Best Blackjack Sites

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What to Consider When Choosing a Blackjack Site

Finding a great blackjack site among the thousands on offer can be challenge. It may seem like a simple game, but there are lots of nuanced rules, playing styles and extra features to choose from, which make your game time more exciting and, of course, profitable. Here's what to keep an eye out for when choosing the best site for you:

Variations

Check which rule variations a blackjack site has on offer before getting into the nitty-gritty of extra functions and the finer points of the game. Each variation has its own unique twists you'll want to know about before beginning to play.

  • Potoon | Standard blackjack is widely available, but Pontoon is an alternative that brings the five-card trick into play, and allows greater flexibility with doubling (“buying a card” in Pontoon).
  • Spanish 21 | Spanish 21, sometimes called Australian Pontoon, plays without the 10s, and with additional dealer restrictions that reduce the house edge by 33%.

  • Multi Hand | As the name implies, this feature allows each player to be dealt multiple hands in a single game, multiplying the fun. Whether you're playing serious odds, testing your powers of concentration or simply looking to heighten the thrill of the game, multi-hand options can be a great boost.

  • Switch | Some blackjack games, usually branded Blackjack Switch, allow a player to be dealt two hands, with the option to switch the top two cards between hands, giving flexibility to maximise potential wins. The only downside is that blackjacks tend to pay 1/1 rather than the usual 3/2, and a dealer hard 22 pushes all player hands except blackjack.

  • Surrender | The surrender option allows a player to admit defeat before the game finishes. But rather than losing your entire bet, surrender forfeits just 50% of your stake. Once upon a time, hardcore players viewed this as a “sucker bet”. After all, why would you give up when you could still go on and win the hand? The answer is that it's better to lose half your bet than walk blindly into certain defeat with a bad hand. Using surrender wisely cuts the house edge by 0.1%, which might not sound like much, but it really adds up.

  • Insurance | The name of this rule makes it sound a bit like surrender – an option to ensure you don't lose out too badly. In fact, it's a side bet on the dealer getting blackjack. The offer of insurance is given when the dealer's upcard is an Ace. If taken, and the dealer has blackjack, it pays out at 2/1. If the dealer doesn't have blackjack, the stake is lost.

  • Double Attack | This variation combines the best elements of Pontoon and Blackjack. After the dealer's upcard is dealt, players are given the option of doubling their stake – you can still split or double as usual afterwards. The reason this particular game gets an entry of its own is that it also comes with an insurance option too: so if you see Double Attack Blackjack, you'll know you're getting several very useful gaming options.

Progressive Jackpots

Looking for rule variations and other options is one way of attempting to boost your blackjack winnings. Another is to search for games that occasionally award lucky players a huge progressive jackpot. The prizes can reach sky high figures, with payouts often reaching the hundreds of thousands.

Like jackpot slots, progressive blackjack games usually award the jackpot prize to a random player when they're dealt blackjack, although the precise jackpot trigger can vary. It's wise to check the rules before you play.

Autoplay

Autoplay enables players to set certain parameters and then allow the game to automate your betting so that, for example, you'll always hit above 16 and play through a fixed number of hands before stopping.

This kind of feature helps if you have a strategy in place, so you can test it over a fixed number of hands. It can also be a good way to ensure you don't make rash decisions due to nerves or panic.

Live Dealer

Live Blackjack much more about the enjoyment of the game than anything strategic, since live dealers bring human interaction into the online casino world. Players can chat with each other and the dealer through the chat function, and enjoy a much more social experience.

Of course, if you're playing Blackjack online as a warm-up for a trip to the casino, this is a great testing ground to make sure you've got the nerve to take your game live, and to give you a feel for the timing and etiquette of a blackjack table on the casino floor.

Betting Limits

The last thing on the list is by no means the least. Each blackjack table will have its own betting limits, and it’s vital that you play within your means. If you're starting out, look for a table that allows gaming for small numbers.

It's easy to find games where you can start out with stakes of under £1. Of course, if you get good enough, you'll want to check whether you can wager larger sums in the search of bigger profits.


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