American Blackjack

Blackjack, one of the most iconic and enduring card games, has maintained its status as a top game in casino gaming around the world. Its simple yet strategic gameplay has spawned numerous variations, each with unique twists and rules. 

From the classic version to European Blackjack, Spanish 21, and Blackjack Switch, the game’s adaptability is a proof to its widespread appeal. The differences in rules, strategies, and house edges contribute to a rich tapestry that keeps players engaged and constantly learning.

Features of American Blackjack

American Blackjack, often referred to as the standard version of the game in the United States, distinguishes itself with specific rules that affect gameplay and strategy. 

One of its hallmark features is the use of a “hole card” by the dealer, allowing for early checks for online blackjack. This, along with other rules like splitting and doubling, adds layers of strategy that are both challenging and rewarding. 

The game’s blend of luck and skill, coupled with its American flair, makes it a favourite among both casual and serious players.

Rules of American Blackjack

Rules When Playing American Blackjack

In American Blackjack, the objective remains to beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding a total of 21. 


Each player is dealt two cards, as is the dealer, with one of the dealer’s cards facing up (the “upcard”) and the other facing down (the “hole card”).


Players then decide whether to hit, stand, double down, or split, based on their hand and the dealer’s upcard. 


The option to surrender may also be available, depending on the casino’s rules.

Differences Between American and European Blackjack in Table Format


American Blackjack

European Blackjack

Dealer Hole Card

The dealer receives a hole card before players make decisions.

The dealer does not receive the hole card until after players have made all decisions.

Doubling Down

Often allowed on any two cards, and after splitting.

Typically only allowed on totals of 9, 10, or 11, and rarely after splitting.


Can usually split up to 3 or 4 hands, including Aces.

Splitting is more restricted; often only one split per round, and Aces may receive only one card each.


Late surrender might be available.

Surrender is not commonly offered.

Blackjack Payout

Usually pays 3:2.

Typically pays 3:2, but this can vary.


Dealer peeks for blackjack with an Ace or ten-value upcard.

No peek; players may lose more on doubles/splits if dealer eventually reveals blackjack.

Gameplay Mechanics

To play American Blackjack online game, you must follow these:

  • Placing Bets: Before any cards are dealt, players place their bets within the table’s limits.
  • Dealing Cards: Players and the dealer receive two cards each. The dealer’s cards include one upcard and one hole card.
  • Player Decisions: Players decide to hit, stand, double down, or split based on their hand’s value and the dealer’s upcard.
  • Dealer’s Turn: After players have made their decisions, the dealer reveals their hole card.
  • Resolving Bets: If the dealer has blackjack, players without blackjack card values lose their bets. Otherwise, hands are compared to determine winners.

Role of the Dealer's Hole Card

The dealer’s hole card is a pivotal element of American Blackjack. Its presence allows for a peek at blackjack strategy chart, influencing players’ decisions regarding insurance bets. 

If the dealer’s upcard is an ace or a ten-value card, the possibility of a dealer blackjack becomes a crucial consideration. 

Players must strategize around this possibility, adjusting their actions to minimise losses against a potential blackjack dealer. 

This dynamic adds an extra layer of strategy not present in variations where the hole card is not used until later in the game.

Strategy in Playing American Blackjack

Strategies in Playing American Blackjack

  • Always Stand on a Hard 17 or Higher: Regardless of the dealer’s upcard, standing on a hard 17 minimises the risk of busting and leverages a relatively strong position.
  • Hit on a Soft 17: A soft 17 (Ace and 6) should be treated as an opportunity to improve your hand, as the Ace can flexibly serve as 1 or 11.
  • Double Down on 11 Against Dealer’s Low Upcard (2 through 10): Doubling down maximises your bet when your chances of winning are high.
  • Split Aces and 8s: Always split Aces for a chance at two blackjacks, and split 8s to turn a weak 16 into two potential winning hands.
  • Don’t Take Insurance: Mathematically, insurance is generally considered a bad bet since it requires a significant side bet with long odds.
  • Use a Strategy Chart: Having a strategy chart handy is invaluable, especially for beginners, as it provides the best action for any given hand.

Tips in Playing American Blackjack

Here are American Blackjack tips to consider when playing:

  • Learn Card Counting: While challenging and not always applicable (especially online), card counting can give you an edge by tracking high vs. low cards remaining in the deck.
  • Master Doubling Down: Double down strategically—not just on 11 but also on soft hands against dealer’s low upcards to maximise potential winnings.
  • Practice Bankroll Management: Set clear limits for your sessions and stick to them, ensuring you only bet what you can afford to lose.
  • Understand Table Dynamics: In live play, choose tables with rules favourable to the player, such as those allowing doubling after splitting or with fewer decks.
  • Avoid the Gambler’s Fallacy: Treat each hand as independent; just because you’ve lost several hands in a row doesn’t mean you’re “due” for a win.
  • Adjust Play Based on the Count (For Card Counters): Increase bets when the count is in your favour (more high cards remaining), and be more conservative when it’s not.

Where to Play American Blackjack

Where to Play American Blackjack

Research Online Casinos

Start by researching reputable online casinos that offer American Blackjack. BP9 has positive reviews, valid licences, and third-party certifications for fairness and security.


Check Game Variants and Rules

Once you’ve identified potential casinos, check their game offerings to ensure they provide American Blackjack. Review the specific rules and variations they offer, as these can affect your playing strategy and the house edge.


Register and Verify Your Account

Once you’ve chosen a casino, register an account by providing the required information. You may need to verify your account through email or SMS confirmation.


Deposit Funds

Deposit funds into your account using one of the casino’s accepted payment methods. Look for casinos that offer secure and convenient deposit and withdrawal options.


Start Playing

Navigate to the American Blackjack game and start playing. Remember to practise responsible gaming and set limits for your playtime and spending.


To play blackjack, each player places a bet, and then receives two cards, as does the dealer. One of the dealer’s cards is face up (upcard) and one is face down (hole card). Players must then decide to hit (take another card), stand (keep their hand as is), double down (double their bet for one additional card), or split (if they have a pair, start two new hands with separate bets).

After all players have acted, the dealer reveals their hole card. Dealers must hit on 16 or less and stand on 17 or more. If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, without going over, you win.

Winning at Blackjack requires understanding basic strategy, which dictates the optimal play for every hand combination. Managing your bankroll, avoiding insurance bets, and knowing when to hit, stand, double down, or split based on your hand and the dealer’s upcard are key to minimising the house edge and improving your chances of winning.

Card counting blackjack, a simple method is the Hi-Lo strategy, where you assign a value of +1 to low cards (2-6), 0 to neutral cards (7-9), and -1 to high cards (10-Ace). You then keep a “running count” based on these values as cards are dealt. The higher the count, the more you should bet, as a high count indicates a higher probability of receiving favourable cards.