Blackjack is an interesting game. It is one of the few casino based games that require an element of skill. Roulette is very much a luck based game and in poker you play against other people, not the house (mostly). Blackjack, at least on the skill front, is a decent combination of both.

Also known as '21', the premise of the game is simple. The aim is to make a total of 21 with your cards. But you don't necessarily have to get to 21. You just have to get as close as possible, without going over. And as long as your cards are higher in value than the dealer's, you win. All you have to do is stand, hit, double and split your way as close to 21 as possible.

Virtually all of the top rated casinos will offer Blackjack as par for the course. Many, will have a number of variations of the game that include a live option or themed options. But as a beginner, the focus should be on the basics.

Playing Blackjack

The game starts when you make a bet equal to or above the minimum table limit. The dealer will then issue you two cards – face up. The twist is that while the dealer also gets two cards, only one will be face up. You must decide what kind of hand you have against what you can see of the dealers.

You now have the option to stick/stand. That means you get no more cards and the dealer reveals his second card. The winner is the one closest to 21.

However, you can opt to ‘Hit'. The dealer will then issue you with a third card. This will be added to your total and hopefully get you closer to the magic number. Note that the dealer must hit on any total below 16 and continue to hit until they have 17+. This can work to your advantage. Because the closer the dealer gets to 16, the more likely he will draw a card that pushes him passed 21.

You can also ‘double down'. Here you double your bet and receive one extra card. Or you can ‘split'. This happens when you have a pair and you pay an extra bet to create two separate hands.

Once you have made your decision and decide to stand, the game turns over to the dealer. He reveals his second card and if the total is higher than yours, he wins. If his total is less than 16 he must issue himself with another card.

Once the dealer stands, the two totals are compared and the one that’s closest to 21 (or 21 exactly) wins.

If at any point you automatically go over 21 you lose. If the dealer goes over 21 you win. In the event of a draw where both you and the dealer have the same total, you get your bet back but no additional winnings.

There are only three outcomes in Blackjack. Win, lose or draw.

And they are the basics of blackjack. Pick an online casino that is reputable and trustworthy. And have a look for a beginners room as they frequently have very small table limits so you can practise and try the game without risking too much of your own money.