Blackjack is one of the biggest card games in the world, and one that was perfectly suited to make the transition to the online environment when the time came. Blackjack is simple to learn, but difficult to master, and it is one of the few games where it is actually possible to consistently beat the house.
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That’s why there are so many professional players out there. What’s more, it’s just as easy to beat the house playing online blackjack as it is playing offline blackjack.
In this guide we’ll look at the best places to play the game and the best variants to play, as well as ways you can beat it. If you wish to play Blackjack for real money than click here.
Learn how to play blackjack
There is a wealth of blackjack sites out there, with all of the biggest software developers having at least half a dozen variants. To find the very best one for you, browse our list of the best casinos here.
How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack is very simple to pickup, although it can be a little harder to master. The goal of the game is to make it to 21, and you will have at least 2 cards in which to do this. If you land an Ace and a 10 value card you will get 21 instantly. This is known as a “Blackjack” or a “Natural”, and it returns an instant win.
If this does not happen to you or the dealer, then you need to decide whether to “Stick”, in which case you remain with the amount you have and then hope the dealer scores less; or “Hit”, in which case you are dealt another card. There are also other moves available, but these are the two basic ones.
Can I Get a Bonus Playing Blackjack?
Of course! All casinos offer bonuses these days. One of the best bonuses for blackjack players is a matched deposit bonus, which basically means that your first deposit is doubled. You can then play with free cash, building a balance with someone else’s money.
If things go your way you might never need to use your own cash. To discover where the best bonuses are, read our extensive guide on Casino Bonuses.
Top 5 Tips for Playing Blackjack
As is the case with all forms of gambling, proper bankroll management is essential to keeping your feet on the ground and ensuring you don’t lose more than you can afford to lose.
There is a simple strategy known as Basic Blackjack Strategy, that you can use to improve your play and to consistently beat the casino. This is very easy to learn and to implement, and it is discussed in more detail below.
Don’t Play Angry
The worst thing you can do in blackjack, and any other gambling game like roulette for instance, is to start making bigger and bolder bets just because you’re angry or frustrated with the way things have been going for you.
Keep your cool. Remain calm, and don’t lose your head.
The very first thing you need to do before you sit down to play online blackjack, is find a variant that has a low house edge. Otherwise the casino will always have an edge over you and even with Basic Blackjack Strategy, it will be very difficult to overcome this.
The lowest house edges in blackjack can be found in online variants, as discussed in more detail more.
It is important to pickup a big bonus when you signup to an online casino to play blackjack. Playing with free cash is a sure-fire way to earn a quick profit. You should also keep an eye out for big loyalty schemes, ones that will essentially pay you for every hand that you play, whether you win or lose, and for the matched deposit one, which is also great.
Pros of Online vs Offline Blackjack
There are more blackjack variants online than there are offline, and it’s much easier to find and play these. Also, some of the better online variants simply can not be found offline.
In offline blackjack it is customary to tip the dealer every now and then, in online blackjack this is not the case.
In offline casinos you need to be a big spender or a VIP to get any decent bonuses, but in online casinos they are available to everyone, from low stake “micro-rollers” to the high stake “high-rollers”.
You can’t beat the joy of lounging in your own front room, with your laptop on your knee or your mobile in your hand, playing as many games of blackjack as you want.
Cons of Online vs Offline Blackjack
If you like the excitement of a land-based casino, then you might find an online casino too sterile and dull for your tastes. Gamblers tend to prefer the peace and the quiet, but if you visit casinos primarily for the excitement, then you might be better off with the real thing.
Sometimes you just can’t beat the feel of a real game of blackjack, stacking your chips, flipping the cards. You don’t get this in an online casino, but it’s all part of the experience in a land-based casino.
Extroverts get a kick out of the casino experience, chatting with other players and with the dealer, and this just isn’t possible in an online casino.
The main benefit to offline casinos in the eyes of many is the fact that it is possible to gain an edge by counting cards. Of course, you risk being kicked out if you are discovered and it can be a nervy experience if you try to get away with it.
What are the Best Deposit and Withdrawal Options for Online Blackjack?
It all depends on your location and the method that works best for you. If you live in the United States then you may be limited to wire transfers, debit cards and similar methods, but can certainly try the Bitcoin option, whilst if you live outside of the US then you might be better off with PayPal.
Whatever method you prefer, if you choose a good online casino then you should not be short of options in this department. We have compiled a guide that looks at deposits and withdrawals in more detail, and should help you if you need more assistance in this regard.
Can I Play Blackjack on my Mobile?
All major software developers offer mobile compatible games these days, and the gambling industry is no different. In fact, in many cases you will find that the mobile versions are better and that there are more bonuses available for mobile players.
What is the Best Blackjack Strategy?
There is one main strategy for blackjack, and one that works whether you are playing offline or online. It is known as Basic Blackjack Strategy, and it is what all of the professional players use to gain an edge.
Simply put, Basic Blackjack Strategy follows a fixed system of rules that are structured around probability, with the aim of taking the outcome that will most likely result in a win. Although it sounds complicated, a lot of Basic Blackjack Strategy revolves around common sense and if you have played blackjack before then you’ll probably already be following parts of this strategy.
Some of it, however, is a little counter intuitive, such as the fact that you should never take insurance, because whilst it may pay off on occasion, in the long run you will lose out, and Basic Blackjack Strategy is all about the long game and the small fractions.
Basic Blackjack Strategy works just as well online as it does offline and many professional players have claimed to use this strategy to earn a consistent profit. If you choose a game that has a low house edge to begin with, then Basic Blackjack Strategy will lower that edge even further. This means that you and the casino are on an even keel.
Is Online Blackjack Random?
Online blackjack is more random than offline blackjack, with every turn of the card being unique and generated by a random number generator.
This is ideal from the perspective of anyone using Basic Blackjack Strategy, but it means that card counting is not effective online, as discussed below.
How do I Count Cards?
There are several card counting systems, but these are not as complicated as many people assume, and the simplest systems, such as the Hi-Lo Method, are incredibly easy. Simply put, this method involves giving a positive or negative value to all cards and then running a count in your head.
For instance, if you count all high cards as +1 and all low cards as -1 (with cards valued at 7, 8 and 9 counted as 0) then you know that when the count is in the high positives, there are more low cards in the deck and your chances of winning are much lower.
When the opposite is true, your chances of winning are higher. The trick is to bet high when the going is good, and to bet low when it is not.
If you can add and subtract in single digits, and if you can do this despite the noise and the distractions in the casino, then you can count cards.
Can I Count Cards Online?
Online games of blackjack work a little differently to offline ones and it is not possible to count cards. The decks are shuffled after every hand, with all of the cards previously used going back into the pack. This means that card counting is not even remotely effective.
Can I Play Blackjack Online in the US?
Although online gambling is tightly restricted in the United States, it is still possible to gamble legally. Loopholes allow casinos based outside of the US to appeal to members inside the US, and the most common region for such casinos is Central America.
The one issue you will face, however, is a financial one. US banks and other financial institutions tend to be very wary, which is why it is difficult to find a US gambling site that allows deposits and withdrawals via credit cards or debit cards.
The same goes for PayPal and other web wallets. However, you should face no such issues if you use money transfers, wire transfers and even e-checks.
You should always check your local laws before signing up to an online casino, or any other gambling site.
What is the Best Blackjack Software?
Most online casino software has games of blackjack, but there is no software that focuses 100% on blackjack. This mean that the best games are often included on casino software like Playtech and also Microgaming, as well as Realtime Gaming for casinos, and other big names.
If you’re looking for the games with the lowest house edges (a must for all serious players) then look no further than Switch Blackjack, available on the Playtech software, and Double Exposure Blackjack, available on the Microgaming software. These games offer the lowest house edges of any blackjack games you will find, and they do this by tweaking the rules slightly.
In the case of Switch Blackjack, you play two hands at once and can switch the top cards of those hands, while with Double Exposure Blackjack all cards, including both of the dealer’s cards, are exposed throughout.
Where are the Best Places to Play Blackjack Online?
Always look for an online casino that has a big bonus and a loyalty scheme. Blackjack is a game of fine margins, and if you play it properly then you might be slightly up at the end of play, or you might be slightly down.
If you add a big bonus into the mix, or the benefits of a generous loyalty scheme, then you can ensure that you’re in a very healthy profit at the end of an extended session.
We have done the research so that you don’t have to, and throughout this site (and on our recommended casinos list) you can find links to the very best online casinos out there.
Blackjack is an exciting game, and one that is just as fun online as it is offline. It is one of the few games that you can turn into a career, one of the few games that can make you a consistent profit.
Blackjack is simple on the surface, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a complex game that will reward you for mastering it.