Playing blackjack in landbased casinos is intimidating for many fans of the game. There is a table etiquette to follow, not to mention not all patrons are sympathetic to newcomers. Then again, not everyone has landbased casinos conveniently located in their vicinity – some players have to drive for hours to gain access to the blackjack tables.
On the bright side, there are countless online casinos where you can play the game for real money and potentially earn yourself a nice payout. Blackjack fans are facing an immense diversity of online variations.
Some follow the conventional rules and are more suitable for blackjack rookies. Others offer interesting twists to pique the interest of long-time blackjack players. However, finding the best online blackjack variations is no picnic.
Not only is there a huge choice of options but there are many other factors to consider including theoretical return percentages, rules, and fairness. It is impossible to win at blackjack if the games are rigged, right?
Choosing where to play can be an equally cumbersome task since there are thousands upon thousands of websites that offer online blackjack for real money. This is where SuperCasinoSites’ article on picking the best online blackjack variations can prove handy.
We tackle the main criteria of choosing a trusted online casino for blackjack and introduce you to some of the most favorable rules your choice of online blackjack games should be based on. Also featured are tips on money management along with brief overviews of the most enticing blackjack variations you can play online.
How to Pick a Good Online Casino for Blackjack
As of 2020, there are over 14,000 websites that offer the game of 21 for real money. However, most of those have a shady reputation and see their customers as potential cash cows. Such operators are only after players’ deposits. They care nothing about fair play and the safety of your personal information and money.
That is why, it is of utmost importance to choose a trusted online blackjack site from the get-go rather than learning your lesson the hard way after being cheated out of your money. Here are some aspects that bear consideration when picking an online casino for blackjack.
Free vs. Real-Money Online Blackjack
The majority of online blackjack casinos allow customers to play the games for free with demo credits. Launching the games in fun mode on your desktop or mobile device is beyond simple, without the necessity of signing up or downloading additional software. Practicing with demo monies is undoubtedly a great way to brush up on your knowledge of basic blackjack strategy.
If you want to win real money and withdraw them from your account, you have the option to sign up with a real-money account. This process is fast and hassle-free but there is an obligatory verification that requires you to send some documents before you can withdraw your blackjack wins from your balance. Check out the table below to see how free blackjack compares against real-money variations.
Favorable Rules to Consider
Like all other casino games, online blackjack favors the house and has a built-in casino advantage, which varies from one blackjack variant to the next. This house edge inherently results from the fact players must act on their hands before the virtual dealer.
Additionally, certain rules favor the player and reduce the house edge while others favor the house, yielding a larger casino advantage. Look for the rules listed below if you want to enjoy the highest theoretical return in online blackjack.
Managing Your Online Blackjack Bankroll
Blackjack is the most popular card game you can play at online casinos but it can be extremely detrimental to your bankroll if you lack adequate money management skills. To play online blackjack, you have to have a bankroll, i.e. an amount of money reserved exclusively for betting on 21.
You definitely do not want to play blackjack with money you need to pay your rent, mortgage or your children’s college tuition fees. You need to set aside a discretionary amount that will not lead to a financial crisis in your life should you lose it. Also recommended is to divide your overall bankroll to smaller session bankrolls. It would be unwise to risk your entire blackjack budget during a single session.
Another important thing is to bet sensibly. How much you need per session depends on the table limits of the game you intend to play. The last thing you should do is overbet your bankroll. If you play a variation with a high minimum limit in respect to your session bankroll, the chances of you going broke are extremely high.
It is essential for you to play in proportion to your bankroll. The golden rule is to have a session bankroll equal to fifty times the minimum bet at the table. So if you choose an online variation where the minimum is $1, you should start the session with at least $50 in your real-money balance.
Improving Your Odds of Winning in Online Blackjack
Blackjack is one of the most interesting card games you can play online but it could be very dangerous to your bankroll if you do not make the right playing decisions. The good news is there is a mathematically correct way to play every single hand in blackjack against any dealer upcard.
It is called basic strategy and is not all that difficult to learn. As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to learn all the playing decisions by heart. Basic strategy comes in the form of a chart you can conveniently print out and use to your advantage while playing online.
This is a set of rules that have been developed by mathematicians through millions of computer trials and simulations over the past sixty years. You have to follow this set of rules on every single hand of online blackjack you ever play and that’s that. This is the cornerstone for every winning blackjack player. Play without basic strategy and you are doomed to lose.
So how does this strategy aid you? First, it reduces the house edge to as low as 0.50% whereas you are facing a casino advantage of 2%, sometimes even more, without it. Second, it helps you maximize your profits from favorable spots. Third, it helps minimize the damage from certain disadvantageous situations. And fourth, it helps you potentially improve your circumstances when dealt bad hands like 16 or 8/8 against a 10, for example.
Now, it is important to point out that certain basic strategy moves vary from one online blackjack variation to the next due to the different playing conditions. Because of this, you should find a strategy chart that corresponds to the exact rules of play of the online blackjack variation you have chosen.
Some of the rules worth consideration include the number of decks used in the game, whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17s, and the doubling and splitting rules. The good news is many blackjack variations you can find online give you prompts about the correct playing decisions. If you make the wrong move, the software would display a reminder about the proper way to play your hand.
Here are some of the most basic moves basic strategy always recommends regardless of varying playing conditions:
- Always split aces and 8s
- Never split 10s and 5s
- Never hit hard totals above 17
- Double down on 10 and 11 against dealer upcards 2 through 9
Progressive and Live Dealer Blackjack
Online Blackjack Games with Progressive Pots
Playing Online Blackjack against Live Dealers
Online blackjack players have a choice from several variations linked to progressive jackpot networks. The classic game is equipped with an additional side bet which adds more excitement to the gameplay, giving you the chance to win enormous prizes. The side bet is optional but you need to post it if you wish to qualify for the pot. Otherwise, you stand no chance of winning the progressive prize.
One of the prime examples is Microgaming’s Triple Sevens Blackjack where you can qualify for the pot with an optional side bet of $1. Note that you need to play the side bet in each hand if you want to stand any chances of winning the jackpot.
The entire pot is awarded for a hand of three 7s of diamonds, which means playing for the jackpot will impact your basic-strategy decisions for a pair of 7s. Rather than splitting them against dealer upcards 2 through 7 as the strategy recommends, you should hit and keep your fingers crossed for drawing a third 7. Another thing worth mentioning is that the side bet has a higher house edge than that of the base game.View more...
Classic Blackjack Variations You Can Play Online
Online blackjack players face a broad choice of classic variations of the game which largely play under the conventional rules of 21. We consider such variants more fitting for those who are new to the game. They are usually available in free mode, which gives you the chance to brush up on the rules and improve your basic strategy.
Unconventional Online Blackjack Variants
More experienced players probably crave something a little different and more engaging. The great thing about online casinos is that they cater to such players with tons of unique and innovative blackjack variations that have entirely transformed the way the game of 21 plays. For such seasoned players, we suggest the original blackjack variations below.
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Is it better to stick to classic blackjack games online or should I give more unconventional variants a go?
Choosing the right blackjack variation for your online casino experience depends on numerous factors but the most important thing to consider is your expectation about your blackjack sessions. If you are more of a recreational player and you are not chasing big payouts at any cost, you can most definitely try some variations of the card game that have more unconventional rules. That said, I cannot recommend going for games that offer extremely unfavorable payouts as even recreational players deserve a great potential long-term return. If you, however, wish to be considered an expert blackjack player and you have taken the time to master the basic strategy, we recommend carefully picking blackjack games that include player-favorable rules. In most cases, these include classic blackjack variations that allow you to achieve the highest RTP when you use the basic strategy.