Are you new to casino games or an experienced player looking to enjoy the best blackjack games around? EnergyCasino is here to WOW you with a selection of top-of-the-line online blackjack tables and authentic live dealer games for every playstyle and preference! Aside from an unparalleled offering of Live Casino table and card games from Evolution and NetEnt Live, you’ll find plenty of online RNG blackjack games to enjoy at our Casino. You’ll find popular tables like Atlantic City Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack, Vegas Single Deck Blackjack and the golden standard: Classic Blackjack. Let’s take at a glance at the history of modern and European blackjack, how to play blackjack online and where to find free online blackjack games.
HISTORY OF BLACKJACK
The exact origins of blackjack are unknown, but the first mentions of the game date back to the 17th century when a Spanish author - Miguel de Cervantes - described a game of cards (Ventiuna) where the main objective is to reach 21 points without going over. Other references to the game pop up in 18th-century France as Vignt-et-Un and two other games popular amongst the French: Ferme and Chemin de Fer.
All across Europe, similar games appeared left and right, with the premise of reaching a certain number of points through a series of dealt cards. The Spanish had Trente-Un (Thirty-one), the Italians enjoyed Sette e Mezzo (Seven and a Half), and the French also fancied Quinze (Fifteen).
The roots of European blackjack blossomed into blackjack as we know it today when the colonists arrived to the New World. Much like with the game of poker, playing blackjack became a popular pastime in saloons, military camps and social gatherings. The popularity of blackjack spread like wildfire, it’s no wonder that this game remains one of the most-played card games of all time.
ABOUT THE GAME OF BLACKJACK
At its core, blackjack is a game of luck and skill with a simple objective: beat the dealer’s hand and try not to go over a total of 21 points. Before you grab a seat and place your chips, take a moment to look over the rules of the game, side bets and etiquette of play. Additionally, gaining a better understanding of the house edge is one of the aspects of blackjack that should not be overlooked! Blackjack is one of the few games where the house advantage can be lowered through strategic moves and mindful gameplay. So let’s see what the game is all about and everything you need to know before you sit down and play blackjack online.
Blackjack is played using one or more traditional decks, with 52 cards in each deck. On live blackjack tables and in land-based casinos, the games are often played with a “shoe” of eight decks of cards. The shoe is a container where the decks are held and allows the use of multiple decks, which makes counting cards a bit more challenging. In brick-and-mortar casinos and Live Casino tables, the game is hosted by a professional dealer who oversees the gameplay and ensures that everything runs smoothly. The dealer, also known as a croupier, is responsible for managing the shoe, dealing the cards and making calls for action. Live dealer blackjack games differ, but ever so slightly. The tables do not have a limited number of seats, allowing dozens of players to enjoy the game at the same time. Keep in mind that in any blackjack game, you are playing against the dealer and not other players, so the number of fellow casino-goers is insignificant. On top of that, live blackjack games make playing far more convenient. Players don’t have to learn hand signals and cues, making blackjack easy to jump into and enjoy. The only limitations are time constraints, as each round will begin with a call for bets accompanied by a ticking timer. If you fail to place your chips within that time frame, you will have to hang on until the next round.
Playing blackjack online is another way to enjoy the fan-favourite game. If you’re not interested in live gameplay, then take a look at online blackjack (also referred to as First Person and RNG blackjack). Unlike its land-based counterpart and live dealer blackjack games, online blackjack is played against an algorithm and not a live dealer. These games have no timers, and only one player can load a game of online blackjack at once. These two factors make online blackjack the perfect choice for players who are new to the game or are looking to hone their skills. All of the outcomes are regulated by RNG, a random number generator, which means that players cannot rely on card-counting techniques to help them along the way.
First Person blackjack games are an excellent way to learn the basics and try out the game without the added pressure of live blackjack timers and faster rounds. No matter what your preference is, the rules of the game remain fairly universal. The objective of the game is not only to get as close to 21 as possible but to beat the live dealer’s hand while you’re at it. There are three outcomes in the game: win, tie (push) and bust. A win is attributed to the hand that has the greater point total without exceeding 21, which would result in a bust. In other words, you can win with a higher point total below 21 or with any point total below 21 as long as the dealer busts.
At the beginning of the round, you will be prompted to place your wager. You will find a selection of coloured chips, each with a designated cash value, within the user interface. Select the chip(s) of your preference and hit ‘deal’ to begin the round. You will receive two cards and will be prompted to either hit, stand or double down. Hitting means that you will draw an additional card from the deck, increasing your point total. You can hit as many times as you want, as long as the point total remains below 21. Standing implies that you are content with your hand as is, and do not wish to draw any additional cards. You cannot change your mind after selecting ‘stand’. Doubling down is the two-edged sword of the options! Your bet will be doubled (for example, a wager of 5CAD will be increased to 10CAD), but in return you can draw only one more card.
On tables where splitting is permitted, you may divide your hand into two when you are dealt two identical cards (eg: two eights). Each of the cards will be played as an individual hand, and a bet equal to the original must be placed on the second hand as well. On some blackjack tables, you may also encounter the option to surrender.
When you are happy with your point total, provided that you did not bust, press ‘stand’ to conclude your turn and pass it on to the dealer. In most online casinos, the playing moves of the dealer are restricted. Often times, the dealer must draw if the total is less than 17 and must stand on a point total between 17 and 21. The dealer’s first card, known as the upcard, is always dealt face up. The second – down card or hole card – is dealt face down and will be revealed when the player makes the aforementioned choices of hitting, standing, doubling down or splitting.
Going over a total of 21 is an automatic loss, and an unbusted hand which exceeds the total of the dealer’s hand is a win. As you play online blackjack or enjoy free blackjack demos, you will encounter different variations of the rules, so be wary of minimum bets and any additional features at play.
BLACKJACK CARD VALUES
In blackjack, all cards count as their face value.
- Jacks, queens and kings are all worth 10 points.
- The ace is 11 points unless doing so would push your hand over 21, in which case the ace has a point value of one.
Whether you are a new player or an experienced casino veteran, these blackjack terms may help you feel more at home when playing online blackjack games!
- Bankroll – the funds a player plans to bet with. Make sure to manage your bankroll carefully and impose limits to reduce the risk of irresponsible gambling.
- Bet Behind – a side bet in live dealer blackjack games, where players can bet behind one of the seated seven. The seated players can also bet behind other seated players.
- Breaking Hand – a hard hand (one that does not contain an ace) that is valued between 12 and 16. Also referred to as a stiff hand, meaning that just one more card can push the hand over 21.
- Bust – a hand that totals over 21. You will also bust when standing on less than 21, but the dealers total is higher than yours and is less than 21.
- Chips – chips are used instead of cash on online casino blackjack tables. Chips come in many denominations and are often colour-coded. Pay careful attention when you select the chips, some games may place a default starter bet on your behalf (much like slot games that default to a predetermined bet).
- Double Down – you can choose to double your original bet in exchange for drawing one more card. This will be the only card you are able to draw for the round, so be wary of doubling down with a weaker hand.
- Face Cards – jacks, queens and kings. Also referred to as picture cards.
- Hard Hand – hands that do not contain an ace.
- Hit – a request to be dealt another card from the dealer, after receiving the two opening cards.
- Hole Card – any face-down card. Often refers to the dealer’s face-down card.
- Insurance – when the dealer’s hole card is an ace, you can insure your hand for half of the original bet. If the dealer gets blackjack (21), you are protected from the loss. If the dealer does not hit blackjack but beats your hand, you will use all of the original bet and insurance amount.
- Pair – a pair is two numerically identical cards. Some online casinos will count all 10-point face cards as pairs (eg: queen-jack, king-10).
- Pat Hand – a hand with a point total between 17 and 21.
- Push – when the player ties with the dealer. In online blackjack, winning a push will pay out double of your wager.
- Soft Hand – a hand that includes an ace which can be valued at both 11 and one.
- Side Bets – side bets are additional bets that can be placed in a round. They can include 21+3, Perfect Pairs, Lucky 7s and others, depending on the game and provider. In online blackjack, side bets are rarely in play.
- Split – is a payer is dealt a pair, they may have the option to split the hand into two. Each of the two cards will play as an independent hand, and the wager on the second hand must be equal to that of the original.
- Standing – when the player chooses to lock in the hand as is, and pass the turn to the dealer. Be wary of standing on a weak hand and do so if the probability of surpassing 21 with just one card is greater than staying below the bust line, so to speak.
- Surrender – if a player wishes to forfeit their hand, the house will take half of the original bet and exclude the hand from the round.
- Up Card – the dealer’s first card, which is always dealt face up.
BLACKJACK HOUSE EDGE
Casino games of chance, like roulette, have an impregnable house advantage. The outcome of each spin is entirely independent of the previous spins, and there is absolutely no way to influence the outcome or make a strategic decision outside of the betting tactics. On the other hand, blackjack is one of the few casino games that encourage mental prowess to offset the element of chance!
Each deck is limited to 52 cards, which means that your chances of winning are dependent on the cards that were played in the previous rounds. In short, that implies that the game is theoretically beatable! Unfortunately, many online blackjack games are played with up to eight decks of cards. That makes card counting a difficult task, but certainly not an impossible one. The dependability of all outcomes on the previous card draws allows players to alter their bets or playing strategy in an attempt to maximise the payouts. Unlike any other casino game, using certain strategies and betting techniques may turn the odds in your favour.
ONLINE BLACKJACK STRATEGY AND BETTING
One of the advantages of playing live dealer blackjack games in real time is having the flexibility and opportunity to make strategically advantageous decisions. Blackjack is not all about luck! The understanding of mathematical probability and a simple playing strategy can reduce the house edge to less than 1%. By employing advanced techniques, based on cards already played, the player may even gain a slight advantage over the casino.
One of the reasons behind the popularity of blackjack is having the ability to make strategically advantageous decisions. Understanding probability can help the player reduce the house edge to less than 1%! The casino’s sole advantage in real, online and live blackjack is that the player draws first. Should a player exceed 21 on their draw, they automatically lose the wager, even if the dealer also busts on their turn. This also applies to a push, when the “double bust” rule comes into play. When the player and dealer tie twice in a row, the player will bust because they drew the card first.
The player’s advantage is in the greater variety of playing moves, such as doubling down on a favourable hand or having the option to split hands when landing on a pair. Players can also decide when to stand or hit, while the dealer must hit on a total of 16 or lower. These rules apply to online blackjack as well, since the algorithm in place of the dealer is also subject to these handicaps. If you’re just getting started, we recommend trying your hand at single-deck games, such as Vegas Single Deck Blackjack. Be wary of following popular strategies like the Martingale or the Parlay. Betting strategies that rely on progression will never overcome the house edge in the long run.
LIVE CASINO WELCOME BONUS
When you’re ready to take your spot at one of the premium online blackjack tables, make sure to make the most of your bets by claiming one of our fantastic promotions! At EnergyCasino, you’ll find a stellar Live Casino Welcome Bonus and plenty of recurring promotions that may help you boost your wins or recuperate a percentage of your losses with a Cashback offer. All casino bonus and promotional offers are subject to availability in your jurisdiction.
FREE ONLINE BLACKJACK GAMES
You can enjoy your favourite games of blackjack for free at EnergyCasino. Head over to the ‘Casino’ tab and search for blackjack games. You’ll have plenty of games to choose from, including Classic Blackjack, Vegas Single Deck and Atlantic City Blackjack. Hover over the thumbnail and click on ‘DEMO’ to play for free. You can practice a variety of betting and playing strategies using virtual funds. Keep in mind that all wagers and winnings in demos are entirely virtual, no real money will be credited to or deducted from your account balance. Demos are subject to availability based on the player’s jurisdiction and may require age verification before access can be granted.
⭐How to play online blackjack?
When playing blackjack online, your goal is to beat the dealer’s hand by getting as close to a total point value of 21 as possible (without surpassing it). Load up a game of blackjack, place your desired wager and press ‘deal’ to begin the round. If you wish to draw additional cards, press ‘hit’, to keep your hand as is and conclude the turn, press ‘stand’.
⭐Can you make money playing blackjack online?
Yes, if you are playing non-demo versions of online blackjack. Keep in mind that chance is still at play, and winning in casino games is never a guarantee.
⭐What is the best online blackjack site?
EnergyCasino is one of the leading online casinos around with an exceptional variety of online and live blackjack tables for every taste. Aside from the best of online blackjack, free blackjack games are also available at our Casino.
⭐Can I play blackjack for free?
Yes, you can enjoy free blackjack games by playing online through demos. These are free-to-play online versions of the game where all stakes and winnings are entirely virtual — great for practice! Demo availability is subject to geographical restrictions and successful account verification.
⭐What do I need to play blackjack online?
To play blackjack online, all you need is a reputable online casino! Make a deposit and select the blackjack game of your choice to play for real money, or launch the free demo version to hone your skills at no cost.
⭐Is playing a blackjack online game for real money safe for Canadians?
As long as the casino of your choice is regulated and licensed to operate in Canada, you’re safe! Online casinos like EnergyCasino adhere to strict industry standards that ensure the security, reliability and fairness to every Canadian player.
⭐Can I play free online blackjack with other players?
Unfortunately, no. The only way to enjoy free blackjack online is through single-person online blackjack demos.