Learn to become a smart player of online blackjack games. Our guide covers everything: the rules, best casinos, and where to find free blackjack! Learn everything from the basics to advanced strategy. Lower the house edge with strategy!
Blackjack is the most popular table game in online casinos, and those who love it can tell you why. Beginners love the ease of joining in the game. You can have frequent wins due to the very low house edge. Experienced players love the high-stakes options available in every hand.
Playing with a basic blackjack strategy can lower the house edge to around 1%. Using advanced strategy can reduce that even more.
To play effectively you need to know about the variations in blackjack, the rules, and how to play the game.
There are many NJ online casinos to choose from. Where do you go to find the best online blackjack games? Here is a selection of a few NJ online casinos which offer a variety of online blackjack games.
Tropicana and Virgin give you blackjack with the best odds: single deck blackjack. This version of blackjack has the best odds of any. You almost never see single deck blackjack in physical casinos due to its low house edge. Use our strategy chart below to increase your odds!
Click one of these links to get your welcome bonus and play single deck blackjack for free!
Borgata is one of the leading lights in the online casino business throughout New Jersey.
They provide a variety of blackjack games for you to enjoy.
Golden Nugget offers great live dealer blackjack! Real dealer, real cards, real fun! Live blackjack gives you all the casino ambiance while you're at home or on your mobile device. See charts of your history and chat with dealers for advice.
Golden Nugget also has these virtual blackjack variations:
Online blackjack is offered through online casinos. The basic rules are exactly the same. Most online blackjack games' software uses a Random Number Generator (RNG). This is to make sure that the draw of cards is random.
You can also play live dealer blackjack online. Just like in the casino, you can interact with real dealers for advice on betting and to learn about casino offers.
In the world of online blackjack games, there are basically two types: software games and live/streamed gaming. Both of these are offered in online platforms. But there are some important similarities between the games that are perhaps more crucial than their differences.
The primary difference between live dealer blackjack and virtual or software-based games is in the feeling of the game. The rules are the same.
You can usually find a virtual game that has better odds than live blackjack. This is because you can choose the games and options that will increase your odds.
Virtual or RNG games are also faster as you don't have to wait for physical cards. You can also place lower bets on the virtual game than at a live dealer table.
The first thing you might notice about virtual blackjack online games is the speed. As you're not waiting for a physical dealer, you can play faster.
You can also have an immediate visual record of your history. This is very helpful in improving your strategy.
Importantly, most software programs are almost always completely random in the hands they deal. There is no deck, so to speak. That means there are not 52 cards for you to count or apply your blackjack strategy card toward. Although it's not likely, it is possible that the same hands could be dealt 4 times in a row.
To sum up, options, random hands, and speed: these are the three things to think about with software-based blackjack games.
These are some of the most popular virtual blackjack games.
These can be found at most online casinos in New Jersey.
With live dealer blackjack, you get a dealer in a studio that looks like a casino. You can see the dealer, but they're not able to see you. You can also communicate with the dealer via the chatbox. They can answer your questions and give game advice.
Live dealer games feel just like playing at a physical casino. You'll be able to find lower minimum bet amounts, but you can also make bets of $1,000 and more.
You do have some added options, such as being able to use your notes or strategy cards and having cheaper drinks at home!
Some of the most popular live dealer blackjack games are:
Like other online casino games, the casino, or house, has a built-in advantage over its players. The key to blackjack is learning that advantage and how to work around it. However, before you can begin to develop your strategies, you must learn how the game works - the rules, the objectives, and options.
The player is dealt two cards are both facing up. But the dealer has only one card from his/her pair showing. The dealer's face-down card is called the "hole" card.
The cards have different point values based on their numbers. Face cards are worth 10 points each. An ace is worth either 1 point or 11 points depending on whichever is more favorable to the player. In basic modern blackjack, the suits are ignored for the most part. The numbers are what’s important.
The basic rule of blackjack is: beat the dealer. You do this by getting closer to 21 than the dealer without "busting," or going over 21. There are options you can make to try to increase your winnings. But at the end your primary task is this: beat the dealer.
On each turn, the player has the choice of taking an additional card ("hitting" or "taking a hit" or standing on the total they have. If you exceed 21, you bust and lose your money on that round. If you have a better hand than the dealer, meaning the closest to 21, you win and make money on that round.
Blackjack is getting an ace and a 10-valued card. Having cards whose sum is 21 (for example, 10, 7, and 4) is not blackjack. This means it does not pay out as blackjack and will not beat the dealer if they have blackjack.
If you get blackjack and the dealer doesn't, you automatically win. The worst that can happen is the dealer also gets a ‘natural’ and you get your stake back.
Naturals payout at a different rate to the even-money payout you get for ordinarily winning a hand. The winnings depend on the casino, and nearly every online casino pays out at 3:2 for blackjack. (Some land-based casinos only pay 6:5, which tilts the house edge against you in the long-term.)
At the start of each game, after placing their bets, players will receive two cards each, face up. The dealer receives two cards as well, however, one is face down. Players then decide their course of action for making their next move. The player then must decide if they wish to:
If a player busts, the house wins the hand and the player loses their bet on that game. If the player stands and the dealer reveals his card to surpass 21, the player will receive even money on their bet. If the dealer and player finish with the same value, the bet gets refunded back to the player. This is known as a “push.”
So you see that the online game follows the familiar rules of the physical casino game.
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Our blackjack charts of bets and odds have been fine-tuned for online blackjack games in New Jersey.
Our chart features:
These are the most commonly available options right now in legal online casinos. With these options in mind, you can start to apply the strategy below.
Basic blackjack strategy is what you use to win by lowering the house edge. Many players are still left in the dark when it comes to the best strategies of blackjack. For example, most players don’t know when to call blackjack double down or may need advice on the best sites to play blackjack online.
Whenever someone talks about playing blackjack online, they’ll often mention ‘basic blackjack strategy’. This is the term for how you should best play, according to mathematical probabilities.
A player who plays without this strategy faces a house edge of 4%. Master basic strategy and you can lower that to 1%. Those three percentage points can make all the difference in the long-term.
Once you understand the rules of blackjack, you can start to develop your basic blackjack strategy to win. Blackjack strategy focuses on two key aspects:
The only thing you need to do in blackjack is to beat the dealer. Having an idea of how strong your hand is compared to the dealer's is the key to developing a winning blackjack strategy.
Your first important in basic blackjack strategy is deciding whether to hit or not. You need to beat the dealer by getting closer to 21 than she does without going over 21 (i.e., busting).
Here, the likelihood of drawing a good hard is important. There are 52 cards in a deck, and you know what 3 of those cards are: your 2 cards and the dealer's up-facing card. If those 3 cards are low in value, you know that you have a better chance of drawing a card that is high in value.
There are more high-valued cards in a deck than low-valued cards. The chart below shows that 28 out of the 52 cards are high-valued (i.e., between 8 - 11).
The key to blackjack strategy is betting on whether taking an additional card will place you in a winning advantage over the dealer.
Let's look at two dependable rules of basic strategy that are reliable regardless of what the dealer is holding.
As you're beginning to play blackjack, it's good to try a few hands with the 2 principles above in mind. Play with low stakes, but you need to get those two rules in your head: "Stay with hard 17+, hit with hard 5-8." See how this plays out for you.
No blackjack strategy is foolproof, but following those two simple rules gives you the first step toward improving your game. The next step strategy involves more advanced strategy with more options.
Choosing to double down or split is another common scenario in blackjack. Both wagers mean you need to double your bet.
Doubling down means you take one more card and that’s your final total. Some casinos will only let you double down on 9, 10, or 11. But some online blackjack games may allow you to double down with any combination.
Splitting only happens when you receive two cards of the same number. These two cards are split, and you essentially play with two hands.
In some rare scenarios, if you receive another card of the same value you can split again. Some casinos may limit the number of splits at four, but many allow for unlimited splitting. However, this will seldom come into play.
One of the first rules of blackjack is to always split aces and eights and never split 10s and 6s.
The reason for this should be obvious. By splitting aces you have the chance of hitting two blackjacks. And a pair of 8s gives you the worst hand on the board.
10s give you a winning hand in nearly every situation. And 6s would have the potential to give you the worst hand on the board twice.
It’s also worth looking into online casinos that have unlimited splitting. So if you split aces then get another ace you can turn it into three bets, and potentially get three blackjacks.
Doubling down allows you to potentially win more if you have a strong hand (and the dealer has a weak one). See the strategy card for the best strategy of doubling down.
General double down rules are:
Some casinos may allow you to surrender your hand after you’ve received your cards. In this case, you will lose half your stake and receive the other half back.
You might think this sounds like a stupid idea, but there is a small set of circumstances that make this worthwhile.
For example, if you have a jack and a six you have 16. If the dealer is showing a ten or a face card, it would make sense to surrender.
The reason for this is mathematically you would win this hand less than 50% of the time.
Most online blackjack games don’t usually allow for surrendering, though.
Side bets are added to standard blackjack games to give some variety. Side bets have a low chance of winning, but they can pay off well.
Most side bets are taken from poker hands. They include:
If you're starting out with blackjack, it's best to avoid side bets.
Card counting is not as effective with online blackjack. The reason is that most software programs use infinite decks. That means every hand comes from a freshly shuffled deck. Theoretically, you could receive 20 aces in a row.
If you play an online blackjack game with limited decks that doesn't shuffle after each hand, card counting can lower the house edge.
It is important to find the best game for the way you want to play.
Be sure to check out our article on card counting for more details!
Taking insurance on a hand where the dealer may have a blackjack may sound like a good idea. However, the math is against you.
Insurance alone is set in a way that benefits the casino.
Look carefully at the payout for a ‘natural’ in blackjack, where you hit 21 with your first two cards. Casinos will either payout at odds of 3:2 or 6:5.
Never take 6:5 odds as you’re hurting your profitability in the long-term.
Rather than spending time and money on driving, parking, drinks and food, plus tips, playing online lets you keep that money. The best gamblers are very cautious about their bankroll. Any money you don't give to the casino is money in your pocket!
You can play many seats and many hands at once. What's better, there's no pressure from other players to place a bet faster. Big wins are better when you've got more seats.
Beat the house by starting out ahead with the casino's money! Grabbing a welcome bonus is the smartest and easiest way to start out ahead!
Even after you've joined a casino, there are ongoing promotions.
For example, 888 regularly offers a Beat the Dealer Promotion on the 21st day of each month. Beat the dealer and get up to $300 FreePlay in Multihand Blackjack!
Managing your Ego
There is a good reason to play blackjack online even if you prefer physical casinos and that reason is ego. One of the great things about playing blackjack online is that you can look back at your history and see the decisions you made. You'll make better, more calculated decisions when you aren't trying to impress a table or enact revenge on a dealer.
This is a great reason to switch your game up. Play digital blackjack to work on your strategy and hone your humility and objectivity. Then step back to the live online blackjack table, keeping your cool and using your brain. Don't let the visible human qualities of live blackjack distract you from the game beneath it.
There are plenty of variations of blackjack. The majority of them you’ll only find online. Most of them just involve some slight changes in the rules, but many also have cool twists.
The double exposure variation of blackjack involves the dealer revealing both their cards. So, you can see exactly what the dealer has before you act. In theory, this dramatically increases your chances of winning the game.
However, there are some counters to your advantage. For a start, if there’s a tie the dealer automatically wins. Unlike in normal blackjack, you lose all ties, except when you both have blackjacks.
Naturals are also only paid at even money, so you won’t get anything extra if you hit a natural.
Despite all these changes, the house edge of double exposure is little different from ordinary blackjack.
In Blackjack Switch you’re always playing with two hands. So, there are two stakes at the beginning of each hand.
The gimmick is you can switch a card between each hand. That will allow you to create a stronger starting hand, which gives you another advantage.
Again, blackjacks are only paid out at even money. Also, if the dealer busts on a 22, the game is tied, and you get your stake back. The only exception to the 22 rule is if you happen to hit a blackjack.
Progressive Blackjack is another variant. However, there are no rule changes involved in this game. The rules are exactly the same as an ordinary game of classic blackjack.
The difference is you’ll have the option to place a side bet. If you get an ace as your first card, you win a payout. If you get two aces, the payout is increased. And if those two aces are both of the same suits, you’ll get an even larger payout.
To win the progressive jackpot you need to get four consecutive suited aces. In the event this happens, you’ll win a huge amount of money.
Perfect Pairs is another blackjack game that involves a side bet. The side bet pays out if the player gets dealt a pair of any kind.
The exact payout varies heavily depending on the casino and the ranking of the pair. In general, suited pairs will give you a higher payoff.
Take another card
Take no more cards
Dealer's card that's facing down
A total involving an ace. Since an ace can be valued at 1 or 11, an ace and 5 make a Soft 16 (which can also be 6)
A number that does not involve an ace
After being dealt your two upcards, you can double your bet and receive one (and only one) more card.
If you have matching-valued cards, you can split them, place a matching bet on both, and play each of the hands individually. So you may split a pair of 7s and stick when one is dealt a 10 (totaling 17) but hit when another is dealt a 3 (totaling 10)
Playing blackjack games online for free is not just great entertainment. It's also the best practice you can find for games where you actually have money down. There are a number of ways you can enjoy free blackjack, and some can even earn you real money. Let's find out how to get the most out of your free online blackjack experience.
There are a number of ways to play free online blackjack. You can play through an app on your smartphone or tablet, or access the website on your computer. The rules are the same, but you'll find that most casinos offer more games on their websites than on their apps.
Regardless of which platform you're using, there are two basic ways you can play free blackjack. Either you can play a kind of demo mode, or you can play under the bonus offers extended by a casino.
If you play a demo mode, you do not have the opportunity to win actual money. You probably will not need to register to do so. This is a good way to try out online blackjack to see if you like it. It also lets you get familiar with the format of the individual games and familiarize yourself with the options.
Demos are also useful because they allow you to bring your A-game to the table when you start playing for real money.
Next, most casinos offer free bonus money that you can use toward playing blackjack. You can keep your winnings after you satisfy the wager requirements.
For example, a casino may offer you $25 in free bonus dollars just for registering. You can apply these bonus dollars to blackjack. Let's say you win big. In order to withdraw those winnings, you'd need to satisfy the wagering requirements, which can be anywhere between 1-30x your bonus dollar amount. Check those terms and conditions, but you can find some great earnings on free blackjack!
We recommend starting out with the demos until you feel confident with the game. Then sign up for a bonus deal with the smallest wagering requirement you can find. Treat those bonus dollars like real money. Don't burn through them, because this is part of your training. You only get one chance with new customer offers, so don't blow it on bad bets. At the same time, don't miss a great opportunity because you were just warming up or getting accustomed to the online platform.
Yes, you can legally play blackjack online throughout New Jersey. Follow our links to a legal casino, and that gives you full protection as a U.S. consumer.
You must be at least 21 years-old to play. You can only bet within the state boundaries of New Jersey.
Blackjack games at legal online casinos are regulated by the Division of Gaming Enforcement. New Jersey's online casinos would receive enormous fines for violating laws of fair gaming. The fines amount to much more than any gains from rigging a game.
The software uses a Random Number Generator (RNG) to ensure that the games are random, and therefore fair.
The New Jersey Gaming Enforcement also routinely audits software to ensure fair play.
If you're playing live blackjack you'll want to be sure you have a good internet connection, regardless of whether you're using an app or website. This is especially true if you're streaming video data of a live dealer,
We recommend against using public WiFi if you can avoid it. While data encryption has improved greatly recently, there are hackers who thrive on public WiFi.
The safest practice is to download the app and then play using your data. Once downloaded, the app doesn't use a lot of data to play a game. If data usage is a concern for your online blackjack, be sure to close out other apps.
Blackjack has been played for centuries though the history of blackjack is a cloudy one as modern scholars can’t agree on its precise origins.
However, scholars do agree that blackjack was invented in the year 1700, likely within the casinos of France. Originally, the game was called Vingt-et-Un, which means 21 in English. It’s theorized the game was derived from other popular French card games, such as Ferme and Chemin de Fer.
Miguel de Cervantes (yes, the one who wrote Don Quixote) wrote about it in 1613 his story "Rinconete and Cortadillo," which was set in 1569.
There are theories that the forerunner to blackjack came from the Romans (although they would have played using different numbers and with wooden blocks).
The modern version of blackjack may have come from other games being played around Europe, such as Trente-Un in Spain, Sette e Mezzo in Italy, and Quinze in France.
The cards had different values, but the principle of all these games was the same.
Today, blackjack is the most popular table game in casinos. It's the perfect example of the adage, "Simple, but not easy." That simplicity makes it easy to understand, even by people who don't regularly play.
There are two important parts of winning blackjack. First, you should find a basic strategy involving hits, splits, and doubling. Second, start out ahead with a good casino bonus.
You can play blackjack at all of the legal online casinos in New Jersey. They have many variations and live dealer blackjack.
You have better chances of beating the house online. This is because of better starting bonuses, clearer charts of your history, the ability to use strategy charts, and being able to take your time and think through your strategy.
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