By Bill Harrison.
In the space of just a few decades, the online casino industry has grown far more quickly and successfully than anyone could ever have predicted. So today it is worth over $57 billion a year and is set to increase at a rate of 11% a year until the end of the decade.
You don’t get to achieve figures like this without a steady flow of new players coming on board – and this is largely achieved by encouraging them through welcome offers and other joining bonuses.
But, as blackjack is undoubtedly the most popular table game, and one that translates perfectly to the online format, it’s surprising that there are no bonus offers that are specifically aimed at blackjack players.
It has been done in the past
Yes, there are offers to match initial stake money up to a certain level or to simply offer a deposit-free bonus. But these are intended to attract players of all table games, not just blackjack.
This is especially ironic as the origin of the game itself came as a result of a specific bonus mechanic dreamt up by Nevada casinos in the 1930s. They had been introduced to the French version of the game, called Vingt et Un at the time, and needed a gimmick to promote their new discovery.
So some visionary had the idea of offering a 10/1 payout to anyone beating the dealer with 21 made up from the ace of spades and either black jack, (i.e. a spade) or a club. Once the game caught on, this potentially expensive offer was quietly dropped, but the name stuck.
There is one precedent already in place that shows that targeted incentives work and that’s the free spins offer that many online casinos offer specifically to attract slots fans. Almost all online casinos, from LeoVegas to Betway, offer this bonus, often alongside matched deposits, and it can amount to as many as 200 free spins – for more information check this guide.
A few suggestions
So what form could blackjack-specific offers take? Well, there are a number of possibilities but the obvious first one would be to learn from the history of the game, or better yet, BlackjackHistory.com. So perhaps for the initial hour of a player’s first online session, an enhanced pay-out for a blackjack could apply. Because the game is digitized this should be reasonably easy to organize, with the cut-off point imposed automatically.
Similarly, there could be a fixed period in a game in which the player receives free insurance if the dealer’s up-card is an ace. Taking out this insurance isn’t generally recommended for players, but if it was on offer and was free it might make for a nice little extra.
Perhaps, like in baccarat, there could also be a few complimentary side bets that would come into action if the dealer or player had a pair in their hand.
Then there are all the possibilities offered by live online casino blackjack titles. With a profusion of different games available, some could be targeted specifically at new players. Not only would this help to make them feel welcome and valued, but any number of special rules and bonuses could also apply. Then, once they had enjoyed their first session on this particular live game, it would be time to move on to the other “standard” games of blackjack.
Now it’s over to the online casinos
As you can see, there’s plenty of scope for inventiveness for any online casino wanting to give itself the edge. And, as any blackjack player knows, that’s what success can be all about.