Finding the best blackjack at the online casino depends on what you’re looking for. Typically, blackjack players either want to find the best odds or the most action – and this article covers both and then some.
If you’re looking for the best odds, you want to find the blackjack variation with the highest return to player (RTP) percentage. If you’re looking for the highest win potential, you want to find blackjack with lucrative side bets. And don’t disregard the blackjack variations with features you can only find online either, like Zappit or Xchange.
But before we get into specifics, let’s go over what we looked for to determine the best variations of blackjack – and why the more unique games probably aren’t worth it.
Best Online Blackjack Rules
The best online blackjack rules are the ones most favorable to the player. The better the rules, the better the RTP, and the more money you’re likely to keep. Here’s what to look for:
- Dealer stands on a soft 17
- Blackjack pays 2:1 is the best, but 3:2 is standard and not bad
- Single deck (the fewer the decks, the better the odds)
- Early surrender (meaning you can forfeit with half your wager intact before the dealer checks their down card, so you can win even if they have a blackjack)
- Late surrender (forfeit after the dealer checks their down card, which means you lose if the dealer has a blackjack)
- Double down allowed anytime (rather than just on the first two cards)
- Double after split (pretty common, but still a great rule)
- Hit after splitting aces (usually not allowed, but a great rule if it’s offered)
- Resplit aces (another rare but much-appreciated offer)
Each of these rules can improve a player’s RTP between 0.8% and 2%, which can really add up. The more of these you have on your side, the more likely you’ll win.
Worst Online Blackjack Rules
For every great blackjack rule that improves the player’s RTP, there’s a rule somewhere else that improves the house edge (the advantage the dealer has over the player). Here are the main culprits:
- Dealer hits on soft 17
- Blackjack pays 6:5 or worse
- Six to eight decks, shuffled between every game
- No surrender allowed
- Double down only on specific pairs, such as 9-11
- Dealer 22 pushes, as in if a player doesn’t have a blackjack and the dealer busts with a 22, it’s a tie and the bet is returned
That’s not to say a blackjack variation with these rules is disqualified from consideration. But it is an indication that you’re playing for special features rather than for the best odds of winning.
Best Odds: Single Deck Blackjack
The online blackjack with the best odds is single-deck Blackjack. The problem is that it can be hard to find. While FanDuel Casino offers it, the RTP is 99.59%, which is slightly lower than the standard blackjack at Golden Nugget‘s RTP of 99.60%.
Whenever you see single deck blackjack, check the rules. If you find most of them to be player-friendly, then it’s likely the way to go. But if having a single deck is pretty much the only player-friendly rule, it may not have the best odds.
In online blackjack, all decks are shuffled between each game, which means card counting is impossible. But with a single deck rather than six or eight decks, you have the best chance of getting a part of the deck with more tens than number cards.
However, you should expect the table minimum to be higher on single deck blackjack than on most variations. It could be available for as low as $1 per hand, but expect to pay as much as $5 or $10 per hand or more. That’s low for a table at a brick-and-mortar casino, but it’s relatively high for an online casino game.
Highest Win Potential: 777 To 1
You can find Blackjack Blazing 7s at most US online casinos, including Golden Nugget and BetMGM. What makes this variation worth considering is the incredibly high side bet payout. While Blackjack Poker & Pairs offers a 100 to 1 payout for a suited three of a kind, Blazing 7s has a 777 to 1 side bet.
To win the biggest Blackjack Blazing 7s side bet, you need your first two cards to be suited 7s and the dealer’s up card to be a 7 in a matching suit. When you create this suited three of a kind in 7s, you win 777 to 1, which would mean winning $777 on a $1 side bet.
Important note: you have to place the side bet to qualify for the payout. If you got a suited 7s three of a kind but didn’t place the side bet, the game would progress as normal.
Lowest Table Minimum: $0.10 Per Hand
BetMGM Casino and elsewhere offer table minimums as low as $0.10 per hand on blackjack variations around 99.60% RTP, which is pretty great. At Golden Nugget, the only blackjack variation with a table minimum lower than $1.00 is Zappit Blackjack, which has a 98.87% RTP, almost a full percent lower than the standard blackjack.
While $1.00 per hand is still incredibly low compared to the vast majority of brick-and-mortar casinos, you can play 10x more within your budget if you’re betting $0.10 per hand instead.
Highest Table Maximum: $15,000 Total; $5,000 Per Hand
Online casinos will usually adjust your table minimum if you’re a VIP or high-roller player. For example, BetMGM Blackjack Pro’s standard maximum limit is $2,500, but it will offer higher if you’re a VIP.
However, there’s a blackjack at DraftKings Casino that allows the highest standard betting maximums at $15,000 per hand. The game is Four 20s Blackjack, which makes you play a minimum of four hands and the 20s side bet (up to 420 to 1 payout). The minimum total wager to cover all five bets is $5 ($1 per bet). The maximum is $15,000, or $3,000 per hand.
And if that isn’t high enough, DraftKings Casino allows $5,000 per hand on most blackjack variations.
Obviously, $2,500 is a tremendous amount of money for the average player. $15,000 is borderline insane. But high-rollers looking to maximize their payout every hand (without asking for the privilege) can find the biggest opportunities at DraftKings Casino.
Non-blackjack wins are paid 1 to 1, which means you double your bet. So high-rollers see winning $100 on a $100 bet as a missed opportunity to win $1,000 on that same hand.
But, again, this is only for players with massive budgets. The only way to ensure that you play blackjack successfully is to follow Responsible Gaming best practices, which includes never betting more than you can afford to lose.
Most Unique Online Blackjack Variations
If you’re looking for games you can only find online, you have a few different options to choose from. But remember: more bells and whistles usually mean worse odds for the player.
- Zappit Blackjack: This game by SG Digital allows players to swap out a hard 15-18 with a new hand. The “Zappit” feature will electrocute the cards and replace them with a different two-card hand from the same shoe. This advantage to the player is covered by multiple house-friendly rules, such as the dealer stays on soft 17 and a dealer’s 22 is a push.
- Blackjack Xchange: This game by Slingo is almost like a slot in that you can bet more than you win. When you receive your first two cards, you can choose to sell a good card to receive a new card (which decreases your bet) or buy a new card to replace a poor card (which increases your bet). The price of a buy or sell depends on the card in relation to the dealer’s up card. It’s an interesting game that you can try in free demo practice mode at DraftKings Casino.
- Themed Standard Blackjack: DraftKings Casino offers identical blackjack variations with various themes, giving you some nice personalization and variety without changing up the format. For example, sports fans can find baseball, basketball, football, and soccer blackjack. Other options include the beachy Vacation Blackjack and the holiday-themed Christmas Blackjack.
If you’re looking to change things up—either in terms of the gameplay or just the aesthetics of the table—those are your best bets.
The Advantages Of Live Dealer Blackjack
Live dealer games have online players live-stream a real-life dealer at a physical table. Cards are dealt or a wheel is spun, and players can participate remotely through the use of digital chips. You can also interact with the dealer and other players at the table.
Here are some of the key advantages to playing live dealer blackjack:
- Decks are shuffled normally rather than between every game, making hot streaks more likely.
- Slower pace means playing for longer within budget.
- Interacting with other players and a dealer makes it a more immersive, casino-like experience.
- Bet minimums and maximums are usually $1 to $2,500, the same as the digital games.
We’re still waiting on Michigan online casinos to launch live dealer games, but they’re currently available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Live dealer games will be available in Michigan in the near future, hopefully in 2021, and will likely arrive in West Virginia and Connecticut sometime in 2022.