Best Blackjack Sites in New Zealand for 2024

Matt Bastock

Updated by Matt Bastock

Editor

Lee James Gwilliam

Fact Checked by Lee James Gwilliam

Senior Vice-President

Last Updated 9th Feb 2024, 10:33 AM

Blackjack, commonly known as 21, is widely considered the world’s most popular casino game, and I know why. It’s fun, easy to learn, and with a little bit of strategy and practice, players can reduce the house’s edge making it one of the more winnable games at the casino. There are several variations of blackjack to play, especially at the best NZ online casinos.

The slightest rule changes can change a player’s odds against the dealer, and it’s important to know what options you have when picking an online casino. Here at Casinos.com, I’ve compiled a ranked listing of the best online blackjack sites in New Zealand based on crucial elements such as casino game variations, graphics, gameplay, and any other unique characteristics that may affect your experience at the table. Find your table below, read my reviews of the best casinos offering blackjack, and start winning big!

Affiliate disclosure: At Casinos.com, we want to ensure that players are matched with the right casino and sportsbook offers for them. For this reason, some of the recommended site links are affiliate links. This means that if you visit a website through our link and make a deposit, Casinos.com will receive a commission payment at no extra cost to you.
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blackjack

Advantages of Playing Online Blackjack in New Zealand

There are lots of advantages to choosing blackjack sites ahead of land-based casinos. When I think about playing online blackjack,here's what pros come to mind:

  • Convenience — You can play blackjack online 24/7 by simply picking up your mobile or switching on your laptop or desktop. Best blackjack sites let you play on your terms, at your preferred speed, without having to get dressed up and drive to a land-based casino or use public transportation.
  • Value — It is a lot cheaper to play blackjack online, as you save on petrol, Uber fees, or public transportation costs. You will not be expected to tip dealers, and you won't be tempted to spend money on expensive refreshments, all of which cut down any winning margin you earn.
  • Variety — You can choose from dozens of great blackjack games at an online casino. It allows you to find the blackjack version you prefer with the best RTP and limits that suit you. It means you don't have to wait for a seat to become available or deal with annoying fellow players. If you miss the camaraderie of a land-based casino, you can simply play live dealer blackjack online.
  • Bonuses — The best blackjack sites NZ offer large bonuses to stand out in a crowded market. Claiming these bonuses erodes the house edge, which is already low on blackjack, and dials up your chances of earning an overall profit. Bonuses are not available at land-based casinos.
  • Security — You don't have to worry about carrying cash around or catching the attention of shady types when you win. You will receive a quick, secure online payment to your account when you use the top online blackjack sites.

How We Review Online Blackjack Sites NZ

Our experienced team of reviewers at Casinos.com signs up for accounts with all the different licensed blackjack sites NZ players can access. They make real money deposits, claim sign-up casino bonuses, and play the various blackjack games on offer before requesting payouts. They also chat to the customer service team to see how helpful and responsive the operators are.

They make detailed notes on the quality of the user experience, the strength of the blackjack portfolio, the payout speeds, the size and generosity of the blackjack bonuses, and other important factors. These are the key areas we focus on, and you should keep them in mind when deciding upon the best blackjack sites to sign up with:

Online Blackjack Game Selection

The best blackjack sites provide a wide variety of high-quality virtual blackjack games from licensed, reputable producers. Personally, I believe it's important to seek out a site that offers high RTP blackjack games with sharp graphics and strong features.

You should find blackjack games from several different software providers, including game variants, such as Atlantic City Blackjack, Blackjack Switch, Blackjack X-Change, Spanish 21, Perfect Pairs, 21+3, and so on. The online blackjack games should offer a broad range of bet sizes to accommodate low-stakes players as well as high rollers.

You should also gain access to a wealth of great live dealer blackjack games, including classic blackjack and fun variants like lightning blackjack. Once again, you should ideally find live blackjack games from different suppliers.

Online Blackjack Casino Licensing

The dedicated Casinos.com team recommends blackjack sites that are licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). That means they must uphold strict regulatory conditions and regulations. Their blackjack games are regularly tested to ensure the Random Number Generators deliver fair results, and they are compelled by law to provide timely payouts to winning players. 

They must also invest in strong security measures. Look out for the licensing details at the bottom of the homepage. If an online blackjack site does not hold a license, avoid it.

Customer Support For Online Blackjack Players

From my research and experience, I know that the best blackjack sites offer 24/7 customer service, 365 days a year. You should be able to use live chat or send an email, while some online blackjack sites offer phone support too. 

The best blackjack sites NZ respond rapidly to customer service requests, and their agents are polite, friendly, and knowledgeable, allowing them to provide you with clear, concise advice immediately. They also have detailed FAQs and help sections, which provide answers to most requests.

Top Blackjack Casino Payment Methods

The best blackjack sites provide customers with a long and varied list of convenient deposit methods. You can fund your account with your debit card or use a service like Apple Pay to speed things up. 

They also accept payments via e-wallets, such as PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Payz, and MuchBetter, and prepaid cards from Paysafecard. You can alternatively send a direct bank transfer, or consider more of a niche option like betting at casinos with pay by phone bill. Deposits should be immediate and free, and the limits should be broad.

You will then be offered a variety of withdrawal options from the best blackjack sites. To prevent money laundering, you're typically required to use the same withdrawal method that you used when making your deposit. 

The best blackjack sites NZ process and approve each withdrawal request quickly, so you can receive your winnings without any lengthy waiting periods. All the best online casino withdrawals are free.

Trustworthiness

We only recommend trustworthy online blackjack sites. The top blackjack casinos listed on this page have been delivering quick, secure payouts to all of their customers for a long time. You can rely on them to settle bets fairly, uphold bonus terms, and use legitimate random number generators for their blackjack games. 

As a seasoned player (if I may say so myself), I delve into each blackjack site’s credentials, ensuring that it's fully licensed and that it works with third-party testing agencies to uphold the integrity of its software. I also try to maintain a constant dialogue with a large community of online casino players to ensure we avoid untrustworthy sites and only recommend top online blackjack sites that remain in good standing with punters.

blackjack sites

Best Blackjack Bonuses NZ

There are lots of ambitious blackjack sites vying for your business, and many of them offer exciting bonuses to stand out. That will include a sign-up bonus, plus additional offers, such as reload bonuses, free bets and loyalty schemes. Lots of casino welcome bonuses are strictly for pokies, but many of them encompass table games too.

You should read the terms and conditions to check the wagering requirements on sign-up bonuses, as they are often more important than the size of even the best online casino bonus. For example, a $100 bonus with a 20x playthrough requirement might be more appealing than a $250 bonus with a 50x playthrough requirement. 

In case you hadn't noticed, blackjack is a casino game that has a very high RTP, so it does not always count 100% towards completing wagering requirements. Contribution rates should be detailed in the terms and conditions, but you can contact customer services if you're unsure.

Online Blackjack No Deposit Bonuses

You will occasionally find online blackjack no deposit bonuses, which are almost always worth claiming. They essentially award you free site credit to use on blackjack games, without requiring you to risk any of your own money. 

Online blackjack no deposit bonuses tend to come with high playthrough requirements though, but if you complete them, you can earn a cash payout. Your cash payout may be capped at a certain level but it's undoubtedly an attractive offer.

Why do some new online casinos in NZ offer no deposit bonuses? The idea is to essentially get you in the door. They can then try to impress you while you're working your way through the wagering requirements, as they hope to turn you into a long-term customer. 

New online blackjack sites may offer no deposit bonuses to boost their appeal, but my experience tells me that established operators also invest in them in a bid to grow market share.

Best Blackjack Promotions

Head to the “Promotions” page of a blackjack site or mobile app to check out a list of bonuses that are open to all existing customers. You may be offered a reload bonus, whereby you're given a free bet credit as a reward for making a deposit. 

Another potential offer is a “bet and get” promotion. For example, you might be given $10 in free blackjack credit for wagering $100 on a blackjack game. 

The best blackjack sites also offer loyalty schemes, where you earn points for placing bets, and the points can be exchanged for free bet credits further down the line. These promotions eat into the house edge on blackjack if you use them sensibly.

Online Blackjack Tournaments

The best blackjack sites run tournaments for blackjack players from time to time. Each player begins with the same number of chips, and the player with the largest stack at the end secures the top prize. 

Some online blackjack tournaments are winner-takes-all, whereas others issue prizes to the runners-up too. You may occasionally find free-to-enter tournaments with modest prizes, but most require you to pay an entry fee, which helps blackjack sites offer large prize pools. There are some single-table tournaments, but they mainly involve lots of tables and various rounds.

Top Live Blackjack Casino Sites and Bonuses

Live dealer blackjack games bring the excitement of a real casino floor onto your computer or mobile casino online. You can choose your table, and a live stream will then connect you with a real dealer based in a high-tech studio. You can chat to the dealer, just like you would at a land-based casino, and place bets without having to rely on a random number generator to decide the outcomes of each round.

The best blackjack sites in New Zealand offer welcome bonuses that can be used on live dealer games, including blackjack. Just check the wagering requirements in the terms and conditions section to ensure live dealer blackjack games are included in the promotion. When you've completed the wagering requirements, you can cash out.

Blackjack Wagering Requirements

I know — wagering requirements confuse a lot of players. So, here's the gist of it — when you receive an online casino bonus, you're required to wager your funds a certain number of times before you can cash out any winnings. Moreover, you're generally given a specific period of time to complete the requirements, or the bonus funds will be forfeited. Blackjack has an exceptionally high RTP rate, so it rarely counts 100% towards completing wagering requirements.

One thing you need to check first is, does your payment method counts towards the wagering requirements. From what I've noticed, online casinos only accept a finite range of banking options. 

For example, PayPal online casinos are becoming less common due to some gambling regulators banning the method. Certain regulators, including the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), want to stop bettors from using credit cards to top up their accounts, as they feel this is more likely to lead to excessive gambling, so e-wallets that don't prevent the use of credit cards are being cracked down on.

In terms of blackjack contributing to bonus requirements, here's an example of how it might work: 

  • A blackjack casino might offer a 200% match deposit welcome bonus worth up to $500, and you can play pokies, poker, scratch cards, or live table games like blackjack to unlock the bonus cash.
  • You need to make a deposit and play it through 20 times to unlock the bonus funds. If you made a $250 deposit, you would need to wager $5,000 to gain the maximum $500 in bonus credit.
  • However, while the best online pokies for real money and scratch cards usually count 100% to casino bonuses, blackjack often only counts 10% towards the requirement. That means that in this example, the playthrough requirement on blackjack is actually 200x.

High Stakes and Low Stakes Blackjack Casinos Online

The best blackjack sites cater to all players by offering broad blackjack betting limits. Low-stakes players can find games with a minimum bet of $5 or less per hand, while high-rollers will find VIP and Salon Privé games with very high upper limits. 

High stakes players will also need to factor in deposit and withdrawal limits when choosing an ideal blackjack site, while the best operators roll out the red carpet for high rollers by providing strong VIP schemes.

Broad table limits are also important for players that are pursuing aggressive progression systems. For example, the Martingale System requires you to double your bet after each loss. If you start out by betting $20 and suffer nine straight losses, you will need to wager $10,240 on the next hand. The system falls apart if you run up against table limits and cannot place the correct size bet, so finding a site with broad limits can be vital.

How To Find And Choose The Best Real Money Blackjack Casinos

This page has laid out the key factors you should focus on when choosing a real money blackjack casino: game quality, game variety, trustworthiness, convenient deposit and withdrawal options, generous blackjack bonuses with realistic wagering requirements, and broad betting limits. 

The best blackjack sites have unique strengths – some excel when it comes to bonuses, while others have better game variety, for example – so you can figure out which factors are most important to you and choose a site that fits your needs.

Blackjack Rules

The first thing I learned about blackjack is that the goal is to beat the dealer. That can be a virtual dealer controlled by a random number generator (RNG) or a live dealer in a dedicated studio. You will be dealt two cards face up, and the dealer will also receive two cards. One of the dealer’s cards is normally face up and the other is normally face down.

The ultimate objective is to get a total hand that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand, but without going over 21. If the total value of your cards exceeds 21, you go bust. Face cards – a jack, queen or king – count as 10, while an ace can either count as one or 11.

If you're dealt an ace and a 10-card – either the number 10 or a face card – it is considered a “blackjack” and you instantly win. You are normally paid out at odds of 3:2 if you land a blackjack, which is also known as a natural.

If you're not dealt a blackjack, you have two options: stick or twist. If you stick, you do not receive any additional cards. This is also known as standing. If you twist, you're dealt a third card. This is also known as hitting. If your total hand value is still less than 21, you can stick or twist again. If you go over 21, you lose your stake.

There are obvious instances in which you would stick or twist. For example, if the two cards you were dealt added up to 19 or 20, you would not twist, as the chances of going bust would be extremely high. If your hand is 11 or less, you would always twist, as your chances of going bust are zero. It becomes a little more complicated if you're dealt a 12 or 13 for instance. Our blackjack strategy guide below explains what to do in a variety of situations.

When you don't request any more cards, the dealer plays his or her hand. The dealer must twist or stick on certain hands. If the dealer goes bust, you automatically win. If the dealer receives a lower hand than you, victory is yours. If the dealer’s hand is larger than yours or identical, you lose. There are various options, such as splitting cards and doubling down, which you can choose to boost your chances of success.

Blackjack Rule Variations

Most online blackjack games pay 3:2 when you're dealt a blackjack, but some only pay 6:5. That reduces the RTP, so those games are not recommended. The house edge also increases with the number of decks used, so check that before playing. If you find a game where suited blackjacks pay 2:1, the RTP is boosted by 0.57%.

A dealer is usually required to stand when dealt a soft 17 (ace and a 6). However, certain variants allow the dealer to hit on a soft 17, which increases the house edge by around 0.2%. In some online blackjack games, you're only allowed to double down on certain hands, which can increase the house edge by up to 0.18%.

Other games allow you to triple down on any two cards, which improves your chances by 1.64%. Players are allowed to double down after splitting cards in certain blackjack online games, but not others. If you can't do that, the house edge goes up by 0.15%. Re-splitting can also boost your chances of success by around 0.1%.

blackjack games

Blackjack Game Types

There are several different online blackjack variants, which offer a slight twist on the basic blackjack rules. Options include classic blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack, American Blackjack, European Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack, Blackjack X-change, Blackjack 21+3, Pontoon, Blackjack Suit’em Up, Perfect Pairs, Multihand Blackjack Side Bets, Lightning Live Blackjack and many more. Below is a list of my favourites, if you want to play blackjack online:

  • Classic Blackjack — This game follows the standard blackjack rules.
  • Atlantic City Blackjack — Atlantic City requires the blackjack to stand on a soft 17, while the dealer peeks on 10 cards and aces. It is played with eight regular decks. You can double down on any two cards or after a split. You can split three times, but you can only split aces once, and a late surrender is allowed.
  • Spanish 21 — This blackjack game removes the 10s from the deck, leaving 48 cards. That reduces your chances of landing a blackjack, but it makes up for that with various bonuses. For example, a six-card 21 pays 2:1 and a seven-card 21 pays 3-1, while a suited 7-7-7 when a dealer has a seven pays 50:1. You also get much better payouts on 6-7-8 and 7-7-7.

Top Rated Blackjack Games

However, if you want to switch it up a notch, these are some of the best online blackjack games you can play today:

  • Blackjack Switch — In this intriguing blackjack online game, you make two bets and get two hands. You then have the option of trading the second card of each hand to form stronger pairs.
  • Perfect Pairs — This is one of the best online blackjack games. It follows the classic blackjack rules, but it also introduces a side bet, which pays out if any player is dealt a pair.
  • Vegas Strip — This online blackjack game requires the dealer to stand on a soft 15. Doubling is allowed on any two cards, as is double after a split and re-splitting. It's played with four decks.
  • Lightning Blackjack — This is a live dealer online blackjack real money game from Evolution, which guarantees a randomly-generated multiplier of 2x to 25x on a winning score. There is also an RNG first-person version of this online blackjack NZ game.
  • Blackjack Surrender — The ability to surrender a late hand and get half your bet back can increase the RTP by 0.07%. The best online Blackjack Surrender games offer 3:2 natural payouts, doubling down on any cards and splitting hands up to three times. One Blackjack Surrender game from Ezugi has a 99.89% RTP.

American vs. European Blackjack

The main difference between American blackjack and European blackjack is the way the dealer’s cards are displayed. In European blackjack, the dealer receives one face-up card and the face-down card is not revealed until all players have played their hands.

In American blackjack, dealers will be forced to check their hands instantly if they are dealt a face up ace. If they have a blackjack, the game ends instantly. It means that players can potentially lose more on European blackjack, as they have more opportunities to increase their bet size – doubling down, splitting – before learning the dealer has a natural.

Blackjack Odds: Why House Edge Matters

Casinos build a house edge into every game they offer. This allows them to pay their staff and maintenance costs and earn a profit. You should see the RTP (return to player percentage) of each game. The house edge is the difference between the RTP and 100%. For example, if the RTP is 99.65%, the house edge is 0.35%. You should seek out online blackjack games with the lowest house edge – thus the highest RTP – as it boosts your chances of success.

Blackjack Bets and Payout Ratios

The standard payout ratio on a winning hand is 1:1, so you'll double your money on successful hands. If you land a natural, you should be paid out at 3:2, giving you a 150% profit. There are other options that can boost your payout:

  • Double Down — If you have a strong hand, such as a hard 11, you can choose to double the size of your bet. This means you essentially earn double your initial stake if you are successful.
  • Splitting Cards — You can choose to split cards, such as aces or eights. This requires you to double your stake. You will be dealt an extra card next to each of the split cards, and you play two hands, so you can win double your initial stake, break even or lose double your initial stake.

There are some side bets that you can make on certain online blackjack games. There is an insurance bet, which covers you if the dealer gets a natural. Perfect pairs pays out 5:1 for a mixed pair, 12:1 for a coloured pair and 25:1 for a perfect pair, which is two of the same card.

If you're playing 21+3, side bets relate to your two cards and the dealer’s upturned card. A flush pays 5:1, a straight pays 10:1, three of a kind pays 30:1, a straight flush pays 40:1 and a suited triple pays 100:1.

Progressive Blackjack

When playing progressive blackjack, you can make side bets. A percentage of the side bets goes into a pot that accumulates on a progressive basis. When a player triggers that jackpot, he or she can win a large payout. For example, on Blackjack Triple 7s, you'll receive the full jackpot if you're dealt three sevens in a diamond suit.

Blackjack Betting Systems

The RTP of online blackjack is more than 99%, so your chances of winning are practically 50/50. For that reason, you can apply betting systems when you play online blackjack.

There are two types of betting systems: negative progression, whereby you increase the size of your bet after a loss in a bid to chase down losses, and positive progression, whereby you seek to capitalize on winning streaks by increasing your bet amount after a win.

Negative progression systems include the Martingale, where you double your bet amount after each loss, along with the D’Alembert, the Fibonacci, and the Labouchere. Positive progression systems for online blackjack include the Paroli, 1-3-2-6, Oscar’s Grind, and the Reverse Martingale.

Live Dealer Blackjack Vs Online Blackjack

The Casinos.com team has ensured you find a wide selection of virtual online blackjack and live dealer blackjack games at the best online casinos. However, if you're new to the online blackjack scene, you should learn more about the key differences between the online and land-based game:

Online Blackjack

  • Controlled by a random number generator
  • Play at your own pace
  • No social aspect
  • More variants to choose from
  • Can play online blackjack for free

Live Dealer Blackjack

  • Run by a live dealer
  • Pace dictated by the dealer and players
  • Interact with the dealer
  • Fewer variants on offer
  • No blackjack free online live games

And if you get tired of blackjack, you could try online roulette for real money.

Online Blackjack Software Providers NZ

Games Global, Playtech and NetEnt, are some of the leading providers of online blackjack games. You can also find fun live casino game variants from smaller suppliers, such as Switch Studios, Felt Games, Relax, Golden Rock Studios and Iron Dog, plus Blackjack X-Change from Slingo. When it comes to live dealer blackjack, Evolution Gaming is the market leader, but it faces increasingly intense competition from Playtech and Pragmatic Play.

Blackjack on Mobile and Blackjack Apps NZ

Most online casinos have mobile apps or mobile optimized websites or even dedicated mobile casinos, which allow you to play your favourite online blackjack games from your mobile device. 

You can play virtual online blackjack and live dealer blackjack games, and you may be able to take part in a blackjack tournament online and play blackjack online for fun on your phone using the best mobile casino apps. There are blackjack strategy apps, too, such as Blackjack 101 and Blackjack Trainer, which can help you make astute wagering decisions.

Top Blackjack Tips

I've curated a list of super online blackjack tips to help you kick-start the online blackjack adventure:

  • Avoid 6:5 blackjack games, as they increase the house edge by 1.45%
  • Never take the insurance bet
  • Seek out online blackjack games with the highest RTP
  • Claim bonuses, which reduce the house edge
  • Play free online blackjack games to learn the ropes
  • Memorize the key strategic pillars listed above
  • Practise sensible bankroll management
  • Consider blackjack systems such as the Martingale

Best Free Blackjack Games NZ

You can play a blackjack online free game for several hours to figure out a strategy, learn how to react in various situations and test out positive and negative progression systems. Practice is the best way to improve, and free games allow you to do so without risking any of your own money. You can then switch to playing blackjack online for money when you feel ready.

How to Win at Blackjack – The Basics

If you’re new to the world of blackjack, starting can be the most frustrating part — I know it was for me. It is an easy game to learn but challenging to master. Familiarizing yourself with the basics of gameplay will allow you to make the best betting decisions and protect your bankroll. Below are the top tips for holding together a basic strategy:

  • Choose to Stand if you have a hand of value of 12 to 16 and the dealer has two to six.
  • Choose to Hit when your hand is a value of 12 to 16, and the dealer has a seven to Ace.
  • Always select to split Aces and eights.
  • Double a hand of the value 11 when the dealer has two to 10.
  • Choose to Hit when you have double Aces to six.
  • Always check the dealer’s up card to make informed decisions on your bets.
  • Start with small bets to get familiar with the game and see how the cards play.
  • Remember to manage your bankroll and gamble responsibly to ensure you only spend what you can afford.

Blackjack Strategy

Many gamblers are unsure how to approach blackjack and make the most of the casino game when playing at blackjack sites. We’re here to help you overcome your concerns and become confident playing online blackjack. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, the following blackjack strategy tips can help.

What is the Blackjack Strategy?

A blackjack strategy is any gameplay system that helps you gain an edge and win more hands when playing blackjack games. 

A strategy will consist of rules that tell you the best moves you can make based on your hand and the dealer’s up card (visible card). Blackjack strategies are not a guarantee you will win, but they can enhance your chances and help you maintain your bankroll. 

When using a basic blackjack strategy, you have a betting system that uses probability to show you what action to take. Essentially, a blackjack betting strategy shows you when to Hit, Stand, Split, Double Down, or Surrender. At the core of any system is the goal of helping you increase payouts and reduce losses.

Follow these strategic pillars to increase your chances of success and reduce the house edge when playing online blackjack real money games:

  • Always double down on a hard 11
  • Double down on 10 if the dealer has nine or lower
  • Always split aces and always split eights
  • Do not split 10s or fives
  • If the dealer’s face card is two or three, hit a hard 12
  • If the dealer has a nine, a 10-card or an ace, hit a soft 18
  • If the dealer has a five or six, double down ace-two, ace-three, ace-four, ace-five, ace-six and ace-seven
  • If the dealer has a seven, stand with a pair of nines
  • If the dealer has a two or three, split twos or threes

Basic Blackjack Strategy

One of the reasons blackjack is so popular at the best NZ online casinos is because it’s easy to play and has a low house edge. However, a big caveat to the house edge theory is that the house edge only remains low if you play what is known as a “perfect game”.

Unlike most casino games, blackjack involves an element of skill. Or, at least, there is a method that will increase your chances of winning. Given that you have to make choices for each hand, these decisions can affect your overall chances of winning.

A blackjack strategy chart lets you see the correct play to make with every combination of cards you are dealt. It does this by considering the dealer’s up card and highlighting the action that will be most profitable. Yet, charts will go beyond simply saying to hit or stand. 

Using a blackjack strategy chart is a straightforward process. You simply find the combination of cards you hold between the soft total, hard total, and pairs section and then match that up with the up card for the dealer. The chart will specify the move that you need to make.

A key to the table might look something like this:

  • H = Hit
  • S = Stand
  • D = Double if allowed (otherwise hit)
  • Ds = Double if allowed (otherwise stand)
  • N = Don’t split the pair
  • Y = Split the pair
  • Y/N = Split the pair only if “DAS” is available

If you're playing online, you can keep the chart handy as you play. You’ll have time to check off the correct play. If you play live blackjack, some casinos will allow you to keep a chart at the table, and some might ask you to remove it. Either way, it will be massively beneficial for you to memorize the blackjack strategy chart. 

We must add that this basic blackjack strategy chart that we have included is just the starting point. Depending on the house rules and the type of blackjack game you’re playing, you will need to alter your blackjack chart accordingly. Yet, these changes will be minimal, making memorizing it much easier when playing new games.

Advanced Blackjack Strategy

When most people think of a blackjack strategy, they think of hand charts. These charts are easy to understand, follow and implement, telling you what to do in every scenario. Additionally, many refer to these charts as “total dependent”, meaning the number on display is a representative of the total for the cards you have. 

For example, if you have a six and five, you have a total of 11. If you have a seven and a four, you also have an 11. For these blackjack strategy charts, how the number comes about is irrelevant.

Composition Sensitive Hands in Blackjack

Composition-dependent or composition-sensitive takes this to the next level. Instead of looking at hands as total numbers, it also looks at how the numbers are made up. 

Like the example above, several cards can create the same total in blackjack. One of the reasons players do this is so they have a better idea of what cards are left and how the blackjack odds would then reflect this. 

Composition-sensitive hands are easiest to utilize in games with fewer decks of cards (ideally, a single-deck game). Ultimately, this makes tracking much more straightforward. It also makes factoring in a composition a bit more relevant. 

Two main rules apply to this: the “Rule of 45” and the “Doctor Pepper Rule”. The Rule of 45 is linked to having a hand worth 16, usually made up of a 10 and a six. If the player is up against a dealer 10, then the chances are they will lose the hand. 

They need a four or a five to have any luck here. For this, the player needs to see if they have any four or five in their hand. 

They can also look at other hands at the table if possible. If many are already out, then the chances of them grabbing the card they need are reduced. Therefore, this would mean that, in this example, it would be better to stand, given that fewer cards you will need to win are available. This is something that a traditional hand chart does not include.

How the hand is made up is another key factor here. It can include 10/2, 9/3, 8/4 and 7/5. A 10 is the only bust card, so when you’ve got one in hand (with 10/2), it’s one less in the pack that can bust you. 

For this reason, you should hit when you’ve got a 10/2 in the hole against a four. For all other combinations, you should stand.

Blackjack – When to Double Down

Double down is one of the key plays in blackjack. This blackjack strategy is one of the only times you can get extra funds in the pot when you’re in a favourable position. You need to be aware of table rules about doubling down, but most will allow you to use this as and when required.

One of the most common times you will double down is when your cards total 11. This total is the best combination hand in the game, as many cards can either get you to 21 or get you somewhere near that will pressure the dealer regardless of their hand.

Next, you want to be targeting soft 16, 17, and 18. These hands are generally based on the dealers’ up card. If it is low, you can double down here. Many people look at 16, 17 and 18 as solid hands. 

Therefore, they are inclined to stand. However, when dealers have low cards in the hole, they are more vulnerable. They will need to take at least one more card, making them susceptible to going bust.

Given that our hands here are soft, there aren’t too many hands that can really hurt us. Even a soft 18 could turn a four, which would be the worst outcome, and you’d have 12 against a dealer’s hand that could well go broke.

The final time we want to double down is with a hard nine or 10 against a low dealer card. This hand has the same merits as the soft hands above. But with this, there are lots of mid-high cards that make ours very strong. Again, the dealer also has a good chance of going broke, so we are always in the game here.

When to Split in Blackjack

There are two scenarios where you want to be splitting every time in blackjack. The first one is when you get dealt two Aces. While this is quite rare in blackjack, you want to split and try to create two big hands when you do. 

By utilizing this blackjack betting strategy and spilling, we get not one but two chances to do this. If we leave them together, then we have 12 or two. Very few hands help here, so splitting is ultimately the best route.

The second is when we receive two eights. For this, we need to take note of the table rules and see what the dealer stands on. If they stand on 16, then the best outcome you have is hoping they bust. 

If their hand plays, then at best, you can split. By splitting, you can still make two strong hands. Any 10 or nine card has the player as a big favourite, with Ace, two and three still more than enough to take another card.

When to Hit or Stand in Blackjack

The two most common decisions you will have at a blackjack table are whether to hit or stand. Timing is vital, but one of the biggest blackjack strategy tips we can give is to make sure you consider the dealer’s up card. 

One of the biggest mistakes players make is they get too transfixed on what their cards are and how close to 21 they can get. Yet, in reality, the skill of knowing when to hit or stand is all about what the dealer holds.

There are dozens of blackjack strategy charts that you can use to know when to hit and stand. They allow you to not only see your cards but also the dealers’ up card. By following these charts, you can play the game as optimally as possible. 

It’s also essential to take into account composition-sensitive hands. Doing so will allow you to take your game to the next level and work on a much more professional basis.

When Should You Surrender in Blackjack?

Surrendering is a blackjack strategy that many people try not to use. However, it’s worth remembering that the casino’s house edge will increase if you don’t surrender at the appropriate time. 

The tips and tricks in this blackjack betting strategy require timing. Therefore, you need to be able to work out when and where is the best time to surrender. 

To surrender is to forfeit half of your stake in your hand if you’ve little chance of winning. There are generally two types of surrender: early and late. Early is less common, as you get to decide before the dealer checks for blackjack. If you get access to the option, take advantage of it. Ideally, you want to be on the lookout for an Ace or a 10 from the dealer. 

You should surrender early if you hold a hand that includes a hard five to seven, hard 12 to 17, threes, sixes, sevens and eights if the dealer has an Ace. You should also surrender early if you have a hard 14 to 16, sevens and eights if the dealer has a 10. 

This may seem like a wide range of hands, but by implementing this correctly, you can reduce the house edge by 0.24% to 0.39%. Given blackjack only has an overall edge of around 1%, this is huge.

Late surrender is much more common, made when the dealer has checked for blackjack. Surrenders for this are generally only made with hands made up of 14, 15 and 16. The number of decks matters here as well. Still, here are several rules to note:

  • 14 – single deck surrender to a 10.
  • 15 – single or double deck surrender to an Ace.
  • 16 – single or double deck surrender to dealer Ace and 10.

When to Take Insurance in Blackjack

But if you're wondering when you should take advantage of this blackjack option, the answer is never. Don't take insurance!

Why? Well, the numbers are massively in the casino’s favour here. You see, insurance will pay out at 2:1 for a successful bet. But the odds of the dealer making blackjack is 9:4. Ultimately, the house edge on the insurance bet can go between 5.8% and 7.5% which is definitely not in your favour.

Online Blackjack Side Bets

Speaking of side bets, you have various side bets to choose from with blackjack, but most are pretty rare. Yet, as a general rule of thumb, these should almost always be avoided. For example, some carry a huge house edge, offsetting any low edge from the main game. 

One of the most popular bets is that of 21+. In this game, you're looking at hands that create a flush, straight, pair and combinations of each from the players’ two and the dealers’ one card. The house edge for this bet is a massive 8% in games played on four decks. This edge decreases with the more decks that are in play. You’ll find that this is a common theme with side bets. 

If you’re looking to go pro, these are the wagers you should avoid. You would be far better off nailing a blackjack strategy from within the main game than messing around with side bets that may offer you little value in the long run. 

Blackjack Shuffle Tracking

Shuffle tracking is a form of card counting that allows players to work out where certain clumps of cards are in the deck. If done successfully, the player can determine how likely a series of cards in the deck will appear at a particular time. 

Yet, this is a complicated blackjack strategy and skill to master and one that only seasoned card counters can pull off. Similarly, this is not a technique you can use online, given that most virtual blackjack games are shuffled electronically after each hand.

The player will need to know what cards have fallen and which are left. The idea is then that the dealer will either poorly shuffle or simply not spend enough time getting them totally random so that players can link it with a cluster of cards. 

Blackjack Dealer Tells

Dealer tells are signs made by dealers followed by players in an attempt to predict the next cards. While tells are usually associated with games like poker, which are harder to notice at online poker sites, there are times when playing blackjack live that you can use dealer tells to your advantage. Most of these times are when the dealer must check for blackjack. 

Many players may look at the amount of time it takes for the dealer to read their card. It’s often thought that if they hold a face card or high value, the look will be pretty quick as it’s easy to see what card it is.

Yet, looks can take a little longer when it comes to smaller ranked cards. This is especially true for cards like a four, which can easily look like an Ace at first glance. Similarly, sixes and nines are cards that dealers must check reasonably well. 

However, the reality is that most dealers are taught not to give off tells of any kind. They aim to time each look the same. Dealers are also conscious of their body language signs, ultimately seeking not to give anything away. It takes a keen eye to spot a professional giving off a tell in blackjack.

Blackjack Bankroll Tips

When I started my online gambling journey, I learned that bankroll management is one of the most important factors with any form of gambling. It’s also one of the most overlooked areas. It’s tough to say that you need X amount at the table. The reality is that only you know how much you can afford to lose. 

The idea of a bankroll is to allow the inevitably losing sessions that will occur with blackjack. Regardless of if you’re a profitable player or not, you will have losing sessions. But that’s perfectly fine because this is precisely why you have a bankroll.

Bankrolls are going to change from person to person. High rollers will likely be able to replenish their bankroll as and when needed. Those on tighter budgets may only have a limited amount they can lose before needing to stop.  

Once you’ve decided how much you want to use, we recommend you take no more than 5% of your bankroll to the blackjack table at any one time. Therefore, if you’ve got $1,000, you can sit down with $50. While this may seem small, or not, the losses can start to add up. Therefore, having a decent cushion is vital and an excellent blackjack strategy to maintain. 

However, it’s essential to be flexible with your bankroll. Say you’ve been card counting and get a favourable shoe. Therefore, this will be a good time to invest more and go for a more significant win. On the other hand, if you’re struggling and the shoe is bad, then it might be time to leave for another day. 

The best professional blackjack players know when to walk away. Similarly, blackjack pros gamble sums of money that make next to no impact on their bankroll for the immediate future.

Meet The Author

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Matt Bastock
Matt Bastock
Editor Editor

Matt Bastock is a Content SEO at Casinos.com. He has years of experience researching, writing and editing articles about sports and gaming, including the world of online casinos and sports betting. Matt enjoys playing many casino table games, especially poker and blackjack. He also loves watching professional sports, particularly English and European football, as well as US football, rugby and cricket.

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