it? Well, it’s really simple. Just decide how much you’re willing to spend in a day. You must never exceed your daily limit, even if you didn't play for a day or two, and do not spend more in the following days. 

There will be times when you will think just exceeding a bit won’t hurt, but it will continue to grow. Once you start, you will continue to follow that patch, and you will end up losing more. So, what you need to do while playing all games, especially Blackjack 21 in a live casino, is set up a budget.

Terms and Slangs

Each gambling game has its own terminology and jargon. For instance, words like a flop, turn, and the river are used in Texas hold 'em. Craps terminology includes point, snake eyes, and shooter. It is the same in Blackjack 21 too. It's crucial to comprehend the game's language. In any case, how can you learn to play blackjack if you don't understand what the other players are saying? The terms you need to be familiar with are:

  • Bust card: A card that is dealt if the hand total exceeds 21.
  • Bust: A card total exceeding 21
  • First base: The betting area to the left of the dealer, which is also the first to receive and deal cards.
  • Hard hand: An ace-less hand is referred to as a hard hand. Except for the ace, each card in the deck has a fixed value. It's "hard" since the value won't change.
  • Hit: To request a new card.
  • Hole card: The dealer's card is handed face down, and players are not permitted to see it until they have used their hands.
  • 5-card Charlie: When a hand has five cards without busting, you may receive a bonus or an automatic victory in various games. Whenever a player draws five cards without busting, this is an automatic win in some games.
  • Natural: The first two cards dealt add up to 21 (blackjack).
  • Pairs: Two identical cards are regarded as a pair.
  • Push (Tie): Occurs when both the player and the dealer have hands that total the same.
  • Shoe: A holding mechanism for card decks. Typically, this has up to 8 decks when used in casino games.
  • Soft hand: It is one that includes an ace together with any other card. An ace can be played high or low, making it worth 1 or 11 and therefore having a "soft" or mutable value.
  • Stiff: Any hard hand that has a chance to burst by drawing a further card, such as a 12, 13, 14, 15, or 16. Having 17 or higher means that you'll never have a stiff hand.
  • Third base: The betting area is the last to act and is to the dealer's right.
  • Upcard: The card the dealer is now displaying face-up.

Basic Strategies

Now that you know what all the slang and terms of blackjack are, let’s get right into the basic strategies. There are many different strategies, but let’s start with something simple. Most Blackjack 21 players follow different strategies, which we will discuss below: 

For soft hands:

  • If the total is 19 or more, you should stand.
  • If the total is 18 and the dealer is displaying a 7, 8, 9, 10, jack, queen, or king, you should stand. If the dealer is showing a 2, 3, or 4 on his face-up card, you should hit.
  • If the total is 17 or lower, then hit unless the total is 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18, and the dealer’s face-up card is a five or a 6 in this case. Simply double down.

For hard hands:

  • You should stand at 17 or higher.
  • You should hit on 12, 13, 14, 15, or 16 if the dealer is showing seven or higher. If the dealer is showing 2 through 6, then stand.
  • You should double down if the dealer is showing any cards 2 through 9 and you have cards valued at 10 or 11.
  • You should hit if your cards total nine or lower.

When you have a pair, use the following strategy:

  • Never split a pair of cards for four, five, or ten points.
  • When you have a pair of Aces or an eight and an Ace, you must always split.
  • If the dealer is displaying a 4, 5, or 6, you must always split any pairs of 2s, 3s, 6s, 7s, or 9s.

If the dealer is showing a 9, J, Q, K, or A, and I have 16, then you simply surrender. With this strategy, you will reduce the house edge to about 1%.

Table Rules

There are no restrictions dictating how a live casino must conduct a game or provide rewards. As a result, you'll need to investigate the casino you want to play at in order to be aware of the details. The chances are one instance. Typically, casinos provide 3 to 2 odds for blackjack 21.

However, some live casinos currently offer chances of 6 to 5 for a blackjack 21. A game at a live casino may employ one to eight cards. This is done to confuse card counters. With each additional deck utilized in the game, the house edge grows. The dealer must stop at 17 in the majority of blackjack games, even if doing so results in a loss for the dealer.

Never Use Insurance

Making careful to reduce loss sounds like a wise decision. Unexpectedly, that's not the case when playing blackjack 21. After the initial round of dealing is complete and the dealer has an ace showing, insurance becomes available. You stake half of your initial bet in order to obtain insurance. 

You win 2 to 1 odds if the dealer has a natural, so you break even. You lose the insurance bet if the dealer doesn't have blackjack. If you have a total of 20, there is frequently a predisposition to take this bet. But bear in mind that you already possess the two necessary cards for the dealer to create a blackjack.

Side Bets

There are four side bets you should know.

  • 21+3: Based on the first two cards you are dealt and the dealer's upcard, the 21+3 side bet pays out. You win if the three cards make a flush, straight, three-of-a-kind, or straight flush.
  • Royal Match: If the first two cards you are dealt are suits, you win the Royal Match side bet. The odds are 5 to 2. The reward increases from 25 to 1 if you have a suited king and queen. A matched blackjack pays off at a rate of 5 to 1.
  • Over/Under 13: As the titles suggest, you wager on whether your total will be greater than or less than 13 (13 results in a loss). An ace is low in this wager.
  • Super 7s: For 7s, this is the aim. 1-7 pays out 3 to 1. The odds are 50 to 1 for unsuited and 100 to 1 for suited if the first two cards are 7s. The odds of getting three 7s are 500 to 1 unsuited and 5,000 to 1 suited. The maximum you can win is $5,000 because the wager can only be $1.


There you have it. The complete guide on what Blackjack 21 is and how to play and master it. By following the guide, you will get to know so many things which you will have to remember in order to perform well. So it is ideal to start with the demo version and play until you get the hang of everything discussed here. As a beginner, this guide will help you, and you will be able to perform better. 

They won’t help you if you are not willing to improve. It all comes down to practice. Your speed of improvement will be based on how much you’re willing to practice Blackjack 21. Read the guide thoroughly and play accordingly. This way, you will master the game soon. When you know how to play Blackjack without any errors, you can proceed to look for other strategies online.

About the author
Nathan Williams
Nathan Williams

Nathan "KiwiKing" Williams brings a touch of Kiwi flair to the global live casino arena. Blending his analytical mind with an infectious passion for the game, he crafts content that guides, informs, and entertains.

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