Whether you realize it or not, you probably already know a lot about playing blackjack. This popular card game is played all over the world, and even though it has spawned a fair number of variations over the years, the foundation is almost always the same: try to get to 21 without going over while also beating the dealer's hand. It's the same in online casinos, except that (usually) there's no dealer, just a computer program dealing you virtual cards as you attempt to get blackjack.
Each player at a blackjack game is dealt two cards face down, with the dealer getting two cards and displaying one face up. In turn, players have the chance to stand on their current total or hit, receiving another card. Cards are worth their numeric values with the exception of face cards, which are all worth ten. Aces can be worth one or 11 depending on what makes your hand better. Going over 21 is called busting and automatically makes a player's hand a loser. When the dealer or house busts, all players still in the hand win.
A blackjack occurs when you receive an ace and any ten-value card right off the bat. Blackjacks commonly pay out at higher odds than normal winning hands, with the most popular rate being 3:2. Dealers can also have blackjack, making all players except those with their own blackjacks lose before any decisions need to be made. If you have the same total as the dealer, you push and get to keep your bet.
More advanced options include splitting pairs of like cards into separate hands, doubling down on your bet in exchange for only a single additional card and surrendering half your bet to avoid probable losing hands. These and other options vary greatly from casino to casino, so it's wise to determine which rules are in effect at your online casino's virtual tables. Since blackjack is such a widely played game, it also has a well established basic strategy that is easy to find online and can help your money last longer.