Online Blackjack Guide: How to Play Blackjack Online
When you play blackjack online, players have many more gaming options than they do in land-based casinos. This makes basic strategy harder to learn, because of the different sets of blackjack rules. It’s better to research online blackjack real money strategy and tips before you make a bet.
Keep reading our guide to learn how to play blackjack online. We describe the many online blackjack games available, plus the most common blackjack side bets you’ll encounter. We also offer payout and house edge information, real money tips for optimizing the RTP, and a few recommendations for the best blackjack online casinos for US players.
How to Play Blackjack Online
Playing classic blackjack online is very similar to playing the game in a physical casino. Here is a step-by-step guide to playing a typical hand of online classic blackjack.
- Place a Blackjack Bet: To start a new hand, place a bet. Select a chip denomination and place the chip on the virtual table. The betting layout mimics the layout at a land-based roulette table.
- Receive Your Cards: Once you have placed your bet, you will receive two cards face-up. Also, the dealer will receive two cards, with one face up and one face down.
- Hit or Stand: The objective of blackjack is to get a hand that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand without going over 21. Options at this point are to Hit (receive another card) or Stand (keep your current hand).
- Double Down: Also, you can Double Down (double your bet and receive one more card) or Split (split your cards into two hands if they are a pair) if the situation is right. Read blackjack strategy charts to learn when this is appropriate.
- Dealer Reveals Its Hole Card: After all the players have completed their turns, the dealer reveals the house’s face-down card. The dealer will draw more cards until they have a hand that is worth at least 17 or they go bust (over 21).
- Compare Hands: If the player has a hand closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand (without going over 21), the player wins the round. If the player’s hand is equal to the dealer’s hand, it is a push (tie), and the player’s bet is returned.
- Collect Winnings: If the player wins, they will receive a payout that is typically 1:1, meaning they will receive their original bet plus an equal amount. If the player gets a natural blackjack (an Ace and a 10 or face card), they will receive a higher payout of 3:2.
- Start a New Hand: The round is over, and a new hand begins, starting with step 1.
The Best Online Blackjack Casinos for US Players
Americans who are new to online gambling might want some recommendations for where to play blackjack online. US players in all 50 states can join and play blackjack for real money at the following 5 casino sites. Here are snapshot reviews for each.
Wild Casino – $5000 Welcome Bonus
Wild Casino offers a massive welcome bonus of 250% up to $5,000 for new players. Their game selection includes a range of popular table games, slots, and video poker games. The site has a clean and easy-to-use layout, making it simple for players to navigate and find their favorite games. Additionally, Wild Casino offers a variety of secure payment options, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for players.
Slots of Vegas – $2500 Welcome Bonus
Slots of Vegas is another popular online casino that offers a 250% welcome bonus up to $2,500. The casino has a large selection of slot games, as well as table games and video poker options. The site is visually appealing, with bright graphics and an easy-to-use interface. Slots of Vegas also offers 24/7 customer support and a range of payment options, including Bitcoin.
Planet 7 Casino – $2500 Welcome Bonus
Planet 7 Casino has a welcome bonus of 250% up to $2,500 and a diverse selection of games, including slots, table games, and video poker. The site has a sleek and modern design, with easy navigation and quick loading times. Planet 7 also offers live dealer games for an immersive casino experience. The casino has a range of payment options, including Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, and Neteller.
Las Atlantis Casino – $14,000 Welcome Bonus
Las Atlantis Casino offers an impressive welcome bonus of 280% up to $14,000 for new players. The site has a sleek and sophisticated design, with a range of high-quality games, including slots, table games, and video poker. Las Atlantis also offers 24/7 customer support and fast payment processing times. The casino accepts a range of payment options, including Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, and Neosurf.
BetUS Casino – $2500 Welcome Bonus
BetUS Casino offers a welcome bonus of 125% up to $2,500 for new players. The site has a good selection of games, including slots, table games, and video poker. The casino offers 24/7 customer support and a range of payment options, including Bitcoin, which is a plus for players who prefer to use cryptocurrencies. BetUS also offers a sportsbook and live betting options for those interested in sports betting.
Variants of Blackjack
US players will find a lot of different blackjack games when they visit the best online casinos. While the list below doesn’t include every blackjack variant you might encounter, it covers the vast bulk of real-money online blackjack games.
- Pontoon: A popular variant of blackjack played primarily in the UK, Pontoon is similar to traditional blackjack but with a few key differences. In Pontoon, the dealer’s cards are both dealt face down, and the player must hit until they reach a total of at least 15. Additionally, a “pontoon” (or natural 21) pays out 2:1 rather than the standard 3:2.
- Australian Pontoon: Similar to Pontoon, Australian Pontoon is a popular variant played in Australia and Asia. In this version, the dealer must hit on a soft 17, and a five-card trick (a hand totaling 21 or less with five cards) pays out 2:1.
- Perfect Pairs: In this variant, players can place a side bet on whether their first two cards will be a pair (such as two 6s or two jacks). Payouts for perfect pairs vary by casino but typically range from 5:1 to 30:1.
- Blackjack Switch: In this variant, players are dealt two hands and can switch the second card of each hand to try to improve their hands. However, a natural blackjack pays only 1:1 rather than the standard 3:2.
- Zappit Blackjack: A newer variant of blackjack by RealTime Gaming, Zappit allows players to “zap” (or discard) their initial hand and receive a new one if the hand totals between 15 and 17.
- Super Fun 21: In Super Fun 21, players can split any two cards of the same value and can double down on any number of cards. Additionally, a player’s blackjack always beats the dealer’s, and a player’s hand totaling six cards or more that doesn’t bust automatically wins.
- Vegas Strip Blackjack: In this version, the dealer must stand on a soft 17, and players can split their hands up to four times. One of the most popular variants played in Las Vegas casinos, Vegas Strip Blackjack is similar to traditional blackjack but with a few minor differences.
- Downtown Vegas Blackjack: In this variant, the dealer must hit on a soft 17, and players can double down on any two cards. Downtown Vegas Blackjack is played primarily in downtown Las Vegas casinos.
- Atlantic City Blackjack: This variant allows players to double down on any two cards and can also double down after splitting. Additionally, the dealer must stand on a soft 17. Played primarily in Atlantic City casinos but offered in certain online casinos.
- Double Exposure: In this variant, both dealers’ cards are dealt face up, giving players more information to make their decisions. However, the dealer wins all ties except for natural blackjacks, which pay out 1:1 rather than the standard 3:2.
- European Blackjack: European Blackjack is similar to traditional blackjack but with a few minor differences, European Blackjack is played primarily in European casinos. In this variant, the dealer must stand on a soft 17, and players can double down only on hard totals of 9, 10, or 11.
Blackjack Side Bets
Online casinos’ table games menu often includes blackjack games with side bets. Live dealer blackjack games also feature side bets. Here is a list of the most common blackjack side bets you’ll encounter online.
- 21+3 Side Bet: This side bet combines the player’s two initial cards with the dealer’s upcard to make a three-card poker hand. Payouts vary depending on the strength of the hand, with a flush typically paying out 5:1, a straight 10:1, three-of-a-kind 30:1, and a straight flush 40:1 or higher.
- Rummy Side Bet: This side bet is based on the player’s initial two cards and the dealer’s upcard, with the goal of making a three-card rummy hand (such as a run or a set). Payouts vary depending on the strength of the hand, with a run paying out 9:1, a flush 4:1, and a set 1:1.
- Perfect Pairs Side Bet: In this side bet, players can bet on whether their initial two cards will form a pair (such as two 8s or two kings). Payouts vary depending on the type of pair, with a perfect pair (two identical cards) typically paying out the most (30:1 or higher).
- Progressive Side Bet: This side bet allows players to place a wager on the chance that they will win a progressive jackpot. To win the jackpot, players must make a specific hand (such as a natural blackjack or a 7-card straight flush). Payouts for progressive side bets can be quite large, with some jackpots reaching into the millions of dollars.
It is important to note that while side bets can be fun and potentially lucrative, they also have a higher house edge than the main blackjack game. Players should always consider their overall bankroll and betting strategy before placing a side bet.
Online Blackjack Real Money FAQ
Is there a blackjack app to win real money?
Yes. Gaming sites like Wild Casino, Slots of Vegas, and Planet 7 Casino all have their own dedicated mobile casino app. Find the mobile download page on each of the sites. These have downloadable Android and iOS casino apps — simply follow the instructions. Some online casinos have QR codes that make downloading the casino app easier.
Is there legal real-money blackjack online?
Yes. Americans can legally gamble on online blackjack in all 50 states. Players get confused because of the difference between the regulated and unregulated online gambling states. Five US states have regulated online casinos, while the remaining 45 states are unregulated. In those 45 states, players can gamble online without fear of prosecution or fines. Neither state nor federal authorities charge individuals for gambling in the privacy of their own homes.
Those who launch an online blackjack casino in those states would be prosecuted. Individuals playing online have never faced legal consequences. Those who play at unregulated offshore blackjack casinos don’t have legal protections if they play at a scam site. The key is reading trusted online casino reviews and picking trustworthy online blackjack casinos.
How can I find a reputable blackjack casino online?
Read online casino reviews at trusted sites. Visit player forums to see what your peers say about the sites. Visit sites that aggregate players’ reviews and player complaints, like Ask Gamblers. Do a bit of research before you deposit cash in a casino. It’s a business and an industry, so do the due diligence you would before spending money at any other online merchant.