With its fast and straightforward gameplay, Blackjack is one of the most universally played card games, and it therefore comes as no surprise that you can now find plenty of opportunities to also play Blackjack online. There are dozens of online Blackjack variants on offer at casinos that welcome UK players, allowing you to play Blackjack against the computer and even against a real live dealer if you so wish! In this Online Blackjack UK guide, we’ll take a look at the best online Blackjack games, introduce you to basic Blackjack strategy, and let you know where it’s best to play Blackjack for real money if you’re in the UK!
If you’d like to play Blackjack online for real money, we strongly urge you to find a licensed online casino that welcomes British players with a live casino bonus that you can use on Live Blackjack. The best Online Blackjack UK casinos would also have a vast selection of Blackjack versions to choose from, both in their table games collection and at their Live Casino. If you’re after Live Blackjack in particular, the best casinos would be those that offer different tables with varying betting limits, as well as a couple of variants with exciting twists and additional side bets. Check out the below, which we deem to be some of the most reliable casino platforms where you can safely play Blackjack online.
Blackjack online plays out in exactly the same way as the classic Blackjack, and is a card game played between a player and the dealer. The objective in Blackjack is to get a combination of cards with a total value that is equal to or as close as possible to 21, without going over this number. Whoever gets the closest value (the player or the dealer) wins the game, and if someone goes over 21, he goes bust and loses.
The card values in Blackjack are very easy to understand. Any cards with numbers from 2 to 10 have their face value. Jacks, Queens, and Kings all have a value of ten while Aces can be valued at 1 or 11 points depending on what is more beneficial to your combination.
Many people mistakenly tend to think that Blackjack is any number of cards that make up a total of 21, but in reality, there is a term called "natural 21" when 21 is a sum of the first 2 cards dealt to you. In order for this to happen, you will have to get a combination of an Ace and a 10-value card as your first two cards.
At online casinos these days, you can play Blackjack online either against the machine or against a real live dealer. RNG or Virtual Blackjack is a digital game which involves no human interaction. In this case, the cards are ‘dealt out’ by a computer program, which works according to a Random Number Generator (RNG). This program generates outcomes at random, which correspond to the different cards in Blackjack, and is programmed so that the player can benefit from the same Blackjack odds as if he were playing the game at a real casino.
But things can get even more exciting online these days, thanks to the rise of Live Dealer Blackjack, an online Blackjack game that you can play against a real dealer! Live Blackjack takes place inside a physical casino studio, using real Blackjack cards, and is streamed to the player’s screen in real time. Once players place their bets, the dealer deals out the cards, and you can watch the action take place from multiple camera angles. This makes for a more genuine experience, giving you the feel that you’re playing Blackjack at a brick and mortar casino!
There are plenty of virtual Blackjack games to try online, as providers have tried to cater for different player preferences and come up with different additional side bets. You can find Classic Blackjack games designed by different game providers, as well as a number of exciting variants. Some of the best online Blackjack games include:
Live Dealer, or Studio Blackjack, has become the staple of live casinos these days. Renowned live casino providers like Netent, Evolution Gaming and Playtech have come up with their own Live Blackjack tables, some of them also involving additional side bets and options. Among the best Live Blackjack games you can play, you’ll find:
Infinite Blackjack - a live version which allows an unlimited number of players thanks to a combination of both virtually and manually dealt cards.
Live Common Draw Blackjack - a variant by NetEnt played with 6 decks of cards and which has got an extremely high RTP of 99.5%!
Live Speed Blackjack - a fast-paced game by Evolution, where players are simultaneously offered the chance to Hit, Double Down or Split. The player who decides first will get his next card dealt first.
Live Free Bet Blackjack - this Evolution Live Blackjack game will give players Free Double Down Bets on two-card hard 9, 10, 11 totals. There are also Free Split Bets on all pairs except for 10s.
Live Blackjack Bet Behind - a variant that allows players to also bet on another player’s hand.
Online Blackjack plays out just in the same way as it does at land-based casino, with the only difference that there is either a computer generating the card outcomes (in the case of RNG Blackjack), or else the dealer is located inside a live casino studio, whereas the player can be at home or anywhere else in the world! Just like the traditional Blackjack game, there are certain rules that are universally applicable to all Blackjack games, as well as Blackjack strategy that will help players maximise their chances of winning.
Blackjack online is played between several players and a dealer, with at least one deck of 52 cards and up to 8 decks. Most blackjack games nowadays use four, six, or eight decks of cards, which makes the process very hard for the card-counters. After cards are shuffled, they will be placed in a container called a shoe, from which the dealer takes out one card at a time.
Each Blackjack round begins with every player making a bet after which the dealer gives out two cards to each player. The dealer himself also gets two cards and has to constantly display one of them. You as a player can choose if you want to have another card to get closer to 21 or not. The player with the hand closer to 21 is the winner. Usually, there can be anywhere from 1 to 7 players at the table but in the end, you are ultimately always just playing against the dealer.
The value of a hand amounts to the sum of the individual cards, with the blackjack being the highest hand, made up of an ace (worth 11) and any card worth 10 points (10, Jack, Queen and King). The players then bet, before the dealer gives them two cards each. Once they have made their Blackjack bets, it will be the dealer’s turn to draw 2 cards for himself, one of which is dealt face up. The card dealt face down is known as the ‘hole card’. If the dealer’s face up card is an ace, players have the option of taking an’ insurance’ before the dealer reveals his hole card. Insurance is a type of side bet on the fact that the dealer will get a blackjack, which pays 2:1, to make up for the loss of the original bet.
The below are the options normally available to players before the dealer reveals his hole card:
After each player has had his turn, the dealer will reveal his hole card. If the dealer has a score of 16 or less, he draws another card. When the dealer has an ace with a value of 11 and any cards which add up to six points, this is known as a "soft 17", he may be required to stand, or to hit if the casino has implemented the soft 17 rule.
If the dealer’s cards exceed 21 points, then any player who didn't already go bust wins the game. If the dealer does not go bust, then the game is won by whoever gets the highest points total from the player and dealer.
One of the reasons why people love to play Blackjack so much is the fact that this game comes with a very low house-edge of less than 2%. This translates to an RTP over 98%, if you play Blackjack according to the basic strategy! The house edge changes slightly depending on the number of decks used, the table's specific rules and side bets.
|Number of decks||House Edge|
If you’d like to take full advantage of Blackjack’s low house-edge, you’ve got to play Blackjack by sticking to the basic strategy. This strategy will dictate whether you should hit, stand, split, surrender, or double down, depending on the total of your 2 cards and the dealer’s face-up card.
It can be difficult to remember what you should decide in each situation as you play Blackjack, which is why a Blackjack chart can be so helpful for beginners. This chart will show you what you should do depending on your hand and the dealer’s card.
H = Hit; S = Stand; D-H = Double if possible, otherwise Hit; D-S = Double if possible, otherwise Stand
Basic Blackjack Strategy was created by a computer simulation based on combinations of millions of hands. In this way, people were able to conclude what are the best decisions to make with each hand, and this gave rise to the Blackjack chart above.
There are additional Blackjack rules which will tell you when to surrender, double down and when to split pairs in Blackjack, should the game you’re playing allow for these moves. We will look into more detail at these rules in our separate article on How to Play Blackjack.
Last but not least, if any Blackjack side bets are offered as you play Blackjack online, you should know when to take advantage of these. The below are the most common Blackjack side bets:
As we’ve already mentioned, if the dealer's face-up card is an Ace, the player can take out ‘insurance’ against the eventuality of the dealer getting a Blackjack. This insurance involves a side bet that the dealer will get a Blackjack, which pays 2:1, thus giving the player the money of his original bet back should the dealer really get a Blackjack.
Inspired from Poker, the 21+3 side bet involves betting on a number of scenarios involving the players’ and the dealer’s cards. These are:
This bet is placed before the round starts, and may consist of 3 bets, each of which involves getting a kind of pair:
This is a very cool side bet for those players who would like to maximise their profits, and you can use it at a number of Live Blackjack variants. It will give you the opportunity to bet on another player’s hand, increasing your chances of making a profit even if you are not actually playing the game.
Card counting is a strategy that may be employed at brick and mortar casinos while playing Blackjack. This involves keeping track of cards to determine whether the next hand is likely to favour you not. In Blackjack, the player is more likely to win if there are more Aces, 10s, Jacks, Kings and Queens left in the shoe, and therefore card counting is used to try and determine this. To employ this strategy, the card counter assigns a positive, negative or zero value to each possible card. Then, whenever a card of that value is dealt, the count is adjusted accordingly to try and keep track.
Casinos will do their best to prevent you from Blackjack card counting, and may even force you to stop playing if you’re caught! What’s more, Online Blackjack Card Counting is next to impossible, as decks are automatically shuffled after every round or cut down the middle. What’s more, in virtual Blackjack, each new hand is dealt out by a computer programme, which randomly generates cards from a full deck according to a formula which retains the same Blackjack odds. Unfortunately, this makes the online Blackjack Card counting totally impossible in the case of RNG Blackjack games.
There are several reasons why you might decide to play online Blackjack as opposed to heading for the nearest casino. Mainly, these advantages relate to 3 things; i) the convenience of playing from your home, ii) the unparalleled variety on offer online, and ii) the number of promotions and bonuses that can be had online.
Below, we’ll look into some additional advantages that you’ll benefit from if you play Blackjack online.
At some live casinos, you will find Blackjack Multihand variants which will allow you to play multiple seats. This will save some players from the boredom of having to wait for others to make their decisions, and also possibly maximise the wins for pro players who know how to seize an opportunity.
A lot of casinos will offer a bonus that you can use on its selection of Blackjack or Live Blackjack games to encourage players to try the game. This can be part of a welcome bonus, or even a special offer for existing players to claim. The best Blackjack casinos will also have a separate Live Casino bonus to their standard bonus, which you’ll be able to use on Live Blackjack games!
To keep things even more exciting, some online casinos also run great promotions on live Blackjack online games, involving mega prize draws or tournaments that award awesome prizes! You may get the opportunity to win additional cash prizes if you get a Blackjack or if you beat the dealer in a specific way, which significantly amps up the excitement!
The below casinos run regular promotions on their Live Blackjack games
If you play certain online Blackjack variants, such as Live Common Draw Blackjack, you will benefit from an even lower house-edge than if you head to a brick and mortar casino. This, together with more flexible betting limits, will help you cut on losses in the long term.
Being such a popular card game, it’s no wonder that people have come up with so many variants to Blackjack as time went by. You can play some of these Blackjack games online, and also discover ones as game providers are getting more and more creative. Let’s take a look at some of our favourite Blackjack variants below.
This is the original Blackjack game that we know, which is played with the standard 52-card deck as well as some side bets, which usually include Insurance, pair bets and the 21+3 bets.
Spanish 21, also known as Spanish Blackjack, is an old variant where all 10 cards are removed from the deck, so that the deck is made up of 48 cards instead of the standard 52. The rest of the rules are the same as for Classic Blackjack, with a few exceptions and bonuses. Since Spanish Blackjack increases the house edge, players are compensated in other ways. For example, player Blackjacks will automatically win and beat the dealer’s, players can double down after any card, and blackjacks of 5 or more cards receive higher payouts.
This is an interesting Blackjack variant that allows players to switch cards if they see that they’ve got two terrible hands! In Blackjack Switch, the player can decide to switch cards from one hand to another for the chance of forming 2 better hands. The game follows the standard Blackjack rules, with a couple of exceptions:
This is to make up for the added likelihood of getting a Blackjack if you switch cards. At the moment you cannot play Blackjack Switch at a live dealer casino, but should be able to find it at some casinos’ table game section. Playtech has a great version of the game with an astounding RTP of 99.87%!
This Blackjack game is very popular in Las Vegas, but you can also play Super Fun 21 online these days. It’s a Blackjack variant with a number of interesting twists when it comes to winning combinations; for example, the player will win if he has a six-card hand with a total of 20 or less, and the player will always beat the dealer with a Blackjack. Players can also double down at any time in Super Fun 21.
If it’s your first time attempting to play Blackjack online, you might wonder about the legal situation. We’re here to tell you that you need not worry if you play the game at a licensed online casino. These casinos are operating in a perfectly legal manner and comply with very strict gambling regulations that are imposed by the UK Gambling Commission.
It is not possible for online Blackjack games at licensed casinos to be rigged. This is because each provider that the casino partners up with also needs to have obtained a license to offer its games in the UK, and this means that the Blackjack games on offer have undergone rigorous testing. Virtual Blackjack pays out based on a Random Number Generator which is tested by independent authorities, whereas Live Blackjack tables are streamed in a transparent manner so that the player can see exactly what the dealer is doing.
If you’re new to Blackjack, you may want to play online Blackjack for free initially, at least until you master the basic strategy. Fortunately, you can play free Blackjack online at almost any online casino if you choose a virtual Blackjack game from the table games category. Since you’ll be playing against the computer, you will be allowed to wager ‘fake money’ and practise Blackjack strategy for as long as you like.
The only Blackjack games that cannot be played for free are the Live Online Blackjack tables. In this case, you need to at least wager the minimum required at that table to be allowed to play.
To play Blackjack online, you need to join a secure online casino that offers the game and accepts players from the UK. You can then choose a Blackjack game from the Table Games section or play Live Blackjack at the Live Casino.
The best way to win at online Blackjack is to apply basic Blackjack strategy, which will allow you to make decisions based on your hand and the dealer's up card. A Blackjack Strategy Chart can help you learn this strategy.
You can play Blackjack for real money at any licensed online casino that accepts players from Great Britain, such as the ones recommended by CasinoHawks. Most online casinos offer multiple Blackjack games these days, with different betting limits to suit all budgets.
Live Dealer Blackjack is a game that is played on desktop or mobile against a real dealer located inside a land-based casino studio. The dealer shuffles deals out the cards, and players can watch and interact with him in thanks to high-quality live streaming. There are multiple Live Blackjack variants these days, each one with its own rules and twists.
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