Best Online Blackjack Casinos: Why Are They the Best?
Time and again, US blackjack players will look for the same thing in a casino. They expect to find a regulated brand that holds a license from a state gambling authority. The United States enjoys a bit of a renaissance of online gambling, and this means that all blackjack games you can play for real money will be available at legal online casinos only.
Yet, you are probably wondering, how do you find these casinos? There are many factors at play. First, you want to check for a license. The second thing you want to be looking at is the blackjack games available. What versions of the game are there? Generally, there are no bad blackjack games, but you will want to also check the return-to-player (RTP) rates.
Another good way to establish the credibility of the online casino is to see what types of payment methods you have. A licensed operator should offer you instant deposits and withdrawals that usually take around 24 hours. Many online casinos in the United States can only operate in partnership with a brick-and-mortar casino, which is great news.
This means you can go to a real casino and collect your money at the cage in the casino. Alternatively, you can try some of the blackjack games at the venue as well. Having online casinos connected to brick-and-mortar property means that each brand carries accountability, and you can always be sure that your funds are safe when you play online blackjack real money games.
Another thing to check out is mobile play. It’s always handy to be able to play blackjack online from a handheld device. Many USA online casinos offer players a dedicated app that allows you to play blackjack without any hiccups.
How to Play Online Blackjack: Step by Step
Online blackjack is a strategic game, and there is more than one blackjack strategy you can use to secure a win or guarantee yourself sustainable gameplay. Let’s start with the basics. The objective of the game is simple – build the strongest close as close to 21 or 21 as possible without “busting,” i.e. going over 21. Each blackjack round will consist of the same actions played out as per the specifics of each table. How many actions you make is entirely up to you. Each round starts and proceeds as follows:
- You bet any amount but no lower than the designated table limit
- The dealer hands out two cards to himself and all players at the table
- One of the dealer’s hands is face down, so you can only see one of the cards
- Once your cards are dealt, you can choose from Hit, Stand, Split or Double Down
- After each player has completed their actions are revealed
- The stronger hand wins 1:1 of the stake
Whether you play blackjack online or at a brick-and-mortar casino, the rules of the game are the same. Now, you are probably wondering what each action means. They are very easy to comprehend, and we will talk about them right now.
Actions During an Online Blackjack Round
As a player, you can choose from several actions during each round. They are easy to get the hang of, and you will definitely need them to apply any blackjack strategy or just play online blackjack in the first place. Now, you have four main actions you can undertake, including Hit, Stand, Split, or Double Down. Each is unique but simple to understand.
Hit means that you are willing to add more cards to your hand. Each time you Hit, the dealer will add one more card. The objective is to build a stronger hand without busting. Stand means that you are confident with your hand and you don’t think you would need anything else to continue. You Split when you want to play with two separate hands. To do so, you place another bet equal to your current one and now have two hands to play blackjack with.
Last but not least there is Double Down which allows you to add another bet on top of your existing one, essentially doubling its value. This is done when you feel that your hand cannot lose. There are statistical probabilities when carrying out each action makes the most sense.
When you play blackjack online for real money, you may use “cheat sheets” that will allow you to see what the recommended action for each situation is. However, keep in mind that the version of the game and especially the number of decks is what determines what action makes sense. The best way to learn online blackjack, though, is to start playing blackjack.
Which One Is Better: Free vs Real Money Blackjack
All blackjack online casino games can be played for free, providing you with an opportunity to study games up close and test stratagems. There are upsides to both real money and free play online blackjack. As pointed out, a free game would help you test a strategy, see if your “cheat sheet” works well and whether it works well with the specific blackjack games you are trying it on.
The downside of free blackjack online is that you can’t win real money. However, if you don’t miss the thrill of real money blackjack, there is no reason why you shouldn’t spend some time learning the paytables of the games you are the most interested in first.
As to real money online blackjack, this is arguably the most entertaining way to play blackjack. Players can make bets of varying sizes and see if they have read the dealer’s hand right. Of course, the added challenge of having your money on the line makes some players make mistakes, but with proper training, you can learn to look past them and enjoy your favorite blackjack games.
Real Money Blackjack on Mobile: Always Handy
One of the best ways to enjoy blackjack is from the palm of your hand. This is what most casinos in the US do today, featuring mobile-friendly blackjack games. You will find it very easy to load a game directly in your mobile device and enjoy blackjack anywhere you go. Now, some players may worry about the screen space, but you can rest assured that it’s very easy to follow the screen action on mobile blackjack. Most blackjack games have been optimized for mobile, and you will be able to play as you see fit. Furthermore, most casinos will even feature a dedicated iOS and Android app, allowing you to load up the solution and play in a more dedicated environment, too.
Live Dealer Blackjack: Better Than a Real Casino?
One particular form of blackjack that has become popular over the past several years is live blackjack. With live dealers entering the US markets carried by brands such as NetEnt Live and Evolution Gaming, this is not at all surprising. The live dealer blackjack software is optimized to provide players with the best casino experience without actually being in one.
The way the software works is simple. A company creates a real studio and broadcasts games from there, streaming in HD quality and using dozens of different angles to create a life-like experience. The stream is synchronized with the overlay gameplay software which allows players to interact with the game by choosing whether to Hit, Stand, Double Down, or Split.
An additional option is the use of the live chat, which allows players to exchange words with the live dealer. Just like with a regular casino, you will find a pit boss who is always around to settle any conflict. The fairness of the game is guaranteed by the Random Number Generator (RNG) built into the technology and producing unpredictable outcomes which makes sure the next hand dealt in blackjack can be nobody’s guess.
Of course, with practice, you will learn the statistical probabilities for different hands appearing on the table, and you will play your games according to this.
What Blackjack Strategy to Pick?
All blackjack strategies boil down to the same thing – knowing when to carry out each individual action. As noted before, this decision-making will depend on the specific blackjack games you have opted for. For example, a one-deck blackjack is much simpler and carries a much smaller risk. However, when you have eight decks, the probabilities change, and you need to be a little more careful.
Thankfully, if you know where to look, you can participate in blackjack games with the right “cheat sheet” for you and the games you have chosen. And, don’t think of the “cheat sheet” as something bad, because it’s not. Nearly all casinos in the United States, online or brick-and-mortar allow you to use them, and this is the first step towards mastering blackjack – memorizing optimal outcomes. Here are several blackjack pieces of advice to use.
#1 Always Split Your Pairs of 8s and Aces
This is probably the best piece of advice you will find when enjoying blackjack for real money. The logic here is very simple. Splitting a pair of 8’s doesn’t put you at a disadvantage position. Players think that they are running too big a risk, but it’s been proven mathematically that they do not. Instead, you can often request two hits, which more often than not, puts you in the lead position, even if you bet two hands. As to the Aces, you surely understand why in a blackjack game, an Ace is the best opening hand, and two is already too good to be true. Your chances with hitting a straight blackjack with two hands containing one ace each are big and your chances to bust are negligible. Don’t hesitate to play both Aces in separate hands.
#2 Don’t Ever Split Your 5’s or 10’s
It’s just a simple fact of blackjack games. You don’t split your 5’s or 10’s. While these pairs may seem like the perfect opportunity to split and run two individual hands, mathematical probability tells you not to.
#3 Always Hit a Hard 12 vs Dealer 2/3
A hard 12 would make most players think twice before requesting a Hit. Yet, even though the chances of turning a ten or another face card seem high, you should always hit on your hard 12’s.
#4 Double Down on eight against Dealer’s 5/6
One popular piece of advice is to double down on your 8’s against the dealer’s 5 or 6. Now, you won’t do this in multi-deck blackjack games. The rule applies only in the single deck game so don’t get too tempted with games that feature more decks.
#6 Insurance Bet
While insurance, in general, can be a smart thing on many occasions, it most certainly isn’t one when we are talking online blackjack. The simple fact is that an insurance bet is statistically a worse idea as the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are just not good enough to match the extra money you put down on that bet. Of course, the more decks there are in the game, the better the dealer’s odds of turning a blackjack become. There is a fair deal of trial and error in deciding whether to pick the insurance bet. Trust your gut on this one is our honest advice.
#7 Don’t Count Cards in Online Blackjack
Romanticized by Hollywood movies, card counting is a thing, but not really in online blackjack. You can’t really count cards online because each time a hand is dealt, the deck is shuffled. It sounds almost impossible, but the software has been optimized to deal hands and shuffle right after, making it, alas, impossible to count. Don’t get too tempted to try, and if you do – make sure it’s at a brick and mortar casino.
There are other popular pieces of advice you wouldn’t mind following through. However, for the different blackjack games out there, you will find different winning conditions. Make sure to double-check which blackjack game you play.
#8 Keep an Eye Out for the Side Bets
Blackjack often comes with a special type of bets known as “side bets.” They are a handy way to minimize the risk you carry and offer you a chance at a decent payout. In fact, side bets can offer a much better payout than that of the standard bets you are placing. Not all players jump to straight bets right away, but those who have studied them for a while are in a good position to benefit from them nevertheless. As always, what matters the most is paying attention to the cards and knowing what the most likely outcome is.
Of all casino products, blackjack games tend to be some of the most generous. You will find the house edges awesome, with over 99% in potential payout rate to the player. Each casino that expects to see players coming back will certainly feature online blackjack and offer great real money opportunities. US casinos have many excellent blackjack games to offer as well. Whatever the table limit or experience you are looking for, you will find it in USA casinos.