Most land-based casinos usually offer the same blackjack games only with slightly different rules or payouts. The choice of blackjack variations online, however, is staggering. There are hundreds of games available on the Internet and while some of them follow the standard rules of blackjack, others offer exciting side bets and unconventional gameplay.
Moreover, with so many online casinos trying to attract new patrons, blackjack fans can take advantage of various promotions and bonuses. Players can also join live casinos online, try different types of casino games, and even enjoy blackjack variations with progressive jackpots. A great advantage of playing online is that you can practice blackjack games for as long as you like before you bet real money.
To choose the best blackjack games online, players need to take several basic factors into account, including the differences in their rules, the payouts, as well as the casinos that offer them.
Things to Consider in Online Blackjack Games
There are several fundamental aspects of online blackjack play all beginners should consider before they sign up for a real-money casino account. Most importantly, the majority of blackjack games available in web-based casinos are virtual games, controlled by software and the so-called Random Number Generator.
It provides random outcomes for each game and in blackjack, it “reshuffles” the shoe after every card has been dealt, so card counting is practically pointless. The virtual nature of the games also means that players can control the speed of the game, check the rules or use strategy cards during play. They can choose from a great number of blackjack variations and depending on the casino and software provider, there may be significant differences in the rules of each game, which would ultimately affect the house edge and RTP.
One of the first things to check when opening an online blackjack game for the first time is its minimum and maximum limits. Usually, virtual games allow bets as low as $1 per hand, while the maximum wager can reach $250 or even $500. Some casinos would offer high limit tables, where players can bet up to $2,000 per hand. This makes virtual blackjack affordable and easily accessible even for beginners with small bankrolls.
Those who prefer playing against actual dealers should consider the table limits since they are similar to the ones found in brick-and-mortar casinos. Once again, most live casinos have low, medium, and high-limit tables, as well as exclusive tables for VIP members. Usually, the minimum bet would cost $20 or even $50, but some casinos accept wagers of at least $100 per hand. Such limits, however, would suggest having a large bankroll of at least $2,000.
When choosing an online game, blackjack players should also look at the Return to Player (RTP) percentages of each variation. The RTP is used to express the percentage of your total wager you are expected to win back. The RTP and the house edge could be described as the opposite sides of the same coin, so the higher the RTP, the lower the advantage of the casino over its patrons.
Games with RTP of 95.45%, for instance, offer a house edge of 0.55% when played with perfect strategy. There are, however, many variations where the house edge is well over 1.5% or even 2%. This may be acceptable if compared to slots where this number hovers around 5% and even 10% but for blackjack, this is a rather high house edge.
Players should be particularly careful when choosing more unusual blackjack variations. Usually, they offer optional side bets with very tempting payouts reaching up to 500:1. At the same time, side bets also come with an extremely high house edge of up to 10%. Unfortunately, not all online casinos publish the RTP or house edge percentages for the games they offer. If players cannot find a clearly displayed RTP rate in the rules of the game, they should not play it at all.
Rules of the Game
Blackjack players should always check the RTP and the table limits of the games they wish to play. But the rules of a given blackjack variation are equally important and online casino patrons should look for games with a more favorable set of rules. Typically, this includes the number of decks and single or double-deck games are always preferred by blackjack pros. But in RNG blackjack, the number of decks is irrelevant in trying to gain an advantage over the house.
More importantly, players should seek for full-pay games where the payout for having blackjack is 3:2 rather than 1:1 or 6:5. It is also better if the dealer is required to Stand on all 17s (rather than Hit on Soft 17); Surrender is allowed, and players can Double Down on any two cards, as well as after a Split. The rules regarding splitting pairs also vary – it is best if players can Split an unlimited number of times and Aces could be resplit, although this rule variation is quite rare. Usually, up to 3 Re-Splits will be allowed, but some games allow players to Re-Split only once.
Selecting the Right Online Casino
When searching for a good blackjack game online, players should also focus on the choice of a fair and licensed casino. Unfortunately, there are many gambling websites with a questionable reputation, unfavorable bonus terms, poor payout times, etc. Moreover, many web-based casinos offer only a few blackjack variations in contrast to the hundreds and even thousands of slot games in their gaming collections. There are several additional aspects of online casinos blackjack players need to pay attention to.
Security and Overall Reputation
Security and fairness should always come first. This is why players should first see whether the casino is licensed and can legally offer its services within a particular territory. Note that online gambling is not legal in all jurisdictions. If it is legalized, a good, safe casino would be licensed by a local regulatory body, which is almost always a guarantee for the fairness, honesty, and transparency of the gambling operator.
Blackjack players should also check whether the casino site uses some type of digital encryption. It is necessary to ensure the protection of users’ personal information shared with the operator during the sign-up process. All financial transactions – deposits and withdrawals, should also be encrypted.
Most web browsers clearly display whether the connection to the website you visit is secure or not – you can check if it has an SSL Certificate by simply looking at the URL of the website. A secure casino will have a URL starting with “https” rather than “http”.
Another important aspect of online casino play is banking – most operators accept payments from various credit and debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, bank transfer services, etc. Players would need to make sure that the casino they have chosen works with their preferred payment method. Of course, their currency should also be allowed on the website.
It is essential to check the minimum and maximum limits are for deposits and withdrawals. While the majority of online casinos accept deposits from $10 or $20, some require players to load their balances with at least $50 or even $100, which would not suit most players. It is also very inconvenient when casinos offer minimum payouts of $100 or limit the maximum withdrawal to $500 a day, for instance.
Speaking of inconvenience, the withdrawal processing time is essential – it is better to receive your winnings with a day or two rather than having to wait for more than a week. Unfortunately, some operators pay their patrons after a long verification process, which slows down the payment even further. More importantly, blackjack players should look for casino sites, which process deposits and withdrawals for free.
The vast majority of casino sites offer a wide range of promotions – first deposit bonuses, free spins with no deposit required, reload bonuses, comp programs, and many more. However, these special offers are mainly aimed at slot players since video slots are, after all, the most popular category of casino games. Some bonuses can be used on slot games only but more often, the restrictions can be found in the bonus terms and conditions.
Generally, casino bonuses come with the so-called wagering requirements, which means that players are required to play through a bonus a certain number of times (anywhere from 20 to 50 times) before they can withdraw any winnings generated from the bonus funds. However, while slots contribute fully to this wagering, bets on other types of games usually contribute only a small percentage to the playthrough. If a player is required to play through $500 on slots, the sum would be $2,000 on blackjack games, for example.
Still, a small number of online casinos have bonuses specifically designed for blackjack or other table games like roulette, baccarat, or craps. Although such bonuses are rare and typically smaller in size, they are worth it.
Another thing to consider when choosing an online casino to play blackjack is the variety of games on offer. Sadly, some gambling sites host only a couple of blackjack variations and instead, they focus on providing a great range of slots and other games that are solely based on chance.
Luckily, casinos tend to display their full gaming libraries even to non-registered users so it is easy to see whether the site has a good variety of blackjack variations or not. Players should look for gaming sites with at least a dozen of different blackjack games so they can choose favorable rules, table limits that are suitable to them, and high RTP percentages.
The presence of a varied, high-quality live dealer section is what makes good casinos exceptional. By combining the live casino play with virtual user experience, live casinos are the closest thing to a brick-and-mortar gaming facility. Their popularity among recreational blackjack players, in particular, could be contributed to the overall favorable set of rules that are usually clearly displayed, the wide range of blackjack variations on offer and the flexible table limits.
Besides, players can enjoy betting against actual dealers rather than computer software without ever stepping into a land-based casino. The live dealer games are streamed in real time directly to their personal computer or mobile device. To find a gambling site with a nice range of live blackjack variations, however, players will need to do a little bit of research and choose the site that suits their interests.
Last, but not least, when searching for an online platform to play blackjack for real money, gamblers should opt for a casino working with at least several software providers. Some casino operators offer gaming content from a single developer but this limits the variety and number of blackjack variations. If players want to have access to a good range of games, they should look for a casino with as many software providers as possible.
Is Live Dealer Blackjack Better than Virtual Games?
Virtual vs Live Dealer Blackjack
Many blackjack players are still new to online gambling would wonder which is better – live dealer or virtual, RNG blackjack. Both have their advantages and weaknesses but often, the choice comes down to personal preference. Some players love the adrenaline and the pressure of playing against a dealer, whereas others prefer the more relaxed games where everything is automated and they can control the speed of the game.
More importantly, live dealer games are not suitable for novices – especially not when it comes to blackjack. To be successful in this game and to have a chance at generating some winnings, players should master the basic strategy and be able to apply it quickly in live games. This is why they should begin with RNG blackjack and be able to take their time for every move and decision they make.
Those who hope to gain some advantage by counting cards at live blackjack online would be disappointed – live casinos have taken measures to prevent card counting. Most notably, the deck penetration makes counting useless since cards are usually reshuffled after only half of them have been dealt.
Overall, neither type of online blackjack is better than the other. Whether players would prefer betting against live dealers or playing an RNG game on their own depends on their preference, skill level, and bankroll.View more...