Frequently Asked Questions about Online Blackjack
How does Online Blackjack Work?
The core game is a single player against the casino, which acts as the dealer. Cards are selected using Random number generator software. When you sit at a table, you’ll be asked to place a chip and dealt your hand. Decisions are then made by clicking buttons, some casinos will pop up warning messages if you made an obviously ‘bad’ move, for example hitting on an 18.
What Blackjack Games can I play Online?
You will have a huge choice of games. The basics are the US and European rules (US rules involves a dealer ‘peek for blackjack’ at the start of the hand). There single and multi-hand games, and many games which have side-bets, including those with jackpots.
In addition, you can play many variations on the core game. Common examples include Spanish 21 (often called Match Play 21), Face-Up 21, Pontoon, Blackjack Surrender and Blackjack Switch. There are also live dealer games, where the cards are dealt by a croupier in a remote studio and streamed live to your device.
What Stakes can I play for?
Most casinos start their betting at just $1, you may even find some which are lower than this. You’ll be able to bet between $300 and $500 per hand in the standard games. If you are a high roller there may well be special tables accommodating bigger bets. If not, then you can ask customer support at your casino to facilitate bigger betting limits.
Is Playing Online Blackjack Legal?
Many people falsely believe that online blackjack and gambling in general was made illegal for US citizens under the federal ‘Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act’ of 2006. In fact, this act does not make online gambling illegal for individual players at all. It targets banks, forbidding them from doing business with gambling sites. This is the reason that US casinos are found offshore.
Internationally, you’ll need to check your local regulations. In the majority of countries, online gambling is completely legal.
Is Playing Online Blackjack Safe?
The offshore (US) casino industry includes some big and reputable brands, several of which have been serving the US market for a decade or more. The reviews here highlight some of these. While the vast majority of casinos are very safe, there is the occasional rogue outfit around. You can protect yourself from these with a few simple background checks. Make sure a casino is licensed, their RNG software is tested and that there are no major payment issues or scandals reported, and your online blackjack gaming should be very safe.
How do I Deposit and Withdraw from Blackjack Casinos?
Internationally you can use just about any payment method that could be used for online purchases. This includes credit and debit cards, bank transfer options, prepaid vouchers or electronic wallets such as PayPal or Neteller.
From the US the banking restrictions put in place by the UIGEA act do narrow things down a little. There are still some good options including using you MasterCard, Visa or Amex to make an international purchase – or a money transfer service such as Western Union. US players withdraw money via a paper check, which the banks will accept.
Is it Possible to Count Cards Online?
Card counting is not possible at all in the virtual (you against the computer) blackjack games. The decks are ‘shuffled’ by the RNG software for every single deal. With live dealer games there is an opportunity to count. Keep in mind that the decks are usually shuffled at half way through the 8 deck shoe, which makes it very difficult to get a positive enough ‘true count’ to make this pay. Any sudden increase in your bet sizes in these games will usually be easy to spot by casino security too.
What Strategy do I need to know before playing?
If you play blackjack with a solid strategy, this becomes one of the lowest house-edge games in the casino. What you’ll need to know is how different point totals in your own hand interact with the card the dealer shows as an up card. Most decisions will be very easy, hitting on scores below 17 and standing above this. When the dealer has a lower up card, you will often stand when taking another card risks you busting. This is correct mathematically, since the dealer will bust enough of the time to make it profitable.
Once you have mastered the basics of what to do vs each dealer up card, you can expand your strategy into knowing when to split, double and (if offered) surrender.
What are the best Casinos for Online Blackjack Games?
This depends on where you are located. For US players the most popular offshore online casino is Bovada.lv. This is part of the Bodog family which has a strong reputation for serving US players for many years. They run the acclaimed Real Time Gaming Software suite, which has a choice of 8 different Blackjack titles. Check out more in our Bovada review.
International players have casinos powered by software from the biggest and best software houses around. A great example is the Betway casino, which offers many different blackjack games. This huge brand is primarily powered by Microgaming software, and also has games from other providers in ‘instant play’ mode.