Online casino gaming may be getting more and more innovative, but the truth is that the most popular casino games aren’t going to go away anytime soon. Today, it’s possible to play pretty much all of the ‘classic’ casino games like blackjack live online instead of visiting a real world casino.
And blackjack does indeed seem to have a very special place in the world of online casinos – but getting around might be a bit tricky at first. Here we have a look at online blackjack – how and where to play, different varieties of the game and the latest innovation on the scene, live dealer blackjack online.
Play Blackjack Online at These Casinos
Blackjack might be one of the most popular casino games of all times, but it can’t hurt to go through the basics again, so here they are – in the shortest and simplest possible version, of course.
The objective of the game is to get a score that is as close as possible to 21 without going over – your hand would be bust in that case. After the players place their initial wagers, everyone receives two cards – the players have to reveal them both, while the dealer has to show only one of them.
You can then choose from a range of options in order to maximize your chances of winning – you can either stay and pass to the dealer, hit and get more cards, or double your initial bet and get one – and only one – additional card. If you get lucky and hit 21 with your two starting cards, you automatically win one and one-half times your initial wager (unless the dealer reveals 21 as well, which automatically cancels the current hand).
Whenever you are dealt matching cards, you can also decide to split your hand into two and play each of them separately, which can be a very profitable move in some situations (if you have a pair of eights or aces, for example).
After you are done with your actions, the dealer reveals his second card and then proceeds to either stay – if his overall score is 17 or higher – or draw more cards – if his overall score is 16 or lower. Whoever has the better hand after that wins an amount equal to his or her bet (unless there is a tie that would automatically cancel the hand) and the game can start all over again. Blackjack is simple, quick and action-packed – and that is exactly why everyone loves it so much!
Blackjack Basic Strategy
Since blackjack isn’t exactly the most complicated game around, it is actually rather easy to calculate the ideal strategy. However, unless you are a mathematical genius, you will probably be unable to remember what the correct play is in every single situation. Thankfully, it is possible to narrow everything down to a fairly simple set of rules that will allow you to play without giving too much edge away. Let us try to sum things up in a few easy-to-remember points:
- With no aces in your hand, you should hit on everything up to 11.
- With no aces in your hand and the value between 12 and 16, stand if the dealer has a low card and hit if the dealer has a high card.
- If you have an ace in your hand, you should hit on everything from 13 to 18.
- Stand on everything from 17s upwards (unless you have an ace in your hand, in which case you should proceed as above).
- Always split eights and aces, never split 4s, 5s, or 10s. Split the rest only if the dealer has a low card.
But why should you – with blackjack being one of the most accessible casino games around – actually decide to play online instead of experiencing everything first-hand?
Well – apart from the obvious stuff that comes with brick-and-mortar casinos – there are plenty of things that you can take advantage of online. First of all, gameplay is always very smooth and flawless – no dealer errors, no waiting for the others to finish their turns, no card-shuffling, etc.
Secondly, you get massive bonus offers online that no casino off the internet will ever match – unless you are a particularly high-rolling player. And, last but not least, the nature of online gaming is such that you are simply never going to get bored – getting a refreshing break with another game is always a matter of just a few mouse clicks.
Where to Play Blackjack Online?
With so many online casinos out there, newcomers might actually find it tough to identify the best possible option straight away – after all, every single online casino offers a blackjack game. So what sets the different versions apart?
The Net Entertainment’s version of the game, which can be found at casinos like Mr Green and Leo Vegas, can probably be accurately described as the slickest of the bunch. For one reason or another, the game just flows very quickly and seamlessly. The graphics are also very easy on the eyes, with the icons being both stylish and elegant, which means that you won’t ever confuse them with each other. And there are numerous flavours to choose from as well – there is a single deck version for those who love simplicity, a classic version that allows you to play with up to five hands at the same time, and a double exposure version that forces the dealer to reveal both of his cards (there is, of course, a catch – outright blackjacks will pay less and the dealer will also win all ties except tied blackjacks). To top things off, there is a pro version that allows players to place a very intriguing Double Jack side-bet.
Meanwhile, Playtech’s version of the game can be enjoyed at online casinos like Paddy Power – and you can once again choose from a number of specialties, including a blackjack game with a progressive jackpot and the so-called switch version, which allows you to place prop bets on whether your next hands are going to match each other. There is only thing that we didn’t really like over at Playtech – namely, the fact that the action icons don’t really differ that much from each other, which is something that could confuse you at first.
Finally, there is the Microgaming’s version, which can be accessed through the likes of UK Casino Club and Ladbrokes. It also comes with a nice range of variations – and the good thing is that it is incredibly easy to swap between them through an in-game menu. The visual side of things is rather rich, which should come as great news to many a player – and we shouldn’t forget to mention the superb music and sound effects either. Given that and the multitude of variations that should allow everyone to find his or her very own ideal version of the game, we would actually say that the Microgaming’s design could appeal to the widest range of audiences – therefore, our recommendation for you is to give it a try straight away and then either stay, swap to the NetEnt’s design (if slicker gameplay would fit you more), or go to a Playtech casino (if you would like to try some of the different versions of the game).
Live Dealer Blackjack
Traditional online blackjack might obviously not be everyone’s cup of tea – and that is why many online casinos have stepped up to the plate by offering a more realistic version of the game in the so-called live casinos.
In short, you can get live casino action streamed directly to your screen – yes, that’s is exactly right, there are real cards and real dealers to play against, so you are going to feel just like in a real casino. If that sounds like fun straight away, we can assure you that you are going to love it. However, if you’ve already fallen in love with the classic versions of online blackjack, you might actually find the live version a bit overreaching.
For example, the social aspect of the game – you can interact with the dealer in real time – can sometimes distract you from the game itself. This is something that goes hand in hand with the nature of the game and the interface, which is more cluttered than in the non-live versions of the game. Moreover, the overall gameplay is also a touch slower – which might be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferences.
Live Dealer Blackjack Casino Bonuses
As Live Dealer Blackjack has become more and more popular, some casinos will offer special live dealer casino bonuses which can be used on their live blackjack games.
These are different to your standard casino bonus, as these generally come with lower redemption rates on live casino games or sometimes, no redemption at all. Live casino bonuses are different as they apply strictly to live casino games.
These mean that if you get one and use it, you can play through the wagering requirements purely in a casino’s live section. There are two types of typical live dealer casino bonus:
Deposit Match Bonus -A deposit match bonus is when you are offered a percentage of the money you deposited awarded back to you in the form of a bonus. These are typical a bonus that between 50%-100% of your deposited funds. So, for example, if you are offered a 100% deposit match bonus and you deposit $60, you will get $60 awarded to you, meaning you start with $120 in account funds.
Live Casino Free Bet – This is exactly what it says on the tin and is simply just a free wager of a specific amount that you can place in the live casino option. These can range from $5-$20 or even more. These are a much more common option to be found at casinos as they are a one off. This said, if you win big with a free bet, you will be laughing!
One of the increasingly common ways to play blackjack is on your mobile!
Due to the freedom and versatility it allows, it is quickly overtaking desktop blackjack as the most common way to play!
It is such as great option because if you fancy a quick game of blackjack at any time! Whether you are on the bus or train to work, in the park or chilling out in a cafe, you can simply log on, play and win some cash any time of day!
Many of the best casino sites offer blackjack games that can be accessed on the go, either via the mobile counterpart of their site or via casino app!
It is really up to your personal preference which you should use, as both mobile sites and mobile app are perfectly fine to use and many casinos will offer the same services on both.
Mobile sites are much more common though and nearly all casinos have a mobile casino site, which is just a compact version of the desktop site and are usually just as easy to navigate as the website.
Mobile apps are less common but are awesome as it means all the great stuff a casino offers are kept in one neat little package. They can sometimes be higher powered than mobile casinos, however, can tend to glitch also, so it is two way traffic really.
Whichever one you prefer, you are sure to have a great blackjack experience in the palm of your hand and you can’t really go wrong by opting to play mobile blackjack!
Types of Blackjack Casino Games
The best thing about blackjack is as it is such a popular game, there is loads of variations of the classic blackjack formula!
At online casinos, they offer loads more options for different types of blackjack than any real-life casino could ever dream to, due to the limitations land based casino’s have on space and time.
As such, by logging on an online you are opening up a whole new blackjack world and you can mix your blackjack play up a lot more. So, if you get bored of the classic style, you can partake in one of the many other ways to play online.
We have listed a few that we suggest you have a go at if you want something a little bit more interesting or just want to try something new.
Blackjack Double Exposure – This is a much easier form of blackjack. When the original deal occurs, rather than just one of the dealer’s card being visible, you can see both. This makes the option to hit or stand much easier as you know exactly what your up against.
Blackjack Multihand - This game is not uncommon in the real world, but due to the practicalities of online casino gaming, they need to offer it separately. Effectively, it just means you can play with more than one hand, allowing you to multiply the stakes, hedge your bets and ultimately, win more quickly. Effectively, rather than waiting for each round, you can play with from 2-10 hands in just one round.
Blackjack Perfect Pairs – One of the more challenging variations of the classic game is Perfect Pairs. Perfect Pairs is an extra wager you can activate to bet that at least two of your cards will match, either in colour, suit or for the real “perfect pair”, both. All three of these vary in the payout, but a real perfect pair pays out 30x.
Blackjack Switch - The way Blackjack Switch works is when initial deal takes place, rather than just one hand, you are given two with the same bet backing each. After this, you can choose to “switch” the two hands up to form either a better hand, or even two. This allows you to strengthen your chance of success. Another key difference is at 22 you do not go bust, rather you get what is known as a “Push”, which means you will tie with any other surviving players on the table.
Blackjack Surrender - There is two types of this variation, but essentially this variation means you can forfeit the round or “Surrender” and receive half your bet back. The types of surrender are:
Early- Early Surrender means after the first deal has taken place even before the dealer checks his cards for Blackjack, you can surrender. So, if you get a hand that looks very hard to win with, you can bail out nice and early and get half of your bet back without too much hassle.
Late- This occurs after the dealer checks for Blackjack, if he has Blackjack, you lose automatically, if not the game continues. You can then choose to surrender at this point reflective of your hand. This is considered the more difficult, albeit, more popular option.
Blackjack Zappit – Although rare, Zappit Blackjack is a very unique way of playing. It means that if you get in a sticky situation with a 15, 16 or 17, you can “Zap” your card and get a fresh hand. It is a game with the player in mind and gets you out of a difficult to call situation.
Try out one of these great variations and spice up your Blackjack experience today!
At the end of the day, the world of online blackjack is as colourful as the world of a card game could possibly be.
There’s simply so much to do and so much to choose from that, once you decide to jump in, you can play for ages in loads of different formats and styles and will soon forget about playing in generic casinos.
Unless you absolutely love the atmosphere of a brick-and-mortar casino, you really should give online blackjack a try, it’s a superb gaming experience if you play with a reputable online casino.
As the online casino revolution continues at full tilt as it has done so far, more and more people are switching to online casino blackjack games due to the variety of games, the added perk of bonus cash and of course, the freedom to play wherever they go on their mobile!
Try out a Blackjack Live Casino today and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much fun the game play on an online casino can be!