Blackjack is a staple at most every Australian casino. Luckily, online blackjack is similarly popular. Whether you’re looking to play for real money or just for fun, there’s a lot of variety in where and how you can play blackjack. Here are our top choices for where you can start playing this classic card game, including offered bonuses and our ratings.
As with many casino card games, the majority of free blackjack games use a random number generator, as opposed to an actual dealer, to deal cards. In this respect, online blackjack can be thought of as a simulated game, similar to video poker.
Some of these types of web browser games also allow you to play blackjack using real money, and they are typically tied to the casinos that host them. These casinos generally offer site-wide bonuses; the rating in the table above considers how good those bonuses are in delivering a ranking.
While bonuses are a great incentive, minimum bets and withdrawal limits may affect which casino it is you’d like to play blackjack at. Remember also to play responsibly, and never bet more than you can afford to – playing blackjack should always be a good time.
The Rules of Online Blackjack
Every blackjack game is very straightforward, which may be a factor in how popular it is. While multiple people can play blackjack at once, they are not competing against each other; each individual player is only competing against the dealer. The goal in a blackjack game is to have your cards add up to 21, and the person closest without going over (“going bust”) wins.
A game of online blackjack starts when both you and the dealer are dealt two cards, though only one of the dealer’s cards will be face-up. In blackjack, cards are all worth a specific amount of points:
Aces are worth one or 11, depending on what the player needs.
Numbered cards are worth their value. For example, the 5 of Hearts is five points.
Face cards (Kings, Queens, and Jokers) are all worth 10.
A “natural blackjack” occurs when a player is dealt an ace and a 10 or face card, adding up exactly to 21.
If players are dissatisfied with what they are dealt, they can “hit” to be dealt another card. If they are happy with the cards they’ve received, they can “stand” with their current hand. Blackjack strategy mainly revolves around knowing when to hit and when to stand.
The blackjack game ends when the dealer flips over their face-down card (the “hole card”) and reveals whether they are closer to 21 than you are. All cards are then shuffled back into the deck, but because online blackjack relies on that random number generator, you can play again instantly.
Variations of Online Blackjack
Standard blackjack is a lot of fun, but sometimes you may want to try something different. The majority of online blackjack websites offer one or more different kinds of blackjack, with slight adjustments to the rule set. Some of the more popular online blackjack variants are:
Atlantic City Blackjack: this version from New Jersey is very favorable to the player, but doesn’t pay quite as well as other blackjack games, with a payment of 1.5:1 for a blackjack. The dealer must hit on 16 or less, and stand on 16 or higher.
Pontoon Blackjack: a slightly more difficult spin on traditional blackjack, where both of the dealer’s cards are face down. Additionally, ties are won by the dealer, and players must hit if their cards total 14 or lower, and stand if they total 15 or higher.
European Blackjack: the key difference in this version of online blackjack is that the dealer only draws their second card after all of the players have finished their turns. If there is a live dealer, this prevents them from checking to see if they have blackjack before the game ends.
Blackjack Switch: in this newer variant, players bet on and receive two hands, and are allowed to switch the top cards between them. Natural blackjacks are only worth 1:1, and if the dealer gets 22, it ties all player hands except for a natural blackjack.
Traditional blackjack has been around for centuries, and will never go out of style. However, you might find your new favorite game when you play a blackjack variant. You don’t need any cumbersome rulebooks; all you need to do is click on a different game at your chosen online blackjack casino.
Live Dealer Blackjack
Live dealer blackjack is an interesting mix between visiting a casino and playing an online game. Through the use of modern streaming technology, players can bet on games that are happening in real time. As opposed to most other online blackjack games, the dealer, cards, and table are all real, and are streamed to your browser or mobile device. If only for the novelty, we recommend playing this unique kind of online blackjack at least once.
How Often Will I Win?
As with all games, when you play blackjack, you want to win. Since blackjack is so straightforward, your odds of winning at a casino and when playing online blackjack are the same. That said, it’s important to note that different casinos offer different payouts. Rating these, a 3:2 payout for getting a natural blackjack is better than a 6:5 payout, because the latter has a slimmer margin. It’s said that the average player will get a natural blackjack once every 21 games.
Some variants offer different payouts for a natural blackjack, but winning in any other fashion will always pay 1:1. Regardless of your blackjack strategy, it is believed that any player should win at least 48% of their games, whether playing real or online blackjack.
While there will likely be a bonus if you are playing online blackjack through a casino’s website, the game itself does not offer any bonus payouts.