Blackjack is one of the most popular online casino games, and it’s easy to see why. This card game is a thrilling mix of strategy and luck and offers some of the lowest house edges of all casino games. With plenty of variations on offer, including live dealer tables, there’s plenty of fun to be had. This is why we’ve picked out the very best online blackjack sites, so that you can easily compare and pick out your favourite. Want to find out more about this much-loved casino classic? Read on for everything you need to know about playing blackjack online.
How to play blackjack
The aim of the game is to beat the dealer by hitting a higher card total than them without exceeding 21. In blackjack, number cards are their face value, face cards are worth 10, while Aces are worth 1 or 11, depending on which suits your hand. The exact rules vary depending on the blackjack variation you’re playing, but most games play out in a similar way. Before we take a look at how a game of blackjack plays out, let’s take a look at the moves available to players:
Hit – You’re dealt another card to add to your hand.
Stand – You keep your hand as it is and don’t receive any more cards.
Split – If your first two cards are the same value, you can choose to split them into two separate hands. You’ll need to add a second bet equal to the first if you split.
Double down – You double your initial bet and receive one more card before standing. In some variations, you can’t double down after splitting.
Surrender – This move is only available in certain games and allows you to surrender the round and only lose half your bet.
Now we’ve got to grips with the blackjack moves, let’s take a step-by-step look at how to play blackjack:
The dealer deals two cards to both yourself and the house. Your two cards will be dealt face up, while the dealer will have one face up and one face down — which is known as the hole card.
If you or the dealer get a ‘natural’ blackjack on the first draw, then the round ends there. If not, you can choose to hit, stand, double down or split.
If either you or the dealer hit, another card is dealt. The process then repeats until both players stand, one player hits 21, or goes bust. If both players stand, the one with the hand closest to 21 wins the round.
Blackjack House Edge Explained
One of the biggest draws of blackjack is that it offers some of the lowest house edges of all casino games. As blackjack is partly skill-based, the house edge is affected by your strategy. This means that, unlike in other games like slots and roulette, making the right moves can give you a better chance of winning. The house edge for a standard blackjack game when playing with basic strategy is around 0.42%. The house edge differs depending on the blackjack variation you’re playing and whether you’re wagering on side bets.
You can check the return to player (RTP) of online blackjack games by clicking on the ‘i’ or ‘help’ button once you load up a game. The house edge is the opposite of the RTP – so if the RTP is 95.8%, the house edge is 4.2%.
Improve Your Game with Blackjack Strategy
If you want the most favourable house edge, you’ll need to use the optimal blackjack strategy, known as basic strategy. This involves knowing what move to make depending on the strength of your hand. While blackjack strategy can’t guarantee you a win, seeing as you have no control over what cards are drawn, it can lower the house edge.
Some basic blackjack strategy tips are well known and easy to remember, such as always hit on a hard 11 or always stand on a hard 17. It’s not easy to learn the right move for every scenario by heart, but there are many blackjack strategy charts available online which tell you the best move to make. Luckily, you can play online blackjack while having your strategy chart at hand until you get the hang of things.
It’s important to remember that even if you master blackjack and learn how to implement basic strategy, the house will still have an edge and win in the long run. Speaking to Compare.bet, GamCare’s Head of Marketing and Communication, Catherine Sweet, told us:
“One of our key messages is that gambling is not a way to make money – the longer you gamble, the more you will lose. It’s important to recognise that you can’t affect chance, no matter how long you play for.”
Get Clued in on Blackjack Payouts
In classic blackjack, the payout for blackjack is 3:2, or 1.5 times your bet amount. If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealers or the dealer goes bust, you’ll receive a 1:1 payout. In most variations, if the round ends in a tie and both the player and the dealer’s hands are the same, then your bets for that round are returned to you.
Lots of blackjack variations offer different payout rates. For example, many variations that have additional rules that benefit the player, like seeing both the dealer’s first cards, make up for this advantage by offering lower payout rates. Similarly, some games have rules that make it harder for the player but make up for this with increased payouts.
Try out Different Blackjack Variations
There are a wide range of exciting game variations available at the UK’s best blackjack sites. Let’s take a look at the top titles on offer.
Blackjack surrender – This variation allows you to cut your losses if you don’t fancy your first hand by only losing half your bet. While most games don’t allow you to surrender if the dealer gets a natural, a few variations do – this is known as early surrender.
Blackjack switch – In blackjack switch, you’re dealt two hands instead of one. You can choose to switch the second cards of each hand to create the strongest possible hands.
Double exposure – Here, both the dealers cards are face up. This is an advantage for the player, but casinos make up for this by offering slightly lower payouts. In this variation the dealer also wins on ties unless you land a natural.
Pontoon – This is essentially the opposite to double exposure – both the dealer’s cards are face down. This obviously makes things more difficult for the player, but in exchange there’s an increased payout for natural blackjack of 2:1 rather than 3:2.
Multi-hand blackjack – This variation uses the standard blackjack rules but lets you play multiple hands at once. Some games even allow you to play up to five hands at a time.
Mix Things up with Blackjack Side Bets
Many online blackjack games have optional side bets that you can wager on as well as wagering on your hand. These bets are separate to the main game and are based purely on luck. Side bets are popular because they offer high payouts if you get lucky. The side bets on offer vary depending on the blackjack game you’re playing, but here are the most popular:
Perfect pairs – This is a bet that your first two cards will be a pair. The payout depends on the strength of the pairing – a ‘perfect’ pair of the same rank and suit usually pays out 25:1, while a red and black pair typically pays 6:1.
23+1 – Here you’re betting that your first two cards and the dealer’s hole card will form a flush, straight, three of a king, straight flush or suited three of a kind. Again, the payouts depend on the strength of the hand. For example, in Playtech’s All Bets Blackjack, a flush pays out 5:1 while a suited three of a kind pays out 100:1.
Insurance – If the dealer’s hole card is an Ace, you can insure your bets against the dealer by placing an insurance bet equal to half the amount of your initial wager. If the dealer does have blackjack your insurance bet pays 2:1, meaning you don’t lose your original bet.
Progressive – Some blackjack games offer a progressive jackpot sidebet. In most progressive blackjack variations, this involves betting on Aces. Depending on the variation, you may need to draw four consecutive Aces of the same suit to land the jackpot.
While side bets offer high payouts, they also increase the house edge due to the slim odds involved. For example, your chances of correctly betting on a perfect pair is only around 1.6%.
Our Top Five Picks
The Best Blackjack Sites
Utilising crisp graphics and random number generator software, 888’s range of virtual games offers players a great range of blackjack titles. This includes Multihand Blackjack where you can play with up to five hands, and Blackjack Blazing 7’s which features a side bet that rewards players if they’re dealt sevens. The variety of live blackjack offerings is similarly impressive. The selection includes exclusive 888-branded tables and innovative variants like Majority Rules Speed Blackjack which comes with a community-based mechanic that allows multiple players to vote on whether to hit, stand, double or split.
Aspers Casino’s blackjack selection includes playful takes like Zappit Blackjack. The title lives up to its name by allowing players to ‘zap’ — i.e, swap out — their initial cards if they add up to a hard 15-18. There are also classic versions of blackjack to be explored by players who prefer to stick to old school gameplay. While over in the live casino section, the stakes can be raised in the opulent setting of the Salon Privé Blackjack. More casual players may prefer to head to Blackjack Party, which puts the emphasis on laid-back fun with music and plenty of bubbly dealer banter.
Grosvenor has a sprawling online presence with some interesting blackjack variations to accompany its well known land-based casino collection. The unique First Person Blackjack is a virtual, RNG-based game from Evolution, a software developer best known for its live dealer titles. As such, this title replicates the feel of a live game with life-like, 3D visuals. Other variants at Grosvenor include Atlantic City Blackjack and even Deal or No Deal Blackjack, where the notorious Banker offers players deals in between rounds. The live dealer menu is also well-stocked, with fast-faced Speed Blackjack and several Grosvenor-branded tables among the offerings.
Alongside its plethora of poker options, Pokerstars also has a fully-fledged casino section. Here, it’s possible to enjoy RNG versions of classic blackjack, as well as a few high roller versions too. Players who prefer to take on real dealers in the race to 21 will find plenty here as well. The titles include Power Blackjack, which allows you to not just double down but triple and quadruple down too. There’s also Free Bet Blackjack, where free double down and split bet options are on the table.
Paddy Power Games
While Paddy Power is still most associated with sports betting in many people’s minds, its online casino site is a draw in its own right. RNG games are available, including Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack, with its special side bet that can potentially lead to a player winning 7,777 times their stake. It is its live blackjack offering that the casino puts to the forefront, however. Paddy Power-branded variants sit alongside popular live dealer games like Infinite Blackjack, which allows for unlimited seats at the table, and lets players place a whole series of side bets.
Live Dealer Blackjack
Enjoy an Immersive Live Blackjack Experience
Fancy a more realistic game of blackjack? Live dealer blackjack is as close as it gets to being at an actual land-based casino. The top live games are streamed in HD from purpose built studios, so they look and feel just like the real thing. Games are also run by professionally trained dealers using authentic equipment, making for more immersive blackjack gaming.
The UK’s best online blackjack sites host a wide range of tables to choose from. There are different variations on offer, with different side bets and betting limits, including low stakes games. Live dealer blackjack games are also a great option for high rollers, as the top sites host exclusive VIP tables, some of which allow you to bet as much as £20,000 per hand.
Blackjack Software Providers
The Best Blackjack Software Developers
A number of the top casino software providers have developed online blackjack games. As casinos often use different software, the blackjack titles on offer vary from site to site, so knowing the differences between providers can help you find the best blackjack site for you. Here are the developers responsible for the top blackjack titles:
NetEnt is one of the biggest casino software providers and has developed a range of both animated and live dealer blackjack games. When it comes to RNG blackjack titles, NetEnt has developed games like Pontoon, Single Deck Blackjack and Double Exposure Blackjack. NetEnt also offers great live dealer blackjack tables, including the industry first Perfect Blackjack, which deals cards according to perfect blackjack strategy. There’s also Common Draw Blackjack, which caters to an unlimited number of players at each table.
This developer is the leading provider of live casino software, so it’s blackjack offering is naturally top notch. From low stakes Blackjack Party and Infinite Blackjack to VIP Salon Privé tables, there’s something for players of all budgets. Evolution’s live blackjack tables feature Bet Behind, which allows you to place bets on players’ hands while you wait for a seat, as well as side bets such as perfect pairs and 21+3. These games are also some of the most realistic live blackjack games you can play at online casinos.
Playtech is another developer that boasts a range of both RNG and live blackjack titles. When it comes to the live casino, Ultimate Blackjack enables an endless number of players to join in the fun at the same time. Some of the top animated blackjack games from Playtech include Lucky Lucky Blackjack and Buster Blackjack, which offer some unique side bet opportunities. Other variations include Double Attack Blackjack, Blackjack Peek and Free Chip Blackjack, so it’s safe to say Playtech games are ideal for players who fancy mixing up their gameplay.
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This software giant has developed some of the best animated blackjack games. There are loads of exciting variations to try out if you’re bored of classic blackjack, including Spanish Blackjack, Super Fun 21, and Single Deck Blackjack. There’s even High Streak Blackjack that offers a side bet that boosts your returns each time you win. Microgaming is a good option for high rollers, with a range of high limit variations. There’s also the famous Gold Series blackjack games with enhanced graphics and soundtracks, creating a more immersive gaming experience.
Play Blackjack on Your Mobile
You don’t need to be sat on your desktop to play online blackjack. These days, the top software providers develop their blackjack games specifically with mobile players in mind, meaning they’re perfectly optimised to the smaller touch screens of iPhones and Androids. The best developers have also adapted many of their older titles for mobile player, meaning you have plenty of mobile blackjack games to choose from, including live blackjack games.
All the top online casinos we recommend have mobile-friendly websites, so you can play mobile blackjack through your smartphone web browser. Some of the best blackjack sites have also developed native mobile apps, which make for an even better mobile gaming experience. This is because mobile casino apps make it quicker and easier to navigate from your home screen to your favourite titles They also come with push notifications, which means you’ll be alerted to all the latest blackjack bonuses and the hottest new games.
Best Mobile Blackjack Sites
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All British Casino
Blackjack Bonus Offers
Play Real Money Blackjack with a Casino Bonus
Loads of the UK’s best online casinos offer bonuses that you can use to play at real money blackjack tables. Fancy bagging one for yourself? Let’s take a look at the top bonuses on offer when you sign up to the best online blackjack sites.
These welcome deals reward you a bonus fund worth a percentage of your first deposit, up to a certain amount. Some casinos offer as much as £1,000, meaning plenty of bonus funds to use on your favourite online blackjack games!
No deposit offers reward you with bonus funds simply for signing up! These deals aren’t as big as matched deposits, but they’re one of the most generous offers out there. The most common offers are £5 and £10 no deposit.
Make sure to read the terms and conditions before claiming your blackjack bonus. Terms like wagering requirements, game restrictions and win limits determine the true value of a bonus.
Use These Payment Methods for Real Money Blackack
PayPal is a widely support e-wallet that offers free instant deposits, fast withdrawals and secure transactions. PayPal users can fund their casino gameplay with a bank card or bank account without having to disclose any sensitive data with a third party such as a casino.
Neteller is another e-wallet that’s widely accepted at online casinos and offers instant deposits, secure transactions and fast withdrawals. You can also opt for a Net+ virtual prepaid MasterCard. Deposit money into your Neteller account and you can use your virtual card on any site where Mastercard is accepted.
Much like PayPal and Neteller, Skrill lets you make instant online payments without disclosing financial details such as your card number. Skrill users can also gain access to a prepaid MasterCard, accepted anywhere that supports MasterCard payments.
This easy to use prepaid option doesn't require a bank account or debit card. You can choose Paysafecards worth £10 to £175 at your nearest sales outlet. Simply pay with the unique 16-digit code on your Paysafecard.
Play Free Online Blackjack Games
The best blackjack casino sites offer free demo games that you can play without having to deposit. These games are perfect if you just want to play blackjack online for fun. They’re also ideal for new players, as they allow you to get to grips with things and work on your strategy without wagering real money. We’d recommend beginners try free blackjack games before jumping in and putting your own cash on the line.
Live dealer games aren’t available in free play mode, as these games have much higher running costs for online casinos.
Play Online Blackjack Today
We’ve taken you through the ins and outs of playing blackjack online, so you’ve got everything you need to get out there and have a go for yourself. Use our list of the UK’s top casinos for September, 2021 to find the best blackjack site for you. Simply compare, sign up and starting playing blackjack today!
Your Questions Answered
Is online blackjack fair?
Yes. All the casinos on our list are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, which guarantees fair gaming. All the animated blackjack games at these sites use random number generator (RNG) technology and are audited to ensure fairness, while the live blackjack games are run by unbiased dealers.
What’s the difference between hard and soft hands?
You are dealt a hard hand if you’re dealt no ace or if the ace counts as one. A soft hand, however, is when you are dealt an ace that is valued as eleven. If you receive an ace in your first two cards, then it is counted as eleven, but if you choose to add more cards to that hand, the ace will count as one and you will have a hard hand. Drawing a soft hand is advantageous because you can never go bust if you do.
How many decks do online blackjack games use?
Most blackjack games use six or eight decks. A few online casino sites offer single deck blackjack, which has a house edge of around just 0.1% when played using optimal strategy, but this game isn’t available at all casinos. You can also play European blackjack at some online blackjack sites, which uses just two decks.
Can I play online blackjack for free?
Sure. Most of the UK’s best online casinos offer free demo blackjack games that you can play without having to deposit. Free blackjack games are perfect if you just want to play for fun, and they’re also ideal if you want to work on your strategy before playing online blackjack for real money. Keep in mind that you can’t play live dealer blackjack games for free, due to the higher running costs these tables have for online casinos.
Can I play blackjack at new casinos?
Of course. Pretty much all of 2021’s top brand new casinos offer online blackjack games, meaning you can take your pick from both the best latest sites and the more established casino brands.
Can I deposit with PayPal at online blackjack sites?
Yes. Many of the best blackjack casinos accept PayPal deposits and withdrawals, meaning you can enjoy fast and secure casino banking when you play real money blackjack online. Compare the banking options, deposit limits and withdrawal times on offer at different blackjack casino sites to find the one best suited to you.
Can I play all blackjack games on mobile?
Not all of them. While the majority of online blackjack games are suitable for mobile play, some of the older titles haven’t been adapted for smartphones. Don’t worry, though – there are still plenty of top mobile blackjack games to choose from at the bet online casinos.
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