With popular variations such as Spanish 21, Double Exposure, Double Attack, and Blackjack Switch, there is definitely plenty of choice. You can check out our detailed blackjack reviews for more info on these other versions to find the one you prefer.
Later in this article, we’ll talk about blackjack bonuses, promotions, and free demo games. These are worth looking out for if you’re new to the game but are also a great way for experienced players to practice. The larger online blackjack casinos
are the ones to go for, as many of the smaller sites may not have the same array of options available.
Online Blackjack Bonus
If you’re unfamiliar with the game of blackjack, finding an online blackjack bonus is a great way to get acquainted.
Online casinos will often advertise bonuses to attract new players. The bonus credit that you receive can then be used on the blackjack table. This means you’re playing with real cash, but there’s no risk to your bankroll.
There are always wagering requirements and other terms and conditions attached to these bonuses. They can be quite strict, so you may not always be able to extract any winnings. One advantage, however, is that you will be able to try the live dealer blackjack games for free (see below).
Along with the bonus credit mentioned above, blackjack promotions are also worth looking out for. One to pay particular attention to is freeplay. This enables to you play for a set amount of time without it costing you a penny. Obviously, you won’t win any cash, but it’s a great way to learn the game and perfect your strategy.
You may find that some of the big-name casinos have a free demo mode available on their games all the time. This enables you to try-before-you-buy without the need for any bonuses or promotions. Even for experienced blackjack players, the free demo mode is worth checking out. It’s a great way to hone your technique and try new strategies. The fact that it’s zero-risk means you can experiment to your heart’s content.
One downside of the free demo mode is that you aren’t able to play any live dealer games. But, as we mentioned above, you can use your bonus credit for that.
Live Dealer Blackjack
If you want to experience the thrill of playing against a real-life person, then live dealer blackjack is the game for you.
This version of the game is streamed live from purpose-built studios, and often you’ll be able to interact with the dealers as you play. This creates an atmosphere which is as close to a real casino as you can get.
The blackjack rules are very simple. You can win in three ways-
- Get 21 points (‘blackjack’) without the dealer also getting 21,
- Reach a final score higher than the dealer without exceeding 21, or
- Let the dealer draw additional cards until their hand exceeds 21.
To begin, players are each dealt two cards, which may be face up or down depending on the casino. The dealer is then dealt either one or two cards, depending on the casino. In the US, they will normally receive one face up and one face down. In most other countries the dealer receives only one card, dealt face up.
The cards 2-10 have a value equal to their number. Jack, Queen, and King are all worth ten. Aces can be worth one or eleven. Your hand's value is the sum of all your cards. You are allowed to draw additional cards (hit) to improve your hand. A hand with an ace valued as 11 is called ‘soft’, meaning that the hand will not bust (go over 21) by taking an additional card. If the hand does exceed 21, the ace will be valued as one, and it will be called a ‘hard’ hand.
Once all the players have completed their hands, it is the dealer’s turn. The dealer will reveal the hidden card (if applicable) and must hit until their cards total 17 or more. At most tables, the dealer also hits on a ‘soft’ 17.
If you and the dealer have the same total (not including 21), this is called a ‘push, and your stake is returned.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, everyone wants to have the best possible chance of winning at blackjack. The house will always have a 1-2% edge over any regular player, but you can seriously reduce that by following the basic blackjack strategy.
A couple of points to remember would be:
- Always split Aces and 8s
- Never split 10s or 5s
- Always double 11 if the dealer has 2-10
- Always hit or double soft 17
If you’d like more information, be sure to check out our full blackjack strategy article. There you’ll find our complete strategy charts, showing exactly what you should do depending on your hand and the dealer's hand.