Real Money Blackjack Guide and Best Blackjack Games Online
Among all the table games that you get at online casinos, blackjack is considered the most popular. This is a skill-based game that is fun to play. Almost every software provider has some form of blackjack on its game portfolio, which means this is a game you find at most online casinos you visit. At some casinos you will find live dealer versions of the game too.
On this page we provide you with information about this fabulous game, starting with a listing of the top blackjack casinos, and round it off with a detailed set of FAQs. Read on to learn all about this amazing game.
Top Real Money Blackjack Casinos for 2021
Blackjack is a hugely popular game, and finding the right casino to play the game can be quite a challenge. We simplify this task for you by listing out the best blackjack casinos for 2020. Our list is constantly upgraded to ensure you don't get stuck with playing at the same old casinos every time.
- Over 200 gaming titles
- Great mobile casino available
- Deposit and withdraw in Bitcoin
- Over 200 games to play
- Generous welcome bonus
- Bitcoin accepted
- Instant play casino
- Huge array of casino games
- Mobile friendly casino available
- Multiple payment methods available
- Great mobile casino available
- 0-24 hour withdrawal time available
- Exciting look and feel
- Over 180 high quality games
- Chance to participate in casino tournaments
- Earn 25% cashback
- Great online tournaments
- Cryptocurrency accepted
- Great on-going promotions
- Bitcoin accepted
- Customer support available 24/7
- Enjoy fast pay outs
- Great on-going promotions
- Great welcome bonus available
- Fully functional mobile casino
- Bitcoin accepted
- Daily online slot tournaments
- Proven fair by independent audits
- Customer support available 24/7
- Incredible mobile casino
- A choice of welcome bonuses for plenty of free start-up cash
- Licensed in Costa Rica, with US players accepted
- Highly secure transaction processing giving you complete protection
The Best Blackjack Games for Free Practice Play
Blackjack is a game of strategy and involves a degree of skill. It is therefore important to know all about the game and the different strategies to use before you actually start playing for real money. And the best way to do that is in free practice mode.
We have listed in this section the best blackjack free play games. Click on any game to get started.
Atlantic City Blackjack
Popular Online Blackjack Variants
There are over 65 exciting variants of online blackjack. In this section we have put together for you the most popular variants of blackjack and also listed out the basic rules for each of them.
European Blackjack is a popular blackjack variant that involves 2 decks of cards without the joker. The rules of the game are simple:
- Dealer stands on 17 always.
- Dealer isn't allowed to check for blackjack before his turn
- You can double down on the first 2 cards provided they add up to 9, 10 or 11.
- You can split a hand only once.
- Blackjack beats a 21-hand; i.e. a hand that adds up to 21 but is not a natural blackjack.
- Blackjack pays out at 3:2.
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
Vegas Downtown Blackjack is a form of classic blackjack that you play with 2 decks of cards. The game rules are simple and listed below:
- The dealer stands on a soft 17, always.
- The dealer is allowed to peek for blackjack.
- Doubling down is permitted in the following 2 scenarios: 1) On the first 2 cards, and 2) after a split.
- You can re-split a hand.
- You can re-split up to 3 times.
- When you split or re-split a hand, a resulting hand with a 10 and an Ace is not a blackjack hand; it just has the total hand value of 21.
- A dealer's blackjack hand always beats a 21.
Atlantic City Blackjack
Atlantic City Blackjack involves 8 card decks. Both single-hand and multi-hand options are available: you can choose the number of hands to play. The game comes with a low house edge and has the following rules:
- Dealer stands on a soft 17.
- You are allowed to split a hand.
- You can double down on the first 2 cards.
- Doubling down is allowed after a split. After the double down, you are allowed to initiate a split again should you have the right cards for it.
- Dealer is allowed to check for blackjack on card-deal. The game ends if he has a blackjack. All you then lose is the initial wager.
Vegas Strip Blackjack
Vegas Strip Blackjack has a relatively low house edge, which is lower than what you find in other blackjack games. You play this game with 4 decks of cards. The basic rules for the game are listed below:
- Dealer stands on a soft 17 always.
- The dealer's blackjack hand beats a player's hand of 21.
- When you split a hand, an Ace and a 10 adds up to the value of 21 only; it is not considered a blackjack hand.
Double Exposure Blackjack
Double Exposure Blackjack is unique and different from other blackjack games. The dealer's cards are both dealt face-up, and this has a definite impact on wagering and game play. The following are the basic rules of this game:
- Dealer will hit on a soft 17 always.
- Except for a tied blackjack hand, for every other tied hand the dealer wins.
- You can split and then re-split a hand.
- You can double down only on a hard 9, 10 or 11.
- You are allowed to double down after a split.
Bonus Blackjack is more or less like European Blackjack, but with a slight difference: it comes with a cool bonus feature. The rules are just like that of European Blackjack:
- Dealer stands on all 17s.
- Dealer cannot peek to check for blackjack.
- Double down allowed on first 2 cards only when they add up to 9, 10 or 11.
- One-time splitting of a hand allowed.
- Blackjack beats any 21-hand.
- Blackjack pays out at 3:2.
The additional side bet in Bonus Blackjack gives you the opportunity to score wins beyond the average standard wins that you normally score with European Blackjack:
- 50:1 for a hand of Jack of Spades and an Ace of Spades
- 25:1 payout for a blackjack hand of a Jack and an Ace from any suit
Progressive blackjack is just like the regular blackjack game, except that there is a progressive jackpot as a side bet! The basic rules are listed below:
- Standard game play is with 6 card decks; though there are games with 8 card decks too.
- You can choose the mode of play - single-hand or multi-hand, usually up to 5 hands.
- The dealer stands on a soft 17; however this rule depends on the dealer: the Playtech version requires dealers to stand on all 17s.
- The Surrender option is not available in most progressive blackjack variants.
- You are permitted to double down.
- You are permitted to split a hand.
- Blackjack pays out 3:2.
- Insurance is available.
- Place a side bet to access the progressive feature.
There is a separate paytable for the progressive jackpot rounds. You win the maximum progressive jackpot amount when you land 4 Aces of the same suit consecutively.
Blackjack Switch is a multi-hand blackjack variant that plays differently from other blackjack games. It comes with a feature that purists may consider bordering on cheating: you are allowed to swap cards between 2 hands! This is how it works:
- You place 2 equal-sized bets.
- You are then allowed to switch the second card dealt to each hand.
The switch works well, but there are a couple of things to know:
- A dealer 22 against a non-busted hand sends the game to Push mode
- Blackjack hands pay even money.
The following are the basic rules of the game:
- The game uses 6 to 8 card decks.
- Dealer usually hits on a soft 17.
- Cards are dealt face-up.
- An Ace or 10 as an open card allows the dealer to peek for blackjack.
- Dealer blackjack on peek causes player to lose.
- If a player has a blackjack and the dealer peek reveals a blackjack hand for him, the game goes to Push.
- Double down is allowed on any 2 cards.
- A switch resulting in a blackjack hand is counted as 21 points and not a natural blackjack.
- Players can double down after a split.
- Re-splitting is allowed for up to 4 hands.
- A player blackjack beats a dealer's 22.
There are other popular blackjack variants available as well. These include games like Blackjack Perfect Pairs, Blackjack Pro, American Blackjack, Double Attack Blackjack and Spanish Blackjack, among others.
The Importance of Card Decks in Blackjack: Single Deck Blackjack vs. Multi-deck Blackjack
Two factors that play a critical role in determining the popularity of a blackjack game are the house edge and the hand odds: both of these have a direct impact on the betting strategy that a player could adopt. And one factor that has a direct impact on these 2 important factors is the number of decks in a game.
Based on the number of card decks used, blackjack games are categorized as follows:
- Single deck blackjack: The game uses only 1 deck of cards.
- Multi-deck blackjack: The game uses multiple decks of cards, anywhere from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 8. This type of game was invented to cut down practices like card-counting.
A game with multiple card decks evens out the winning possibilities for the player and the winner because of the higher number of cards in play. This is one of the factors that contribute to a higher house edge for multi-deck blackjack games. Other factors that determine the house edge for a game include game rules and also payout odds.
Online Blackjack House Edge: A Brief Look
A common adage when it comes to casino gambling is that ‘the house always wins'. Because the house always has the edge!
The house edge is the statistical edge that the casino enjoys over the player for a game over a period of time. You may place your wagers and win, but in the long run the house always gets the better of you! The very fact that the house edge is expressed as a percentage value underlines the truth about the house winning over you.
The house edge for blackjack is a percentage of the total money you bet over a period of time to the expected returns from these bets over a pre-determined number of hands.
The house edge is impacted by a number of factors, including:
- Number of decks
- Dealer's response to a 17-hand
- Regulations regarding: Doubling down and Splitting a hand
- Payout ratio
In the table below we list for you a few popular blackjack games and the house edge for each of them:
|Blackjack Game||House Edge|
|Double Exposure Blackjack||0.69%|
|Vegas Strip Blackjack||0.34%|
|Vegas Downtown Blackjack||0.38%|
|Atlantic City Blackjack||0.35%|
Casino Software Providers Offering Real Money Blackjack Games
You will find blackjack in the portfolio of every reputed casino software vendor.
The following are some of the top software providers offering blackjack:
Playing Blackjack at Online Casinos: Download vs. Instant Play
You can play blackjack at an online casino in either of the following formats:
- Instant play
The format available to you depends on the casino you are at and the software provider(s) behind it. If you are at a multi-platform casino chances are very high that you will be able to play only in the instant play format, while casinos powered by Playtech or Microgaming will offer the game in both download and instant play formats, because the software is available in both these formats.
The following are the steps to play your favorite blackjack game in the download mode:
- Load the casino on a web browser.
- Click the Download button to initiate the software download.
- Run the executable file to complete the installation.
- Double click the casino icon on your desktop to open it.
- Sign up for real money play.
- Click the Games tab and then click Table Games. In some casinos the blackjack games are listed directly in the menu; click the Blackjack tab to open the list of games available.
- Click the game you want to play and get going.
Playing in the instant play format is easier as there is no software to download. Just load the casino on a web browser, sign in and click on the blackjack game you want to play.
Remember, important game-related factors like the house edge, payout ratio and hand odds remain the same regardless of which format you choose to play!
Basic Blackjack Rules - Quite Simple When you Break it Down
Regardless of which type of blackjack game you choose to play, the basic rules remain the same. We list these for you here:
- Standard number of card decks used is 8. There are variants that use 2, 4, 5 or 6 decks too.
- All face cards carry a value of 10.
- The Ace has a value of 11.
- All other cards carry their individual values.
- The Blackjack hand is a hand with a Jack and an Ace.
- A hand that adds up to 21 - a 10-value card and an Ace, for instance - is not a blackjack hand; it just has the value of 21.
- The objective is to put together a hand with a value of 21 or closest to it.
- You bust if your hand value overshoots 21.
- Usually, the dealer will stand on 17.
- Most blackjack games allow you to double down on splitting.
- A tied hand sends the game to Push mode.
- The Push mode is valid for all hands except those where the dealer blackjack beats a player blackjack.
- Except in a couple of blackjack variants, blackjack usually pays 3:2.
- All other wins pay 1:1.
How to Play Online Blackjack: The Basics Explained
Once you have loaded the game and placed your wager, this is how the game unfolds.
- Both the player and the dealer are dealt a 2-card hand.
- Both your cards are open, while the dealer's 2nd card is face down, also called the ‘hole' card.
- You make your move based on 2 factors:
- The strength of your hand
- The dealer's open card
- The move you make could be any of the following:
- Hit: Pick another card to bolster your hand. You can hit multiple times, till you get a hand value of 21 or the value closest to it.
- Stand: You are confident that your hand is strong enough, and so opt to ‘stand' and not pick any more cards. The stand option works if you have a hand value of, say, 20. You could opt to stand on 17 as well, though that is a risk; but then, opting to hit on 17 is a risk too!
- Split: You can use this option if you have a hand where both the cards are of identical value. The number of times you can split depends on the game you are playing.
- Double down: With this option you can double your initial bet. When you do this you receive an additional card. Beyond that you are not allowed to hit, however.
- Some blackjack games offer a special bet that you can use to protect your wager - the insurance bet. This is a great option to have if, say, the dealer's open card is a Jack or Ace, straightaway giving him a 50% chance of landing a blackjack.
- Once you have made your move it is the dealer's turn to make his. The player with the higher card value or a value of 21 wins. The player with a hand value higher than 21 busts automatically.
Basic Online Blackjack Strategy - Worth a Read!
There are a number of cool strategies you can adopt while playing blackjack, depending on the hand you have. The following are some good basic strategies for the different hands.
Hands with an Ace as one of the cards are referred to as ‘soft' hands. You can use the Ace as an 11-pointer or a single-pointer. The following are basic strategies for a soft hand:
- Maximum hand value till which you can hit comfortably is 15.
- For a hand of 16 to 18 double down if the dealer's open card is a 6 or lower; else hit.
- Stand for a soft hand with a minimum value of 19.
A hand with no Ace - or a hand where you can use the Ace only as a one-pointer - is called a ‘hard' hand. The following are basic strategies for hard hands.
- Hit if your hand value is a maximum of 8.
- Double down if your hand value is 8 and the dealer's open card has a value of 3 to 6. Otherwise, hit.
- Double down if your hand is 10 or 11 and the dealer's open card is lower. Else, hit.
- Hit if your hand total is 12 to 16 and the dealer's open card is at least 7. Otherwise, stand.
- Stand if your hand value is 17 to 21, stand.
You can split a pair hand. Here are the basic rules for splitting pairs:
- Split if your hand has pairs of Aces and 8s.
- Don't split if your hand has pairs of 4s, 5s or 10s.
- For all other pair hands, split if the dealer's open card has a maximum value of 6.
Blackjack Tournaments - Where the Fun Begins!
A number of top online casinos offer blackjack games to players in tournament format as part of their promotions. Blackjack tournaments are a whole lot of fun and are more or less like poker tournaments.
This is how it works: there are multiple tables, and each table has a fixed number of players. At each table you can play a maximum of about 30 hands. Play happens in elimination mode:
- Players are eliminated at the end of each round.
- From each table the top 2 players move ahead.
- Elimination progresses till the final table, where the last 2 players standing vie for top honors.
There are some basic differences between regular blackjack game play and tournament play:
- There are about 6 to 8 players per table, which means more players against the dealer.
- The deal is rotated around the table to ensure each player gets to be the start point of a deal and to maintain fair play.
- The tournament format offers prize money.
Blackjack Mobile Apps and Playing Blackjack Games on Smartphones
Mobile casino gaming is experiencing a rapid surge in popularity: now you can play at your favorite casino directly from your smartphone or tablet! This is great news for blackjack lovers as now you are able to play your favorite blackjack games on the go, anytime and from anywhere!
The following are popular mobile platforms with which the mobile blackjack software is compatible:
In the initial years, to play blackjack from your smartphone or tablet you had to download the native casino app from the app store of the platform your device was compatible with. Now, the advancements in technology have resulted in the availability of mobile blackjack in the instant play format.
The games are developed using the latest technology, including Adobe Flash and HTML5. This gives them graphics of the highest quality and also compatibility with multiple devices and platforms. All the casinos that we list for you come with a mobile-enabled version.
Bonuses for Playing Blackjack - Yes, You Get Rewarded Too, But Only Sometimes.
Online casinos usually offer cool bonuses that you can use to play the different games available. These include no deposit bonuses as well as welcome deposit bonuses and other bonuses for existing players. One thing to note: you will not usually find no deposit bonuses to play blackjack.
Occasionally you will find match bonuses, including the welcome bonus, to play blackjack. However, blackjack games contribute only partially towards the fulfillment of wagering requirements; you may want to consider that important fact before opting to use the bonuses to play blackjack. The following example will help explain this better.
A casino offers a 100% match bonus up to $100 as part of the welcome bonus package. This means that if you deposit $100, the casino will match it with a $100 bonus of its own. The wagering requirement is 50x the bonus amount, which means you will need to wager $5000 (50x$100) to be able to withdraw winnings from the bonus.
Assuming that blackjack games contribute 8% towards wagering requirements, only 8 cents out of each $1 you wager would contribute towards wagering requirements for this bonus if you opt to play blackjack with it. You may, therefore, want to think twice before using this bonus.
That is, in fact, why most seasoned players avoid using match bonuses and other promotions that casinos offer to play blackjack.
Online Blackjack FAQs
There are countless cool online casinos that you can play blackjack in. The best way to find a good casino is to go through the list of casinos that we have listed for you. Each of these casinos has a good spread of blackjack games.
Blackjack is possibly the most popular table game that you get at online casinos. Every major software provider offers this game. Just check out the games from any of these providers, including NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT, Realistic Games and quite a few others.
No, actually. Blackjack is skill-based and strategy plays a big role in determining the outcome. There are specific moves that you can use for each of the possible hands you are dealt and it is important to know the right move to make to be able to win, or at the very least ensure that you can minimize your losses.
Online blackjack games are not rigged. Actually, the games are designed to ensure a win-win for all: the casino gets players to return to play the games available and players get to score wins when they play for real money.
All the casinos that we list on our website offer completely fair and reliable blackjack games. They are all tested and certified for randomness and fair gaming by trusted independent third party agencies.
Yes, blackjack is available for free practice play. Just visit any of the top online casinos and play the game in free practice play mode.
Theoretically, you can count cards while playing online blackjack; there are even software programs that will help you do it. However, it is not worth the trouble: casinos use software and RNGs to ensure that all the gaming action is fair and above board, and if you are caught card-counting there are penalties, including suspension or even termination of your casino account.