With enhanced designs, safe payout systems and lucrative bonuses, the game of online blackjack has become a source of fast-paced, exciting entertainment worldwide. Learn how to play blackjack online in our guide.
There are plenty of reasons for this popularity. First of all, blackjack is just plain fun. If you’ve ever dropped in on a blackjack table, you know. It’s fast, easy to learn, and the chances of a good return are as good as any table game in the casino. Sit down for a session of blackjack with 100 bucks and you should leave with at least 95, depending on the vagaries of Lady Luck.
Best Real Money Blackjack Casinos
There are only a few online casinos that don’t offer online blackjack. That may seem odd, but some casinos strictly offer slots. We review the best blackjack casinos, including those that offer live dealer blackjack. The table below features our highest rated 21 gambling sites and it’s geo-targeted, so you’ll be able to join all of the casinos listed without any issues.
The advantages of blackjack online
Ever since the advent of the internet and the advancement of smartphone technology, blackjack has emerged from the casino and entered our homes, offices, poolsides, bars – just anywhere there is online access. In fact, blackjack has become a major force in the burgeoning online casino industry.
Accessibility is a big reason the game has taken hold in cyberspace. If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can play it anywhere. It makes for a fun way to spend idle time in the waiting room, at the airport or in that (oops) boring office meeting. The nature of the game itself – the fact that the hands are so short – makes it easy to come and go. And with the simplicity of blackjack, distraction is no problem.
It’s easy to find low-limit games, too. If you’ve been to Las Vegas lately, you know that you have to go far and wide to find a blackjack game cheaper than $10. Online, you can deposit £10 and play all afternoon without knowing you spent anything.
Those deposits – as well as withdrawals – are simple, secure and quick these days. The fierce competition among online gambling houses has spurred this. There are plenty of options to choose from. You can use third-party deposit/withdrawal methods such as PayPal, in addition to the credit and debit card options, such as MasterCard and Visa.
Then there are bonuses. Just as high-end tables in Vegas offer “comps,” such as free meals and rooms, online tables offer bonuses. The longer you play, the better chance you have of getting all sorts of free stuff. In the online gambling world, you can play on any table and start receiving bonuses right away. One of the first things you notice is the hefty bonus offered for signing up and playing. Many sites offer matching cash bonuses, and pile on points for playing time. Those points add up to anything from free entry in tournaments to cash top-offs to your bankroll.
Competitive casino sites emphasize user-friendly features such as responsive support, reliable software and fast payouts. Design and navigation are easy on even the smallest of smartphone screens.
Tips for playing blackjack online
Find the right site
There are plenty of online destinations for getting information on playing blackjack or learning to play.
Here are some things to look for when seeking out games of online blackjack for real money:
A game that offers a 3-2 blackjack payout. This means that getting blackjack on a £10 wager will pay £15. Some casinos offer a 6-5 payout, which would only yield £12 for the blackjack winner.
Bonuses. Most online sites offer some sort of bonus, so you’ll have to weigh these. The signup or deposit bonus is usually the biggest. But casinos want you to stay with them, so the loyalty points bonuses should also be considered. Some casinos offer bonus payouts for certain cards like sevens.
Game Rules. The rules of play vary in online casinos, so you should look for games that follow customary brick-and-mortar casino rules. Look for games that:
- require the dealer to hit on a 17;
- allow doubling down on any two cards;
- allow re-splitting as well as splitting;
- allow doubling down after a split.
There are also games that offer payouts for taking five hits or more without going over the magic 21. You won’t likely find any one game that offers a combination of all of these, but each variation makes your chances of winning a tad better.
When you are playing online blackjack for real money, remember to …
Manage your money
Blackjack is a simple game, but the first thing to keep in mind is the basic element of gambling: money management. The online blackjack game moves along quickly, so you can find yourself way up or way down in no time. Pay attention. Set a percentage of your bankroll to play in a session, and figure an exit strategy. Cards are streaky. Even the MIT team came to realize that at one point. So, with the speed of the game, be prepared to take advantage of the good runs and play through the bad.
Because it is a computer game, online blackjack deals are usually random, in order to discourage card counting. Some online blackjack games offer six- or eight-deck shoes, but they reshuffle after each hand, so counting cards is pointless. If you find a multi-player game, you might have an oh-so-slight advantage, because you get to see more cards per deal. But generally, card counting is not worth the effort. Like keno, coin flips or the lottery, the previous outcome in no way affects the next.
Memorize your play strategy
Experts disagree on some borderline card combinations, but there are basic strategies most agree on, such as always splitting aces or eights, and always doubling down on 11. But how to play when you’re dealt that nasty 16, is debatable. Find your own system, memorize it, and stick to it. Since you are playing online, feel free to keep your cheat sheet handy until you have it down. Some sites offer free games to practice on.
If you sit in on a game for more than an hour, you often lose concentration, despite the simplicity of the game. So look at the clock from time to time, or even set a time limit when take a break.