Online real money blackjack provides a great opportunity to enjoy the ever-popular card game without actually visiting a casino.
Players in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware have the benefit of fully legalized online real money blackjack platforms. These states offer online casino games to anyone in the state, whether you’re a resident or just visiting.
Michigan and West Virginia, meanwhile, are on the cusp of launching online casino offerings. It’s only a matter of time before players in either state can play blackjack online for real money.
In markets without legalized real money online gaming, there’s still plenty of opportunities to play blackjack. Sweepstakes casinos operate in states without regulated online gaming, giving players an alternative route to blackjack, even though it’s not full-fledged real money gaming.
Where To Play Real Money Blackjack In The US
In the US, the availability of online gaming varies by state. The federal government allows each state to legalize (or prohibit) online gambling individually. Here’s a rundown of the current online gaming landscape and where you can play real money blackjack.
Legal And Live
New Jersey is viewed as one of the most progressive states when it comes to online gambling. Real money blackjack is available at the state’s many online casino sites, and some even offer popular blackjack variants. For this reason, new Jersey has a wide variety of options for real money blackjack players.
Pennsylvania gives New Jersey a run for its money with robust online gaming options. The Keystone State has a number of live real money casinos that feature different versions of blackjack from top developers.
Delaware is a bit of a unique case. The state has three online casino platforms, but they’re all operated by 888 Holdings in partnership with the Delaware lottery. Essentially, this means the game library and functionality of the state’s three online casinos is the same, though they may look different. Delaware blackjack enthusiasts can enjoy the game online for real money and even play up to three hands at a time.
Legal, Not Yet Launched
Michigan and West Virginia both formally legalized online gaming. The catch? They haven’t launched yet. Legalization is just one step one in a long process, and both states are busy building a regulatory framework before any operators can launch online casinos.
Launch timelines for both states are still in flux, though they could see online casinos within the next year. Michigan online casinos are trying to launch late 2020 as reported by MichiganSharp.com and DetroitNews.com, though it’s unclear if the plan will move forward.
Even though only five states offer (or will soon offer) real money online blackjack, the future outlook is positive. Sports betting in particular has expanded across multiple states, and online sportsbooks have been part of many state game plans. This relaxed attitude toward online betting bodes well for online casino legislation in the future.
Though some states remain hesitant to legalize online casinos, others look to it as a possibility for added revenue and more player engagement. Online casinos give players new opportunities to play their favorite games while operators and suppliers add new profit streams. As governments look to seize the opportunity, keep an eye out for new online casino laws, especially in states with existing online sports betting or horse racing sites.
How To Play Sweepstakes Blackjack Online
In states without real money online blackjack, the sweepstakes model offers an excellent alternative.
Sweepstakes casinos set themselves apart from traditional online casinos by using a completely different model. Instead of betting real money, players purchase in-game currency that can be used to play games on the sweepstakes casino site.
Every time players purchase the in-game currency, they receive a small allotment of “sweeps coins” or “sweeps cash.” Players can use sweeps currency to play games as well, but anything they win can be redeemed for cash prizes. There are also mail-in offers for free sweeps currency, which allows these sites to offer casino games in most states.
Where To Play Sweepstakes Blackjack
Chumba Casino and LuckyLand are the two most popular sweepstakes casino sites. Each one has a blackjack game that’s quick and easy to pick up. Signing up on each site is as simple as visiting the webpage and creating an account with your email address. They’ll even give you some free in-game currency to kickstart your sweepstake blackjack experience.
Sweepstakes casinos are legal and available to players in every state except Washington. Because they operate on a sweepstakes model, they can run their sites for players across the country (other than Washington state).
For a full overview of sweepstakes casinos and their blackjack options, head to our comprehensive sweepstakes blackjack guide.
How To Play Free Play Online Blackjack
Whether you’re in a state with no real money online blackjack or just looking to hone your strategy before making the move to a full-fledged online casino, there are free blackjack options readily available to you online.
There are two primary free blackjack types, both of which are available in our free blackjack guide.
The first is blackjack with friends. As the name implies, it allows you to invite friends and play with each other. Playing with friends is a great way to get up to speed with online blackjack because it replicates a casino experience where multiple players are at any given table.
For a more streamlined solo experience, there’s free single player blackjack as well. This version of the game allows you to play up to three hands at once. It’s particularly helpful because you can get a sense for how the game progresses when it’s time to hit or stand, and more.
To shape your strategy and learn the game, you can’t beat free blackjack.
Real Money Blackjack Vs. Sweepstakes Blackjack Vs. Free Blackjack
Blackjack comes in many forms based on local laws and regulations. Each type has distinct advantages and drawbacks, but they each present a unique way to play.
Real Money Blackjack
The main benefit of real money blackjack is right there in its name: real money! When you play at a legal online casino, you have a shot at real money prizes. Blackjack has a low house edge compared to most casino games as well, making it a fantastic choice for players looking to maximize win potential. Real money blackjack also comes in many forms–game variants make their way into the online space just like they do on a casino floor.
Real money blackjack’s main drawback is its availability. Only three states have live online casinos that feature blackjack. However, two more are on the way, and other states could follow suit in the near future.
Sweepstakes blackjack’s big advantage is its widespread availability. Every state except Washington allows players to participate. Plus, there’s the possibility of cash prizes.
The downside of sweepstakes blackjack is the low chance of big wins. Cash prizes are available, but you have to purchase in-game currency or mail in an offer for a chance to earn them. It’s still a great option, but the potential for prizes isn’t nearly as high as it is in real money blackjack. Also, sweepstakes casinos tend to have only one style of blackjack.
What makes free blackjack so great? Chances are you’ve already guessed this: it’s free! It’s the perfect way to sharpen your strategy and familiarize yourself with the game. It’s also available literally anywhere with an internet connection.
The downside? You can’t win any real money.
Types Of Blackjack Online
Thanks to its longevity and global popularity, blackjack has evolved over the years. The game now has countless variants and iterations that keep the gameplay fresh and exciting. Many of these changes come from the land-based casino space, but they’ve made their way online, too. And these are just the tip of the iceberg. For even more blackjack variants, visit our blackjack games overview.
Blackjack Switch is one of the most popular twists on the card game. Instead of just one hand, players bet on two hands simultaneously and meet the minimum bet for each of the hands.
Once the hands are on the table, players can choose to play them as they were dealt or instead switch a card from one hand to the other. Blackjack usually pays 1:1 in Blackjack Switch because it’s possible for players to get to 21 using the switch mechanic. The game compensates for the lost house edge on switched 21s by allowing the dealer to reach 22 and push all hands that remain in the game.
Blackjack Switch takes core blackjack mechanics and gives them a unique twist. Before you jump right in, we recommend honing your gameplay in regular blackjack first.
European blackjack makes one major tweak to traditional blackjack. The dealer’s face-up card is dealt alongside each player’s hand. However, the dealer doesn’t draw a hole card (the face-down card) until after each player makes their move. This changes the game significantly, because a player may be less likely to double down or split cards in certain scenarios.
Though the game is widely available at land-based properties overseas, European blackjack has carved out a niche in American online casinos.
Live Dealer Blackjack
Live dealer blackjack, which we’ll cover in more detail below, brings the casino experience online. Online casinos live stream dealers doling out cards and running hands much like they would at a land-based casino table.
How To Play Live Dealer Blackjack Online
Live dealer games use a camera focused on a live dealer. The table combines with streaming video technology and special software to let you play using your computer or mobile device. You use a software set-up much like the one described in software-driven games to make your best playing decisions. But all the action is live on your screen with real cards and a real dealer.
There’s also social interaction features on many live dealer games. Usually, this comes in the form of a chat window that allows you to communicate with the other players at your virtual table.
Many online casinos offer live dealer online blackjack games. Minimum bets at live dealer games can start at $5 and extend to $10 or higher depending on number of players, demand, and other factors. Most often, blackjack will pay 3:2 at live dealer tables. If you find one that pays 6:5 try to steer clear as that payout is more advantageous to the house than 3:2.
Live dealer blackjack games generally move a bit slower than fully digital versions of the game. But because live dealer aims to replicate the experience of playing at a casino, many players enjoy it. The odds and rules are typically similar whether you’re playing a software-driven game or a live dealer game; neither has an advantage over the other.
Where To Play Live Dealer Blackjack
Golden Nugget Online Casino offers live dealer blackjack in New Jersey. BetMGM and Borgata have online live dealer games for NJ players as well.
In Pennsylvania, Parx Casino plans to launch a live dealer game in the near future. It’s highly likely that other online casinos in the state, such as FanDuel and DraftKings, will launch live dealer games, too.
The Biggest Blackjack Casinos In The US
The legal landscape in the US requires states to individually decide whether online casinos are legal. As a result, there are a few frontrunners in the race for “biggest blackjack casino” based on the category you choose.
In the Keystone State, FanDuel is one of the top casinos. However, there is a lot of tight competition, and many online casinos do very well in the state.
DraftKings and BetRivers also show strong performance in Pennsylvania.
New Jersey: Golden Nugget
In New Jersey, Golden Nugget Online is the undisputed frontrunner. In fact, in June 2020, the company announced it would go public as a separate entity from Golden Nugget’s land-based properties.
Golden Nugget has live dealer games alongside standard blackjack and a handful of variants, including Zappit, Blazing 7s, and others.
Nationwide: Chumba Sweepstakes Casino
Of course, online casinos for real money are only available in a select few states. For those in markets with no real money blackjack, Chumba Casino is a perfect alternative.
The sweepstakes model allows Chumba to operate in all states except Washington, and you can sign up and purchase in-game currency to use on the casino’s blackjack game in a matter of seconds.
Is It Safe To Play Blackjack For Real Money Online?
If you want to play blackjack online, it’s important to know that your experience will be safe and secure.
Online casinos in legalized states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware are safe because they are regulated by government agencies. Sites in these states have to adhere to incredibly strict regulations or they will have their licenses revoked. They also use high-level encryption to protect your data and payment information.
Similarly, sweepstakes casinos are safe to use as well, because they use a completely separate model from real money casinos. Their operating model is legal in all states except Washington, and players can safely enjoy blackjack on those sites.
If you encounter a site outside of a legalized state that offers real money blackjack, you’re most likely on a site that is not safe.
Offshore And Grey Market Blackjack: What To Look For
Offshore and grey market casinos have telltale signs that serve as easily identifiable red flags. There are a few key things to keep an eye out for to ensure you’re on a safe and reputable site.
First, scroll to the bottom of the webpage and look for licensing information. Legal online casinos will have licensing and regulatory information on their websites, indicating that they offer their games legally and are overseen by a government agency. If this information is missing, it’s best to stay away from that site.
Also, check customer service options. Grey market sites will typically have limited customer service options, or they will hide the information away behind convoluted pages that require many clicks. Legal casinos have quality customer service; most of them even offer 24/7 support.
Payment options can be a huge indicator of the type of site you’re on as well. Legal online gaming sites have plentiful options: debit/credit, online banking, e-wallets services (like PayPal), and more. Offshore sites have limited options here often requiring wire transfers or other risky payment methods.
In general, your best bet is to avoid sites that display any of these warning signs.
How To Play On The Best Online Blackjack Casinos
Much like in land-based casinos and gambling establishments, you can find a wide range of blackjack rules and game variations online.
Playing online isn’t too different from enjoying blackjack at a casino table, but there are still some key differences to consider.
Funding Your Account
You can’t walk up to a table and put cash down for online blackjack. Instead, you’ll need to deposit funds into your online casino account after you sign up. Fortunately, online casinos make this very easy. They offer a wide variety of deposit methods:
- Credit/Debit Card
- Bank Wire
- Bank transfer
Playing Blackjack Online
Blackjack rules can vary based on the online casino you choose, just like in a real casino. Common rule variations to look for include the following:
- Dealer hits or stands on a soft 17
- The player can double after split
- The player can re-split aces
- The player can surrender
- Number of decks from 1 to 8
Online blackjack games all look pretty similar. Once you know how one works, chances are you’ll be able to switch easily between online casinos and pick up the game without any issues.
The player experience is streamlined and simple. You log into your casino account, click on the blackjack game, and it loads on your screen. You pick the amount you want to bet, and the software deals the cards.
Each casino sets a minimum and maximum bet for each game. The standard game of blackjack usually has a minimum bet of $1 or $5, and the maximum bet is $100. Other rules variations have different limits, which you see when you open a new game.
Once you get your two cards, you click on one of the following buttons on the screen:
Not all the options are available on every game or at all times. The corresponding button will illuminate if that option is available to you within the rules set by the casino. After you finish your actions, the dealer draws or stands based on the house rules.
Once the action is completed, the software either takes your bet or pays out your winnings. Then you click the deal button to start the next hand.
Playing blackjack this way is fast and easy. You can easily play 100 hands per hour (or more). If you learn how to play on one software platform, you won’t have any difficulty playing on others.
Odds And Payouts
You’ll likely find that 3:2 is the most common payout for blackjack at online casinos. Some might offer 6:5, which is slightly worse for the player–stick to 3:2 if you can. Insurance often pays 2:1, but it’s a risky bet. For more on specific odds and payouts, view our full guide to blackjack odds.
Real Money Blackjack FAQ
21. In all three states with legal online real money blackjack, 21 is the minimum age to play. This includes Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
In Michigan and West Virginia, though they haven’t launched yet, the age will also be 21.
Sweepstakes casinos allow anyone 18 or older to play as long as sweepstakes gaming is legal in the player’s state.
Yes, they do! Many online casinos have live dealer games. Golden Nugget in New Jersey is one of the better-known sites that features live dealer games.
Plus, casinos with live dealer blackjack usually have other games as well. Roulette and baccarat are two other popular live dealer games available at online casinos.
Yes, but it depends on the type of online blackjack and where you’re located.
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware all have legal online casino gaming, so you can play online in those states (even if you’re just visiting) for real money. Michigan and West Virginia have both legalized online gaming as well, but have yet to launch.
Sweepstake casinos are legal and available in every state except Washington.
You can play free online blackjack anywhere in the US as long as you have an internet connection.
Registration is quick and easy. Head to the website of your chosen online casino, or download the app if that’s your preferred way to play.
From there, the casino will walk you through the process, which usually involves age and identity verification using your government-issued ID. Next, you’ll confirm your location with a geolocation tool. You can then connect your preferred payment method, make a deposit, and start playing.
The odds in online blackjack are similar to those you’d find at a land-based blackjack table. As always, the house (in this case the online casino operator) has an edge and is more likely to win.
For a full rundown of odds and how they work at an online casino, we have a blackjack odds and strategy guide.
Yes. Most online casinos offer some sort of mobile options.
You can download Android apps for online casinos on the webpage of your favorite site–Google doesn’t allow regulated gaming apps to be listed in its Play Store. Apple has fewer restrictions, so many online casinos will have an app available on the iOS App Store.
If you prefer, you can also play from your mobile browser.
In states where they are legal and regulated, yes. Online casinos with blackjack are overseen by government entities that put measures nad laws in place to protect players.
Offshore sites and grey market casinos are much riskier. Be on the lookout for red flags that indicate you’re not on a safe site, which we provide on this page.