Online Blackjack - Best Blackjack Casinos & Free Play

Blackjack is more accessible than ever as you can play it online at all top-rated online casinos. In this article, we've included recommendations on where to play Blackjack for free as well as with real money.

Blackjack is more accessible than ever as you can play it online at all top-rated online casinos. In this article, we've included...

Written By: Max Dernaker Checked By: Thomas Berg Last Updated

Top Blackjack Casino Sites June, 2024

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Get Started: Blackjack Rules

Even though blackjack is a popular game that is both based on skill and luck, it is not a game that is difficult to learn. The game follows a few simple rules, and players need some basic knowledge to get started.

The Goal:

The goal of blackjack is to have a hand value (the sum of the numerical values of the cards in a player’s hand) as close to 21 as possible without going over. Players compete against the dealer rather than against each other.

The player who achieves a final hand total higher than the dealers or remains under 21 while the dealer goes over 21 wins the game. However, if a player’s hand exceeds 21, they automatically lose the game.

Good to Know:

There are several versions of online blackjack, and the rules can differ from game to game. This is a general guide to the game and will handle the most common rules.

The Dealer:

In online blackjack, as in any form of blackjack, the dealer plays a specific role. First of all, he/she will be your guide throughout the game. Feel free to ask the dealer through the live chat if you have any questions. If you are playing virtual online blackjack rather than live blackjack, the rules can be found in the info section for the specific game.

Except for answering questions, a live dealer is the person that will deal the cards and, most important of all, the owner of the hand you need to beat in order to win a blackjack game.

Card Rankings:

The first thing you’ll need to learn to start playing online blackjack is blackjack card rankings. Whether you play online blackjack at online casinos or a blackjack game at a land-based casino, the card rankings will be the same.

In blackjack, the card rankings are fairly straightforward. Each card is assigned a numerical value.

  • Ace: The Ace card can have a value of either 1 or 11, depending on what works best for the player’s hand.
  • Face cards (King, Queen, Jack): These cards are all worth 10 points each.
  • Number cards: The numerical value of the card is equal to its face value. So a 2 of hearts is worth two points, a 5 of clubs is worth five points, and so on.

During gameplay, players aim to get a hand value that is as close to 21 as possible without busting (going over 21). The card rankings dictate the value of each player’s hand, and the dealer will also be following the same rules when it comes to drawing cards and determining the winner of each round.

Soft, Hard and a Natural Explained:

In Blackjack, a “soft” hand means the player has an Ace in their hand that can be used as either a 1 or 11 during the course of the game.

A “hard” hand is one without an Ace, and these hands have no flexibility when it comes to customizing the values from one round to the next. Lastly, a “natural” (or blackjack) is when you hit 21 with your initial two cards and can receive bonus payouts from the casino if allowed.

Moves:

In addition to card rankings, you’ll also need to know possible moves in blackjack to get started playing. There are several possible moves, and which ones you can make will depend on the game you are playing.

  • Hit: This is when the player takes another card with the aim of increasing the value of their hand. Players can keep hitting until they either decide to stop or their hand goes over 21, resulting in a bust (player loses the game).
  • Stand: This is when the player decides to keep their hand as it is and not draw any more cards. Players typically choose this option if they think their hand is strong enough to win, or if they suspect that another card is likely to cause them to bust.
  • Double down: This is when the player doubles their original bet and gets one additional card in exchange. This is typically done when the player has a strong hand and believes that one more card will give them a winning total.
  • Split: This is an option that’s available when the player is dealt two cards of the same rank, for example, two queens. The player can choose to split the cards into two separate hands, each of which will receive an additional card. The player must place an additional bet equal to their original bet in order to split their cards.
  • Surrender: This is when the player chooses to forfeit the hand after seeing their initial two cards and the dealer’s up-card. The player will receive half of their original bet back, and the round will end immediately. This move is typically chosen when the player has a weak hand and believes that winning is unlikely.

Surrender is an optional move offered at some blackjack tables, but not all. It may only be available under certain circumstances, such as when the dealer’s up card is a 9, 10, or Ace.

If surrender is available, the player usually has to decide to surrender before making any other choices. Once the player has made another decision, such as hitting or doubling down, they cannot surrender for the rest of the hand.

All in all, these moves give the player different options depending on their hand’s value and personal strategy for winning the game.

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Payouts 

Hand Payout
Natural Blackjack (21 with 2 cards) 3:2
Winning hand (not a natural blackjack) 1:1
Insurance (dealer has Ace showing) 2:1
Double down (winning hand) 2:1
Splitting pairs and winning both hands 1:1
Push (tie with dealer) 1:1

Note that these payouts may vary depending on the blackjack table you’re playing at, and certain variations of the game may offer different payouts. It’s always a good idea to check the payout table before starting to play so that you know what to expect.

House Edge

The house edge measures how much the casino expects to win from every bet placed in the blackjack game. For example, if the house edge is 0.5%, that means, on average the casino expects to win $0.50 for every $100 wagered.

The house edge is calculated based on the rules and variations of the game, such as the dealer’s playing strategy, the number of decks used, and specific rules around splitting pairs or doubling down.

Generally, the lower the house edge, the better the odds are for the player. That’s why many experienced blackjack players will seek out games with a low house edge in order to increase their chances of winning.

The table below is showing the approximate house edge for different blackjack games:

Game House Edge
Single-deck blackjack 0.15%
Double-deck blackjack 0.45%
Four-deck blackjack 0.60%
Six-deck blackjack 0.64%
Eight-deck blackjack 0.66%
Spanish 21 (varies by rules) 0.4% to 2%
Blackjack Switch (varies by rules) 0.17% to 0.65%
Atlantic City blackjack 0.36% to 0.44%
Vegas Downtown blackjack 0.20% to 0.64%
Vegas Strip blackjack 0.20% to 0.34%

It’s worth noting that these house edge percentages are estimates and can vary depending on the specific rules for each game and the playing strategy of the player. Additionally, the casinos may change the rules of the game to increase the house’s edge and improve their profits.

Nonetheless, these percentage numbers can still serve as general guidelines for players who want to minimize their losses while playing blackjack.

Blackjack Side Bets

In online blackjack you sometimes have the chance to play so-called side bets. A side bet is an additional wager that a player can place on top of the main blackjack game. Side bets are completely optional, and players only need to place them if they want to.

Side bets typically involve predicting or betting on a specific outcome or combination of cards, beyond the standard rules of blackjack. For example, a common blackjack side bet is “Perfect Pairs,” where the player bets on the possibility of their first two cards being a pair, such as two Kings of clubs.

  • Perfect Pairs: This side bet allows players to wager on the possibility of their initial two cards being a pair. Payouts vary depending on the type of pair, with higher payouts for rare pairs such as a suited pair.
  • 21+3: This side bet combines the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s up-card to make a three-card poker hand. Payouts are determined based on the strength of the hand, with better hands, like straight flushes offering higher payouts.
  • Bust It!: This side bet allows players to bet on the possibility of the dealer busting (going over 21) with three or more cards. Payouts can vary, with higher payouts for dealers busting with higher numbers of cards.

Playing Blackjack Online

Playing a round of blackjack is a thrilling and rewarding experience! Here’s how it works:

First, the players must place their bets. This can be done by placing chips on the designated betting circle.

Once the bets are in, each player, including the dealer, will receive two cards face-up. Each player gets to see both their own cards, but the dealer only reveals one of their two cards.

At this point, each player has to decide if they want to hit (take another card) or stand (stay with what they have). A player can hit as many times as they want until they reach 21 or “bust” (go over 21 and lose).

Playing a round of blackjack is a thrilling and rewarding experience!

If a player is dealt two cards that are equal value (such as two 8s), they can “split” them into two separate hands by placing a wager equal to the original bet. After splitting, each hand automatically receives an additional card according to regular rules, and then each split hand needs to be played out separately in accordance with blackjack’s rules.

If a player wishes to double down after receiving their first two cards, they may do so by doubling their original wager before receiving any more cards. This means that after doubling down, only one additional card is dealt per hand – no more hits are allowed afterwards!

When all players decide to stand and or they go bust, then it’s time for the dealer to flip over their second card and reveal their hand.

If the dealer’s hand is closer to 21 than any of the players’ hands without busting, then all players lose their wagers. But if none of the players bust and one or more has a higher total than the dealer’s hand without going over 21, then those remaining players win based on how close their hand is to 21!

This is a very simple description of a round of blackjack, and you should keep in mind that rules may vary from one online blackjack game to another.

Play Blackjack At Various Types Of Online Casinos:

Free Blackjack Games and Real Money Blackjack Games

A great advantage when playing online blackjack is that you get a chance to gamble for free. Free blackjack games are only available as virtual games, not as live blackjack, where game rounds can’t be simulated, and you’ll need to play with real money.

Playing free blackjack games can be great for entertainment purposes, but free online blackjack also allows new players to get used to the game practice. It is also a great way for anyone wanting to try out a new blackjack strategy before continuing to real money games.

Play Blackjack For Free:

Online Blackjack and Live Blackjackcanda leaf

When spending time on blackjack sites, you’ll have the option to play an online blackjack game or blackjack live dealer games. Both versions have advantages, for example:

If you want to play free online blackjack games, your only option is the virtual ones. These are also the better choice if playing with blackjack bonuses.

However, if you want the social aspect of the game and feel the rush of a real casino environment, the live dealer blackjack is the better option.

But you don’t need to choose. You can choose to play free play when it suits you and go over to bet money for real on live games or virtual games.

Different Types of Online Blackjack Games

When playing blackjack online, you will quickly notice several blackjack variants available. Here are some of the versions you may find at an online casino:

  • Classic Blackjack: The original version of the classic card game and most common type of blackjack game. It is played with up to 8 decks, where players must try to beat the dealer by having a hand closer to 21 than the dealer’s without going over 21 (or “busting”).
  • European Blackjack: This version of blackjack is played with two standard decks and has fewer restrictions on doubling down and splitting pairs.
  • Double Exposure Blackjack: This variation is played with two decks and both the player’s and dealer’s cards are dealt face-up for everyone to see. The payout for a natural 21 (a natural blackjack) is usually lower in this variation compared to others.
  • Atlantic City Blackjack: This variation is played using eight standard 52-card decks, and the player can surrender mid-hand if they feel their hand will not win against the dealers. Additionally, a side bet known as “Late Surrender” allows the player to half their bet even after seeing the rest of their or the dealers’ cards if they feel they have a losing hand.
  • Vegas Strip Blackjack: This variation uses four standard decks, and players cannot take insurance on any hands other than natural blackjacks or split hands more than three times. The payout for getting a natural 21 increases in this variant compared to other versions of blackjack, offering bigger rewards for players that hit it big in Vegas Strip Blackjack!

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Strategies and Charts When You Play Blackjack Online

If you have read or heard about blackjack before, chances are that you have also heard about basic blackjack strategy. Knowing basic blackjack strategy is essential for any beginner who wants to improve their game. Here are some simple tips to get you started with basic strategy:

Basic Strategy for Blackjack

  1. Always split Aces and 8s if allowed.
  2. Never take insurance or “even money” if offered by the dealer.
  3. Unless you have a total of 17 or higher, always hit on 11 or lower.
  4. Stand with a hard 12-16 when the dealer has a 2-6 upcard, otherwise hit.
  5. Stand on hard 17 or higher, no matter what the dealer shows.
  6. Double down when you have a 10 or 11 and the dealer has an upcard of 9 or less (not including Aces).
  7. Always hit soft 17 or lower, including Ace/6 combination; stand with soft 18 or higher, but not A/7 against an Ace (split instead).

These are just some of the basics that all beginners should strive to master before getting too deep into Blackjack strategy!

Counting Cards in Blackjack

If you’ve ever watched a movie about blackjack or casinos, you’ll probably have heard about that some players try to count cards in order to win real money. But what is card counting, really? Is it forbidden? And what happens if you try to do it?

Card counting is a strategy used in Blackjack that involves assigning certain values to cards and keeping a running tally of the count. Counting cards gives players an advantage by increasing their chances of knowing when to hit, stand, double down, or split.

While this technique is legal, most casinos don’t allow it as it takes away from their profits. Some casinos may impose sanctions on players caught counting cards, such as barring them from playing at the casino or asking them to leave.

Play with Online Blackjack Bonuses

When playing at online casinos, you have several advantages. For example, the possibility to play casino games with bonuses. When signing up at a new online casino, chances are that you’ll be offered a great casino bonus. The bonus usually created for online slot gaming can, in general, also be used when playing online and live blackjack games.

All you need to remember when you start playing blackjack is that wagering requirements may be attached to the bonus.

If this is the case, chances are that a live dealer game does not contribute as much to the wagering requirement as virtual online blackjack games do. If this is the case, we would advise you to skip the live dealer blackjack games and aim to play real money blackjack in virtual games instead.

FAQ: Online Blackjack

Yes you can play blackjack online for real money. Many online casinos offer a variety of different blackjack games, both simulated and live dealer versions. You can also take advantage of casino bonuses when playing at online casinos.

Yes, it is possible to win online blackjack. You just need to understand the rules and proper strategies of the game in order to increase your chances of winning. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the house edge and side bets available at each casino before deciding which one to play at.

Blackjack is both a skill and luck-based game. The more you understand the strategies, rules and house edge of the game, the better your chances of winning in any given situation. However, like all casino games, there will always be an element of luck involved when playing blackjack online or at live dealer casinos.

Playing blackjack online is fairly straightforward. All you need to do is sign up at a casino or use an existing account and make a deposit, then choose your game and start playing! There are typically several different versions of the game available at each casino, so make sure to read the rules before starting.

The most popular blackjack variants are usually those with the lowest house edge and the most favourable rules. Most casinos will list the house edge for each game, so make sure to check this before deciding which version to play. Live dealer games can also offer a more immersive experience than simulated ones, however, they tend to have higher house edges.

Written By:

Max Deranker
Max Deranker
Hey I'm Max, founder and Editor in Chief of Topnoaccountcasinos. I've been in the online casino industry for over 13 years and happy share my expertise in the field with fellow players.