Guide to Playing Blackjack Online
Blackjack is perhaps the most popular table game in any online casino. Players love the game for its simplicity and its low house edge. Even playing with a basic blackjack strategy can lower the house edge to around 1%.
To play effectively you need to know about the variations in blackjack, the rules, and how to play the game.
Rules of Blackjack
The rules of blackjack are simple. Although there are some variants where the rules may change slightly, playing blackjack online is largely the same regardless.
The game starts with the dealer giving the player two face-up cards. The dealer will also get two cards, but one of them will be face down.
The aim of the game is not to make 21 without going bust but to beat the dealer’s hand. You could stand on 5 and if the dealer goes bust you still win the same amount of money.
Aces are worth 1 or 11 and face cards are worth 10. The suit doesn’t matter.
If you hit 21 on your first two cards, you automatically win. The worst that can happen is the dealer also hits 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, but the most common payouts are 6:5 and 3:2.
You always want to play with payouts of 3:2 as 6:5 tilts the house edge against you in the long-term.
If you don’t hit 21 with your first two cards you have a choice as to whether you take another card or remain with your original total. Go over 21 and you automatically lose the hand.
Doubling and Splitting in Online Blackjack
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. Most 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.
Surrendering in Online Blackjack
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 a worthwhile course of action.
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 blackjack games don’t usually allow for surrendering, though.
How to Play Online Blackjack
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 will gain a 1% house edge. Those three percentage points can make all the difference in the long-term.
When playing blackjack online for the first time you should download one of these strategy tables and have it in front of you.
It’s all based on the dealer’s face-up card.
For example, if you have a total of nine and the dealer’s upcard is a six, you know you need to hit.
You always assume their face down card is a ten in blackjack terms. So even if you have two cards worth 16, you know you need to hit if the dealer’s upcard is a nine.
In the long-term, you’ll win more than you lose.
Basic blackjack strategy will also dictate when you should double down and when you should split. Again, it’s based on which card the dealer is showing.
Types of Blackjack
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.
Blackjack Double Exposure
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 to 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.
A Brief History of Blackjack
The history of blackjack is a cloudy one as modern scholars can’t agree on its precise origins.
However, what scholars do agree on is blackjack as we know it 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.
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 numbers were different, and the cards had different values, but the principle of all these games was the same.
Best NJ Online Casinos for Playing Online Blackjack
You can find online blackjack in every online casino in New Jersey. The issue is deciding which casino offers the best playing experience.
Players should put a lot of thought into choosing the right casino. They should take into account the playing experience, the different variations of blackjack available, bonuses, and banking methods.
It’s well worth spending some time to work out which casino offers the right mix between all of these factors.
Borgata is one of the leading lights in the online casino business throughout New Jersey. They have partnered with MGM; therefore, you’ll sometimes see them operate under the MGM brand as well.
It’s known primarily for offering some of the best online play in the state. They offer both desktop play and a highly advanced mobile app. Their games are known for being smooth and they don’t crash or take long to load.
They use an easy interface, so it’s easy to start playing even if you’re new to playing blackjack online. They’ve taken the best games from their land-based casinos and converted them into their online gaming experience.
They provide a variety of blackjack tables, along with a range of variations for you to enjoy.
|$ 20 signup bonus + $ 600 bonus.||Borgata Online|
Caesars is known across the nation. They dominate the Nevada land-based casino market, but through a range of partnerships, they’ve also brought an incredible online gaming experience to the New Jersey market.
Most notably, they have partnered with the 888 brand, which is known for its online gaming software. This is the reason why Caesars boasts the same innovative software as the World Series of Poker.
While they don’t provide the same great experience through their mobile app, their desktop platform is a solid offering for both new and veteran players who want to play blackjack online with a trusted name.
|$ 10 signup bonus + $ 300 bonus.||Caesars Casino|
The Golden Nugget is the dominant force within New Jersey. They consistently generate the highest amount of revenue year after year. There are more than 660 different casino games to choose from when you play with the Golden Nugget.
They also utilize multiple renowned software developers to power their games, including IGT and NetEnt.
Blackjack is well catered for here, and they also include live blackjack if you’re searching for a more realistic gaming experience.
Their platform is extremely simple to get started with. It’s easy to separate different blackjack games based on the variation included and the maximum wagers.
The Golden Nugget is further known for its incredible bonuses. With their deposit bonus, you can potentially earn around $1,000 in bonus funds.
This also comes with relatively low wagering requirements, as you only need to wager the sum of your deposit and the bonus funds 10x to convert it into real cash.
|$ 1,000 bonus.||Golden Nugget|
Resorts Online Casino
The Resorts Online Casino became one of the first entries into the New Jersey gaming market when online casinos were initially legalized throughout the state. They enjoy games from leading developers, including Aristocrat and NetEnt. For this reason, their online blackjack experience is rich and fun.
While there are over 450 casino games to play at the Resorts Online Casino, around 400 of these are slots games. But there is a range of variants of blackjack to spend your time playing.
It’s well worth checking out as they also offer a no deposit bonus of $20. This is totally risk-free, so you can try out the blackjack experience without risking any real money. They offer 20x wagering requirements on your first deposit. The first deposit bonus is worth a maximum of $1,000.
New players can avail themselves of a VIP program, where they can claim great rewards just by earning points as they play.
|$ 1,000 bonus.||ResortsCasino.com|
Tropicana is known within the state because of its brick-and-mortar casino in Atlantic City. They have since moved into the online gaming industry, together with their partner casino Virgin.
Thousands of players play with Tropicana every single year. They have an impressive offering of different table games, including variations of blackjack. They’re often cited for not making any serious inroads into the online poker industry, but it’s done nothing to harm their popularity with players.
When you play blackjack online you can also earn what’s known as ‘Trop Points’. These are the currency you can redeem within their store. They offer a range of bonuses that can be redeemed with Trop Points.
It’s also possible to use Trop Points to get real cash from the casino.
Tropicana Atlantic City
|$ 100 cashback.||Tropicana Atlantic City|