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Blackjack is arguably one of the most popular casino games. You can find online blackjack, daily blackjack tournaments at casinos, multi-player blackjack and even Facebook blackjack. Below we recommend some of our top casino picks for real money blackjack. For those of you interested in money limits, we also recommend the best casinos for high limit blackjack games as well as low limit $1 games.
Often associated with celebrities who have reputations for being wild such as Paris Hilton, P. Diddy and Prince Harry, there are certain rules of etiquette that you should adhere to at the blackjack table. We review those rules below for the benefit of your dignity (and, potentially, your pocketbook).
Free Blackjack Online
Blackjack is a fun game to play, whether you have real money on the line or not. While the idea of playing for no money may appear pointless to some hardened gamblers, it is essentially no different to someone playing Angry Birds or watching a movie, you are simply using your time to entertain yourself.
Apart from entertainment free table games are useful for practicing for real money games and weeding out mistakes as I have covered here. I am also letting you know of the benefits that can be found by using a blackjack training programs. These are also free games with the added advantage of letting you know what you are doing wrong. After that, I have to mention some minor downsides to playing free blackjack – before summarizing some of the best places to find free blackjack games for a number of devices right at the end.
How Free Blackjack Can Develop Your Real Money Games
The main benefit you can gain from playing free blackjack is getting used to the game itself. You can get a feel for how the software of a casino site operates by trying it out before you play for real money. If, for example, you were playing for real money and incorrectly raised your bet size without realising, it could cost you potentially a lot of money. By playing for free money you can make these mistakes for free then move over to real money games when you are used to everything.
Free blackjack games also give you the opportunity to perfect your skills. While basic strategy can easily be followed when playing real money you may feel pressured, especially if you are playing live. By giving yourself chance to practice in play money, you are learning you base skills without risk and added pressures. Card counting should also be tested on sites with suitable games, such as those with few or even single decks, as you do not want to be looking obvious in a casino.
If you are developing new betting strategies, it makes sense to test run them first. Again the no risk nature of the free blackjack games gives you the opportunity to try new things without consequence. An additional bonus when testing new ideas is that you can get through hands far quicker online than if you were dealing them out physically, giving you a much bigger sample size to base results on.
Finally by allowing you to play for free, many casino sites, such as Spin City Casino and Casino Titan give you the chance to try out the different type of blackjack variants they host.
Free Games to Learn With
For the majority of experimentation and entertainment a simple free game will suffice. If you wish to get instant feedback on how you are playing you can find blackjack trainers online. You can purchase these from retailers or find simple custom designed programs online which individuals have made for their webpage or blogs. These are normally built to a simple design in order to explore the math and strategy behind blackjack.
A basic strategy trainer plays like a free game and alert you when you break away from basic strategy before letting you know what the correct play was. Some do this with an alarm, while others display percentages of wins or loses. Some may include both. If you are new to the game having a trainer program for basic strategy will shorten the learning curve considerably.
Card counting trainers also exist.. While practicing card counting with real cards is preferable, online trainers have the advantage of being convenient to play hassle free at any time and a computer’s ability to hold a count without making mistakes.
Free Blackjack – The Negatives
While some may find blackjack an entertaining game by itself, the game is made far more interesting when it is played for money. The added risk and reward of actual money does add another dimension of excitement to blackjack, it is after all designed as a casino game. Without the risk of winning or losing anything to hold attention, rather than playing blackjack the game can easily become a thoughtless exercise of losing time and play chips. Small limit blackjack sites like William Hill offer games as low as 10p, so there are games running that everyone can afford and enjoy.
By playing for free money you are not eligible for the rewards real money can bring, apart from the winnings. All online sites offer bonuses for real money deposits which is free money you unlock by playing on the site. If you play live you can benefit from comps and rewards in your casino, entitling you to anything from free drinks to reduced room rates or even more if you are a high roller. This way you can get more for your time that you will not get playing free games.
Keeping It Fun, Where to Find the Best Free Blackjack Games
There are plenty of free blackjack games available online. Most are often online casinos giving you a taste of what they offer before you go ahead and deposit, others may be training tools to help you improve your game.
Nowadays, there is a whole new genre of free blackjack games which you can play socially – either with your friends or with new people. These games come in app format, or via the many Facebook games, and often include challenges, leader boards or gifts inside the games. The app creators would like you to buy more chips, though most top you up daily without needing to pay.
Regardless of how you use these free games, even if it is a fun time-waster, I hope you continue to enjoy the game of blackjack.
The purpose of this page is to serve as an introduction to the game of blackjack. It includes information about the history of the game, how to play, and how to win. Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in history, and this is due in no small part to the element of strategy involved. Players in blackjack make decisions, and those decisions affect the outcome of the game. Most other casino games don’t offer this level of control.
The History of Blackjack
Most people don’t think of Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote when they think of blackjack, but it’s possibly the first mention of the game in literature. That’s quite a distinction when you consider that Don Quixote is also the first novel ever written—prior to Don Quixote, poems and plays were the primary literary form throughout the world.
The game mentioned in that book wasn’t called blackjack, though—it was called “ventiuna.” Little is mentioned about how the game was played in the book, but enough is discussed to make it clearly recognizable. The goal of the game, as described in the book, is to get a total of 21. Also, the book makes it clear that aces could count as either 1 or 11. It’s hard to find a more recognizable description of blackjack than that.
The game of blackjack grew popular because it spread via various port cities throughout the world. The name changed with the country, and so did some of the details of gameplay, but a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. For example, the British called the game “pontoon.” The game spread to the United States in the 1800s, and it traveled west with the rest of the country.
How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack is an easy enough game to play. My mom taught me the basics when I was ten years old.
The player and the dealer are each dealt two cards. All cards have a point value equal to their ranking. Face cards (the jack, queen, and king) are each worth ten points. An ace can be counted as 1 or 11, depending on which would be more favorable to the player.
The goal is to get as close as you can to 21 without going over. If your total exceeds 21, you lose immediately.
The main decision you make in a game of blackjack is whether or not to take another card. Taking a card is called being “hit,” while not taking another card is called “standing” or “staying.”
Rules variations at casino offer a couple of extra decisions to players. For example, players are often allowed to “double down,” which is a variation of hitting in which you take one (and only one) more card while doubling the size of your initial bet. Players are also allowed to split pairs by placing an additional bet. (A pair consists of two cards of the same rank—two kings, for example.) This creates two one-card hands which immediately are dealt an extra card to form two new hands of blackjack.
Most casinos in major gambling destinations like Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City offer “classes” on how to play blackjack during the slower-traffic periods on the gaming floor. Taking one of these classes in order to learn how the game plays is an excellent way to get a feel for the game.
Another great way to learn how to play blackjack is to explore some of the free blackjack games that are available online. You can play for fake chips in order to understand how the action works, who goes first, and what order everything happens in.
How to Win at Blackjack
“Winning” means different things to different people. Some people feel like they’ve won even if they’ve lost a couple hundred dollars. Others just want to get lucky and put some money in their pocket. In any gambling game, there’s no sure way to book a win every time you play. These are games of chance, after all. But there are ways to win more often and lose less money over time.
The first step to becoming a winning blackjack player is to study the game and learn how to play. For example, a common novice mistake is to buy in at a table where the minimum bet is larger than their bankroll can afford. If you buy in for $100 at a $50 minimum table, you can only afford to lose twice in a row. Some people are so embarrassed by this mistake that they just go ahead and lose.
If you don’t understand the game well enough to keep up with the totals, you’re going to lose a lot more money than someone who knows the rules and gameplay inside out. This is one of the reasons I suggested playing some of the free games online.
The second step to becoming a winning blackjack player is to learn basic strategy. This step alone will reduce the house’s edge from 4% to less than 1%. (The house edge is the amount that the house expects to keep over the long run because of the rules of the game.) Basic strategy is the mathematically correct decision in every situation that comes up at the blackjack table.
Most people encourage players to memorize basic strategy using a chart or a table of some kind, but my preference is to learn the rules for how to play each hand individually. David Sklansky’s book, Sklansky on Blackjack, takes this approach, describing how to play every possible hand in every possible situation by looking at each possible total you could have.
Once you’ve reduced the house edge to less than 1% by using perfect basic strategy, you can start to take advantage of the many comps that casinos offer players. You can receive food, event tickets, and even travel perks just by making sure the casino tracks your play. These rewards have a monetary value, so even though you have a negative expectation against the casino, you get something back, making that negative expectation ever smaller.
The third step to becoming a winning blackjack player is to start learning some advantage gambling techniques like card counting. Once you’ve mastered a card counting system, you can actually get an advantage over the house. Counting cards isn’t as hard as you might think, either. Anyone who’s willing to put in the time and effort can learn a simple count like the Hi Lo Count or the Ace Five count.
Blackjack is a great game. It’s fun, it’s a mental challenge, and it offers some of the best math in the casino. If you like making decisions that affect your outcome, blackjack might be the perfect game for you.
Casinos with Daily Blackjack Tournaments
Blackjack tournaments are a new twist on an old casino gaming favorite. The basic rules stay the same – you are trying to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. What is different is that you are playing against other gamblers and not the house. Your objective in a blackjack tournament is to accumulate more chips than the other players at your table – and move on to the next round. This article covers the setup and strategy for blackjack tournaments, which you can now enjoy online as well as in live casinos.
First up, you’ll find an overview of how the typical blackjack tournament works – including the rules, and structure. Next I have outlined the factor which drives your strategy, that outcomes for individual hands are very similar. After this you will see some strategy tips and ideas to help you keep ahead of the competition.
Blackjack Tournaments – The Setup, Rules And Payouts
Instead of playing for real money chips, in a blackjack tournament you are playing for tournament chips. You will buy-in to the tourney, and receive a stack of chips with the nominal value of say $1000.
The tournament will be divided into rounds depending on how many players enter, and you will be assigned a table with 3 to 5 other players. Your objective is to have more chips than your rivals after a designated number of hands or time limit is reached. On each hand a different player bets first. Acting last in the betting is an advantage, since you can see how much each of your opponents bet and make your decision based on this.
Typically, the players who win their initial table will move forward to the next round. This can vary with the top 2 players going through. If there are enough players a further round will be played before the ‘final table’ is reached. At this point the game will play down to a winner.
Winner-takes-all tournaments do run, however there are usually a number of paid places. 3 paid spots getting 50% / 30% and 20% of the prize pool are common – though for larger tournaments there can be as many as 20 paid places. You will also find satellite tournaments, which have prizes of seats in bigger buy-in games. My tip is to look out for blackjack tournaments which have guaranteed prize pools – these will pay out a set amount whether there are enough entrants to cover the cost of the prizes or not.
Similar Outcomes in Tournaments
The fact that every hand is played against the same dealer hand means outcomes are usually similar for all players. The clearest way to show this is that when the dealer hits blackjack, every player loses that hand. If the dealer has a 20, then most players will lose that hand (or at best a push).
Luck does play a part, however unless someone deviates significantly from a good blackjack strategy then the main weapon you have to get through to the next round is how you bet.
There are two basic approaches to blackjack tournament strategy, the timid approach or the aggressive one. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Timid play involves betting the minimum and waiting to see what the other players do. Some players will go wild right from the start and end up busting out. In which case you will have fewer opponents to beat in the closing stages. You’ll need to increase your bets at some point, and the logic of ‘min bet’ play is that once the hands available start ticking down, you will be clear on your objectives and can size your bets perfectly to meet them. The risks of timid play is that one or more aggressive players will accumulate so many chips that they are impossible to beat.
Aggressive play involves coming out of the starting gate with a bang. You move those chips and do not worry too much if you bust out. The idea is that you accumulate so many chips that the quieter players can’t catch up. What you can then do is get more conservative later. If you match the bets of your quieter opponents during the closing stages after a couple of early doubles, it will often be mathematically impossible for them to catch you.
Blackjack tournaments are now offered at many online casinos, and are a very entertaining variation which gives you a lot of play for your money. As you gain experience with the betting and strategies involved – you’ll be hitting that final table and the big payouts which that involves!
Casinos Offering Multi-Player Blackjack
There are several ways in which you can add a new dimension to your online blackjack experience by playing alongside other people. This can be in a normal game where you try and beat the dealer for real money, it can be in tournaments – or against a live dealer. In addition there is a whole new generation of social casino games which allow you to experience multi-player blackjack action in a fun setting on your smartphone or tablet.
This article lists the different ways that you can enjoy multi-player blackjack, with information on the benefits of each one.
Multi-Player Blackjack – Real Money
Instead of just you against a virtual dealer, these casino games allow you to play at tables of 3 to 5 players. You will take turns to act, and you will all be playing against a single dealer hand. In addition, you will have chat-box which allows interactions. Some tables can be very sociable! Make sure you check the rules of the blackjack variation being played before you join. For example if you prefer the European Blackjack rules then seeing a ‘dealer holecard’ US game might not be ideal.
Multi-player games do feel more social than single-player blackjack – however there are some small negative considerations. First, you have to wait for other players to act, which can be frustrating if you get a slow individual. Second, you do get the occasional complaint, particularly when last to act that you ‘took’ the dealer’s 10. This is mathematical nonsense, though you will never get some people to understand that.
Blackjack Tournaments Provide Multi-Play Games
Tournament blackjack is a great way to enjoy this game in a multi-player format. Here you are competing against the other players to see who has the most chips after a certain number of hands. Since the dealer’s hand affects everyone the same, your strategy will be based on how you size your bets. In big tournaments there can be several elimination rounds before you get to the final table – where you can win some big money payouts.
Since the players are all competing, these games are not social in the same way that other multi-player blackjack can be – though you’ll all enjoy seeing the dealer bust together.
Play Live Dealer Blackjack Games with Multiple Players & Tables
Live-dealer games involve a remote dealer and up to 7 players. The action involves real cards and is streamed via video. Stakes are higher in these games than at the normal tables, since the dealer wages and infrastructure needs to be maintained by the casino. Each game has a chat window, where you can interact with the other players or with the dealer. For players able to afford the $5 minimums, these are very popular games. You will need to beat in mind that the 7 player tables do slow down the action considerably when you compare this to the player against dealer games.
Social Casino Apps
Many apps can be found which combine blackjack with social casino technology. These are usually free to download, and give you a certain amount of chips to start and then a top-up each day. You play against strangers, meeting challenges, unlocking gifts and new game levels and generally having fun. If you run out of chips then you can always buy more with an in-app purchase.
This type of game is available on a range of smartphone and tablet devices nowadays. You can find more detail in these articles on iPhone and iPad blackjack games or Android blackjack games.
Some Tips Before You Play
Before you play real money multi-player blackjack games online, it can pay to do a little homework. While many casinos offer this game, they vary dramatically in terms of how long they are in service and their reputation for prompt payments and effective customer service.
You should also take the time to look beyond the big headline bonus amount – which is usually a match to your first deposit. While all casinos have these kinds of offers, the better ones will have extra bonuses in place to reward their loyal players. Look for reload bonuses, comp schemes and regular promotions before you sign-up – that way you will not be missing out later down the line.
Progressive Blackjack Games
“Jackpot!” is a cheer everyone enjoys. Knowing that there is a large prize on offer, that you could be rewarded with at any time, adds another sense of excitement to any gamble. Now with progressive blackjack you can experience that at the blackjack tables.
Here you can find an overview of what you need to know, starting with what progressive blackjack is and how the game differs to regular blackjack. I have then described the additional pay outs in a progressive game, the strategic differences you need to consider and the additional edge you will be giving up to the house.
A New Way to Win
Progressive blackjack differs from regular blackjack by including a jackpot side bet. As the side bets add up a jackpot is created and players have the chance to win all or part of the jackpot if their hand meets certain conditions. Progressive blackjack games are very popular online as the jackpot can build up very quickly.
Progressive blackjack is similar to a standard game of blackjack, with only slight differences. To play for the jackpot you have to first place your side bet along with your standard bet. On most tables there is an area for this bet next to your regular betting area. The side bet is a minimum bet, usually $1, which goes towards the jackpot and plays no further part in the hand. Your hand then plays out the same as it would for a standard Blackjack hand, where you win or lose against the dealer as normal.
The jackpot comes into play only when your hand consists of a particular combination of cards. When you are dealt a qualifying hand you are paid out a portion of the progressive jackpot pool. Different progressive blackjack games have different qualifying hands, and your prize is laddered according to the strength of your qualifying hand.
How the Jackpot Is Divided
Payouts for progressive blackjack vary for different card rooms. Usually different payouts are unlocked by the player holding one or more Aces. In a progressive game, such as Triple 7s, payouts are triggered by other cards — in this case 7s being held instead.
An example of a Progressive blackjack payout structure is shown below.
One Ace = $3
Two non-suited Aces = $15
Two suited Aces = $50
Three non-suited Aces = $200
Three suited Aces = $1000
Four Aces = $2000
Four suited Aces = Entire jackpot
Strategy Differences In Progressive Blackjack – How A Jackpot Hand Is Formed
Going for jackpot payouts should not significantly change your standard blackjack strategy. For example let us assume you place your bet and side bet and your first card is an Ace. You play your hand as normal and will win or lose according to normal blackjack payouts. In addition you will receive an additional $3 from the jackpot for holding a single Ace.
While splitting is allowed, you can only draw one more card for each hand. You could possibly draw two more Aces but as it does not matter when the Aces come in the hand you have a greater chance of seeing more cards when you hit on one hand.
If you are playing different variants of progressive blackjack games, ensure you check the criteria for payouts in that particular game. For example in most progressive games you will be awarded your jackpot payouts if Aces appear anywhere in your hand, while in a typical Triple 7 game, you will only get paid if the 7s are dealt as the first cards in your hands. If you spilt, you can only claim a jackpot payment for one hand, which makes splitting 7s a very negative proposition.
When playing for the jackpot the house gains a significant edge on the side-bet, ranging from around 22% through to 53% depending on the particular game structure. The jackpot size significantly alters the house’s edge and the bigger the jackpot becomes the smaller the houses edge is. Eventually the houses edge is reduced to nothing and this is the best time for you to play for the jackpot. Although this varies, a rough a jackpot valued at $120,000 would be generally a good jackpot to play for.
Progressive Jackpot – A Summary
For a twist on your regular blackjack game, progressive blackjack is an exciting variant allowing you to win big win on a small side-bet. To get the most out of the game, make sure you are familiar with the particular payouts and rules depending on where you play. Finally be aware the side bet can give a large advantage to the house, therefore only play when the jackpot is big, reducing the house edge – or with money you can afford to lose as an entertaining gamble.
Top 5 Real Money Blackjack Casinos
Blackjack games that you can play for real money have developed beyond the standard rules into a mini entertainment industry all of their own. You can now enjoy progressive jackpots, quirky variations and side-bets with big payouts – or just relax and enjoy a traditional rules game. Blackjack has come a long way since the first online games, and you’ll be surprised how entertaining and diverse the game is nowadays.
This page is for players who are new to real money blackjack. It goes through the different stages of choosing a game, finding a casino that matches your platform and making a deposit – and points you in the right direction of some detailed guides to specific games and strategies.
The Main Categories Of Real Money Blackjack Games
There are two main branches of rules for blackjack. These are European or American blackjack games. In the American version the dealer gets a ‘holecard’ at the start of the hand and will check for dealer blackjack with a 10 or an Ace showing. In the European version the dealer only gets one card at the start, and the next cards come from the deck after all the players have acted. This means that there is a chance of the dealer showing blackjack after all the players have acted. Because of this players need to be a little more cautious in their choices during play.
Within these rules there are many variations and side bets, some of which are positive for the player and others which are considered negative variations. Many games are named after their side bets, including the popular Perfect Pairs Blackjack and Triple 7’s Blackjack Games. The biggest side bet of all comes in the progressive blackjack games. Jackpots can be linked between different casinos who share the software made by one of the big providers, making this a potentially huge windfall.
Pontoon games are closely related to blackjack with terms and special rules of their own. SuperFun 21, Spanish Blackjack and Blackjack Surrender are all games which take the basic format and add their own interesting rules and twists to keep real money players entertained.
Some games branch away from the basic game a long way, just about maintaining their link to the original format though the rules. Examples here include Switch Blackjack, where you can swap top-cards between 2 hands, and Double-Exposure Blackjack where you can decide double your bet after seeing the dealer’s hole-card. Some games even combine the 21-rules with poker, examples of these games include Ante-Up 21 and 3-Card Blackjack.
As you can see, blackjack is a diverse game with enough variations to keep you entertained for a long time.
Choosing The Right Blackjack Casino
Choosing the right casino to play real money blackjack games depends on your device, your location and the bonuses and promotional offers available.
Android phones and tablets, IPhones, iPads – and even Windows Phones and Blackberries – all have access to real money blackjack apps with top quality apps and in-browser games unimaginable a just a few years ago. The downloadable software for PCs and Macs is also very stable nowadays. Make sure that your casino offers a wide choice of games which are compatible with all of your devices.
US players can access casinos based offshore, and have some great software from Real Time Gaming and BetSoft to choose from. Popular choices include Win Palace, Casino Titan and Drake casino – all of which offer you a wide choice of straight up real money blackjack, plus many cool variations.
Casinos offer new real money players some great welcome bonuses – usually matched to the amount you deposit. In addition to the headline bonus, you should look for casinos who offer ongoing rewards in the form of reload bonuses, promotions and comps (points based rewards). If your casino does not offer enough rewards to keep your bankroll topped-up, then it is time to switch!
Making A Deposit – How to Fund Your Account to Play Real Games
US players face some restrictions on depositing at real money casinos. Players from around the world will find this very easy, with credit cards going straight through and many alternatives including eWallets on offer.
If you are US based, then you have 2 main choices for getting your money on board. First, your credit card or bank card should always be your first port of call. These work better than ever, and Visa cards especially can often get through first time without any delays. Second, you can deposit using money transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram. This is a two-step process, first you’ll need to get in touch with the support staff at your casino to get a tracking number and recipient name. Next you’ll need to visit your local branch in person to hand over the money. Money transfer can also be used for withdrawals at many casinos – generally, the other withdrawal alternative is a paper check.
Avoid Insurance, Go Easy On The Side-Bets – And Enjoy!
Blackjack games are diverse, fun and can land you some big wins in the short-term. It is no wonder that millions of people enjoy these games every year. There are two more things to remember before you play:
- First, insurance against dealer blackjack is always a sucker bet, with a huge house edge. Avoid this and you will keep you money a lot longer.
- Second, to keep the blackjack house edge as low as possible, you should avoid the side-games. This will save you giving the house 5%, 6% and even 7% of your profit for no good reason due to the huge house edge in this game.
Popular Celebrity Blackjack Players
Blackjack is a fun pastime which attracts a wealth of colourful characters and celebrity. With enough visits to casinos you will soon see many different types of gamblers, be it actors, artists or even royalty.
Here are some of the modern day stars and famous players, all known to enjoy the game of blackjack.
At the start of February 2014, after performing her first DJ set in Atlantic City for which she was paid $100,000, Paris then hit the blackjack tables to haul in a $50,000 win. The socialite and Hilton heiress posted an Instagram picture that night of a collection of $100 bills, along with the caption “At the blackjack tables. #Killingit”.
This is not a one off either, as she had another well publicized win on her 31st birthday, winning $30,000 at the Wynn Las Vegas. At the time she tweeted a declaration of her love for gambling.
American painter and muralist David Choe had previously claimed to have been a successful blackjack player before hitting his biggest gamble. In 2005, Choe was commissioned by a young company to paint murals on their office walls. Despite thinking the business model was “ridiculous and stupid” he liked the guys behind the company so agreed to take company stock in lieu of a cash payment for his work. That company was called Facebook and Choe’s shares were valued at an estimated $200 million on the eve of Facebook’s IPO.
When playing blackjack, Choe said he adopted the attitude that he was willing to risk it all. He adopted a Martingale strategy where he was happy to put everything he had on the line in order to quit with a small win. In order to keep his emotions in check and not change from his strategy, he paid a minder to pull him out of the games once he hit his target.
He says he does not gamble anymore as he has enough money.
A talented magician and high stakes blackjack player, Brian Zembic is best known as the man who would do anything for a bet. His wagers include living in a casino’s bathroom for a week and sleeping in Central Park with $20,000 in his pockets.
In 1996 he agreed to his most outrageous stunt by having breast implanted for a year for $100,000. When the bet was completed he collected on his winnings but then decided he would keep the breasts.
Spotted in casinos both sides of the Atlantic, blackjack appears to have become the Prince Harry’s game of choice. In a 2011 visit to Las Vegas, the Prince lost a reported $300 playing blackjack but this did not ruin the night as he and his friends were happily surprised by the free drinks they received for playing.
After a winning night in Bournemouth, UK it was The Sun newspaper speculated how embarrassing it must be for the Prince to collect his winnings as every note has a picture of his gran on it.
Sean “P Diddy” Combs
When Harrah’s Atlantic City reopened their poolside blackjack tables they invited none other than the rapper, record producer and entrepreneur, P. Diddy, to cast the first official bet. The New York born music mogul has been known to enjoy some big gambles at the craps and blackjack tables. He was even reported to have requested a blackjack table be put into his room at the MTV Music awards, so he could play with his entourage.
The Season One winner of the short-lived Celebrity Blackjack show was the stand-up comedienne, actress and TV host Caroline Rhea. Famous for her role as Aunt Hilda Spellman in “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch” and host of “The Biggest Loser”, Rhea beat a number of celebrities including Snoop Dog, Shannon Elizabeth and the eventual Season Two winner, Jason Alexander, to win the first TV competition. She received $100,000 for her chosen charities “Much Love Animal Rescue” and “Project ALS”.
Who knows, next time you sit at a blackjack table in Vegas or Atlantic City, you’d better take a close look at that player with the big shades in the seat next to you!
Blackjack Etiquette – Do’s & Don’t At the Blackjack Tables
If you are new to the game of blackjack in a live casino, there are a few basic steps you can follow to make the experience comfortable and fun. Some of the following points are common sense advice when dealing with other players and staff, others apply to the mechanics of the game and rules which are in place to prevent cheating.
As I explain below, taking the time to learn the rules is a big step to help the smooth running of the game. I have also described procedures you need to follow when purchasing chips, playing your hand and tipping the dealer. Finally how you interact with players and staff make a big impact on how you are viewed.
Learning the Rules and Avoiding Mistakes
Knowing the basic rules of blackjack helps the general flow of the game and will prevent you making embarrassing mistakes. While the vast majority of players and dealers are patient with rookie participants, unfortunately not everyone is so kind while you are learning how to play. Having the good sense and manners to read up a little on the rules and terminology will help the atmosphere and the flow of the game.
Blackjack Etiquette – When and How to Buy-In and Cash Out
Understand the table limits and minimums so you can purchase the chips in the denominations you need. Ideally bring enough chips from the cashier to the table, although should you need to purchase or change up any chips at the table, wait until the hand has finished so you are not interrupting the game.
Blackjack Etiquette – Dealing With the Dealers
Should you have a bad run of cards do not take it out on the dealers, they are just doing a job and have no control over which cards come. After a winning session, ensure you tip the dealer. Usually 5% of a big win is about right. Casino employees rely heavily on tips as a main source of their income and a tip shows your appreciation for their hard work dealing cards to keep you entertained.
While dealers are normally happy to help you with the mechanics of the game, you should not ask a dealer how you should play your hand.
Know the Rules for Touching the Cards
In a Vegas deal game cards are dealt face down and touching of them is permitted, as opposed to a London dealt game where no touching of the cards is allowed. Even in a Vegas deal game you are only meant to handle the cards with one hand and it is advised to touch the cards as little as possible, only to see your cards are and place them down.
Chip Handling Rules
After you have placed your bets, do not touch the chips again. Should you need make a double bet, place those chips next to your original ones, not on top. If you choose to take insurance place those chips in the allocated area. The dealer will complete the rest of the chip movements in the hand.
Clear Signaling Of Your Plays
Hand signals are a way to ensure your betting intentions are not misunderstood. You will find that some games will not allow verbal commands and in that case your only option is to signal.
When you require a hit, point or lightly tap the table next to your hand. Should you wish to stand, wave your hand above the blackjack hand in clear view of the dealer. To double down, place your additional bet behind your hand and point one figure at your hand. If a split is required place the new bet beside your current bet and point two fingers at your hand.
Being Pleasant At the Table, It Pays To Be Nice
It always pays to treat other players with respect. The game is far more fun when everyone is having a good time. Be polite to your fellow players; congratulate them when they get a Blackjack, avoid calling them out for making a bad play. If you choose to drink do so in moderation. The game is a source of entertainment and casinos have certainly been known to eject rude and loud players.
While casinos can put rules and stipulations in place, it is up to the players to make the blackjack table a pleasant environment. Knowing the rules, correct hand signals and mechanics of blackjack, will go a good way to help the flow of the game. Treating the dealers and fellow players in a polite and respectful manner will help the atmosphere at the table.
Ultimately use your common sense and good manners to create a game you wish to play in.
Playing Blackjack on Facebook
Social casino gaming is increasingly popular, and blackjack games are no exception – and there is no bigger social platform than Facebook on which to enjoy them. Not only will you find the standard blackjack rules in Facebook apps, you can enjoy a ton of variations and entertaining multi-player games. In addition, there are an increasing number of stand-alone apps for both iPhone / iPad and Android platforms which allow you to register using your Facebook login.
At the time of writing you can’t play for real money on Facebook, with in-game credits or just the satisfaction of beating your friends as the reward. In some countries, social casino games based on bingo and slots are emerging – which makes me wonder if blackjack will be far behind.
This article first covers the pros and cons of playing on Facebook compared to the choosing an online casino. After that you will find a list of the 5 most popular blackjack games currently available to play on Facebook.
Facebook Blackjack Games – The Pros and Cons
The key advantage of playing these free apps is that you can gain experience making the best decisions without risking any money. Most decisions are straightforward enough, but when it comes to splitting 9’s or whether to hit on a 12 with the dealer showing a 3 – then experience playing for credits rather than cash can be very valuable.
Another advantage is that you can play along with friends, sharing the groans as the dealer hits another 21, and the joy when he busts. Most apps allow you to share big achievements on your own timeline – so any curious friends can see what game you are playing. Of course, the biggest advantage of all is that these games are fun. They compete for your attention with 1000’s of different games – and so need to ensure you enjoy the experience and keep coming back.
For me the main disadvantage is that you are not yet able to play for real money. This increases the thrill of playing blackjack considerably, and keeps you mind sharp when it comes to making the best possible decisions too. Some people might not want to share their gambling experience publically. In which case you will need to be careful with the privacy settings when you play different games.
5 Most Popular Blackjack Games In 2019
When an app gets to 100k+ users, you know there must be something good about it. Here is a list of the very best casinos offering blackjack games on Facebook.
#1 – Double Down Casino Blackjack: More than a million users can‘t be wrong, and Double Down offer a huge range of cool slots games, casino poker games and of course – Blackjack. The graphics and game-play is super-smooth, and you can share your achievements with friends or even choose which groups of Facebook friends to share with (great for excluding your family or your boss!). You can even send this app to your mobile right from the first screen.
#2 – Casino Star Facebook App: This one is available on the website only, with no mobile phone app version. Don’t let this hold you back from checking it out though, as there are many great reasons to play. In their blackjack game you can play up to 5 hands at once against the dealer, or even bet on your friends hands. As an extra you can make blackjack side-bets on whether your 2 cards will be a pair. Casino Star also offer a whole range of social slots, baccarat and Texas Holdem Poker too. 500,000 players enjoy this app, making it one of the most popular online.
#3 – GameHouse Casino Plus: What I like about this one (other than the 1 million chips to start!) is that the home screen is set out like a real casino. Blackjack is on the bottom left, and you can also play many of the other casino games and bingo games too. The 100,000 players who enjoy this app free bonus coins for every 2 hours of play – ensuring they can always find enough chips for a quick game of blackjack.
#4 – BlackJack: This app is the most popular game which is 100% Blackjack only. It works within the Facebook website and has a simple and clear layout – no clutter from the other competing casino games. Players looking for an easy way to get familiar with blackjack strategy should opt for this app. 10,000+ players around the world are already enjoying it.
#5 – Happy BlackJack: My final pick demonstrates that blackjack does not need to be in the same old format of player vs dealer to be fun. Happy Blackjack is a poker game based on the 21 rules that will give you a real challenge! You can play against friends or the 10,000+ people already enjoying this cool game.
Casinos with High Limit Blackjack Games
High limit blackjack games allow players to enjoy the excitement of large bets, in a game where the house edge is very small. This can mean experiencing a rollercoaster that could result a big win, or at the very least get the blood pumping!
Before you jump in to the world of high limit blackjack, you’ll need to work out whether you have enough bets in your bankroll for a full session at your desired stakes. Remember that a few early splits and double-downs will make a big difference. Below you will find information on high limit blackjack in both live casinos and online. This includes how to get the best comps through your casino host. First, up, some more on choosing the right limits for your big bankroll!
Choosing the Right Limits
Choosing how much you wish to bet is an individual choice, and as with all gambling games playing only with money you can afford to lose should you hit a bad run remains solid advice.
You should find a balance between choosing limits that mean enough to you to keep you interested and entertained, but are not so high that losing the money would be too painful. A standard bankroll management ‘rule of thumb’ used by high stakes players is to have at least 50 bets for each session. You can take what you can afford to play with, divide by 50, and get to the right limit very fast. This number of bets will protect you from short-term swings. You can always move up if you go on a winning streak, or down a level if the cards do not fall kindly for you this time around.
Getting the Most from a Casino Host When Playing High Roller Blackjack
You can find high limit blackjack games provided in nearly all live casinos with around the world. The stakes at regular tables are often plenty big enough for most players. If you are a genuine high roller with $100,000’s to play with then the casino will usually provide nosebleed stakes games in exclusive areas away from the main pit.
Upper betting limits can vary from as low as $50 a hand to max bets of $50,000 depending on the casino. If you have a good relationship with a particular casino you could ask them to raise limits for you.
If you wish to play high stakes blackjack in a live casino, your first contact should be with the Casino Host. High-rollers are the most welcome players and Casino Hosts will go out of their way to retain your custom by offering incentives and VIP treatment. Even at ‘day to day’ high stakes the casino hospitality team will usually approach you and offer their services.
What to Expect Online When Playing High Limit Blackjack Online
If you wish to play and cannot get to a casino, there is a huge choice of high limit blackjack games online. Maximum bets vary between $50 and $300 (some $500) and sites will offer large deposit bonuses as incentives which get you off to a great start. Examples include the 100% match up to $1000 at Spin City and $5000 at the US-friendly Grand Parker.
You’ll get a great choice of games, and can choose between the US rules ‘peek’ games and the European Blackjack tables. There are plenty of blackjack variations too, which add entertaining game-rule changes or big side-game bets – or even Progressive Blackjack Jackpots.
Online livedealer games have become popular for high limit blackjack players. These games allow you to see the physical cards being dealt (usually by an attractive lady) and give you a far more realistic experience. These games have upper limits starting at $50 per hand, and you’ll be playing with up to 6 other people at your table. Unfortunately the decks are shuffled too often to make card-counting a possibility.
By playing regular high stakes games at the best online casinos, you will find that the hosts will get in touch with you and offer you VIP extras including bigger bonuses and access to exclusive games.
High limit blackjack games online are no longer restricted to Windows PCs. You can play on your smartphone or your tablet – see our mobile blackjack page for more.
Join The High Stakes Experience
High limit blackjack and gambling is not for everyone. Before joining in ensure you are comfortable with these stakes, if not there are plenty of smaller games on offer. When playing live make sure you first contact the Casino Host and introduce yourself, that way you give them the opportunity to give you the VIP treatment that your stakes deserve.
Low Limit Casinos – Where to Play $1 Blackjack Games?
Low limit blackjack allows players to enjoy the game of blackjack for the lowest amounts of money. With bets from 2c allowed there is plenty of options online and many casinos will have live games for less than $5 a hand.
There can be different reasons someone might want to choose low limit games which I have looked at here, along with the opportunities these games provide. If you are interested in playing low stakes live, I provide a brief overview of what to expect and how to benefit from these games. Finally I will let you know where to find the best low limit blackjack games online.
Reasons To Play Low Limit Blackjack
There are many reasons you might want to choose low limit blackjack. The main reason for most people would be dictated by their bankroll. For only a few dollars you can have an evening’s entertainment playing blackjack and it would be exactly the same game whichever game you played. Enjoyment from gambling is generally all relative to how much you have at risk. The truth is, if you only have $100 in your bankroll you can experience greater thrills winning a few dollars at $1 stakes, than a high roller who is over-bankrolled to play $500 per hand.
Bankroll limitations may not be the only reason to play low limit blackjack. With small amounts on the line low limit blackjack is the perfect game to practice new strategies and card counting skills. This is particularly true of card counting as casinos will spend more effort monitoring the high limit tables to look for this, as the risks to their business is greater.
Another reason to play smaller limits would be to try and learn new variants of blackjack before returning to your usual limit. You could try Pontoon, Face Up 21, Perfect Pairs or Progressive Blackjack games such as Triple 7s.
Playing Low Limit Blackjack Live – What to Expect
Low limit blackjack with bets of $5 or less can be found in most casinos around the world, although if you are in a gambling hotspot such as Las Vegas or Atlantic City you will be better off trying the smaller casinos away from the main areas.
Blackjack is one of the most popular games in the casino, attracting a wide and varied crowd from students to seniors, experienced locals to tourists. As such you will see many players making mistakes or breaching traditional blackjack etiquette. If this does happen, unless it is a serious error affecting the game for everyone, you are better off just letting it pass. For most people these games are purely for entertainment and should be treated as such to keep the game fun for all, casino staff will step in when needed.
The Best Options for Small Bankrolls
One advantage with playing online is that you can play low limit blackjack for literally pennies. With far fewer overheads and greater capacity than bricks and mortar casinos, online sites can provide players with a range of limits that would be completely impractical live.
Online casinos such as the UK’s William Hill have games at 10c and you can even find games as low to 2c elsewhere. $1 games can be frequently found in all casinos. Sites such as Bet365 focus on lower stakes games and recreational players, capping the higher limits, and offering regular easy to clear bonuses. These very nicely help to top up your bankroll and give you more games for your money.
Beware that one downside of online is it is easy to get carried away with the game. Play within your means ensuring you stick to your limits and do not try to chase your losses by upping your bets. Remember it is not a computer game, you are playing for real money.
Low Limit Blackjack – Join the Games
No matter how much money you have to gamble with, you can afford to play low limit, be it for fun, profit or just to try out new games and strategies. You can find smaller blackjack games in most live casinos, although you may have to favour local casinos in some cities, just remember it is just a bit of fun for most players. Online there is a whole range of tables and Low Limit games you can have access to.
Blackjack is a fun and entertaining game and with stakes this low, if you are looking to play there is no reason not to get involved.