Category Archives: Gambling

Blackjack Types Around the World

BlackjackBy R. G.

Blackjack is usually considered the easiest online casino game to grasp. Be that as it may, the game has multiple variations, which you must be aware of. Before you play online blackjack for real money, you need to understand how each variation works. This will help you decide which one gives you the best value for your money. 

Popular Blackjack Variations

As mentioned earlier, there are several forms of blackjack. This piece will focus on five of the most popular game variations. They are also the ones that are primarily played on online casinos globally.  A bit of caution:  Don’t play games that only pay 6 to 5 on a blackjack.  The correct payoff should always be 3 to 2.

American Blackjack

American Blackjack, also referred to as Classic Blackjack, is the most widely played game variation. Here, the dealer gets both the cards right away, with one face up and the other face down. The card with the face down is usually referred to as the hole card. 

The objective of this game is to beat the dealer and/or get as close to 21 as you can. In American Blackjack, peeking is permitted for the dealer if their up-card is a face card, a ten, or an ace. Unlike European Blackjack, you will be allowed to avoid increasing your wager in situations where the dealer has a natural blackjack. The game lowers the house edge by 0.05% in such a case. Besides that, the game is based on the standard blackjack rules and strategies. 

European Blackjack

European Blackjack is another popular blackjack variation, especially in the United Kingdom. This variation of the game puts more restrictions and limitations on the players. It also promises players a house edge of around 0.39%. It usually uses six decks, allows splitting aces, but does not let you split 4s, 5s, or ten valued cards.

The fundamental difference of this blackjack variant is that the dealer does not get his hole card until the player has made a playing decision as per the cards he is dealt with. European Blackjack does not allow dealer peek or surrendering. 

Vegas Strip Blackjack

The Vegas Strip is also a popular blackjack variation among many online casino players. It gets its name from where it was originally played. The Vegas strip is a four-mile stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard where you will find many hotels and casinos. 

This blackjack variation is very similar to Classic American Blackjack where the game’s main objective and rules are identical.  Vegas Strip Blackjack’s main difference is that the dealer will stand on soft-17, you can double after splitting a pair, surrender is not allowed and the number of decks used is usually 4 decks.

Blackjack Switch

This blackjack variation is unique because it allows players to place two identical wagers plus a side bet. The player bets on two hands first, then the game allows them to switch the second cards with one another if they want to. 

Geoff Hall, a respected casino games architect, created Blackjack Switch. The variant is prevalent in many top-rated online casinos. Besides the opportunity to switch, the game has one other prominent feature. That is, Blackjack Switch does not consider a dealer’s hand of 22 a bust. Instead, the game counts it as a push or draw, except when a player already has a natural blackjack, not prompted by a switch or split.  However, a player blackjack pays even money in this game.

Blackjack Perfect Pairs

Blackjack Perfect Pairs is an excellent example of a side bet growing as popular as a variant itself. In this Blackjack variation, the first two cards a player gets form a pair. The game has three types of pairs having different payout odds. 

So, what’s a pair? A pair consists of two cards having the same numerical value between 2 and 10 and the same face value for the face cards and aces. As a player, you have to decide whether you want to place the Perfect Pairs side bet before the cards are dealt. After that, it will be settled before the main game is played out as per the casino rules.   

How Do Blackjack Games Differ?

Dealer’s Move on Soft 17

A soft 17 is a 17 that comprises an ace. Some blackjack variations compel the dealer to hit on soft 17, while others require that the dealer stands on soft 17.  It is better by 0.2% for the player if the dealer stands on soft 17. 

Doubling Down Limitations

Several variations restrict the cards players can double down on. For example, European Blackjack only allows players to double down on totals of 9, 10, or 11. 

In other variations, players can increase their wager by 100%, while others allow more flexibility regarding how much you can up your bet by. Additionally, other Blackjack variations restrict doubling down on post-split hands.  

It is obviously better for the player if you can double on any two cards and have the ability to double after splitting a pair.

How Many Times You Can Split

You will encounter differences in the number of times you can split when you try different blackjack variations. For example, American Blackjack lets you split up to three times in the game. This means that you have up to four hands to play. On the other hand, European Blackjack limits splitting to only once per player per hand. 

The best games a player can play are those that have the fewest restrictions and the best rules. 

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Free Online Pokies Australia: Guide in Aussie Pokies No Download

Aristocrat SlotsBy Martin Robinson

Australia has free pokies that are playable in online casinos by both beginners and experienced punters. Unlike real money slots, these pokies are available for free with no download and no registration required. Games have features like layouts, RTPs, symbols, and paytable. Like real money games, AUS free online pokies can be played on iPad, iPhones, and Android devices.

Best Australia Online Pokies No Download

There are many popular pokies1)The term “pokies” originally comes from the “pok” in “poker machine”.  However, in Australia / New Zealand, the term simply means “slot machine”. that gamers can choose to play. Players can play without spending a dime and they are meant to lure them into playing at casinos. Additionally, punters2)For those who are unfamiliar with the term “punter”, the Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “a person who gambles or risks money guessing the result of something“. can access these free games via demo mode only. Some casinos require players to register as members and make deposits to play for actual money. Everyone can choose for themselves the option of online slots real money Australia according to their preferences and desires.

Top 10 Free Pokies Aristocrat

Gamers can play numerous popular free online pokies Australia Aristocrat. Some of these slots include Big Red, Dragon Link, Queen of the Nile Slot, More Chilli, Where’s the Gold, Lucky 88, 50 Lions, 5 Dragons, Dolphin Treasure, and Indian Dreaming. Real online casino Australia real money offer free modes to attract many clients / punters. Punters can try these free titles to gain the experience needed in real money mode. As a top-rated slot provider, Aristocrat offers various slot machines, top-end customer support, attractive business and promotions, and many more. Next, we will consider the most popular no deposit pokies australia that require your attention.

.Big Red is a free online slots Australia that runs on a 5-reel layout with 5 paylines. It has an RTP value of 97.04% and medium volatility. The high payout percentage means two things: huge payout returns or striping off players their cash. Wager between 3-300 coins per spin. Free online pokies Big Red symbols are trees, eagles, bears, crocodiles, kangaroos, and dingoes.

.Dragon Link is a real Australian online pokie from Aristocrat with a 5×3 reel and 25-50 paylines. With a minimum wager amount of $0.01 coins and a maximum of $125.00 coins per spin, punters can wing big while playing this slot. The game has an RTP value of 95.2%. It has the following Asian themes Panda Magic, Happy & Prosperous, Autumn Moon, Peace & Long Life, Spring Festival, and Gengis Khan.

.Queen of the Nile is one of the top Australian online pokies that is themed on ancient Egypt featuring Cleopatra. Queen of the Nile comes with symbols like letter symbols, golden rings, Pharaoh Masks. Special features include wild queens, pyramids, free spins, gamble features, and scattered pyramids. You can try your luck with free australian online casinos with bonuses and free spins.

.More Chilli is best Australian online pokies launched in 2015 that has a 5 reel configuration alongside 25 paylines. The betting range is between 0.01-60 per line. Its RTP is 97% and has medium volatility. More Chilli’s theme is inspired by Mexican culture. The graphics and design are amazing, as represented by the Mexican sun and the background. Its symbols include the sun, money bag, Chihuahuas, chicken, chilli stand, Mexican man, tequila, and roosters. Each free online casinos Australia has its own characteristics and advantages.

.Free Where’s the Gold slot features the Gold Rush moment where there is a cartoon prosecutor and a mine with treasures. There are two categories of symbols here, i.e., low-paying symbols (card symbols) and high-paying symbols (pickax, a mine, cartoon prosecutor, & wagon). The betting size of 0.01 – 100 coins per line. Also, there are fantastic bonus features free spins, multipliers, scatters, wild symbols, medium volatility, and a little low RTP (94.7 Lastly, Where’s the Gold operates on 5 reels alongside 25 paylines.

.Lucky 88. Produced by Aristocrat, free Lucky 88 pokie is inspired by the Chinese lucky number (8). It comes with five reels, 96.6% RTP, a betting size of 0.01-125 coins per spin, and free spin bonuses. Its features include multipliers, Wilds, Scatters, and bonus games. The game’s symbols comprise golden lion, traditional Chinese lamps, cranes, Chinese drum, pagoda, card values (A, K, Q, J, 10, and 9).

.50 Lions is a real online pokies Australia that offers free spins to players. It comes with 5×3 reels, 50 paylines, 94.71% RTP, and a whopping jackpot worth $12241.60. Notable special features are scatter symbols, wilds, bonus games, and low volatility. The minimum wagering amount is 0.01 coins per spin, whereas your maximum amount is 200 coins. 50 Lion pokies online Australia real money is set on an African safari; its features comprise lions, diamond (Wild), and red flower (Scatter icon).

.5 Dragons is a non-progressive video slot by Aristocrat that has 5 reels and 25 paylines. It offers Australian gamblers numerous features like free spins, jackpot bonuses, bonus games, and Wild and Scatter symbols. This free pokie has an RTP value of 95.17% and high volatility. Claim a jackpot size of $16482.70 with a betting range of 0.30-120 coins per spin. 5 Dragons consist of Asian-styled symbols like fish, statues of gods, turtles, dragons, and playing card denominations.

.Dolphin Treasure is an free pokies Australia Aristocrat about an abandoned gold chest on the ocean floor. It has a five-reel layout, 20 paylines, 94.88% RTP, low volatility, and a maximum win of 9000x stake. Dolphin Treasure’s special features are multipliers, Autoplay option, bonus games, and Wild & Scatter symbols. Symbols are sea horse, sea turtle, starfish, octopus, Angelfish, and playing cards (A, K, J, Q, 9, & 10).

.Indian Dreaming is a best paying online pokies Australia free spins that requires no download no registration and has 5 reels and has 243 different paylines. It has 98.99% RTP plus medium volatility and a betting size of 1.00-50. The main features of Indian Dreaming are gamble feature, scatter symbol, wild symbol, free spins, and bonus games. Its symbols comprise tomahawks, teepees, squawks, and poker cards like aces, kings, and queens.

Free Online Pokies Australia Real Money No Deposit: Are They Worth It?

Different Australia pokie machines have different bonuses, themes, gameplay, and design. Some casinos provide free pokies online games, no download, or mobile casino Australia apps with free pokie download. To discover how a certain Australian pokie wins machine functions, it is better to try free pokie in the demo version.

Advantages of Best Pokies Online Australia

  • Free online pokies Australia real money allow punters to test their skills. Punters can play demo versions of many games and gain skill and experience, which are vital when playing real money slots.
  • Users don’t need to sign up. Punters can play table games and slot machines without having to register first.
  • Once deposited, money can be used to play numerous games; hence, there is no need for re-depositing repeatedly.
  • Playing free slots relieve pressure from losing your money. It prepares players for real money games.

Disadvantages of Real Money Pokies Australia

  • Users can’t win real money while playing online.
  • There are some features and options that are off the limit, unlike in real money pokies.

Themes of The Best Online Pokies Australia Real Money

Australia best online pokies have themes that make them more prominent. These themes can be characters or behind-the-scene stories that make them outstanding in the crowd. Additionally, themes set slots apart from other games hence easy to play. Gamers play pokies online real money Australia because they are inspired by certain TV shows/films/music bands represented in a particular slot.

#1. Animal pokies AU cover animal stories from the wild plains of Africa, the European landscape, and the rainforests of South America. These best online slots Australia have symbols portraying animals like gorillas, foxes, rhino, wildebeests, elephants, pandas, jaguars, and tigers. Top-rated animal pokies are as follows: Big Red, Dolphin Treasure, and Bonus Bears.

#2. Ancient pokies incorporate great medieval stories into the gaming experience via online slots. They make gamers feel like heroic explorers, which is why most Australia online casino players adore them. The themes focus on the rich history of the Egyptian kingdom, ancient Greece, Aztec culture, and Vikings. Examples of such games are Queen of the Nile, Pompeii, and Leonidas: King of the Spartans.

#3. Dragons have been part of our mythology for a long time since ancient Mesopotamia. Free Dragon-themed slot machines are a perfect fit for most slots due to their storylines. Dragons feature in slots either as the antagonist or complete the classic tales. In some slots, they are the focal point and come in various shapes/sizes. Examples of dragon pokies are 5 Dragons, Dragon Emperor, Dragon Spin, and Dragon Link.

#4. Celebrities inspire a lot of people in society. Their life and how they live are admired by many around the world. Celebrity slots have symbols that are related to the celebrity. Michael Jackson has symbols like hats and special gloves. Other examples include Bruce Lee, Mariah Carey, and Elvis Lives.

#5. Comics. Heroes from comic books have been entertaining people for a long time. And because of their impact on many people, they have incorporated into online pokies thus can be played for fun and real money. Each comic hero, like the hulk, superman, and iron man, has symbols related to them. Comic-themed slots are Wonder Women, Superman, Super Heroes, etc.

#6. Fantasy pokies take players to an imaginary world with mythologies, histories, fairy tales, and aquatic adventures. Heroes in fantasy pokies are either real or invented. Examples are Merlin’s Millions, Jack & the Beanstalk, and Mystic Moon Big Hit Bonanza.

#7. Music pokies online free are some of the most popular online games available in Australian casinos. Some of the famous music bands have been adopted as themes. These slots include symbols like guitars, drums, and pianos. Heroes of music pokies include Kiss, Gun N’ Roses, and Elvis. Examples of music-based slots are Michael Jackson, Jimmi Hendrix, and Gun N’ Roses are.

#8. Movies. Some of the successful movies King Kong, Ghostbusters, and Star Trek, have made it to the gambling world. Movie-based slots use symbols that are related to this theme. They also include animations and real video footage from original movies to improve the gaming experience.

#9. TV Shows have also been captured by game developers.TV shows pokies use animations and graphics that are related to the TV shows thus are appealing to fans of each particular show. The developers have created various TV-themed slots like Baywatch and the Big Bang Theory.

#10. Magical pokies are about mystery and magic. Best online Australian pokies take away the boredom from fans as they are colourful and come with a lot of fun and excitement. Symbols portray things like magicians, heaven, demigods, and mythical creatures. Examples of magical pokies include Magic Reward and Book of Magic.

#11. Mystery pokies involve a detective solving some complicated mysteries and getting rewarded for the good work. The theme is mystery and suspense. Symbols are related to particular slot games. These symbols portray the following people or activities: secret agents, secret society, detective, spy, and investigation.

#12. Historical. Developers have also created historical slots that feature historical eras in Egypt, Rome, and Greece. As a result, several games have captured the interest of many punters, and they are Red Baron and Spartacus.

Free Slots Australia: Online Pokies Free Spins No Deposit Australia

There are many free slots that Aussie punters can play. These slots come as video slots with bonus features or 3D slot games. 3D slots have some of the best graphics, animations, video clips, and exciting bonus rounds. Punters can play these slots for free in demo versions only.

  1. Classic slots use mechanical reels and have a direct paytable. These paytables do not have bonuses and extra. RNG determines reels and symbols to appear on the screen in classic slots. Classic slots are available at online casinos around the world. Despite many modern video slots, classic ones are still popular since they are easy to play.
  2. For gamers who are fans of nostalgic fruit symbols, fruit slots are here for you. These slots are attractive and have a user-friendly interface which makes them fans’ favourite in online casinos. Additionally, fruit slots are generous and are suitable for beginners who want to test their skills. Features of these slots include simple profit calculation, simplified functionality, and little complementing elements.
  3. Videoslots are the most popular top online casino Australia games. They have reels with symbols evenly placed along with them. To win, players must match a specific number of symbols on a spinning reel with a payline. Different video slots have varying numbers of paylines.
  4. 3D slots are modified versions of video slots and have graphics looking like the screen in 3D. Through 3D technology, gamblers can visualize the on-screen action as reality. Gamers must play 3 different levels to advance to the next round.
  5. VRslots are played in virtual reality casinos. They offer gamblers an experience that is not available in other slots. For instance, gamblers can access 360 degrees of field of vision when playing through virtual reality technology.
  6. Penny free slots Australiaare games where you can play with 1 cent per line. These pokies offer relatively cheap options to gamblers as they can play with any amount below a dollar. There is a minimum number of lines that casino players must play per spin.
  7. High Stake punterscan stake a high amount which could be more than the ordinary games. They can wager as high as a $300 bet and there is no limit on big winning. Most gamblers play high stake slots because they can become eligible for VIP rewards and have a chance of winning larger prizes.

Free Pokie Machines: Types by Paylines

Paylines are lines that cross a single symbol on each reel of a slot machine. Different free pokie machines have different paylines. These paylines are either fixed or variable. Fixed paylines restrict gamblers from playing all the lines in the game while viable paylines do not.

– 243 Ways, there is a 5-reel screen having three symbols on each reel. Gamblers are supposed to make bets before the beginning of every spin. As a result, 243 possible lines will emerge that players can win on. Gamblers are assured of many ways of winning and can get more value from their bet.

– 1024 Ways is simple and it only requires players to follow procedures and rules set by the slot machines. All 1024 ways slot has a 5×4 reel. Playing 1042 ways slot involves matching symbols consecutively on the reels beginning from left to right. 1024 offers gamblers a chance to access all possible combos from left to right.

– 3125 Ways slots are not as popular as the other types of paylines. These slots come with five symbols and five reels denoted totalling 3125. They operate the same way as 243 and 1024 slots, only that they have more chances of winning. 3125 has five reels plus scatters and wilds.

Free Pokie Games to Play: Reels

Reels are the horizontal columns in video slots that contain all the symbols. They are triggered into spinning by pulling or clicking on the spin button.

  • 3 Reels. Casinos with three reels were the first to appear in the gambling world, and they have since remained exciting. 3-reel pokie machines are simple thuseasy to understand for new Australian online casino gamblers. They have a single payline and payouts are not determined by the amount wagered or the length of time played.
  • 5 Reelsare also known as video slots. In 5 reels, two more reels are added to the 3 reels slots. There are additional rows, hence making players hit more available paylines. It’s worth noting that 5-reel slots come with huge bonuses and mini-games and are exciting and engaging.
  • 7 Reels slots have only 7 paylines is basedon the belief in the luck behind the number. Unlike 5-reel slots, this type of reel does not have complex graphics, animations, and videos. Casino players who play the slots with 7 reels do so because there are ways to win a game with fewer reels.
  • 10 Reelsslots offer a lot of information to punters as they are large. Punters may interact with many numbers of paylines plus winning combinations. It is difficult to master all the symbols, thus not easy to strategize and win in pokies with 10 reels.
  • Cascading Reels, symbols that are matched in the reels are taken off the board, creating a new one to drop. The slots with such reels are played for fun as they have avalanche reels. Gonzo’s Quest is an example of slots with cascading reels.

Software of Free Pokie Games

There are many pokie providers in Australia. The most popular ones are Ainsworth Game Technology, Aristocratic, Bally, and Playtech. These slot developers are either big or small. Big pokie developers have a wide collection of games:

Aristocrat 

is one of the biggest pokie developers established in 1953. They not only operate in Australia but also in other 90 countries globally. In their library, there are numerous free Aristocrat pokies for android like 50 Lions, Sons of Anarchy, and The Walking Dead.

WMS

formerly known as Williams Gaming offers Aussies with pokie machines and video lotteries plus popular online games online. They have a large list of games in their collections. These include Elton John, Game of Life, and Bruce Lee.

Novomatic 

was established in 1980 and has been one of the top providers in the gaming industry. They are known for providing brick-and-mortar casino games and online casino games. Novomatic’s games library consists of Buffalo Thunder and Book of Ra.

Microgaming 

is a UK-based online pokie provider. They are characterized by progressive jackpot, and that’s why it is popular among Aussies. Microgaming provides software for casinos and boasts of games like Game of Thrones and Cash Splash.

IGT 

is regarded as one of the largest pokie developers and suppliers worldwide. They also design and develop software for real money casino Australia. In the list of their pokies, there are Lobstermania, Double Diamond, Wheel of Fortune, etc.

NetEnt 

is a Swedish company founded in 1996. Currently, they have expanded their operation to other European countries and North America. They offer high quality table games, video poker, and live dealer games that every punter from Australia wants to play. Some of the games they have in their collection include Gonzo’s Gold, Dead or Alive 2, and Street Fighter II.

NextGen Gaming

is an Australian-based gaming company. It was initiated in 1999. Unusual and innovative features characterize their games, and they include Dragon Drop, King Tiger, and Dragon Story.

Bally 

is one of the first gaming companies to be founded. It came into existence in 1968, and since then, they have been providing many games globally. Their games are popular in online casinos across the world. They include Titanic, Ducky Dynasty, and Dragon.

Playtech 

is also the best pokie provider in the world. It powers a lot of games. These games come with progressive jackpots and other bonuses. Playtech is licensed to operate in many jurisdictions and countries. They develop comic-themed pokies like The Avengers, Iron Man, etc.

Features of the Best Free Pokies No Download

Features in pokies are the key elements that make up slot games. They make the game more interesting and increase punters’ wins. Various pokies have certain features associated with them.

  1. Free Spins. No deposit casinoAustralia offer players free spins as promotional activities and as sign-up bonuses for new players. Some pokies reward players with free spins when they spin 3 scatters and meet certain wagering requirements.
  2. Re-Spins n is a pokie feature that allows gamblers to spin the reel again without placing their wager. It offers gamblers a second chance to spin to form a winning combination when playing a slot. Pokie spins australia come as a result of landing special symbols and do not guarantee wins.
  3. Bonus Gamesare also known as bonus rounds. They consist of mini-games inside pokies triggered when players hit certain symbols like scatters.
  4. Scattersunlock bonus features within pokie machines. When they appear on the reels, they unlock mini-games and free spins. Scatter symbols pay highly in pokies, hence the name player’s best friend.
  5. Wilds symbols replace all other icons on reels. They are key when a player wants to complete a winning paylines. They can’t substitute scatters and other bonus symbols in real money slot games.
  6. Stacked Wildsis a wild symbol that covers the whole reels when it drops on the reel. Not all pokies have stacked wild on all their reels. They appear on specific reels in some of the pokies. The pokies’ variance determines all these.
  7. Sticky Wilds is the standard wild. It is a substitute for any symbol that can create a winning combo. They remain on reels for the following spins.
  8. Expanding Wildsare common in video slot games and pokie machines. They normally expand to cover the whole reel depending on the software designer. A wild symbol on the reels triggers expanding wilds.
  9. Multipliers can multiply a player’s winnings by a certain predetermined figure. They are used to double or triple winnings. Although multipliers are popular, not all pokies have them.
  10. Progressive Jackpots have the edge over others that do not. Gamblers are offered massive jackpot when playing such slots and can win millions with one spin. These jackpots attract a lot of players.
  11. Instant Play. Pokies that have an instant play feature allow gamers to play immediately once they have pressed the play button. This feature ensures the play continues smoothly without delay. Again, players no longer have to wait for the software to download and install to play.
  12. Autoplaymakes the gameplay engaging and enjoyable since it lessens work. Everything is automated. Upon its activation, reels play through spins without stopping.
  13. Cluster Pays is a payment system used by pokies during deposits and payouts. Inside pokie with this feature, punters can create payouts when they match payline with symbols. The value of each symbol determines payouts.
  14. Hold and Spin is also known as Spin and Win. This feature deals with collecting symbols during a set number of spins. Players are rewarded in accordance with the number of symbols collected. Hold and Spin has emerged as one of the hottest features in slots currently.
  15. Bonus Wheelis a feature not common in most slots. It is a special feature that offers players little bonuses to win a few extra credits. This feature is the focal point in pokies like Grand Wheel.

How to Play Free Pokies No Download No Registration

Playing free pokies no download no registration is not difficult. Below is a guide on how to play them on game sites and best online casino Australia real money free spins:

  • Search for Australian casino sites that provide free pokies no download no registration.
  • In the search section, select your preferred slot with desirable reels, paylines, and paytable.
  • Set your betting specifications like max bet and min bet and decide the amount you want to play with.
  • Press the autoplay option and click ‘spin’ to spin reels. Look for the wilds and scatters to get payouts.
  • If the game is won, the winnings are displayed on the screen. Check your account balance to confirm.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1The term “pokies” originally comes from the “pok” in “poker machine”.  However, in Australia / New Zealand, the term simply means “slot machine”.
2For those who are unfamiliar with the term “punter”, the Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “a person who gambles or risks money guessing the result of something“.

Is Blackjack Available at PA Online Casinos?

Online BlackjackBy Lars Holmström

Online blackjack is available in most Pennsylvania (PA) online casinos. In fact, it is one of the most popular casino games in the state.  Being a game that balances skill and luck, it appeals to both new and loyal players.

Following the gambling expansion bill, both visitors and residents can now enjoy various blackjack games within the state lines. Other popular casino games in the state include craps, baccarat, and roulette. 

Is Online Blackjack Legal In PA?

If you are 21 or older, you can legally play online blackjack in Pennsylvania. In addition, you can get into any of the land-based casinos. The Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board overseas gambling activities in the state. It demands fairness and transparency from all operators. Whether you choose to play free games or for real money, you have plenty of options. 

PA Laws and Blackjack Games

In January 2010, during the expansion of the 2004 Gaming Act, tables were included in live casinos. The table games tax rate was set at 16 percent. Although the number isn’t as high as with slots, it is pretty impressive. Based on the PGCB rules, blackjack games need to have a low house edge. They should also be friendly and fair. 

After the opening of PA’S first online casinos, online blackjack wasn’t immediately legalized. In October 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the Gambling Expansion bill. A licensing process for PA online casinos kicked off and the initial sites were live by mid-2019. Find some of the best PA online casinos rated here.

Free Online Blackjack in Pennsylvania

If you are new to the game, you’d be wise to check a few options out before risking your money. Luckily, PA has plenty of free online blackjack games. They are just as fun as money games. 

You will find a few blackjack games in almost all PA online casinos on demo mode. You may receive a no-deposit cash bonus when checking out new games. Usually, demo mode is available through software-based games. Although you can access live dealer games, you can’t place bets for free. Free games are perfect for the casino lover who wants to have fun without risking their money. 

Real Money Online Blackjack

You will find real money online blackjack in all Pennsylvania online casinos. They come with lucrative welcome bonuses and regular promotions. If you make the leap to real money games, you have the chance to have some fun and potentially make profits. The secret is to choose games with the lowest house edge. 

The best blackjack games have a smaller number of decks. The best bet is to play single-deck games. In addition, find games with splitting rules, liberal doubling, and a soft 17 dealer stand.

Do not go in without a basic strategy. It could improve your playing experience and increase your chances of winning. If you go in blindly, you will be handing your money to the casino every time. 

Take advantage of side bets as well. They add some excitement to the game, and you could win huge profits. Although the house edge can be high, it is worth the risk. 

Before making a deposit, check to ensure that you are using the safest payment options. The popular ones include PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa. Bank transfers are pretty popular as well. 

The best PA casinos for real money blackjack include: Unibet Casino, SugarHouse Casino, and Hollywood Casino. SugarHouse has partnered with Rush Street Interactive to bring you the best blackjack games. 

Unibet works with Meadowlands and Hollywood Casino teams with IGT to bring you blackjack and other popular casino games in PA. 

PA Live Blackjack

Thanks to the PGCB, PA live blackjack is governed by special rules. The games are generally immersive and player-friendly. The average RTP is 96.6 percent. You can enjoy side bets like; Royal Match, 21+3, Lucky Ladies and Kings Bounty, and Match the dealer. They are perfect when you hope to win huge profits.

Types of Blackjack in Pennsylvania

Since blackjack has been popular for such a long time, it is no surprise that there are so many variations. Even the most minor changes from the basic rules can alter the game significantly. For example, some variations allow you to surrender your hand, but others don’t. 

Most PA online casinos have the basic game. They may have a few variations as well. The most popular ones include Interlock blackjack and Spanish 21. All PA sites must follow the rules that apply to land-based casinos. The main difference is in European and US blackjack:

  • In European games, the dealer will get just one visible card. After every player has acted, the second card is dealt.
  • In US games, dealers can peek at their hidden cards when the up-card is an ace or 10. If they have a blackjack, the hand doesn’t continue.

Blackjack Odds

The best thing about blackjack is that your success isn’t entirely up to chance. It is also dependent on your skill. Even when the odds are against you, your skill could give you better winning opportunities. 

The odds in blackjack vary depending on the number of decks in the game. Every variation uses a different number of decks, and it is important to do your research before playing. Here is a look at the number of decks and how they may affect your odds:

  • Eight decks: 0.65 percent
  • Six decks: 0.64 percent
  • Four decks: 0.60 percent
  • Two decks: 0.46 percent 
  • One deck: 0.17 percent 

Online Blackjack Rewards and Bonuses

Since there is so much competition among PA online casinos, they are always coming up with new bonuses and rewards. The casinos give both new and loyal players incentive to keep playing, from free bet bonuses to generous welcome bonuses and reload bonus deals. 

Usually, the play-through requirement for blackjack bonuses is weighted. You may need to wager your bonus a few more times than in slots thanks to the low house edge. Most casinos have a points collection system to reward their loyal players. The longer you play, the bigger your bonuses become. 

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Your Guide to the Casino House Edge in Blackjack

By Jasmine Jones

There is a truism that very little in life is free. You do not get free food; you must pay for your automobile, and no one except your parents allows you to live rent-free.

The same can be said of casino gaming. Should casinos be expected to let you play if they cannot make a profit? While you might think that is the fair solution, when you dwell on it a while longer, you will conclude that casinos would not exist if they did not make a profit.

And with no casinos, where would we go for our gaming entertainment?

With all this in mind, you can now come to accept two things. Firstly, the casino needs to make money, and, secondly, introducing a house edge to all games is the way to go about it.

Online Blackjack
Evolution Gaming’s live dealer blackjack

What is the House Edge?

The house edge is the percentage amount that you are expected to lose on any particular casino game. When we say expected, it’s based purely on the odds of you winning and the statistical probability of you actually doing so.

It’s based on a long-term assumption that the house edge is the number that would be realistic if you played an infinite number of blackjack hands – even if you read all the blackjack books – or infinite spins on the roulette wheel. Of course, in the short term, the variance will come into play. You might, for example, have one spectacular roulette session and walk away a winner, or you could get lucky and pick up a big jackpot win on the slots.

But, statistically speaking, you will not win in the long run. The exception to this rule is if you won a multi-million dollar jackpot on a slot machine, you would not put this all back in the machine again unless you were a terrible gambler.

The house edge is displayed as a percentage. It will differ from one table game or slot to another, which is why, if you care about these things, you should choose to play games with the lowest house edge.

Baccarat, for example, has a house edge of only around 0.5%. This means that for every $100 you bet on baccarat, you are expected to lose 50 cents. That does not sound a lot, and it isn’t. If you are playing in a live Las Vegas casino like The Mirage, you might be getting free cocktails on the house while you play – suddenly losing a small amount over time doesn’t seem too bad.

House Edge in Blackjack

Blackjack is an interesting example because, unlike other casino games, you can influence the house edge. In European versions of the game of roulette, it is 2.70%, but in American roulette, where you have an additional double zero segment, it goes up to 5.26%. No matter how skilled a roulette player you think you are, you cannot alter those numbers. The game is purely down to luck, and the balance of probabilities will not shift.

But with blackjack, you can improve your odds by playing the basic blackjack strategy. Doing so introduces enough skill into the game to reduce the odds by quite a lot. Sadly, not enough to give even a good player the edge, and this applies live or online at platforms like STS Casino.

The books say the casino has a house edge in blackjack of around 2%, but by applying some strategy to your game, you can bring it down to as low as 0.5%. That’s not as hard as you think. The easiest way to improve is to download one of the many blackjack hand charts free from Google.1)Or, of course, you can review the basic strategy charts right here on BlackjackReview.com.  Also, the rules of the game affect the house edge so you should always be looking for games with the best rules. When you do, you will see the optimum play to make in any given situation, whatever your two cards are in relation to the dealer’s up-card.

You will see when it is optimal to stand, to take another card, to double down, and to split. When you play in this manner, and the house edge comes down to a wafer-thin 0.5%, the balance of probabilities dictate you have a far better chance of walking away with a profit after any single or couple of sessions. The trick, like it is with all forms of gambling, is to walk away from the table when you are ahead; it’s the only sure-fire way of banking a profit.

Apart from baccarat, which we mentioned earlier, the only other casino game with a slender house edge is video poker. It’s also close to 0.5%, and you can play long sessions without necessarily losing sizeable amounts. And that is why shrewd casino bosses embed video poker machines in the bar tops – punters will happily sit for hours, gradually losing money while buying drinks from the bartender!

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1Or, of course, you can review the basic strategy charts right here on BlackjackReview.com.  Also, the rules of the game affect the house edge so you should always be looking for games with the best rules.

Do You Know The Differences Between Blackjack And Texas Hold’em?

By SA Bal

Of all the card games you can play, Texas Hold’em and Blackjack easily stand out as the most popular. Poker has seen the most mainstream success while offering the best luck-to-skill ratio of any card game.

Blackjack is more of a beginner’s game, which requires little time to learn and can be exciting to watch.  So if you’re looking to play one of these games but don’t know where to start, why not start by considering their differences first.

Blackjack

Difference in Rules

Blackjack

The game’s objective is for players to get as close to 21 points as they can without going over. All players will be playing against the dealer, who can sometimes use a deck of 416 cards to keep card counters guessing. Before the dealer starts, players will place their bets.1)Blackjack can be played with as few as one deck or as many as 8 decks or more.  In practice, casinos tend to use either 1, 2, 4, 6 or 8 decks.  In general, more decks give the casino a higher house edge.

If a player gets 21 points on their first 2 cards, the house now owes that player 1.5 times their original bet. And if the house wins, it will collect the bets that players made. If the player and house get the same hand value, the round ends in a tie, allowing the player to take back their chips.2)Yes, the correct payoff for a player blackjack is 1.5 (or 3 to 2).  In many casinos this rule has been changed to a payoff of 1.2 (or 6 to 5).  It is highly advisable to NOT play in games with the 6 to 5 rule.

Texas Hold’em

Each player receives two hole cards faced down for him or her alone. After receiving their cards, the two players to the dealer’s left will set the small blind and the big blind. Once both players have set the stakes, the first round of betting can begin.

During this round, players can choose to raise the stakes (raise), match the current stakes (call), or exit the game (fold). If a player raises the pot, that will become the new stake that the following players must meet. The dealer will burn one card and then place another three on the table (called the flop) after the betting phase is over. After placing three cards on the table, the second round of betting can begin.

Once the second round closes up, the dealer will place a fourth card (the turn), starting the third betting round. After all the players make their bets, the dealer will place the final card (the river) and initiate the last round of bets. Following the final betting phase, the showdown can begin. Players will compare their hands, and the one with the best combination of five cards wins the pot.

Other Key Differences

Mind games

When playing Blackjack, you can work out the odds of everyone’s chances of winning. You can even look at the cards that the house has drawn, letting your chances of winning come down to luck. That is unless you are counting cards or someone else on the table is. 

On the other hand, playing poker offers much more unpredictability. Unlike Blackjack, you will be playing against other people who have varying levels of experience and skill. Therefore, you can never get a proper handle on whether they will fold, raise, call, or check.

Prize Pools

Blackjack is a simple game to understand, and people usually do not have any trouble playing for the first time. But since it’s easier, it also offers fewer rewards in terms of its prize pools. The highest that you can win in a game of Blackjack when playing with standard prices is $750 if you bet $500.3)This is not entirely true as Blackjack also allows players to double or split their hands depending on the rules of the house.  This effectively increases the risk to the player but also increases the prize pool if won!

Texas Hold ’em, however, has a pot system with a winner takes all approach. So if you win, you can get more than three to four times what you originally put into the pot and possibly more if it is a no-limit game. While it can be more complicated to play and there are many more factors to consider, it can be more rewarding.

Game Speed

While Texas Hold ’em can be a more rewarding game to play, it can also take a lot more time to play. There are four rounds of bets along with the setup in the beginning to start the game. Good players are often very patient and take their time before getting involved in a pot. 

Conversely, Blackjack rounds are usually very short, as players can complete their hand in just a few seconds. It is rare that this game can get boring as a player bet is required on each round.

Enjoyment

The best thing about playing Blackjack is that you do not need any prior experience to start playing. Instead, you can usually learn the rules in a matter of minutes and start having a good time. But when playing poker, just learning the rules can feel overwhelming. And even when you learn the rules, you might not know how to bluff properly or how to keep a poker face.

Final Thoughts

Here you have some of the key differences that make Blackjack and Texas hold’em two completely different games. You can enjoy both games online or on land based casinos, but always make thorough research before betting anywhere. Also, remember to wage responsibly.

In case you want to learn how to play Blackjack or improve how you play, click here to try it out: www.bovada.lv/casino/blackjack-games  

Get hands-on experience of playing Blackjack with real people from home.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1Blackjack can be played with as few as one deck or as many as 8 decks or more.  In practice, casinos tend to use either 1, 2, 4, 6 or 8 decks.  In general, more decks give the casino a higher house edge.
2Yes, the correct payoff for a player blackjack is 1.5 (or 3 to 2).  In many casinos this rule has been changed to a payoff of 1.2 (or 6 to 5).  It is highly advisable to NOT play in games with the 6 to 5 rule.
3This is not entirely true as Blackjack also allows players to double or split their hands depending on the rules of the house.  This effectively increases the risk to the player but also increases the prize pool if won!

Partypoker & WPT Launch Educational Program

A new learning tool is making waves in poker circles. Named “For The Player”, the educational program is a collaborative effort between Partypoker US Network and World Poker Tour (WPT).

Partypoker US Network and WPT are well-known for their player-friendly practices. Past collaborations between the two poker giants have left their mark on an ever-changing industry. This time around their partnership is nothing short of revolutionary, representing the biggest poker educational program launch in recent history.

Partypoker & WPT Launch Educational Program
Photo by Dylan Clifton on Unsplash

For The Player

Through the use of this free program, players can learn about game theory optimal (GTO) poker strategies. These tactics are generally described as ideal playing strategies for a wide range of scenarios. They allow casual and competitive players alike to learn the basics of gaining an unassailable position at the poker table. This will likely result in improvements to overall win rates. 

For The Player boasts player-centric design as its core philosophy.  The free educational program guarantees poker strategies and analyses will deliver improvements for a wide variety of playing styles. Using online training and virtual games, the suite of educational tools aims to elevate any player’s skill level.

The program is provided in full, regardless of whether a player is a member of WPT or not. Players will get the opportunity to practice their new knowledge against each other in online play, as well as in practice games against the LearnWPT Team. Aimed at all players regardless of skill level, For The Player is freely available to all players in the United States. However, participating in online games will depend on State-level laws and regulations. Via Bounty events and Knockout tournaments, players will have the opportunity to put their skills to the test.

Free-to-learn

The amount of content on offer is extensive, especially considering the fact that it’s all being offered free of charge. Players have until February of 2022 to learn the ins and outs of the program, at which point the first Progressive Knockout (PKO) Bounty events will begin. These events are run by Partypoker US Network and will be centered on ring-fenced networks such as the New Jersey poker circuit.

The Progressive Knockout Bounty Online Series will run from February 21 – 28. Coverage includes live commentary and real-time analysis from prominent WPT influencers. Key insights and event breakdowns will be broadcast on both WPT and Partypoker’s social channels. Unfortunately, only players based in New Jersey can participate in the PKO Bounty events.

Subscribed players will also receive weekly newsletters, featuring content such as training material, interactive tasks, and episodic guides. In addition to these learning materials, all subscribers are provided with live training opportunities and unlimited access to regular blog posts and video streams; all of which are curated by experts at LearnWPT (LearnWPT is the World Poker Tour educational poker coaching partner). Team LearnWPT consists of Andrew Lichtenberger, Tony Dunst, Vanessa Selbst, Jared Tendler, and Nick Binger.

Free-to-learn
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

The origins of WPT

Since the early 2000’s the WPT has operated a highly successful series of international poker tournaments. Their most well-known event is the WPT Main Tour. Buy-ins for this event range from $3,500 to $25,000 and all winners are awarded membership to the WPT Champions Club. The Champions Cup is one of the most sought-after trophies in poker, offering bragging rights on top of exclusive membership perks.

Season 5 of the WPT Championship led to the highest win in any WPT event, when Carlos Mortensen won the season-ending championship with a total prize pool of almost $4 million. From a prize of around $500,000 in season 1 to a $2.5 million average by season 6, the WPT Series has grown tremendously since its inception in 2002. 

Nick Binger, LearnWPT Founder and President, has stated that WPT’s exciting partnership with Partypoker US Network brings the latest expert poker knowledge to one of the largest networks of players. Trusting in the strength and reputation of both brands, Binger encourages all players to give the program a go, focus on having fun while learning, and develop the skills necessary to compete at high skill levels.

The LearnWPT Team

Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger is a WPT Bracelet Winner and also the WPT Alpha 8 Champion. Tony Dunst is a WPT commentator who has also won a WPT and is a two-time Bracelet Winner. Vanessa Selbst has three Bracelet victories on her belt, while Jared Tendler is an expert when it comes to the psychological side of poker. The team is well-versed in all things poker, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better team of poker coaches.

As an optional incentive for joining, ClubWPT offers monthly winnings of $100,000 in cash and prizes. These monthly sweepstakes do not require a purchase to get a chance at winning. Instead, eligible states dictate who can and can’t participate in these games. Using real poker as its proverbial drawcard, the concept is similar to a network television show offering sweepstakes prizes.

At present, residents in around 40 states and territories are eligible for prize redemption. In order to receive prizes, eligibility requires proof of identity, proof of residency, and proof of age. It’s important to note that any prizes amounting to $600 or more (annually) require a W9 form according to Federal Tax Regulations.

The LearnWPT Team
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Future-proof gaming

Developments in ring-fenced network technology have led to secure virtual environments, meaning that subscribers can rest assured in the knowledge that their virtual activities are protected with the utmost vigilance. Whereas in the past online gaming was seen as more of a hobby than anything else, nowadays the industry has become the largest entertainment sector in the world.

In August of 2021, the World Poker Tour Main Event offered a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million for prospective winners, and future events will only grow larger as time progresses. A number of advanced technologies are being used for the educational program, including live streaming, online gaming infrastructure, and digital financial security.A significant portion of pro players are making the switch from casino poker to online poker, drawn by the convenience and remote nature of the latest software technologies. Virtual dealers are steadily growing in popularity, bridging the gap between brick and mortar casinos and online setups. However, it remains to be seen to what extent these technologies will be implemented in future events.

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5 Reasons Why Blackjack Is Such a Popular Table Game

Playing BlackjackBy Cynthia Madison

Playing casino games is a thrilling and exciting experience. No matter your preferences, with the emergence and popularity of the online gambling industry, you can enjoy a comprehensive portfolio of games from the comfort of your own home. Alternatively, you can download mobile casino apps and enjoy any type of game from anywhere you are.

Among some of the most famous casino games, particularly table games, there is blackjack. Whether you choose to play at online casinos or land-based ones, you will definitely come across this popular table game. Its fame hasn’t decreased, especially since online versions can be just as good.

If you are an experienced player, chances are you don’t need to hear the reasons why blackjack was and continues to be the best table game in 2021, as you know them by heart already.

This article is aimed at beginners who might feel intimidated by this game, not sure where to begin or whether to start playing due to inexperience. The truth is you can quickly learn how to play this exciting game.

So, here are five reasons why blackjack continues to gain popularity:

1.      Uncomplicated rules and easy to play

Blackjack is popular among experienced players and amateurs alike, thanks to its ease of play. The fact that it doesn’t have any complicated rules and is easy to play makes the game appealing to any gambler, no matter their level of experience. Plus, it can be quite thrilling to immediately see the results of your decisions whether you win or not.

When playing blackjack, the one rule you need to keep in mind is that the object of the game is to beat the dealer — NOT to get the closest to 21.  You can beat the dealer by getting a hand that is higher than the dealer OR by standing on a lower value hand and letting the dealer bust.

Depending on the cards shown on the table, the players choose between hitting, standing, doubling, splitting or surrender (if allowed).  If you hit your hand you will get another card.  If your total goes over 21 you bust and lose the hand immediately.  If the rules allow it, you could also double or split your hand by placing an additionally equal wager.  Surrender is allowed in some casinos which allows you to forfeit your hand and receive half of your wager back.  To learn the best way to play your hand you should study the basic strategy for the game.

2.      A low house edge or good odds

Another reason why blackjack continues to enjoy popular demand is its low house edge. What this means is that blackjack is a table game with good odds for the player. This differentiates blackjack from other table games, such as roulette or three-card poker.  Typically, blackjack will often have the lowest house edge of any table game in the casino.

The simplicity of blackjack and the fact that the house edge is often under 1% are two of the main reasons for this game’s fame.  Blackjack can often be the best bet in the casino and can give the player his or her best chance of winning some money.

3.      The game is fast-paced

Compared to other table games such as poker, blackjack does not take long hours to play. It is pretty interactive and definitely fast-paced, making it the ideal casino game to play when you don’t have a lot of free time on your hands. With it being available online, individuals can play quite a few rounds for a small amount of time before moving to a different game or taking a break. But truth be told, you might not want to.

Indeed, nowadays, there are many casino games available online. So, no matter your preferences, you can choose from an all-inclusive catalog and play slots, roulette and blackjack at online casinos. As a beginner, it is understandable that you may want to try as many games as possible. Obviously, online casino operators provide the proper environment to do this.

4.      Winnings can be considerable

Because blackjack is a table game with a low house edge, winnings can often be quite frequent. While a game such as three-card poker favors the dealer more, in blackjack, you have better chances at winning the amount you bet on. This makes the game extremely appealing to both experienced players and amateurs.

What’s more, when playing blackjack, you often have the chance of increasing your bet when the odds are in your favor by doubling or splitting your hand. Therefore, it is a highly interactive game, unlike other table games where you place a bet, and then you become a mere spectator to see whether it was your lucky day or not.

5.      A highly social game

Historically, blackjack dates back to the 17th century in France. It probably started as a game to bring people together at social gatherings. There is no denying that blackjack instantly became popular among individuals. Given the fact that more and more individuals enjoy playing it nowadays, it is certain that its fame is nowhere close to decreasing anytime soon.

Whether you play it in land-based casinos or online, social interaction still is a massive part of this table game. If you choose to play it online, casino operators provide a chat feature where players can interact with each other. Moreover, you can also interact with the dealer and get instant replies. So, the interactivity of blackjack is definitely not lost if you choose to play it online without leaving your home.

Image Credit: Dusan Kipic

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Pro Tips & Tricks On How To Win At Blackjack

Online BlackjackBy Dan Dubey

Blackjack is one of the oldest casino games and has a pleasingly low house edge, but it’s also challenging to master. Here are some pro tips to improve your chances of coming out on top and winning at blackjack.

Don’t be Short-Changed

This is more of a casino selection point than a game-playing tip but it does fundamentally alter how profitable the game can be, so it is worthy of inclusion on this tips list. Blackjack (the hand) should pay out at 3:2, or 150% of your stake. And it usually does. But sometimes a casino will try and steal a little of the player’s blackjack profits by reducing the rate to 6:5 (120%). Just be aware that can happen, and avoid games like that.

For a comprehensive guide that also features the top Canadian sites that are free to play at, simply click our link to review the top free Blackjack casinos where card sharks have a broad range of regular and live games from which to pick.

On a similar note, and there are variations in the rules and these tend to increase the chances of the house finishing ahead. Because blackjack is an ancient game it has a lower house edge than the vast majority of casino distractions, and one way the house tries to increase its edge is by adding small tweaks (the most obvious of these actually happened in roulette with the double zero version that substantially increases the house edge). Simple and straightforward games are the best way to go.

Doubling Down

Doubling is a slightly different method of advancing your hand because it means the player gets one more card (and one only) but can double their stake. Obviously, this can mean twice the loss, but the player does have the knowledge to make an informed decision and, in the right circumstances, it can be a smart move.

With a hard (no ace) 10 or 11 doubling down is almost always a good idea (for the dealer having 2-9, and, versus hard 11, a 10 as well). The hard 9 also has a variety of doubling opportunities, from 3-6. And if you have a soft 17-18 then doubling should occur if the dealer has 3-6.

As with all the advice offered here, these tips are based on mathematical averages. In common with all betting, good or bad luck can rescue poor positions or mean even the smart play leads to a loss. So do not be discouraged, or get too giddy, if you find yourself with a streak of luck, whether good or ill.

Hitting With an Ace – Aye or Nay?

Hands with aces (where that ace can stand for 1 or 11 either way) are considered soft, which can make it tricky to choose whether to stand or hit. However, aces do make things more flexible (you’re much better off with a soft 13 than a hard one).

Whether soft or hard, everyone should hit on 11 or less as there’s no downside. But there are some soft cases where hitting (or doubling in some cases) makes sense, but doing so when hard would be foolish.  On soft 17 or less it’s always worth at least hitting. And if the dealer has a 9, 10, or ace face up then a soft 18 is also worth hitting on.

Insurance: Just Say No

In most walks of life (especially when it comes to the home and car), insurance is not merely a good idea, it is a necessity. And the name implies a certain measure of putting safety first, a prudent hedging of bets. In blackjack, insurance is offered by the dealer when they have a face up ace, allowing players to make a side bet in case the dealer has blackjack. For the player, that’s an automatic defeat (unless fortunate enough to also have blackjack).

But the numbers do not stack up. If you buy insurance at each opportunity then, over the course of a session, the player will end up losing more than they win. If you are going by the numbers, then insurance in blackjack is something you should never opt for because it will decrease your chances of finishing ahead.

When to Split, or Not

Splitting is sometimes the most obvious thing in the world, and sometimes incredibly tricky. Aces and 8s, for example, should always be split. Given how many cards have a value of 10, the odds of getting 21 are pretty good if you divide aces. Fives, by contrast, never should be, because you are likely to replace a strong three-card hand with a pair of inferior two-card hands. (Hopefully, this need not be said, but 10s likewise should never be split).

However, often the decision to split or not cannot be made solely by contemplating your own hand. The dealer’s hand must be considered as well. Is the dealer likely to go bust? Do you already have a pretty good hand (a pair of 9s, for example)? As always, basic strategy gives us a useful indication of when to stick with a pair, and when to split it (in those circumstances when the answer is not obvious).

When the dealer’s face card is between 2 and 6, then players with pairs of 6s, 7s, and 9s should split (for 9s, players should also split facing an 8 or 9 from the dealer, and for 7s if the dealer has a 7 that should also be cause to split). A pair of 4s should only be split if the dealer is showing 5 or 6, and a pair of 2s or 3s should be split when facing 2-7.1)This discussion of pair splitting assumes a multi-deck game where double after splitting is allowed.  Also, any discussion of basic strategy will depend on the number of decks and the rules of the game.

Manage Your Bankroll Calmly

Last on our list of tips is something that applies to betting generally and certainly is important for wagering on blackjack. Players should not get carried away or despondent and should exercise financial discipline when betting. If you jump in betting 20% of your funds as a starting stake you can quickly lose the lot. Make modest wagers, perhaps a percent or two of your bankroll, so there’s some resilience if luck’s against you.

Also, do not fall into the trap of pursuing a Martingale style strategy. This involves doubling the stake whenever a loss is incurred (and doubling again if another loss happens). While this does decrease the odds of finishing behind, the fatal flaw with this approach is that any loss that is suffered is monumental. And any win is small (just one stake).

Blackjack’s a great game to play, straightforward enough to get the gist in a first session but complicated enough that making the right call can be surprisingly difficult. Follow these tips, and things should go a little more smoothly for you.

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1This discussion of pair splitting assumes a multi-deck game where double after splitting is allowed.  Also, any discussion of basic strategy will depend on the number of decks and the rules of the game.

Top 10 Most Popular Online Casinos For Blackjack

By Dan Dubey

Easy to learn but hard to master, blackjack has been one of the top casino games for a very long time. It also has the lowest house edge, making it a popular choice for mathematically-minded players.  Here are the top 10 places to play the game online.

Online Blackjack

LeoVegas Casino

LeoVegas Casino has a fittingly leonine mascot and tawny color scheme, and, for blackjack fans, having 56 regular table games and more than a dozen blackjack games among them is a good start. Better yet is the live casino, where card sharks can take their pick from 47 different tables (with a dozen or so blackjack games plus roulette, craps, poker, and gameshows). In addition, there’s an exclusive live casino section with 15 extra blackjack tables. And if you feel like taking a break from cards there are hundreds of slots from NetEnt, Play’n Go, Microgaming, and more.

Spin Casino

Another top place to consider for fans of blackjack is Spin Casino, which has not only regular games but a healthy live casino section as well. Players can access these games, and the many slots available, both from a traditional desktop and from mobile platforms, whether playing on an Android or iOS device. Banking options include e-wallets, cards, and Interac, and there’s even a sports section, so if you like to combine spectating with betting you can do both (and play blackjack) at Spin Casino.

Be aware that the rules can be a little different from one variation of blackjack to the next, so always be sure to give them a quick once over just to ensure you don’t end up falling foul of the rule-book.

Sports Interaction Casino

While sports betting (including live wagers) are on the menu at Sports Interaction Casino, this site also has a very healthy array of casino games. Blackjack fans can sate their appetite for 21 with both regular and live dealer formats of the game, with some tables exclusive to the casino and 24 tables in total. Baccarat, roulette, and video poker are also accessible, as are many slots. Banking options are numerous and include pre-paid methods Neosurf and Paysafecard, iDebit, credit cards, e-wallet ecoPayz, and Interac.

Mr Green Casino

Mr Green Casino has a fantastic array of slots from multiple developers, and it’s also a fun place to play table games whether via desktop or iOS/Android app. Regular blackjack games are available in multiple forms (including Perfect Pairs and First Person), with just over a dozen games in total. Meanwhile the live games number 37, with tables provided by both Pragmatic Play and Evolution Gaming (with poker, baccarat, gameshows, and roulette also available in the live casino). And because Mr Green Casino is regulated and licensed by the UK Gambling Commission it’s a place that you know you can trust.

Finding out more information about the best Blackjack casinos that are highly recommended by Blackjack players is easy – all you need do is click our link for extra detail if the concise reviews here have whetted your appetite and you want to know even more about the best places to play blackjack online.

Casino Lab

Players intrigued by experimenting at the Casino Lab will find no fewer than 29 regular blackjack games, which is one of the most extensive selections on this list. When it comes to the live casino offering there are 43 tables, which is also pretty good (and, of course, there’s baccarat, roulette, game shows, and poker to play too). Players taking a break from cards have great slots such as NetEnt’s Starburst and Microgaming’s Thunderstruck II to spin. The financial options range from standard fare with debit cards and e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller to the likes of Apple Pay, Boku, Trustly, and Paysafecard, plus PayPal, MuchBetter, and MiFinity.

All British Casino

While Evolution Gaming is the biggest player in the live dealer market, it isn’t the only show in town for card sharks keen to combine the convenience of playing from home with that real world atmosphere. All British Casino has over a dozen tables in its live casino dedicated just to blackjack, powered by Pragmatic Play. In addition to that, the live section has baccarat, roulette, and gameshow type distractions (some by Evolution, some by Pragmatic).

Licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, the site also has plenty of slots from multiple software developers, including ELK Studios, Thunderkick, NetEnt, Barcrest, Microgaming, and more, and financial options including major card companies, e-wallets, and pre-paid methods.

888 Casino

Players interested in live and regular blackjack games can find both to play at 888 Casino. There are 10 different varieties of the regular game, including American and Low Stakes, while the live casino has well over 100 live tables (the vast majority are in English but other languages, such as German and Italian, are available). The casino also has slots by the likes of NetEnt, Red Tiger, Play’n Go, and Playtech, plus roulette, poker, and baccarat in both live and regular formats.

888 Casino is also notable for the substantial array of payment options available for transferring funds into and out of the site, so you’re almost certain to find a banking method to your liking.

Both sports and casino betting are bigger than ever which means it’s very much a player’s market. Because of this, it’s important to take your time picking the right site for you, whether that’s down to promotions, banking methods, or just whichever casino has the most blackjack tables.

Betway Casino

Another top place to play for card sharks is Betway Casino, which has a dedicated blackjack section featuring 16 types of the games (such as Vegas Downtown Blackjack and Multihand European Blackjack). The live dealer section is a little smaller but does offer eight separate games from both Evolution Gaming and Pragmatic Play, in addition to dice games, poker, roulette, and baccarat (as well as game shows). Betway Casino is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, and also has sections for betting on regular sports and esports, so if you like to bet in a wide range of areas this might be a good pick.

PlayAmo Casino

If option paralysis is not a problem and you just want a huge array of tables then PlayAmo Casino is the perfect place to play as there’s an incredible 142 blackjack tables available within the sizeable live casino. There are 46 separate software developers contributing to the casino’s games so there’s a gargantuan assortment of slots to play as well. There’s a similarly enormous list of supported banking methods (in excess of 20), including multiple varieties of cryptocurrency, cards, pre-paid options, e-wallets, and nation-specific choices like Interac for Canada.

Casumo Casino

A great all-round casino is Casumo, which has an astonishing set of games that exceed 2,000 in total. These include classic slots such as NetEnt’s Starburst and Play’n Go’s Book of Dead, as well as the live dealer section which, naturally, features various types of blackjack (there are a total of 23 regular and live blackjack games altogether). The live casino is also home to Lightning Roulette, craps, baccarat, and more. The site is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, one of the foremost licensing authorities within the online gambling world.

Regardless of which casino or table you opt for, it’s always smart to employ the best basic strategy which maximizes your chances of finishing ahead. Couple this with the fantastically low house edge of blackjack, and it’s very hard to find a better chance of finishing in the black.

Blackjack is available at almost every online casino, but some places have more tables and better banking methods than others. Take your time browsing, and you might also find some great promos to take advantage of.

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Blackjack Strategy: Tips and Tricks to Learn when Practicing Blackjack

Playing BlackjackBy Alex Hotch

With millions of players scattered across the world, blackjack is arguably one of the most popular card games ever. Unlike many other casino games, blackjack requires in-depth understanding and strategy. It is not one of the simple games you can pick up to start playing. It is crucial that you develop specific strategies and understand the tips and tricks to play the game successfully. 

It does not mean that you cannot play and win at the game as a beginner. There are beginner tips that will get you started on the game but as you gain more experience and understand the game better, you need advanced tips to become a pro at the game. If you want to check out how the game looks like, visit https://black-jack.com/free/

What are the Basic Tips to Follow when Playing Blackjack?

It is crucial to understand the basic tips of blackjack before getting into specifics. Before you start playing blackjack, here are a few things that you must do.

  • Study and understand the game. Do not go into the game without properly studying the game. If you do, you will lose more in the end.
  • Understand bankroll management. You must be disciplined enough to manage your bankroll when playing blackjack, especially if you are a beginner.  Begin playing at tables with low minimum bets to practice your skills and keep potential losses to a minimum.
  • Know when to quit. This is one of the most crucial tips you can ever learn about playing blackjack. Quitting does not have to do with losing alone. If you are tired or even when you have won enough, take a break often. If you keep playing, you may lose all the winnings plus your capital.

What are the Common Blackjack Tips for Beginners?

Now that we have established the fundamentals of the pre-gaming activities, it is time to go into the tips and tricks of the real game. So, how do you start playing blackjack? What tips and tricks can I use to improve my chances of winning? Read on to learn more.

  • Learn the correct fundamental strategy of blackjack.  Before you start, take the time to understand and memorize the appropriate basic strategy chart to get a hang of how the game works. With consistency, you will improve your knowledge of the game and your winning chances.
  • Do not play games with a 6:5 payout on a blackjack. The right payout option is 3:2. Therefore, if you have a choice, choose a blackjack game that uses 6 or 8 decks which pays at the full 3:2 instead of a single deck that pays only 6:5.
  • Look for blackjack games that have the best rules. For instance, games where the dealer stands on soft 17 (S-17) or where you can surrender a hand are preferred over games that don’t have these rules.
  • It is usually better to play fewer decks than those with more decks. Be sure, however, that you are not giving up good rules for bad ones with fewer decks. 

Conclusion

These are some standard tips and tricks that will help you through the beginner’s phase of playing blackjack. Taking time to learn about the game cannot be overemphasized. If you do not learn the strategy of the game, it becomes difficult to understand and win at the game.1)This article was written for the novice or new blackjack player who will be playing against a fixed house edge.  An accomplished card counter can reduce the house edge and potentially have an advantage over the house.  Card counting, however, requires considerable effort and a different mind-set from the average player.

Photo Credit: Blackjack by Aidan Howe

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Footnotes

Footnotes
1This article was written for the novice or new blackjack player who will be playing against a fixed house edge.  An accomplished card counter can reduce the house edge and potentially have an advantage over the house.  Card counting, however, requires considerable effort and a different mind-set from the average player.