Best Online Blackjack Bonus
Simply put, a blackjack bonus allows you to play and earn real money for free. This is one of the many advantages of playing the game online over land-based casinos. In addition, these bonuses come in different shapes and sizes, and the quality of the offer differs from one casino to the next. Some casinos offer free bonus spins, while others offer cash bonuses. Nevertheless, as exciting as these offers can be, it is important not to get carried away by the flashy deals. Make sure to check out the bonus terms and conditions, as well as the wagering requirements before you sign-up.
So far, our recommended blackjack casinos offer some of the best a you can find online. These offers can take any of the following forms:
Sign-up and Welcome Bonus
Usually, for new casino members, the welcome bonus can be a “deposit” or a “no-deposit” bonus. Deposit bonuses require that you deposit some amount before you can claim the bonus offer, while no-deposit bonuses are completely free. This type of bonus is particularly important for newbies, as it allows you to try out new games and test your strategies for free.
While the welcome bonus is meant for new casino members, loyalty bonuses are specially set aside for older players who decide to continue with a particular gambling site. You can think of this as a long-term reward for choosing to stick with a particular casino, and this bonus comes with several other rewards as well.
Play Blackjack Online for Real Money
Playing online blackjack for real money simply means staking an actual amount while you play the game. Real money games require deposits, which means that you either win or lose some, depending on your performance. Certainly, this kind of game has its benefits; however, you must understand the basics of the game before you start playing with real money.
Benefits of Playing Online Blackjack for Real Money
As already mentioned earlier, playing blackjack online for real money comes with a lot of benefits. The benefits listed below will help you decide whether you will consider playing for free or real money.
- Enjoy unlimited access to different variants of the game
- Access to participate in blackjack tournaments to win huge real money prizes
- More access to valuable bonuses and promotions
- Access to live dealers, a better immersive gaming experience
Blackjack Online for Free
Many online casinos offer lots of free online blackjack games for players to enjoy. These offers allow you access to dozens of games without having to make any real money deposits. Free online blackjack is suitable for new players or beginners looking to try out new games or test out new strategies. Hence, with bonus spins or cash bonuses, you can explore these games for free with the chance of making real money.
Types of Blackjack
The basic rule of blackjack is to try as much as possible to get as close to the number 21 without exceeding it. While doing that, you must also ensure that you have a higher hand than the dealer’s hand. The simplicity of this game is a major reason why it is so popular among players. Moreso, the availability of multiple variants of blackjack is another important factor. With the different variants of the game, there is usually a tweak to the general rules. In other words, each variation adds a new layer of thrill and adventure, which means a basic understanding of each variant’s game rule is necessary before you start playing. Here are a few of the most popular types of blackjack you might find that are worth playing.
Double Exposure Blackjack
Double Exposure is a popular variant of blackjack found on many gambling sites. However, unlike traditional blackjack, where you get one card face-up and another face-down, this time the dealer gets both cards face-up. This explains the name, “double exposure,” as two cards get exposed instead of one. This single act changes everything, including the house edge and game odds, since it reveals significant information to the player. So, the payout drops from a massive 3:2 ratio, as is the case in other blackjack variants, to a 1:1 ratio.
In the end, Double Exposure Blackjack is an exciting game that offers a low house edge of 0.67% and an RTP as high as 99.33%. However, it is still not the blackjack game with the best odds and house edge, but it is better than what you get playing roulette and video slots.
Not many know this, but in Blackjack Surrender, the “surrender bet” is merely a move rather than an actual game. What this means is that the game depicts the traditional blackjack game except that it offers the unpopular option of surrender. This is done in a bid for the player to save half of their original bet by deciding to fold their hand before it gets to the dealer. Due to this, some players believe that “surrender bet” is the perfect option for quitters, although others believe it offers a thrilling gaming experience.
Whatever your thoughts might be on this, it does not change the fact that Blackjack Surrender is a great game. It offers every player the chance to quit before it’s too late and they lose money. I mean, why not take home half your wager when you know there might be a possibility of losing everything? Nevertheless, the rules are the same as with other blackjack games, which means that you aim to get as close to 21 while maintaining a figure higher than the dealer’s. That said, depending on the outcome, there are two “surrender bet” options to note:
Before the dealer’s hand is revealed, you have the chance to quit and lose half your initial bet money. This option reduces the house edge by 0.62% and is the preferred surrender option for players.
The late surrender applies after the dealer’s hand has been revealed, and you could get half your bet only if the hand is not a blackjack.
So far, it is obvious that timing matters when it comes to playing Blackjack Surrender. In other words, surrender early and you easily get half of your bet; surrender late and you lose everything or get half your bet depending on the dealer’s hand.
Introduced in 2009, Blackjack Switch has remained a very popular variant of the game to date. Like in every other blackjack game, the objective is the same, land 21 or a number as close to 21 as possible to win. However, with the switch variant, there is a little twist that makes it a bit more strategic, complicated, and exciting to play.
First, rather than being dealt just one hand, you get two distinct hands, making a total of four cards. As the name implies, you have the chance to switch the top cards, allowing you to adjust your cards in a bid to hit 21 or get closer to it. The game setup for Blackjack Switch is as follows:
- The player is dealt two hands both face-up
- In a regular style, the dealer deals one hand with a card face-down and the other face-up.
- Whoever has a blackjack automatically wins and if the player and the dealer have a blackjack then the player blackjack pushes.
- The player blackjack supersedes dealer 22 if the dealer pushes for 22 against all the players’ hands but not equal a blackjack 21.
Playing card games live adds a whole new layer of vibe to your overall gaming experience. Certainly, there are questions about the disadvantages that come with playing online card games. One of these disadvantages includes the absence of interactions with the dealers as well as with other players, which takes away the social effect. However, with live blackjack, you get to enjoy the same immersive experience with real human dealers and live tables replicating a real-life casino scene.
Usually, live blackjack deals up to seven boxes per table consisting of eight 52-card decks. The same odds of 3:2 apply if you hit a blackjack but the odds also vary depending on the blackjack variant you are playing
Atlantic City/American Blackjack
Atlantic Blackjack is another very popular variant of the game, although not many know it by that name. Popularly referred to as “American Blackjack,” this game features 8 decks, and the rules are very favourable to players, offering a house-edge as low as 0.36%. A major difference between American Blackjack and European Blackjack is that in the former, the dealer receives two cards immediately, one face-up and the other (hole card) face-down. In European Blackjack, the dealer only gets one card, and the second comes after the player’s first move.
While this is only a slight difference that is barely noticeable, the objective in both games is the same. American Blackjack features three types of payout, as follows:
- Natural win payout which pays 3 to 2
- Other wins payout, with a payout of 1 to 1
- Insurance payout which pays 2 to 1
To succeed in playing this game, your knowledge of card counting is very important. Unfortunately, American Blackjack features up to 8 decks, which are difficult to count compared to other variants where only two decks of cards are used.
Arguably one of the most popular blackjack variants, European Blackjack has an RTP of 99.60% and is a game that is played with two decks of cards. In contrast to its American counterpart, it offers a higher house edge, but that is not the only difference. Another difference is that in American Blackjack, the dealer can finish the game instantly by taking a peek at their hole. However, this option does not exist in European Blackjack. Rather, the dealer gets their second card only after the player has finished their move.
In line with the predefined rules of the game, the outcome of the game is instantly determined when the dealer hits at least 17, unless the player has already taken a bus. Once this happens, you win if your hand is higher than the dealer’s (for example, 19 > 18); you lose if your hand is lower than the dealer’s (for example, 19 < 20); and it’s a “push” if both hands are the same (for example, 19 = 19). In most cases, what happens during a “push” is that you will get your wager back, but in some cases, the house wins depending on the predefined rules, so you must know the rules before you play.
About the payouts, it is the same as in other variants of blackjack games. There are three payout options, as follows:
- A 1 to 1 payout for other wins
- A 2 to 1 payout for an insurance win
- A 3 to 2 payout for a natural win
This applies to both online and offline casinos, which means that you should be wary of any other payout that varies from the three already listed.
Perfect Pairs Blackjack
Perfect Pairs Blackjack is a side bet that has gained a lot of popularity over the years, which is why it is now considered a variant. Just like regular classic blackjack, the goal is to beat the dealer to a “blackjack 21.” However, the major difference is that you stand a chance to win a jackpot when your blackjack side bets form a “perfect pair.” A pair in this context is two cards of the same numerical value if the cards are between 2 and 10. However, a “pair” is only considered if two cards have the same face value, for example, aces, kings, queens, and jacks. The different types of pairs are as follows:
- Perfect Pair: The cards are the same, including the suit, colour, number, and face value.
- Mixed pair: Different suit and colour but the same face value or number.
- Coloured pair: The same colour, different suit, but the same face card value or same number.
The rules of the game differ depending on the players’ agreement. For example, players have to decide on the type of perfect pairs that will be used to determine the winning hand before the cards are dealt. The side bet is settled before the main game begins, following the house rules. Similarly, the payout differs from one casino site to the next, but here is what a typical Perfect Pair Blackjack table looks like:
- Perfect pair offers a payout of 30 to 1
- Coloured pair offers a payout of 10 to 1
- Mixed pair offers a payout of 5 to 1
The house-edge usually hovers between 2% and 11%. Considering that the game uses 8 decks of cards, it means that 7 cards out of the total 416 in the dealers’ shoe can form a perfect pair. This translates to a 1/59 (1.69% chance of winning 30 units) chance of you getting a perfect pair on average. Sometimes, the chances can be greater, depending on how lucky you are, but that rarely happens.
For the same colour, the same principle applies. There are 416 cards, and 8 of those will make your hand, so that translates to 8/416 or 1/52 (1.93% chance of winning 10 units). Perfect Pairs Blackjack is an exciting game to play, but always be careful to employ good money management.
The Best Blackjack Strategies
Blackjack is a very simple game to play. Also, because the cards are dealt at random, it is clear that you have no control over the cards you will receive. However, this is where everything that has to do with random outcomes and luck ends. What you choose to do with the cards you have been dealt is completely reliant on your knowledge of the game, personal strategies, and skills. Several blackjack strategies can be used to improve your chances, whether you are playing free online blackjack or a real money game. However, it is important to state that these strategies will only improve your chances, not assure you of any wins.
Understanding card values: The card values in blackjack are self-explanatory as the numbers are written on them. However, a few cards can get newbies confused when it comes to their value since the picture on the face has no impact on their worth. Typical examples include: J, Q, and K, all with the same value of 10 points.
Meanwhile, “Aces” have special status, and their worth varies depending on the situation. For example, an (ace of five) A5 card can either have a value of 6 or 16, depending on the next card that is drawn. If a 3 is drawn, then the “Ace” will be used as an 11 to make a strong hand whereas if a 9 is drawn, the same card will be used as 1. Knowledge of the card values is a starting point in planning out your blackjack strategy for success.
Always refer to a strategy table: Access to the reference table is not enough. Being able to memorise it perfectly takes your basic strategy to an advanced level. It shows a high level of commitment to the game. The strategy chart gives you an idea of your next move, which is whether to hit, stand, split pairs, surrender, or double down. It is always advisable to compare your cards with the chart before deciding on your next move. The sequence for this decision call is as follows:
- Should I surrender? If the answer is no then you can proceed to the next call
- Should I split? This option comes when your first two cards are a pair or two 10-value cards. If you can’t split then you proceed to the next call.
- Should I double? This can only happen if you are sure that you are likely going to win the hand. Sometimes, doubling is restricted to certain hands, which means that you can’t always make this call at will. If doubling isn’t possible then you can move to the next available call.
- Should I hit or stand? This is the last step in the basic strategy list. Should you take another card? Certainly, you might have to, especially as it might be your only available option.
Don’t play insurance: Experienced players already know this simple strategy. Playing insurance is considered a dumb move as it increases the house edge to a whopping 5.9%. In the long run, this will cause you more losses as compared to when you don’t take the insurance offer. It is a simple tip that will save you a lot of money.
Stand on hard 17 or more: This is your best chance to beat the dealer, and to do so, you need to set your target at 17 or more and hit the stand with the hope that the dealer will be busted. However, the likelihood of this happening is slimmer if you don’t have an “ace” in your hand, so you must get one for this strategy to work.
Don’t split 5s or 10s: With a pair of 5s, you stand a better chance of hitting 21. Likewise, some players make the wrong call by splitting 10s, thinking it is the right move. It is not a great move, and this puts you in a tricky position rather than improving your chances of hitting a 20, which is about as close as it can get.
Stand on soft 19 and 20: Arguably one of the easiest strategies to use. On every strategy chart, an “S” indicates that you stand when you are holding an A-8 or A-9, irrespective of the dealer’s card. Remember this simple strategy, and it will always come in handy.
Always split aces and 8s: With a pair of 8s, you are on route to hitting 16 which puts you in a difficult position already. Hence, it is better to split Aces as it offers you a better chance to hit 21/blackjack with just two hands.
How to Count Cards in Blackjack
Card counting is a craft that needs to be mastered before it can be put to effective use as a basic strategy in online blackjack games. Contrary to popular belief, it is more than just memorising numbers. Rather, it involves keeping a record of the ratio of high to low cards that have been dealt in order to keep track of what cards are remaining in the shoe. That way, the player can predict whether the dealer has an advantage on the next hand, using this to determine the next action. When a player senses that he has an advantage on the next hand, the ideal thing to do is to bet more. Below are the basic steps involved in card counting:
Assign a value to every card
For every card that is dealt, assign a unique value by either adding one, subtracting one, or doing nothing about it as follows: 2–6 (add 1); 7-9 (add nothing); 10-Ace (subtract 1). High cards are of more value to the player; however, they get a count of -1 because that advantage decreases with each decreasing number of cards in the deck.
On the other hand, low cards are of more value to the dealer, which is why they get a value of +1 each time. Lastly, cards that are of no benefit get a value of 0. This is a balanced counting system that takes into consideration the high, low, and neutral cards in the deck.
Maintain a running count
Based on the value of the cards dealt, keep a running count by adding or subtracting every card in each shoe. For example, if a player is dealt a 3 and a 10, and another player is dealt a Jack and an Ace, the count for the first player is (-1+1 = 0) zero, while that of the second player is (-1-1 = -2) -2. You continue in that pattern as more cards are dealt, and as the running count increases, the player’s advantage also increases, which means that you can increase your bet and vice versa.
True count to count per deck
The card counting principles discussed so far sound simple and can be applied easily when a single deck is in use. However, with many blackjack variants introducing multiple decks, card counting has become a more complicated activity and is no longer considered a basic strategy.
This calls for the “true count” system, which tells the position of a player in a multi-deck blackjack game. For example, when you have a running count of +5 in a 6-deck blackjack game, the scenario is complete when you have the same count of +5 in a single-deck game. So, to get the true count from the running count, divide it by the number of decks remaining. For example, if you have a running count value of 10 and 5 decks remaining, then the true count is 10 divided by 2, which is 5. Similarly, as the true count increases, so does the player’s advantage, and vice versa.
In the end, card counting in blackjack games is a very important strategy that is often used by many players. This helps players adjust their bets accordingly, based on the findings of their counts. They can decide whether to increase or reduce their bets corresponding to their advantage in relation to that of the dealer’s.
Blackjack Card Values
In blackjack, every single card has a face value, and it is important to know these values. Cards with normal numbers are worth the values printed on them, usually from 2 to 10. Face cards like Jacks, Queens, and Kings are counted as 10, while Aces can be counted as 1 (low) or 11 (high), depending on the combined hand that is dealt.
Order of Play in Blackjack
In every game of blackjack, once the cards are dealt, the player decides on the next move, which could be either a hit, stand, double down, split, or surrender. There is no general order of play that says that you must hit or stand at a particular point. It is up to you to decide on the order of play to follow based on your strategy.
Online Blackjack Casinos Payouts
One of the many reasons behind the popularity of blackjack games is that they have amazing odds. While many online casinos offer online blackjack, it is important to look out for those that offer fast payouts. You don’t want to risk losing your winnings or having to wait for days to claim them. Therefore, you can explore our list of recommended casinos to find online blackjack casinos with the fastest and best payouts.
How to Compare Top Online Blackjack Casinos
Comparing top online blackjack casinos is important if you are looking to play at the best ones. However, that can be a lot of work, which is why you can trust us to do the research and comparison on your behalf. To that effect, here are some of the top features to look out for when making such a comparison:
- The selection of blackjack games
- Security, license and trustworthiness
- The available payment options and payout speed
- Availability of live blackjack games
- Bonus offers
- Customer support
Mobile Compatibility of Blackjack
Mobile gaming is all the rage these days, with tons of folks grabbing their smartphones and tablets to get in on the fun wherever they go. Did you know that you can actually play blackjack on your phone? It’s true! Online casinos have made it super easy to access a mobile-friendly website or app so that you can enjoy the game from wherever you happen to be.
Playing blackjack on your phone offers a bunch of benefits. For one, you’re not tethered to your computer like you would be with other types of gaming. You can play anytime, anyplace, as long as you’ve got your trusty phone or tablet with you. Plus, a lot of mobile casinos offer special bonuses and promotions just for mobile players, so you could win even more.
Long story short, playing blackjack on your phone is easy and convenient, no matter where you are. So if you love blackjack and want to play on the go, make sure to check out the mobile options at your favorite online casinos.
Blackjack is a really fun game that’s been around for ages and is still popular today in both land-based casinos and online. People like it because it’s easy to understand but also strategic, and you can win big if you’re lucky.
Playing blackjack online is easy and convenient, as you can play from anywhere and choose from lots of different versions and table limits to match how you like to play. You can even play with live dealers to make it feel like you’re really in a casino!
It’s important to pick a good online casino to play at though, so you can be sure you’re getting a fair and safe experience. If you’re interested in trying out some exciting blackjack games and winning big bonuses, check out our list of the best online casinos.