Blackjack is one of the most loved casino games. It calls out to beginners because of the ease of learnings its basics. But it is also that minimal structure that keeps long-time players at the blackjack table. Not surprisingly, online BlackJack is one of the most popular casino gaming apps. Whereas slots games go for maximal zing and graphics, blackjack players love how the simplicity of the game finds its way into the apps as well.
What do you need to consider when beginning an online blackjack? What are some features you need in an app, and what should you avoid? Is it possible to make real money off of free blackjack promotions?
Read below for the lowdown on blackjack, and to find out our recommendations.
Blackjack has been around for as long as there have been cards and people who could count slightly past 21...so, for quite a while. While there's some evidence that the Romans played, probably under the name of XXI, documentation of blackjack goes back to the 16th century. Before he was covering fights between windmills and knights, Don Quixote's author, Miguel de Cervantes, gives us our first evidence of blackjack. He writes in a story called "Rinconete and Cortadillo" of groups playing blackjack in 1569 in Seville.
In the 18th century, French salons were abuzz with playing Vingt-et-Un (that is, 21). It is via French settlers that 21 came to the U.S., propped up in Nevada, and became the Blackjack we all know and love.
Because of its relative simplicity, blackjack was one of the earliest games to be adapted for online play. The simplicity of the rules has also called out to many new players. These two factors account in part for blackjack apps' popularity online today.
The rules of blackjack are actually the same for online and casino games. In fact, there are very few variations of blackjack compared to poker.
The basic rules don't change: get as close as you can to 21 as you can without going over. Variations come along based on:
All of the major variations in blackjack are based on those criteria.
With online blackjack, we can take one off the table for you: how many decks are used. Online apps usually "shuffle" the deck after every hand, so each hand is random. That means no card counting.
Live blackjack played online uses a machine that you can see on your screen. It will usually have 6-8 decks.
It may seem that there are infinite choices for online blackjack apps, but that's actually not true. We strongly recommend against illegal casinos. Illegal means not legal, and there are only a dozen or so legal online casinos in New Jersey.
If you're putting your money with an illegal casino, you're banking on a belief that they're going to deceive the federal government, but be honest with you.
When you decide on a legal online casino where you're able to play, the field is more selective. You should decide based upon special offers and variety.
There are a number of ways to try before you buy and also improve before you put money down. We have some recommendations for free online blackjack and advice regarding free bonuses for registering.
The first thing we recommend is that you play a free version of the game...a lot. Get comfortable with the layout and the rules of that particular game. You do not want to be asking yourself about specifics of the rules or searching for buttons when you're playing for money. Get that sorted for free!
The second thing you want to look for is a good deal for when you register. All legal online casinos offer some amount of free money to start with, usually between $10-$30. They also usually offer a matching deposit bonus for your first deposit.
But do check the terms and conditions. These bonus offers have a wagering requirement, which means the amount of your own money you have to wager before you can withdraw any winnings. Obviously, if casinos gave $30 for free to everyone who registered with no further commitments, they'd have a short business. Wager requirements guarantee that you'll give casinos some business following their gift.
Wagering requirements can be very low. Sometimes you will find as low as a 1x wagering requirement. This means, for example, they give you $20, you bet $20, and keep all the winnings. $40 of betting for $20 = good.
Wagering requirements can also be very high, or only count a percentage of the game you're playing. Check your terms and conditions, and read the reviews here, where we'll tell you what's a deal and what to avoid.
We also do some of the research for you. Check out our recommendations below!
So, we see how it is possible to win real money with free blackjack. From the above, you'll see we recommend trying some free blackjack games at different casinos, practicing with the one you like, and finding the best bonus deal for how you play.
Once you do find a good deal, you can keep your winnings after you satisfy the wagering requirement.
You can play blackjack online through apps on smartphones and tablet devices (such as iPad). You'll need to download the app from Apple's App Store or by following the links on the casino's website if you're an Android user. In general, the only difference between apps on a smartphone or tablet has to do with formatting for the different screens. The same games and general player experience should be available on each.
Want the live casino feel, but don't feel like braving the traffic to get down to Atlantic City? No problem, because you have Atlantic City in your back pocket.
Live blackjack apps provide you with live-action, a real dealer, and often a chat feature if you want to banter with other players. You can expect much of the same experience with a live blackjack app that you would have in the live casino setting, with one important exception:
No one is watching you.
This means you can use as many strategy cards, notes, and blackjack software as you're able within the allotted playtime.
On the other hand, live online blackjack games also shuffle cards more frequently than you'll find in the physical casinos. Again, do your homework here to find the rate of shuffles. If it is very high, you're looking at the same odds as a non-live blackjack app, so adjust your strategy.
Repeat this until you believe it: online blackjack is very different from blackjack in the casino.
If you play like you're playing in a casino, you will not make money. The reason is that the software "shuffles" after every hand. This means you cannot count cards. You can get distracted by trying to count cards though and frustrated by the fact that your tricks aren't working. But that is a certain way to 1) lose money and 2) throw a dark cloud over your gaming experience.
You can win real money on free blackjack, but you need to know what game you're playing. And the key is this: each hand is as random for the dealer as it is for you. Although it's a game, the dealers "know" as little about their hand as you, which evens the field a bit.
Online blackjack casinos may try to "un-even" the field by offering you many options, bells, and whistles that seem like they're catering to you, but end up just taking your focus off the game. They may give you options for more hands than you can actually play well, or innumerable double bet options.
If you're looking to win at online blackjack, stick to the game you're playing. Once you're comfortable there and making money, you can start looking at options to increase your winnings.
While you'll need to do some playing based on your preferences, we're going to give you a head start with some winning recommendations:
1. Greatest likelihood of winning: Sidebet blackjack. Odds are nearly in your favor but expect smaller winnings. You can find this at Pala and Betfair.
2. Smallest deck: Single deck Blackjack. While most online blackjack games thrive on randomness and multi-deck games, both Virgin and Tropicana casinos offer you single deck blackjack. Card counters, head on over.
3. Biggest win: High Stakes Blackjack. Check your favorite casino, as most offer a high stakes table.
Blackjack is also commonly called 21. However, casinos use the name blackjack, even if they're offering a "version" of blackjack with rules quite different from the original game: e.g., Chinese blackjack.
Generally, yes. However, software programs will give you more options.