So if you're ready to hit the tables online and play some blackjack for real money there's a few things I should warn you about.
Because unfortunately it's not that simple.
If you've never gambled online before, ther's a lot of misinformation on the web so this article is going to go over a few topics so you know exactly what to expect and look for.
There are literally many online casinos worldwide launched on a monthly basis offering glitzy bonuses and promotions all vying for your business.
However for every new casino that's launched, another gets closed down due to being unable to sustain their business.
The nature of this competitive industry unfortunately also leads to operations falling to the dark side and going rogue by commonly tricking customers with unethical practices such as
So let's look into how to go about avoiding these sticky situations and set some guidelines for finding a reputable and fair online casino.
While we can make suggestions on where to play, it's good knowledge to know what to look for especially since casinos regularly modify their promotions and terms and conditions.
Speaking of terms and conditions, this leads us to the very first thing to look at:
This is the main crux in determining whether a casino is trying to be sneaky. Yes these things are boring to read but it contains vital information that could save you throwing your hard earned cash in the bin
Things to look out for are:
A common issue with most casinos (even the reputable ones) is that even though they might allow you to deposit using a certain method, you may not be able to withdraw using that same method.
So make sure you understand the cashing out process and what's involved. Common things to find out include are there any fees involved? How long does it take to process a withdrawal? What currencies are accepted?
The best options tend to be through e-wallets such as Skrill or Neteller or cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum because they are fast with no fees. Paypal is also really good however only UK based online casinos accept it.
If you've never used Bitcoin before, we highly recommend reading our guide to find out how. It is by far the safest and most effective payment method for playing at an online casino for US players.
If you are unsure of any of these items, do not be afraid to ask customer support. This will also give you an opportunity to see how responsive and professional their customer support is as well.
Just like anything else online, you can easily find reviews of a casino on the web. So as a last point of judgement you can research whether a casino has a historical record of providing a fair and professional service to their customers.
I would be wary of playing at any online casino that hasn't been active over at least 5 years regardless of how lucrative their promotions might be. As mentioned earlier, it is certainly not an unusual occurrence for a casino to close up shop and refuse customers access to their funds.
You should also be wary that many websites (including us) are affiliates of casinos and get paid a commission if you choose to play there. So you should never take a particular website's review at face value and ignore doing the due diligence in researching further into a casino's credibility.
Ok now on to looking at some actual fun stuff!
Depending on which casino you decide to play at, the software that they are powered by is going to determine what your options are. It's also quite common for a casino to be powered by multiple software vendors so that their customers have plenty of options to choose from.
Real Time Gaming, Microgaming and Betsoft tend to have the most RNG blackjack variations but in my opinion playing against a live dealer is the most fun.
My favourite live dealer software is Evolution Gaming and we'll touch on that later in this article.
Another sign of a good casino is can they provide a good mobile experience.
A lot of the smaller non reputable casinos use old technology and can not provide a decent mobile experience (if any at all) and rely on oldschool flash on a desktop browser for their site to function.
And when I mean mobile I mean for both Android and iOS devices. Some casinos, for example LeoVegas, go the extra mile and provide dedicated iOS/Android apps you can install to your device and play online blackjack with real money through.
However there are certainly many reputable casinos that simply allow you to play from version within the browser that doesn't require a dedicated app.
The future is now!
We have an entire section on live blackjack but I'll touch on it briefly here. Here's a video of what it looks like
Live blackjack is a relatively new thing at casinos and due to technology advancements in internet speeds, we can now play on a multiplayer table against a physical dealer streamed over video.
It genuinely does simulate a real casino vibe and the social interaction between other players and the dealer really makes for a fun experience and will make you totally forget about ever playing the RNG tables again.
The rules generally tend to be:
Depending on the casino, there are usually up to 8 seats per table with the option to bet behind other players as well.
Not many casinos are able to provide this yet but here are some notable ones that are leading the pack:
Be wary though that it takes a lot of data to stream to mobile so it's highly recommended to be connected to wifi
Ok so I'm exaggeating slightly but EVERY online casino has a sign up bonus of some sort that sounds like they're giving away free cash.
Unfortunately the vast majority of these promotions aren't as lucrative as they sound and even worse, they don't apply very well to blackjack. That's why it's extremely important to read over the terms and conditions to be clear of the wage requirements
Wage requirements are the amount that you have to wager before being able to cashout on any bonus received.
So let's take for example Royal Vegas has a 100% sign up bonus up to $300 and I deposited $300 to get the maximum $300 bonus. The wage requirement is 50x the bonus which means I will have to wager $15,000 in total before I can withdraw these bonus funds.
So as you can see, the wage requirement is pretty difficult to meet but here's the worst part, blackjack only contributes 2% to the wage requirement!
This means that if I were to play blackjack only, I would have to wager a whopping $750,000!
This is because blackjack has a low house edge so the casino would prefer you to play other games (like slots which has 100% contribution to wage requirements) so that your chances of clearing the bonus is significantly less.
Most casinos structure their bonuses like this so if you do choose to play blackjack online do not claim any bonus they offer!
Contrary to what some people may say:
No! Nope! Nup!
The rules are just not conducive to allow for card counting to be effective.
The biggest problem is that the decks are shuffled on too regular a basis so the deck penetration will always be too low to gain any profit.
It's quite rare but some casinos do offer online blackjack tournaments (in RNG format) and the way they usually work is each participant starts with a certain amount of chips to start with and are given a time limit to play. At the end of the time limit, the player with the highest amount of chips wins.
Visit our tournament monitor to see when the next upcoming tournmanet is on.
In the United States, gambling online is in a legal gray zone so let’s address any concerns before looking into which casinos allow US players.
First of all, if you are from the US there is no federal law that prohibits you from gambling online and it is completely safe.
The only online casinos that are regulated and legally operated in the United States are those that are located in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Now due to the UIGEA, it is currently ILLEGAL for banks to process any online gambling transactions so many online casinos have moved their operations offshore.
If you don’t reside in either of the above three states listed then your only option is to play at an offshore online casino. For further clarification, you can read more about US online gambling legislation here.
Even if you reside in a state that does have a ban on gambling online, law enforcement has historically shown no interest in prosecuting players. And even if they were to action, they would most likely be targeting establishments rather than the players themselves.
However what you certainly do need to be mindful of is the reputation of any offshore casino you choose to play at. Since they don’t fall under US jurisdiction, there is no telling how well regulated these operations are and if they are running a fair and serviceable casino.
You are essentially unprotected if for example they were to just close up shop and disappear with your funds.
An example of a casino like this is Lock Poker who went rogue and closed down in 2015. Unable to pay their customers, it is said they owe over $1,000,000 to at least 400 players.
In our opinion Bovada is by far the best choice available for US residents at the moment (unless you reside in New Jersey, Nevada or Delaware where there are local legally licensed operators). They have the best live dealers and you have the option to play on mobile too.
Whilst their withdrawal option via check is horrible, they do offer withdrawing via Bitcoin which is super quick and reliable.
The alternative option is Betonline however their reputation took a bit of a hit in 2017 after being accused of cheating
Now you guys are spoiled for choice.
My recommendation would be based off any casino that runs Evolution Gaming software because their blackjack live dealers provide the most entertaining experience and are the best at keeping things lively, energetic and interactive.
Reputable big names include - 888 Casino, William Hill, Bwin
Similar to UK options, I'd go with a casino that runs on Evolution Gaming for the live dealer experience.
The only difference with the Canadian casinos is that there are less options in payment methods. For example, Paypal is widely accepted in the UK but not accepted at all in Canada.
So be careful if you're from Canada and you visit a casino that says they accept Paypal, they're referring to their UK customers only.
Reputable big names include - 888 Casino, LeoVegas, Mr. Green
One of the main differences between playing online and at a brick and mortar casino is the varieties of blackjack available. Depending on which online casino you play at, the software they run will dictate what's available which you can read about for further information here.
For example, Bovada offers a variation called European Blackjack which differs in that the dealer does not receive a second card until the player has completed all their decisions.
For more information, you can visit our resource for a list of all online blackjack game variations.
Refer to the table below for a breakdown of how each software provider's blackjack variations differ and affect the house edge
|Software||Blackjack Variation||BJ Pays||Soft 17||Double||Re-Split Aces||Surrender||House Edge||Total Decks|
|Realtime Gaming||Blackjack||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.54%||6|
|Realtime Gaming||Match Play 21||3:2||Hit||Any 2||Yes||Yes||0.63%||6|
|Realtime Gaming||Perfect Pairs Blackjack||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.54%||6|
|Realtime Gaming||Pontoon||2:1||Hit||Any 2||Yes||Yes||0.65%||2|
|Realtime Gaming||Super 21||1:1||Hit||Any 2||No||No||1.06%||6|
|Realtime Gaming||Suit ‘Em Up Blackjack||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||4.65%||6|
|Realtime Gaming||European Blackjack||3:2||Stand||9 to 11||No||No||0.75%||6|
|Realtime Gaming||Face Up 21||1:1||Hit||9 to 11||No||No||0.75%||6|
|Bodog||Single Deck Blackjack||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.19%||1|
|Bodog||European Blackjack||3:2||Stand||9 to 11||No||No||0.66%||6|
|Bodog||Double Deck Blackjack||3:2||Stand||Any 2||No||No||0.20%||2|
|Bodog||Perfect Pairs Blackjack||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.58%||6|
|Bodog||Zappit Blackjack||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||1.15%||6|
|Rival||Mutli-hand Blackjack||3:2||Hit||9 to 11||No||No||0.9%||8|
|BetSoft||21 Burn||1:1||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.54%||6|
|BetSoft||Blackjack||3:2||Stand||10 or 11||No||No||0.65%||6|
|BetSoft||European Blackjack||3:2||Stand||9 to 11||No||No||0.66%||6|
|BetSoft||Pirate 21||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.76%||6|
|BetSoft||Single Deck Blackjack||3:2||Hit||10 or 11||No||No||0.38%||1|
|BetSoft||Super 7||3:2||Stand||Any 2||No||No||0.46%||6|
|iSoftBet||Blackjack Multi-Hand VIP||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.47%||8|
|iSoftBet||Blackjack Atlantic City||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.39%||8|
|SoftSwiss||Blackjack||3:2||Stand||9 to 11||No||No||0.56%||6|
|SoftSwiss||Blackjack Surrender||3:2||Stand||9 to 11||No||No||0.62%||8|
|SoftSwiss||European Blackjack||3:2||Stand||9 to 11||No||No||0.67%||6|
|SoftSwiss||Mutli-hand Blackjack||3:2||Stand||9 to 11||No||No||0.62%||4|
|Microgaming||Blackjack Atlantic City||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.35%||8|
|Microgaming||Blackjack Atlantic City Gold||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.38%||8|
|Microgaming||Classic Blackjack||3:2||Stand||Any 2||No||No||0.40%||5|
|Microgaming||European Blackjack Redeal||3:2||Stand||9 to 11||No||No||0.40%||2|
|Microgaming||Vegas Downtown Blackjack||3:2||Hit||Any 2||No||No||0.38%||2|
|Microgaming||Double Exposure Blackjack||1:1||Hit||9 to 11||No||No||0.32%||8|
|Microgaming||Vegas Strip||3:2||Stand||Any 2||No||No||0.35%||4|
|Microgaming||Blackjack Multi-Hand||3:2||Stand||Any 2||Yes||Yes||0.45%||6|
|Net Entertainment||Blackjack||3:2||Stand||Any 2||No||No||0.44%||4|
|Net Entertainment||Double Exposure Blackjack||3:2||Stand||9 to 11||No||No||0.9%||6|
|Net Entertainment||Pontoon||2:1||Hit||Any 2||Yes||Yes||0.38%||5|
|Playtech||Blackjack Surrender||3:2||Stand||Any 2||No||No||0.35%||6|
|Playtech||Blackjack Switch||1:1||Hit||9 to 11||No||No||0.14%||6|
|Playtech||Lucky Blackjack||3:2||Stand||Any 2||No||No||0.04%||1|
|Random Logic||Classic Blackjack||3:2||Stand||Any 2||No||No||0.33%||4|
|Random Logic||Blackjack Multi-Hand||3:2||Stand||Any 2||Yes||Yes||0.45%||6|
Here is the basic strategy chart for playing online blackjack. Depending on the variation being played you may want to adjust your decision making accordingly to the rules which can be done using the Blackjack Strategy Engine.BLACKJACK STRATEGY ENGINE
|Ace + 2||H||H||H||D||D||H||H||H||H||H|
|Ace + 3||H||H||H||D||D||H||H||H||H||H|
|Ace + 4||H||H||D||D||D||H||H||H||H||H|
|Ace + 5||H||H||D||D||D||H||H||H||H||H|
|Ace + 6||H||D||D||D||D||H||H||H||H||H|
|Ace + 7||DS||DS||DS||DS||DS||S||S||H||H||H|
|Ace + 8||S||S||S||S||DS||S||S||S||S||S|
|Ace + 9||S||S||S||S||S||S||S||S||S||S|
We only list and advocate certified and regulated casinos that do provide a genuine and fair experience. There certainly are online casinos that do not play fair though which we will not list on this site.
With the large amount of play I’ve recorded, I feel pretty confident in stating that the games I’ve played are fair. That is, they accurately mimic the games you would find in a land-based casino. I’ve wagered over $300,000 online and I’ve lost a total of 0.6% of that amount. Ken Smith
Depends where you live. If you are uncertain, you can check the terms and conditions of the online casino you wish to play at which will state what countries they restrict from playing.
If you are in the United States it can get a bit confusing so we recommend reading this article for further clarification.
Yes. Sites advocated here are regulated to provide a safe and secure transaction process with the same type of encryption technology used at major online vendors.
Depends where you live. We have written an in depth article to address this topic here.
If you are not gambling responsibly and it is becoming an issue that is affecting your life, we urge you to seek help by visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling or any local authority that can provide assistance.
The NCPG can also be contacted by on 1-800-522-4700 or through their online chat services located here.