How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack, or forms of the game, has been played in slightly different forms for centuries and has remained very popular at land-based casinos because it is fast and exciting, and often played for large amounts of money. At our top choice, Spin Palace, online blackjack also became a firm favourite of New Zealand players and others around the world. After all, winning nice amounts of real money at blackjack can be intoxicating!

Our team of researchers and reviewers find the sites with the best online blackjack games, and at any of these top sites you will also find:

  • Handsome welcome bonuses when you sign up,
  • A variety of convenient payment options for online gamblers who want to play in New Zealand dollars,
  • Good security to protect your financial and personal data, and
  • Excellent customer service.

Whether you choose the face to face variant of gambling or online blackjack, the basic idea of the game is very simple: you bet and take the chance that your hand of cards will to beat that of the dealer. If it does, you win!

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How blackjack works

There are many versions of blackjack online, but they all have the same aim: to have a hand of cards that has a total value as close to 21 as possible without going over that number. The game is also called ‘twenty-one’ or ‘21’ for that reason. Even though the basic game is simple, beginners may want to learn how it works by trying out some free games before betting real money on games.

  • The dealer normally plays against up to seven players.
  • The dealer shuffles between one and eight 52-card decks of cards together.
  • The dealer deals you two cards face up. You then choose to receive one or more cards by 'hitting' (receiving more cards), or you could ‘stand’ (keep only the two cards in your hand). The dealer will keep dealing cards to you until you decide to stand.
  • If the total value of your cards reaches more than 21 when being dealt an extra card, you will be ‘bust’ and out of the game.
  • After you decide to ‘stand’, the dealer will then play his hand by dealing more cards to his own hand and has to ‘hit’ until his cards’ total reaches at least 17. Whoever then has the hand that is closest or equal to 21 without going over, will win: either you, or the dealer.
  • Many experts say it is a good idea to ‘stand’ if the total value of your cards is 17 or more, because the chances of going bust is additional cards are added would have increased. There is no guarantee that this strategy will work for you, but is said that this betting strategy can give you a slight edge over the house.

Versions of blackjack

The different versions vary from casino to casino. At land-based casinos the rules are normally posted clearly near the blackjack tables. Online blackjack sites also provide their specific rules to players, so ensure that you read the rules before betting on the games at any particular online gambling site. The different versions will affect the house edge (the statistical advantage for the casino built into the game).

  • Casinos use different numbers of decks of cards to shuffle for online blackjack games. Fewer decks will generally decrease the house edge.
  • The different versions count some cards differently: for instance, an ace could be counted as 1 point, or as 11 points.
  • Some casinos will allow you to ‘split’ your cards into two hands if you have two identical cards when the first two are dealt to you. You then get the option of betting the same amount on the second hand as on the first and play your two hands separately.
  • Some casinos allow you the choice to ‘surrender’ after the first cards are dealt to you.
  • Some casinos pay only 6:5 or 1:1 instead of the usual 3:2 for a blackjack.
  • Live dealer blackjack for an even more immersive gambing experience.

Blackjack is what online gambling is all about: a thrilling way to bet on an outcome that could earn you some great real cash in New Zealand dollars!

Choose Your Blackjack Casino

One of the most popular forms of online gambling, blackjack is one of those games that takes a short time to understand but a lifetime to master. With different variations and a huge range of different stakes at which you can play, it's suitable for both new players arriving in the online casino for the first time and professional or semi-professional gamblers looking for an obscure variant to boost their bankroll.

Blackjack gambling represents some of the best odds in the casino when you play properly, and it's possible (with a little luck) to enjoy lengthy sessions without burning through much cash or potentially even coming out on the other side with a tidy profit.

The best online casinos usually offer at least a couple of different types of blackjack, so you're just a click away from trying the game for yourself and seeing if you can get lucky.


How does online blackjack actually work?

While online blackjack may look just like offline blackjack, what happens behind the scenes of each game is a little different. The value of each card dealt in online blackjack is determined by a RNG, or random number generator, rather than an actual deck of cards and it's really the value of these results that players are betting on.

Where can I play?

We've listed some of the best casino sites where you can try blackjack gambling on this page, but it's very unlikely that you'll encounter a decent gambling site without a few different variations of blackjack in their game library.

How does the game compare to offline blackjack?

Because you're competing against a random number generator, and not a real dealer, and no other players are involved you have much more control over the speed of the action – you can take as much or as little time as you like to play each hand.

How many decks do online casinos use?

Online casinos use anywhere between 1 (not very likely) and 8 decks, but rarely make it clear how many they're using. In fact, all the virtual cards are shuffled between every hand so it's not possible to use this information to give yourself an advantage anyway.

Is blackjack popular in New Zealand?

Absolutely. Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games all over the world, and that includes New Zealand. Making some serious money takes time when gambling – blackjack is no exception – but this game is one of the most exciting and fun ways to do it.

How much can I win?

The sky's the limit! Tables in online casinos will have an upper limit that dictates how much cash you can wager on a single hand but, as long as you conform to those limits you could theoretically make hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of NZD in a single session.

Is online blackjack rigged?

Certainly not if you're playing at reputable casinos, which are regularly subject to inspections and third party audits to make sure that they're behaving responsibly. If casino sites fail to pass these tests, they risk being fined and shut down permanently.

Should I use a betting system?

We know that it can be tempting to use a betting system but, particularly because card counting isn't possible in standard online blackjack, there's just no advantage in doing so. Betting systems, like doubling your bet after a win or loss, may seem to work for a while but they can ultimately result in hefty losses.