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How We Rate and Review Blackjack Casinos
Our rating system here at Top10Casinos is based on deep research and weighing a variety of different criteria. Some of those pieces of information are things that all players need to have a fair experience. However, a few are more tailored to particular tastes and may not be a "one size fits all" element of our evaluation. To make it clear which things we consider in these reviews and breakdowns for our ratings, here's a look at the individual factors we take into consideration when compliling our Top10 list of blackjack online casino sites for 2023.
- Licensing Details - Before we look at anything else, we look at the status of their license. We want to see a license in good standing from a reputable regulator that proves the operator is legit.
- Operator Reputation - The company running these blackjack online casinos will have a history with their other operations as well, and we look at their overall portfolio of work and how they've taken care of players.
- Game Variety - When you have more options to choose from in this genre, it's easier to find the right titles to fit the individual the best.
- Game Selection - Once you're ready for a break from the tables and want to try another game, we want you to have a lot to choose from.
- Mobile Availability - It's hard for us to take any casino seriously in 2023 if they do not have a robust mobile app for Android and iOS.
- Banking Methods - Having several popular options for withdrawals and deposits is an absolute must for us whether that's popular e-wallets like PayPal, Instadebit, or Skrill, credit and debit cards, bank wires, and even cryptocurrencies. This includes having speedy withdrawal times.
- Safety and Security - High level encryption and proper data management gets audited by the regulatory bodies to make sure your information is safe.
- Fair Play - Additionally, those same regulatory entities audit the games several times each year to check for fairness.
What Makes Blackjack so Popular?
The popularity of online blackjack games comes down to the degree of strategy that can be used at the tables. In short, the better you play, the better your payout rates are on average over time. Adding to that is how it has been romanticized in books, films and television shows for a long time, including popular scenes in James Bond movies. Put all that together with the fact that it's easy to learn, and you have a recipe for something that a lot of players are drawn to.
How to Play This Card Game
Learning how to play blackjack games online is not particularly difficult, but you will need to learn the basic flow of how a hand goes. Additionally, you may need to learn some specifics not covered here for certain atypical variations. There are dealer rules, side bets, and even RTP percentages to understand. With all of that aside, here we'll look at the basics of how a round is played.
- You begin by placing a wager for your hand, and then the cards are dealt.
- Two cards are dealt to the player face up, and two are dealt to the dealer with one face up and the other face down.
- If the player has an ace and a 10-point card to start, that's considered a "blackjack," and the player wins automatically unless the dealer also has this same hand. This often awards a bonus payout of 2:1, 3:2 or 6:5.
- The player gets to act with certain available strategic options that can add more cards or end play on the hand.
- For example, "hit" means taking one additional card and keeping your turn going. Likewise, "stand" ends play for your hand and moves on. Other strategic options may or may not be available depending on the style you're playing.
- All cards are worth their displayed value with face cards being worth 10 and aces being worth 1 or 11 at the player's discretion. However, if the player's total goes above 21, that is considered "going bust" and is an automatic loss. An ace's value can change mid-hand to avoid going bust.
- Note that if a player is using an ace as an 11, that's called a soft hand. All other hands are described as hard.
- When the player's hand is over and he or she has not busted out, the dealer will turn over the face down card and add one card over and over until the total is 17 or higher.
- If the hand reaches this point, the player wins with a higher total or if the dealer busts by hitting a total of 22 or more.
Popular Online Blackjack Games at Real Money Casinos
Different rule sets and variations on these basic themes can be had with the different titles available at online blackjack casino sites. Players ultimately decide which game to play based on these rules and the potential payout rates they can get with correct play. There are numerous variants to try including Double Exposure, Perfect Pairs, 21 + 3, Super Fun 21, Atlantic City, and more. In what follows, we'll show some of the more popular online blackjack variations and what makes them stand out.
The classic version of this game is all about focusing on the core action. This includes the ability to split any cards and to double with any two starting cards. The latter makes it important for players to learn when to double certain soft hands, which becomes a core part of the strategy that's different than most other online blackjack game variations and styles. You'll typically see a natural 21 (ie: ace and 10-point card) pay 2:1 as well.
In the European style, the main difference is that the dealer doesn't "peek" for blackjack at the beginning of the hand. That means the hand will not end automatically if the dealer was dealt a natural 21 before you make your decisions. Therefore, in situations where you might split or double, and therefore increase the size of your wager in the process, players have to be more conservative to play properly since they have a higher chance of running into a strong dealer total.
Playing with multiple hands in online blackjack casinos online has two main advantages. First, it gives you the ability to get in more hands in a shorter period of time, which is appealing for obvious reasons. Additionally, it opens up possibilities for certain "composition-based" strategies that can slightly increase your average payout rates if you care to learn them. However, these are sometimes considered a bit too complicated for players to be interested to learn for the small difference they average making in your bottom line.
One of the oldest ways to cheat when playing in person is to play two hands at once and switch cards between those hands. The Blackjack Switch style, primarily offered by Playtech, takes advantage of this by offering the player to switch a card from one hand to the other. This adds another layer of strategy to the whole affair, which is perfect for players who like titles that have a lot of depth.
Some players do not consider pontoon an actual blackjack online game and instead consider it a precursor, but it's rolled into the genre nonetheless. What makes these tables different is a combination of two special rules. First, you can't see either of the dealer's cards while you make your decision. Second, if you make it to having five cards, you automatically win the hand, which affects the strategies involved quite a bit.
Online Blackjack Tournaments
The tournament format for online blackjack games is another way to play, but it can actually be played with any of the variants listed above. In this format, you pay for a buy-in that includes a set number of tournament chips. From there, you have to bet a minimum amount per hand in those tournament chips while you're at a table with other players. The idea is to try to last longer than the other people at the table, and you'll win prizes based on which "place" you get in terms of lasting the longest of the group.
Real Money Blackjack Bonuses at Top Online Casinos
When you play this game well, the house edge can be one of the lowest of any title available. If you add bonus value on top of that, then it's easy to see how much of a deal that is. A number of different types of offers are available that range from allowing you to play free blackjack games to simply rewarding you for continued play at the same website. Below is a quick overview of the most common available options like no deposit bonuses and what you can expect from each.
Blackjack No Deposit Bonuses
A no deposit bonus is at the heart of all of the best free blackjack casinos that we have reviewed. This is essentially a free bonus added to your account that allows you to play select titles in the genre without any risk. What's more is that you actually can get real money payouts with these free bet offers if you follow the terms and conditions, which makes them even more appealing.
When you get signed up to one of our recommended blackjack casino sites online, you'll find that you're offered special sign-up or welcome bonus packages. What's particularly valuable about these is that they usually don't consist of just one offer. Instead, it's a series of offers for your first few deposits, and they usually come in the form of percentage-based match bonuses. This can add a whole lot of value to your bankroll when getting started out.
Deals that happen regularly are obviously a good thing. At most of our top-rated blackjack casinos, you'll find ongoing promotions like weekly bonus offers, leader board events and other special deals that give you opportunities for more value. In this type of game in particular, steady, regular value is the way to go, and these specials make it much easier to facilitate that.
A popular way to get value when playing online is with VIP or loyalty programs. These offer you rewards that you earn through points that are given for each real money wager that you place. Subsequently, some of these rewards are bonuses. A big plus for bonuses purchased with these points is that the play-through requirements and other terms and conditions tend to be less severe.
Free Blackjack vs Real Money Blackjack
You ultimately have to decide to play free blackjack, with no deposit offers, in demo mode, or with a simulator, or to play for real money. Each of these have their own advantages and disadvantages, and many players choose to alternate between the two as a result. However, some people strongly prefer one over the other. To help you out with this, we want to offer you a quick overview of the main pluses and minuses of free games versus real money betting.
Pros and Cons of Free Blackjack
- The lack of any real money risk is very appealing to many players.
- This approach allows you to try out online blackjack casinos before you decide to make a deposit.
- These deals can lead to real money wins.
- Your bet size selection is typically limited with these offers.
- Players are frequently made to only play a certain set of titles.
Pros and Cons of Real Money Blackjack
- You are able to pick from any of the available variations you want, including live dealer games.
- Players get complete freedom over their bet size selections.
- Using real money deposits opens you up to a wider range of available promotions.
- The risk to reward ratio is different since you're actually wagering real money.
- It can be tricky to balance your time between different titles when you have free reign over what to choose to play.
Top Online Blackjack Sites by Country
Players in a variety of parts of the world will have different places available to enjoy blackjack online. What's available in each region varies, but we have checked out all of the top casinos across the globe. Here we'll break down what you're looking for in each of these major markets and what you can expect in general.
When you play from Canada, a lot of blackjack online casinos are viable options that have different types of bonus structures, different game selections and other differences. With so much to choose from, we made it easier to pick a place to play with our full reviews and ratings. Our rating system makes it really simple to look over what's available to pick out what will fit your preferences the most.
With governance under the UKGC, the British sector has more competition among online blackjack casinos than just about anywhere else. However, this works out perfectly for players since it creates so much pressure for these sites to offer more and more. Our UK casino reviews offer full ratings and detailed breakdowns of everything that each of the top options can give you.
You'll have a hard time running out of solid options to play online blackjack casino games from New Zealand. Our ratings and complete reviews of each of these options are set up to make it less complicated to pick out where to play from so many solid choices. Additionally, they help you to avoid needing to round up all of the relevant information yourself since so many options in NZ for playing online blackjack games are available.
Europe is a place where you'll find a high concentration of online blackjack fans. The European online casinos know this, and they focus on this particular genre quite a bit as a result. With our numerous reviews in EU of the best that the region has to offer, we focus a lot on licensing, game selection and bonuses because those are the three areas we have found that European players tend to focus on the most when choosing where to play.
We have applied our proprietary rating and review system to plenty of blackjack no deposit casino sites for international players as well. No matter where you're playing from, this is a particularly popular genre that seems to transcend location and culture to a large degree. As such, we want to make sure you know what you need to in order to make the best selection among the numerous options available.
Top 10 Best Online Blackjack Casinos By Specialty
Just because you love these types of tables doesn't mean that every site out there will work out the best for you. Some of these are best for some types of experiences while others are preferable if you want something specific. Individual player preferences are one of the things that makes having so many options to pick from so great, and here we take a look at some of the absolute top choices available for players who are looking for very specific things such as casinos that are best for unlimited, best for high roller, and best for low stakes players.
Online Blackjack Strategies - How to Win Tips
Strategy is the backbone of why online blackjack games are so popular. While some of the particulars can vary between different styles and variations, most of the core elements and basic ideas stay the same. Understanding when to consider pair splitting or when to double down can enhance your winning chances. In what follows, we want to give you a bit of a crash course on the most important things you can know that will help you to make sure you get started off on the right foot with the strategies you need to maximize your return rate at the tables.
The idea of "basic strategy" means something incredibly specific when you're talking about online blackjack. It doesn't just mean a set of fundamental principles. Instead, "basic strategy" specifically means that in most variants, it has been worked out mathematically what the best strategic option is in virtually every possible situation you can run into. You'll commonly see this information posted in chart form for easy reference. The exact "basic strategy" for each type can vary some here and there due to particular rule changes. However, understanding the overall idea is crucial for maximizing your chances of success. You can download free basic strategies or cheat sheets as they can often be called.
Don't Split 5's or Cards That Are Worth 10
There are two situations where you should virtually never split. That's if you have a pair of 5s or two 10-point cards. The reason for not splitting is that your hand is very strong as it is. In the case of the 5s, you're giving up one good starting total for two mediocre ones. However, in the case of splitting 10-point cards, you'll win the vast majority of the time if you don't split.
Split 8's and Aces
The counterpart to the above rule is that you should actually split aces and 8s virtually every single time you get them. A hard total of 16 is the worst starting hand you can have, and changing that into two hands starting with 8 is an upgrade by far. Additionally, starting two hands with a single ace is a great value proposition too. Ironically, the worst card you can get if your first card is an ace is a second ace, so you avoid that issue as well.
Double down on 10 when the Dealer's Upcard is 9
When you have a hard 10 against a dealer showing a 9, you should always double if you have the opportunity to. Your win percentage is particularly high, and you're simply adding more to your wager when you have an edge against the dealer in this situation. In fact, this is one of the most common doubling scenarios to learn when playing blackjack online.
Double Down on Hard 11
In situations with a hard 11, you should typically be doubling against all dealer cards. This is actually the best hard total you can start with, so it's easy to understand why. However, some titles like the European variation will have an exception in that you shouldn't double a hard 11 against an ace, but that's a game-specific situation that's pretty rare.
Hit on Hard 12 When the Dealer's Upcard is 2 or 3
One of the more anti-intuitive parts of basic strategy is learning to stand with hard totals 12 or higher when you're facing low cards (six or lower). However, an exception to that rule exists when you specifically have a hard total of 12 when you're facing a 2 or 3. You should actually hit in these situations instead.
Don't Take Insurance When the Dealer's Upcard is an Ace
Most online blackjack casino sites online have titles that offer an insurance side bet when the dealer is showing an ace and/or 10-point card. The idea is that you're betting insurance against losing your initial wager if the dealer happens to have a natural 21/blackjack. However, the odds on this actually lead to it being a pretty bad bet. In fact, taking insurance is frequently one of the worst options you can take at any type of table.
Know When to Surrender
Not all variants have the surrender option, which allows you to get back half of your wager in exchange for no chances to win the hand. However, for the ones that do, the biggest mistake players make is in surrendering entirely too much. In most of these titles, you should mostly only surrender when you have a hard 16 against a dealer 10-point card or ace and when you have a hard 15 against an ace. Other than that, it's usually the wrong play.
Blackjack Card Counting at Online Casinos
Counting cards has been made popular as a concept thanks to it being the centerpiece of numerous films, television shows and books over the past few decades. However, when playing at the typical tables at online blackjack casino sites, it's not actually a viable option. This is because it relies on a shoe being used that is played down over time so that you can essentially track an index of which cards are still left to be dealt and which have been removed. Since these titles shuffle the virtual deck after every hand, it's not a viable option.
Note that this can be a limited option in live dealer games in some instances. With that said, most replace the shoe of cards fairly early or hide how far they are into the shoe, so it becomes less effective.
Online Blackjack Terms You Need to Know
In both real money and free online blackjack games, you'll find a number of different terms used that are specific to this genre. Knowing the terminology makes it a lot easier to understand what's going on and what's being talked about. In what follows, we want to introduce you to all of the basic terms that players might be expected to know.
Going bust simply means that either you or the dealer goes over a total of 21. Note that in some variants, the dealer busting with 22 is a push instead of a win.
Doubling is when you double the size of your original wager, and in exchange for that, two things happen. First, you receive exactly one more card to your hand. Additionally, it ends your turn, so you can make no more decisions.
A hard hand is when you do not have an ace in your hand that can be counted as 11. Most of the time, you'll have a hard hand.
To hit is to take an additional card to your hand. However, you bet size doesn't change, and it's still your turn afterward.
Taking insurance is a small side bet available when the dealer could have a natural 21 or blackjack as their starting hand. If the dealer does have that total, then you lose the insurance amount instead of your initial wager.
A push is another term for a tie in these titles, and you simply receive your original wager back as a result. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that you both have the same total. In some styles, a push can happen regardless of your own total if the dealer busts with 22.
If you have an ace in your hand that could be counted as 11 without making your total 22 or higher, then you have a soft hand.
When you have two starting cards of the same rank, splitting is an available option. This involves "splitting" the cards into two new hands, which requires you to add a separate bet for the second hand worth the same amount as the original.
To stand simply means that you end your turn right then and there. No new cards are added, and the bet size isn't changed by this decision.
Most online blackjack games do not have a surrender option, but some do. When you surrender, you give up any chances of winning your hand. In exchange, one half of your original bet size is returned to you while the other half goes to the house.
Blackjack Card Values
In virtually every style, the cards have the same values. They're pretty straightforward once you learn them, but if you aren't familiar, some of the details can seem a little tricky. Here we'll make it as clear as possible for everyone.
- 2-10 - The same as their face value
- Ace - This is worth 11 if it doesn't make you bust, but only 1 otherwise
- King - 10 points
- Queen - 10 points
- Jack - 10 points
Live Dealers - A More Interactive Experience
Playing live dealer blackjack puts you in a lot different style of presentation than what you'd otherwise find. These tables use real time video feeds and HD cameras to broadcast human dealers laying out the cards and running things like you'd see in a brick and mortar location. Additionally, it allows you to bet and make decisions through the software just like you would if you were sitting at the table yourself. It's a particularly popular way to play, and you can typically find a handful of different styles available.
Live Dealer Blackjack vs Online Casino RNG Variants
When you play at the typical online tables, normally called RNG since the shuffle is determined by a random number generator, it's a lot different experience than playing with a live dealer. Choosing between the two is largely a matter of taste since it has different betting or table limits (RNG tends to be lower), and different variants are available in each format. In what follows, we want to give you some of the advantages of each as well as some disadvantages to help you figure out which might be a good fit.
Pros and Cons of Live Dealers
- You get a much more immersive experience than RNG tables.
- Players can pick from some variants that aren't available anywhere else.
- A lot of options are available to chat up other players and the dealer.
- Betting minimums are higher, which means fewer options for playing on a budget.
- You're typically never allowed to play free online blackjack at these tables with no deposit deals.
Pros and Cons of RNG Casino Blackjack
- Much lower minimum bet sizes are available that make it easier for players at smaller budgets to take part.
- It's not uncommon to be able to enjoy these titles (as opposed to live dealer options) at free blackjack casinos.
- Hands can be played more quickly (or slowly, whatever you want) than in the live setting, so you can go at your own pace.
- No chatting options are available when playing at the RNG tables.
- The presentation is nowhere near as lively as when playing live.
Best Mobile Apps In 2023 For 21
Of all of the popular casino card games, playing online blackjack games via mobile can be one of the most convenient. That's because the individual game rounds are quick, so you don't have to worry about waiting for long mechanics to play out. Available on both iOS and Android devices in no download instant play via your browser or dedicated apps, you can access a variety of variations and rule sets while playing on both smartphones and tablets. This makes mobile blackjack casinos pretty popular among people who like to enjoy their play on the go.
Facts About You May Not Know
Something that makes this genre unique in the space is that it has a tremendous history. In that history, it has developed a lot of its own lore and its own unique place in the overall collection of casino titles, whether card games or not. Here we want to show you some facts about this genre that you may not know about that are pretty interesting and show just the level of depth that you get to take part in when you play.
Blackjack is One of the Oldest Casino Games
We have evidence that rule sets existed that were pretty similar to modern blackjack back at least in the 1700s while using a 48-card deck that's now called the Spanish deck. As a result, it's one of the oldest titles that is still played in more or less its same form today. While different variations have sprung up over the years, the basic gameplay is the same with the exception that the 52-card French deck is now the standard.
Casino Bonuses Aren't Aimed at Blackjack Players
Most bonus opportunities out there aren't really targeting fans of this particular genre. The reason is pretty simple: The payout rate in many online blackjack titles is so high that adding much promotional value will end in a total payout rate of more than 100 percent. This is why terms and conditions usually require larger wagering requirements compared to what you see in other genres like video slots.
Your Decisions Matter When Playing Blackjack
One of the most important parts that players love about online blackjack is that their strategic decisions matter. When you hit, stand, double, split and so on, you're affecting the outcome of the hands. The more you make good strategic decisions, the better your average payout rate is over the long run. That's really appealing to a lot of players and accounts for much of its popularity.
The House Edge for Blackjack is Less Than 1%
Along these lines, if you play well, you can get the payout rate above 99 percent when playing blackjack online. This means that the house edge can get under 1 percent, which is typically the best you can find anywhere. As a result, this is a great type of game to play if you love pushing edges and getting the most value you can in terms of keeping the house advantage as low as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I play online blackjack for fun?Yes, both play money and no deposit bonus options are available.
What are the chances of winning at online blackjack?The house edge is very low, often below 1 percent with correct play, but your chances of winning depend largely on how skillful you are.
How do I know the games aren't rigged?Our recommended websites are audited by their respective regulatory bodies to make sure that the online blackjack games are fair.
Can I play blackjack with a no deposit bonus?It depends on the bonus. Some online casino bonuses allow you to play at blackjack these tables.
What blackjack title has the best house edge?The Vegas Strip single deck style from Microgaming is one of the most popular online blackjack options with the best potential payout rate of 99.69%.
What are the best blackjack casino sites for live dealers?Our reviews will show you the top live dealer options for online blackjack depending on where you're playing from.
Do blackjack strategies really work?Yes, these strategies maximize your average payout rate in the long run.
Why is live blackjack better than traditional blackjack?Being able to chat with other players and having a better presentation are two big advantages.
Can I play blackjack on my mobile device?Yes, both iOS and Android devices can be used to play blackjack casino games.
Can I practice before playing for real money?Players are allowed to practice in the demo modes as long as they would like at most of the top blackjack casino sites we recommend.