Guide to playing online Blackjack
We as Indians are so familiar with various card games that it runs through our culture. Be it Diwali, Holi or even a simple vacation, the pack of 52 is always a necessary partner.
However, did you know that there’s an easy game of cards which has the best return to player and at the same time great fun to play?
And no, it is not Rummy.
This game is called Blackjack and the good news is that you can now play online blackjack for real money on many trusted blackjack websites. You simply need to score a hand value more than the dealer but not cross 21.
What is online Blackjack?
Blackjack has traditionally been a land-based game which has seen a major attraction in the gambling halls and land-based casinos all over the world. This card game has some of the best return to player, among other table games and is generally upwards of 99.4% depending on the blackjack rules and variations, and when playing with optimal strategy.
However, I have been to many land-based casinos and the ambience there often makes you lose your guard and play carelessly. What you must remember is that blackjack is not a team sport. There are many players at a table but eventually, it’s just you and the dealer trying to outwit each other first.
Playing with real money means you must be more careful and so was I. Hence, I chose to rather go for online blackjack websites. This isn’t any download blackjack and I can instantly play online from the comfort of my home, without any downloads or installations required.
There are several advantages when choosing to play in an online casino rather than visiting a land-based casino.
- Being online allows me to access my favorite casino card games from anywhere I want and at any time, whether it is Blackjack or Sic Bo. I can utilize my leisure time without any external factors affecting my decisions.
- This is the era of smartphones with secure payment facilities, so I am protected.
- I get complete track of my transactions at my fingertips.
- All our recommended websites are licensed websites meaning they must fulfil lots of stringent regulatory requirements and can be trusted to be fair to the players.
Sound’s good, doesn’t it! But how would you know which websites to trust and which not to? This is the most vital decision and I am here to walk you through the tips and tricks to ensure that you play blackjack on the best online casinos.
Where can I play Blackjack for money?
In order to play on blackjack sites for real money, there are usually a few short and simple steps to sign up and make a deposit. After this, you can choose your favourite online card game and start playing.
- Step 1: Pick one of our recommended online casinos.
- Step 2: Register an account with your real name, address, email and phone number.
- Step 3: opt-in for the optional casino bonus.
- step 4: choose a payment method of your preference (VISA/MasterCard, Net Banking, e-wallets etc)
- Step 5: Make the payment.
- Step 6: Choose a blackjack game and enjoy the gameplay.
I and my team at G2G have reviewed over 200 online casinos for Indian players. We have listed the complete list of Indian blackjack sites here and verified that they are 100% trusted and legitimate. You can choose any of these verified online blackjack sites and start playing safely!
Where to play Blackjack for real
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The basics of Blackjack
Blackjack (also known as 21), is one of the most popular online casino game of cards played across the world and is particularly very popular with Indian players. It has taken cult status in many places and many popular movies and TV shows are based on it. You can easily learn a simple basic strategy also known as optimal strategy and win big in blackjack. This casino game has the most favorable player return among many other slot and table games.
In blackjack, the goal is to score higher and beat the dealer hand, however without going over 21 as the overall sum of all your cards in your hand.
The rules for a standard blackjack game are listed under the subsection “Rules”. In the “Strategies” section below, you can also learn our expert playing tips like when to Hit or when to Stand. Similarly, when to split, or when to double, or if you should buy insurance or not.
One of the most important tips is to always play at an online casino which offers blackjack pays of 3 to 2 instead of casinos which offers blackjack pays 6 to 5 or 7 to 5. A blackjack pays of 3 to 2 has the best winning potential for you.
Is it legal to play Blackjack in India?
The answer is Yes and No both, it’s in a grey zone. Gambling in India has been covered under archaic laws known as Public Gaming Act. This was drafted all the way back in 1867 even much before India’s independence. As per it, it is illegal to play game of chance outside authorized venues. However, 1867 is way before the internet was invented and thus online gaming is generally not covered even after certain amendments.
There is generally no legalization to enforce this old law in online casinos. India is a country of over 1.3 billion people, and no one has ever been punished for playing blackjack online, or any other online game of chance like Roulette or Baccarat. The chances of getting caught for online gambling is even less than getting struck by lightning. Thus, you can play safely online.
You can read more about gambling laws in India in our article, Is it legal to gamble online in India?
To be able to play online blackjack for real money in India you need to have an account with a trusted online casino like the ones in at G2G, and which supports INR.
You will need to open an account, make a small deposit and start playing. To know more about deposits and withdrawals, you can go through this article.
Some of the rules for playing blackjack are:
- The goal is to score higher and beat the dealer hand, but without going over 21 as the overall sum of all your cards in your hand
- Aces counts as either 1 or 11, number cards at face value, picture cards K/Q/J counts as 10
- Players cards are dealt face up, while only the dealer’s first card is shown. Both get 2 cards initially
- Depending on your and dealer’s card, you can decide to ‘Hit’ and take additional cards, or ‘Stand’ to take no more cards. You can also ‘Split’ or ‘Double’ your hands in specific cases
- If the dealer’s first card is an Ace, you may opt to buy insurance
- After you play your hand, the dealer reveals his ‘hole’ card. If the total is 16 or less, dealer must draw another card till its 17 or more. In some casinos, dealers can also hit on “soft 17” i.e. when the dealer has an Ace card that can be counted as 1 instead of 11
- If the dealer goes over 21, then the player if not already busted will win
- If the dealer does not bust, then whomsoever has higher card total wins
- Some casino allows for late surrender, but you should check the complete game rules first
- If the dealer or the player has an Ace and a 10 or picture value card, then its called “Blackjack” and this hand always wins
To know the blackjack rules in more detail, you can visit the article on online blackjack rules.
Blackjack though is a game of chance, however, if you can learn the optimal strategy you can generally win big over time and can provide you with some of the best returns out of any slot or table game.
A simplified version of the basic strategy is,
- If the players hand is hard 4 to 8, then you must hit
- If your hand is hard 9, and dealer’s hand is 2 to 6, then you double. Else if the dealer’s hand is 7 to Ace, then you hit
- If your hand is hard 10 or 11, and its more than dealers card count, then you double
- If your hard 12 to 16, then stand if dealer’s card is 2 to 6, and hit if dealer’s card is 7 to Ace
- If your hand is 17 to 21, then always stand
- For your hand as soft 13 to 15, you always hit
- For your hand as soft 16 to 18, double if dealer’s card is 2 to 6, else hit
- For your hand as soft 19 to 21, always stand
- For your card as 22, 33, 66, 77, 99, you split if dealer’s card is 2 to 6, else don’t split when dealer’s card is 7 to Ace
- For your card as 88 or AA, you always split
- For your card as 44, 55, 10-10, you never split
- Note that if strategy tells to double, but the casino rules don’t allow, then always hit except stand with soft 18
- If your card total is 16 versus the dealer as 10, then you should surrender if allowed
You should never ever take insurance as it has a better house edge over the long run. And you should always play where blackjack pays 3 to 2 rather than where it pays 6 to 5 or 7 to 5.
To know the blackjack strategies in more detail, you can visit the article on online blackjack strategies.
Blackjack has some of the best winning potentials among many other cards or slot games. If played with optimal strategy, players can win upwards of 99.4%. Add the online casino bonuses in this and you can even win bigger overall.
A single deck blackjack or in general blackjack with lesser number of decks is better for the player whereas a higher number of decks has a slightly better house edge. The various rules of blackjack games may affect the winning potential. For e.g. if a player can double on any number of cards can improve your advantage by another 0.23%, a late surrender has 0.08% better player advantage, etc.
You can check a full list of all bets and payouts in another article if you like to learn in more detail.
Variations of the game
The most popular form of blackjack is the standard or classic blackjack, however, in casinos across the world, there are many variations of blackjack played. Each of the variations may result in either slightly better player advantage or slightly better house edge.
Some of the variations of blackjack are:
- Double Exposure Blackjack: When both the dealer’s cards are exposed. This has a better player advantage but is generally offset by tweaking other rules
- Pontoon Blackjack: When both dealers card are dealt face down, having a slightly better dealer advantage
- Blackjack with poker hands side bets: When along with playing blackjack you can also make a side bet for a chance to receive specific poker hands like pair of Aces popularly known as pocket rocket, or an Ace and a King also popularly known as Big Slick. In general, you may avoid side bets unless you are comfortable
- There are several other variants of online video blackjack game like Spanish 21, etc.
Playing Virtual or Live version
You have plenty of choices on some of our recommended blackjack sites to play online blackjack where you deal with a computerized dealer where cards are dealt based on certified random number generators. This has usually faster gameplay as the computer deals the cards instantly and the graphics are animated in 2D or 3D.
You can have many different variants of video blackjack to choose from and have unlimited fun and it doesn’t require a strong internet connection at all.
Many of our recommended sites also offer Live Casino where you play against a real human live croupier. All the fun is streamed in real time and with the best resolution possible, most often 1080 full HD with crystal clear sound.
You can interact with the croupier as well as your fellow players at the table with a live chat. It even allows a single hand of cards to be played by multiple players at the table to bet against the dealer, thus potentially having an unlimited number of players at a table. The streaming quality and the game-play has nowadays drastically improved giving players an immersive experience with almost zero latency. This is closer you can get to real brick and mortar casino.
I have written a complete section about live streaming blackjack if you want to learn more.
Play Blackjack for real money vs. free
If the element of uncertainty is weighing you down and you want to get a real feel of blackjack by being in the hot seat without dealing in real INR, there is a way you can play in the same environment with the same rules but it will be ‘Play for Fun’ or ‘Practice Play’.
I would personally recommend you start playing and practising here on G2G at our Practice Page. The best part is you can practice it for as many times as you want, and you can be assured that the probability and the chances of the game events are exactly same as you would get in the real money game.
Until you are well versed with the terminologies of the online blackjack casino game and when to make strategic decisions like stand, split, double, etc. it is best to practice and improve your skills.
Once you have gained the experience, don’t let it go to waste. Many new online casinos with online blackjack have opened in India which offers dedicated customer support for Indian players and accepts INR which means you can play on a blackjack casino with rupees. Register on any of our recommended casino of your choice and start giving the dealer a hell of a time!