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For fans of table games in the United States, Blackjack needs no introduction. The game’s objective is to beat the dealer without going over 21.
So if you are ready to race to 21, our experts at CasinoUSA are happy to share some of the basics, strategies, tips, tricks, bonuses and more.
If you are looking to play Online Blackjack for Real Money, jump straight to our expert guide from here to find out which are the best US real money casinos.
For the most part, Blackjack is an exciting game with the potential to win big money. However, that’s only if you play with a cool head and stick to the rules and basic strategies. If you want to learn how to play blackjack, the first important thing is to understand the game’s basics, after which you can test that knowledge out for free through online blackjack demos like the one below.
Blackjack is straightforward to understand. You need to learn when to place bets, strategies like card counting, when to increase bets, and much more. While a land-based casino may seem a great place to take a shot at blackjack it is always prudent to begin your affair with the game online, or you can experience the same thing by playing at the live dealer online blackjack casinos.
There are some excellent sites where you can play online blackjack for free or with cash and we will guide you to the very best.
Play Demo Blackjack Online for Free
What Is Free Online Blackjack?
Free online blackjack is any game of blackjack that you can play without making a real money stake. Free blackjack games are usually available on online casinos or game review websites, permitting players to test online gambling games for free.
When you load a free blackjack online game, you can still see the money displayed in your balance, so the game will behave as if you’re playing for real. Of course, this is a virtual balance with no actual monetary value.
You can also set your wager and use other options and features of that particular blackjack title. If your virtual balance runs out, you can always reload the game, and the balance will reset to its original figure.
Mind that you can only find RNG-based blackjack games in free mode. Live dealer blackjack games always require a real-money balance.
Advantages of Free Play
Blackjack is a famous gambling game, so you might be wondering what’s even the point of playing it for free. Well, there are several reasons why you might want to try online blackjack this way.
Learning the Rules
Blackjack has relatively straightforward rules. Even so, a beginner should always play a few free rounds of blackjack to minimize the risks of making a mistake when playing for real.
Also, you can always run into a new blackjack variant with new rules and features, and the least risky approach to getting familiar with them is by playing for free.
Testing the Game Out
Numerous software providers can make a single blackjack variant.
It’s always good to see how the game behaves and whether its interface and visuals suit you before investing any real money.
Practicing Your Strategies
If you’re serious about making money when playing blackjack, you should learn different blackjack strategies, like the basic strategy or card counting. However, these strategies could prove challenging to master, meaning you’ll likely make more mistakes at the beginning.
That’s why you should always practice your strategies on a free blackjack game because even if you make a mistake, it won’t cost you anything.
There are also strategy charts that you can take a look at if you’re stick on when to hit, stand, double down or spilt.
Just Having Fun
Last but not least, there’s the element of fun. While there’s a strong argument that blackjack is most fun when you play it for real money, you can still get pleasure from playing and winning even when you know you won’t score a profit.
Also, if you don’t have a gambling budget or simply don’t want to spend any money gambling, this is the only way to see what it feels like to play games like blackjack.
Disadvantages of Playing Blackjack for Free
Free online blackjack has plenty of advantages, but we must also talk about why it’s far from an ideal way of playing this game.
Winning Feels Like a Missed Opportunity
Free blackjack is like a two-edged sword — you don’t lose anything even if you play poorly, but you also don’t win anything when you play great, and luck is on your side.
The worst feeling when playing free blackjack is when you hit a hot streak and start winning hand after hand. In those moments, it’s hard not to think about the actual profit you would have made if you decided to play for real.
It Doesn’t Perfectly Reflect Real-Money Play
While the rules, features, and RNG should be identical in both the free and real-money versions of an online blackjack game, the player’s thought process and decision-making will likely not be the same.
When there’s no risk of losing money, you might double down on a hand you otherwise wouldn’t. In other words, you’ll only feel real pressure when playing for real money, and no amount of free play can prepare you for it.
It Gets Boring After a While
While free online blackjack is a great way to learn the rules and practice your strategies, you will probably lose interest in playing the game this way.
When there’s no money involved, excitement levels are pretty low.
Online Blackjack Basics
Understanding basic blackjack rules is essential for players to improve their game and increase their chances of winning.
Blackjack objective: to create a hand with a higher total than the dealer but not going beyond 21.
Players compare their hands with their dealer. In the beginning, each bet is placed in the betting box.
Each player is dealt two cards face-up while the dealer receives one card face up. Once the players have drawn their cards the dealer’s hand is completed.
Blackjack card values:
Ace – 1 or 11
2-9 – Same value
Jack, Queen & King – 10
If you have a hand (Ace, 3), the value can be 4 or 14. If the next card drawn is a 5, you will have a hand of (Ace, 3, 5). In this case, the Ace takes on the value of 11 to make a total of 19. If you drew 8 instead of 5, the Ace will take the value of 1 or else the total would be 22 and you will lose the bet.
Blackjack rules are fairly similar throughout the globe, except for a few variations. The dealer’s hand value is most important while the value of other player’s hands does not matter. Showing your cards to the dealer or other players does not pose a problem especially in a shoe game where the cards are dealt face up.
Blackjack Dealer Rules
- The dealer deals in a clockwise direction starting with the player on his left.
- Each player receives two cards while the dealer flips one of his cards to reveal its value.
- Players’ cards are dealt face down in hand held games while they are dealt face up in shoe games.
- Each player is allowed to pick up his or her initial cards with one hand while subsequent cards are to be left on the table.
- The player to the left of the dealer will indicate how he wants to play his hand after the cards are dealt.
- The dealer completes his hand after every other player finishes and then pays or collects the bets.
Another rule for the dealer is that he will have to Hit (draw cards) until the total value of his hand exceeds 17. The rule states that the ‘dealer stands on all 17s’. In the case of the dealer an Ace is counted as 11 unless the hand value exceeds 21.
Blackjack rules may vary where some may be good for a player and some not to his advantage. Some of the common variations include double downs after splitting pairs. It reduces the house advantage by around .13 percent.
Some casinos offer players the surrender option. An ‘early surrender’ is when a player takes the option before the dealer looks under a ten while a ‘late surrender’ is accomplished after the dealer peaks for blackjack. If you have a bad hand like a hard 15 or 16 against the dealer’s up-card of Ace or 10, the surrender can be helpful.
Another important aspect in blackjack is to understand the dealer’s role. When the dealer’s total exceeds 21, every player with a total of 21 or less win or else the dealer’s total points is compared with each player’s total.
Understanding payouts is also essential. Other than blackjack that pays 3 to 2, winning bets are paid even money. In the event of a tie (push), you keep your original bet.
Blackjack Player options
As a player, you have the option to Surrender, Hit/Stand, Double Down, Split, and get Insurance.
If you feel that the odds are against you and you have a losing hand then you can quit or ‘Surrender’.
It is wiser to lose half your original stake than all your money. This option is available only before you draw the third card, split or double.
During the game you need to decide whether to draw (hit) another card or play with the two initial cards dealt (stand).
If you think you have great potential to win you can double your bet. If the dealer has an open card of 4 or 5 and you have a 4 and 7, the chances of winning are greater.
This option can be used before the third card is drawn.
Two initial cards with the same value can be split into two separate hands and played independently. There’s more on splitting pairs in the tips section.
There is usually no restriction on the number of times a player can split but some casinos may have specific rules so make sure to read the house rules before you begin.
The dealer offers ‘Insurance’ to players when his open card is an Ace since the chances of the dealer getting a blackjack or ‘natural’ is much higher.
If you agree to such an offer you will need to place half your original bet.
If the value of the facedown card is not a 10-value card, your winning bet will be paid at 2:1 odds.
Free vs. Real Money Blackjack
To summarize what we discussed in this article, playing free blackjack can be advantageous if playing for specific purposes like learning the rules and practicing strategies. It is also a good option when a new online blackjack game comes out and you wish to test it out.
While free online blackjack can also be fun on its own, nothing beats the excitement of playing it for real money. This is where you’ll see how good your performance is and get the actual joy of winning and making a profit.
We advise starting with free blackjack, especially if you’re a beginner, and moving to real-money games once you feel ready.
Online Blackjack Strategy
- Make sure to understand the house rules, which can vary.
- Stick to your budget and play safe by staking around 3 to 5% of your bankroll. This is a good way to protect your bankroll.
- When on a total of 17 avoid drawing any more cards until the dealer gets to or exceeds 17. Let the dealer draw, not you.
- Do not split if you have two cards with a face value of 10. This is because the dealer will find it hard to beat a total hand of 20. The going will be tough if you split and then land up with a 6 and 5.
- Don’t split a pair of 5s. You could end up with a good hand if you have an 8 or higher. Split only if you have a pair of 8s otherwise you could be in a difficult spot with a total of 16. If you draw you will need a 5 or less to remain in the game.
- It may not be wise to split if the dealer has a 10 since the dealer will have to draw until he gets to 17 or close. If the dealer will need to draw again if he draws a 6 and also face the prospects of losing since any value over 5 will hand over the game to you with your pair of 8s.
- If you have two Aces then it may be prudent to split. You will make a blackjack if your next card is a 10. The dealer will have to match that. If the dealer pulls an ace you can buy insurance against the dealer making a blackjack.
Then again, there’s much more to playing Blackjack. From side bets to house edge, Blackjack etiquette, online Blackjack strategies, terminology and everything in between, we promise to keep you posted so stick around at CasinoUSA.com and you will soon beat the dealer at his own game more frequently than you reckoned for.
There you have it, folks! We hope this article made you understand more about online blackjack and why you should give free blackjack a try.
If you ever decide to play blackjack for real money, feel free to read our other articles for an more in-depth view on online blackjack rules, basic blackjack strategy, card counting, and other interesting topics.
Online Blackjack FAQ
Whether you already have some experience with Blackjack in traditional casinos or are making your first steps with internet Blackjack, having a clear idea of the basics of the online version is important for a good gambling experience.
With that in mind, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Blackjack in online casinos.
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