Blackjack is without a doubt the most trafficked card game in a brick and mortar casino. It’s the easiest game for beginners to learn and with a little bit of time and effort, players can reduce the house edge, if not eliminate it entirely. The best players can actually turn a profit playing blackjack.
So given it’s popularity it’s no surprise that the game of twenty-one has made it’s way online. It now has the capability to reach more players than ever.
Real Money Blackjack Online
The game of blackjack hasn’t changed much from making the transition to online casinos. You’ll notice the (obvious) differences associated with playing behind a computer screen versus playing in public, of course. While playing blackjack online you don’t have to deal with crowds or smoke filled rooms. On the other hand, you do miss out on the camaraderie and free drinks.
The biggest difference that I’ve noticed are the table limits. In a brick and mortar casino you’d be lucky to find a $3 table. Most tables are $5 per hand and higher. Online, though, blackjack can be played for as low as $1 per hand. While I’m not sure of the exact reason why, my best guess is that the overhead for an online casino is significantly less than that of a brick and mortar casino. So they pass the savings on to the players, all the while reaching an entirely new audience.
One minor inconvenience is that you’ll have to deal with depositing and withdrawing your money if you want to play real money blackjack online. In most cases depositing your money online is instant, whereas with withdrawals funds can sometimes take days or weeks to hit your bank account.
Nearly every online casino offers a bonus, and some casinos even offer blackjack specific bonuses. The most common bonus, however, is the deposit bonus. These are reserved for new players, or players who haven’t deposited in a long time. The deposit bonus will match a percentage of a player’s deposit up to so many dollars.
If you choose to accept a bonus, the one thing you need to be aware of is the wagering requirements. All casino sites will require players to spend so much money playing before they can withdraw their winnings. The amount of money required is usually in the form of a multiplier. One site I have in mind, for example, requires players to play through 25x the deposit and bonus. So a $500 deposit would mean that you’d have to bet $25,000 before you could make a cash out request.
But that’s not all. Blackjack faces stricter betting requirements for bonuses at most casinos, if it’s allowed for clearing the bonus at all. At some sites blackjack only contributes to 1/3 of the wagering requirements. In other words, if you want to play blackjack and earn a deposit bonus, you’ll have to bet 3x the amount you would for any other game. Using my example above that’d be $75,000.
Just be sure to read the terms and conditions of the (casino) bonus before signing up so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
Blackjack Games and Variations
There are over 20 different blackjack variations. The differences between each variation usually come down to the rules of the game, like whether you can double down or split a hand. Payouts for blackjacks may be different too. Wizard of Odds has a great page about rule variations, which are not to be confused with game variations.
You won’t find all the variations online. If a casino online offers a blackjack variation, it’ll usually be one of the more popular ones, such as Spanish 21 or Perfect Pairs.
In addition to rule variations, you’ll also find different blackjack formats. Common formats include blackjack sit and goes and tournaments. Live dealer games are also becoming more popular online. Real blackjack dealers are dealing the games via a live feed instead of the RNG (the software). In fact, this concept is so popular that it’s starting to replace dealers in brick and mortar casinos.
Online Blackjack Software Providers
For the most part I don’t think the blackjack software from one company is that different than the software from another company. The biggest differences I’ve noticed is the colors of the table or buttons, and to a lesser extent how quickly the cards are dealt.
The most important difference, in my opinion, is whether or not a software provider has a Mac version of their software. Or at the very least a browser (no download) version. Even in this day and age where Mac computers are the norm there are online casinos that haven’t yet catered to these users.
It’s their loss, though, not yours. If you have a Mac, or just prefer not to download large casino files, there are plenty of blackjack betting sites with software that can meet your needs.