Blackjack is one of the simplest games to play online, but that doesn’t mean all the sites offer the same experience when playing. The software on some online tables are far superior to others, and therefore provide you with a really smooth and effortless experience.
Blackjack is one of those games which transfers seamlessly to the online world. With the game being such an easy game to play, requesting a new card or standing on your cards is even easier to do online than it is offline.
But even though it’s an easy game to pick up and play, it’s not an easy game to master, and that’s what makes the game so exciting. Even though you’re only trying to get as near to 21 as possible, there are dozens of ways you should play so you have the best chance of winning.
Playing the perfect strategy means the house edge when playing blackjack games is a meagre 0.5%, so it’s important to learn that before you play. In fact, we have a fully comprehensive, yet concise, blackjack guide for you to read through.
Since the emergence of blackjack online, many variants of the traditional format have sprouted up. Here are just a few:
The classic card game dates as far back as the first gambling houses in Europe in the 17th century, so it must be doing something right to still be as successful as it is today.
Blackjack provided the backdrop to many cinematic classics like Rain Man, Casino, and 21, and throughout its illustrious history has been played by every class of society. Its simplicity and its subtlety has made this game a creation of absolute genius, and though in the internet age there have been some superb variants that have popped up, nothing rivals the traditional magnificence that blackjack games provide.
With so many online casinos out there offering tonnes of games with differing graphics, usability and variants, it’s hard to choose which site is best to use, that’s why, as blackjack lovers ourselves, we’ve spent time to find the best and most enjoyable places to play online.
Check the Circle’s table below for the best blackjack casinos out there.
|Casino||Editors Rating||Best Features||Bonus||User Rating||Play|
Up To £250
+ 100 Bonus Spins
Launched in 2018, the guys behind the creation of WinStar have created something truly special here. But in what way? Click on through to find out!
100% match up to £250
+ 150 free spins
Cashino is an old school back to basics online casino which very much mirrors their high street shop approach
100% bonus up to £20
Only 5 x wagering
Grosvenor are well-known for their high-class land-based casino's which have been a feature of the British high street since 1970, but how does their online casino, which launched in 2007, stack up?
+ £500 Welcome Package
Mansion Casino, founded in 2003, are an experienced and prestigious brand who aim "to provide all our players with an enhanced online casino experience that cannot be matched for excellence. We will always strive to ensure that our valued players benefit from the greatest experience available. This means that we work continually to refine and improve both our products and our service."
Up to £200
+ 10 Free Vegas Spins
Netbet is one of the most respected, most trusted, and most experienced casinos across the internet founded all the way back in 2001.
80 Wager Free Spins
Not one wager requirement!
PlayOjo is the new kid on the online casino block, and from its impressive graphics and speedy loading times, it’s immediately noticeable that it’s not just come to play around, it’s come to dominate.
121% Match Bonus
Up to £300
Launched in 2015, this is how 21 Casino describe themselves, "21 Casino - home to a selection of the very best in online casino entertainment since the turn of the century."
100% Welcome Bonus
Up to £200 + 50 Free Spins
As a relatively new casino on the market, Vegas Hero brings a commitment to lightning fast withdrawals, powerful promotions, free spins and bonus boosts. But do they deliver, or are they on course to become public enemy number one?
Up to £100
+ 300 Free Spins on Starburst
Launched in 2018, Genesis Casino is attempting to take the casino world by storm. This is how they describe themselves, "If the universe was a game of luck, Genesis Casino is the starting point! You can suit up and spin into the online casino space with total transparency - nothing is more than one click away whether it's terms, the latest game release or seamlessly smooth payment methods. A genuine online casino that's simple and straight to the fun!"
You may know it as "21" but blackjack is the common name for one of the most popular casino games in the world. It has helped sell millions of books, featured in movies starring the likes of Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert De Niro, and won players millions in the process. But did you know that Napoleon used to play it everyday? Or that a magician in the mid-20th century invented a piece of equipment used by all casinos today? Below are 10 facts you may not have known.
What? Less than 1%? This game is easy money then! Wrong! Due to things like card counting (we’ll get onto this later) and other strategies aimed at beating the dealer, numerous rules and variants were created to make sure the casino didn’t lose out too much. So certain rules need to be applied to keep the house edge below 1%. A breakdown of that can be found on the game's Wikipedia page.
The game originated in France in the 1700s but there’s a debate over its validity. Then it was known as vingt-et-un (twenty-and-one) but in the 15th century, a game called trentuno (thirty-one) existed in Italy. A game called ventiuna (twenty-one) was mentioned in Miguel de Cervantes’ novel, Rinconete y Cortadillo in 1601. If that author sounds familiar, that’s because he also wrote the famous Don Quixote in 1605. Whatever you believe, it was a card game created in Europe a few centuries ago!
The infamous emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was a huge fan. He reportedly played vingt-et-un during his exile on Elba but banned his soldiers from playing cards games as he saw them as a distraction.
"21" was introduced to the United States after the French Revolution and many gambling houses offered special payouts to entice players. One involved the ace of spades and a black jack at a 10-1 payout. This hand became a "blackjack", and the name stuck.
Located at Barona Casino in San Diego, California, is the Blackjack Hall of Fame. Inductees are awarded "a permanent lifetime comp for full room, food, and beverage, in exchange for each member’s agreement never to play on Barona’s tables." I can see why they’ve done that! Notable inductees include counting card father Ed Thorp, fellow mathematician and author Peter Griffin (no, not that Peter Griffin), and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a team of former US Army engineers who discovered the best playing strategy for the game in the 1950s.
Unlike slot games where it’s mainly luck (or random number generation), blackjack needs skill and strategy if you want to beat the casino. There have been countless books sold with different strategies and theories and while card counting is practically obsolete, its basis has helped many players regain some of the edge lost to the dealer.
If you’ve ever seen a casino in a film or TV show, you’ll have seen the croupier take cards out of a box when dealing. This is known as a card shoe and was invented by magician John Scarne. When blackjack used to use only one deck, Scarne proposed a shoe to be used to avoid any kind of manipulation or sleight-of-hand. He would know - he was a magician and expert at card manipulation himself. The Nevada Gaming Control Board never made it a state ruling as Scarne intended, but the shoe was still used by the state’s casinos and more decks were added to increase the house edge and reduce the power of card strategies. And the reason it’s called a shoe? Because the original device resembled a woman’s high-heeled shoe.
Don Johnson has won a pretty penny from it. He won $15 million from three Atlantic City’s casinos between December 2010 and April 2011. But it wasn’t an easy win. He had lost a lot of money ($500k) to begin with but the casinos offered him a discount and relaxed house rules in exchange for his custom. And they literally paid the price.
Most people know card counting from Rain Man and although there was some artistic licence employed to the concept in the film, it is very much a real thing. The aforementioned The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were the first to devise a strategy in 1956 and that lead a mathematician named Ed Thorp to create his own. In his 1963 book Beat the Dealer, he proposed an idea called card counting that allowed players to calculate when to hit or stand based on assigning numbers to different hands. As with any scientific theory, an experiment was required so he went out and tried it at numerous casinos and won. However, he was infamously thwarted when his use of special computers to “spy” on the dealers was caught. Las Vegas went on to ban him from all gambling establishments as a result.
A “16” hand is said to be the worst in the game, mathematically. It’s very much the midway because players are either afraid to hit and go bust or stick and see the dealer win. Splitting leads to a potential double loss. And with “hard” and “soft” hands, a "soft" 16 has its own problems. When you’re playing, indecisiveness can cost you dearly and a 16 is a real fly in the ointment. There are strategies to mitigate your losses but it’s a common hand and continues to make players wince at the sight of it.
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