Online Blackjack, it is Not so Bad

There are a good number of people who feel that blackjack played at a table in a real brick and mortar casino is the only good way to play the game. I would have to disagree with this. True I cannot use card counting when playing online blackjack, and card counting is one of those classic, glamorous things associated with blackjack.

But on the other hand, it is winter right now and I do not have to go out in the cold to head to a casino to play blackjack. All I need to do is pull up a chair at my computer and log in to my favorite online casino.

Some other benefits to online blackjack is that I do not have the distractions that are found in a casino. No yelling from the craps table. No slot machines making dings and buzzes and their myriad other noises. Instead of trying to drown out all these other noises, I can focus on my game and on my blackjack strategy.

And speaking of blackjack strategy, they are all at my fingertips. If I need a basic strategy chart I can do a quick search for one and pull it up. I can also keep the instructions for a new blackjack strategy open in another window, rather than having to memorize them and hope I remember them to take along in my mind with me to the casino.

Then there is the free practice. The majority of online casinos offer free-play modes. Free-play modes allow players to try out a new strategy without leaving home (see above paragraph). It can also allow players to practice a strategy they already know and want to improve on; or to try out a variation of blackjack without having to wager anything. There is no such thing as playing for free in a brick and mortar casino; the best you can do is to find a low stakes table.

So I do not want to hear that blackjack in a brick and mortar casino cannot compare to online blackjack. There are plenty of ways that online blackjack surpasses blackjack in a casino—especially that free play!

How Go Casino Does Blackjack

Go Casino is one of the highest rated online casinos in the industry. It is certainly one of the most well-known Vegas Technology powered online casinos out there. But how does its blackjack stand up to its overall rating?

When a new player interested in blackjack comes to Go Casino and scopes out their blackjack offerings they will find Perfect Pairs Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack, European Rules Blackjack and Progressive Blackjack.

I know, not a lot of choices here, but in truth Go’s online blackjack offerings are quite nice. For one thing they have Vegas Strip Blackjack, my preferred form of standard blackjack.

The thing I like most about Vegas Strip Blackjack is the fact that when the dealer has a 10 value card or and an Ace up he has to check to see if he has blackjack or not. In a game of blackjack that is not Vegas Strip and does not have a dealer checking for blackjack it costs your blackjack odds 0.11%. The other good thing about the odds in Vegas Strip is that all of its rules considered, it adds 0.37% to your blackjack odds.

Anyway, so Go Casino has Vegas Strip. Which is definitely good.

To help you make the most of your online blackjack playing, Go offers new players a Welcome Bonus worth up to $20,000.

This Welcome Bonus covers a new player’s first twenty deposits. The 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th deposits have 100% deposit match bonuses on them, while all of the other deposits have a 50% deposit match bonus on them. The first deposit is automatically applied to your player account, but all other deposits have redemption codes that have to be turned into the cashier before you play with the new deposit.

Combining the wagering power from the bonus money found in the Welcome Bonus with the odds found in Vegas Strip Blackjack, Go Casino has actually given online blackjack players a strong shot at winning some real money here. Just make sure you are using your online blackjack strategy so you get the most out of your bonus money.

Online Blackjack at Aladdin’s Gold

Time to explore some online blackjack offerings out there in the get wide world of online casinos. Today we are going to be visiting the mystical, yet slightly cartoon-y Aladdin’s Gold. Do not worry, there is nothing Disney about this online casino.

Players will find a moderate offering of online blackjack games at Aladdin’s Gold, including some blackjack variations. So a little bit of everything in terms of blackjack choices, but you know my thoughts on some blackjack variations. Thankfully Aladdin’s Gold does offer a free play mode as a part of their Real Time Gaming software.

So about those blackjack games. Players will find at Aladdin’s Gold Blackjack, Pontoon, Perfect Pairs, Face Up 21, Match Play 21 and Super 21.

Of all of those Blackjack and Pontoon are safe to play for real money on, but the other variations are the type of variations that I warn against. You know, the ones with the side bets that drop your blackjack odds faster than a giant iron anchor and will run you through your bankroll faster than you intended. But that is just how those variations are; it is nothing against Aladdin’s Gold—they cannot help the rules that make the variations what they are.

Like any good online casino, Aladdin’s Gold does indeed offer players new to their virtual halls a Welcome Bonus. And what the Welcome Bonus it is.

This is one Welcome Bonus that I have not seen the equal of. Rather than putting a limit on how many of a new player’s first deposits will receive bonuses, Aladdin’s Gold offers players seven days off bonuses.

Yes, new players have seven days of unlimited bonus offers. All they need to do is click on the bonus they want each time they make a deposit. There are also no maximum cashout restrictions, other than bonus money. None of the bonus money can be cashed out. But there is no limit on how much of your winnings from the bonus money you can cashout.

However there is one big restriction on the wagering with bonus money: some games are off limits. Those games would be Baccarat, Craps, Roulette and Sic Bo. But that is fine because you are there to play online blackjack anyway. But you should know that just in case you want a break from blackjack for a bit. Playing anyone of the restricted games will cause your bonus money and your winnings from bonus money to become void.

Despite the moderate blackjack offerings, the Welcome Bonus gives players a lot of opportunity to make some real money from playing online blackjack at [insert_php]echo $casino2name;[/insert_php]. No lamp rubbing required.

Remote Live Dealer Blackjack

I recently heard of yet another take on live dealer blackjack online. And this latest take I am not a fan of.

Most often when you hear about live dealer online blackjack it involves players signing in and watching a real dealer being filmed live and broadcasted over the internet. She deals cards which then show up on your screen and you make your plays; she then plays out her hand.

While I do not think the synergy of this kind of live dealer online blackjack has reached a point to be in good form—bugs still need to be worked out of the execution of this kind of live dealer online blackjack—it still beats this new kind of live dealer online blackjack. Mostly because you can still actively play.

This new take on live dealer online blackjack does not allow players to actively play. And that is my problem with it.

In this new form players watch a filmed dealer live as she deals cards to real players in real brick and mortar casinos. Players watching the feed from at home on their computers can then make wagers on the outcomes of players’ hands. And they receive payouts based on whether the hand they wagered on won or not.

And that is all they do—place wagers on hands that they do not have control of the outcome of. It is like taking blackjack and turning it into a slots game—making wagers on a game that, as a player, you have no way to influence the outcome of.

Blackjack is not meant to be a casino game that players cannot influence, hence the strategies for it. It is just a detriment to the game, to my thinking, to only allow these online ‘players’ to only be able to wager on the outcome of a hand they have no influence on. This hands-off kind of take on online live dealer blackjack is the opposite of what blackjack should be.

Blackjack at Rushmore

I thought that this afternoon we would visit the online casino, Rushmore. Rushmore is one of quiet hot spots to play online blackjack at. I say quiet because they conduct themselves in a quiet and efficient manner—no loud, noisy, messy online blackjack here!

But that is not all there is to Rushmore and their Real Time Gaming powered online blackjack. They offer players an array of blackjack variations to choose from, instead of only offering standard casino blackjack. Rushmore’s list of online blackjack games include Blackjack, of course, Face Up 21, Blackjack Perfect Pairs, European Blackjack, Match Play 21, Pontoon and Super 21.

While some blackjack variations are not on my preferred list, I was quite happy to see that Rushmore is offering Pontoon as it is not a common blackjack variation offered in online casinos. It is definitely worth taking for a spin in Rushmore’s free play mode, after all, why turn up your nose at trying the English version of blackjack when you can play it for free?

Also for the enjoyment of online blackjack players is Rushmore’s Double Down bonus. This is a Welcome Bonus aimed at blackjack players. New online blackjack players to Rushmore can take advantage of their 200% deposit match bonus worth up to $1,000.

Only first deposits made with a credit card, gift card or UseMyWallet are eligible for the Double Down bonus. Players must turn in the redemption code after making their first deposit before doing any wagering.

Before a player can make any withdrawals on winnings from the bonus they must first wager 20x the combined amount of the deposit and the bonus amount. Once the wager requirement is met, players can then withdraw their deposit and any winnings from the bonus; the bonus money itself cannot be withdrawn.

Rushmore offers players a realistic bonus in their Double Down bonus to play their variety of online blackjack games—everything from basic blackjack to the variations—great and not so great—are available for play. And I do recommend playing a few rounds of Pontoon—give it a try!

Dreaming of a Green Christmas Online Blackjack Style

There are two things that any online blackjack player would have on their Christmas list this year. One is to have lawmakers up on Capitol Hill pass someone’s online gambling legislation, preferably Representative Barney Frank’s—not liking Senator Harry Reid’s heavy interest for Nevada brick and mortar online casino versions. And, two, to have some money.

The money part, that is the easier part of the two.

It is the first part, regulation of online gambling in the United States, that is the trickier.

For one thing there are a lot of lawmakers who feel that online gambling would open up a chasm into which the poor little lost US citizens would fall into.

I cannot get on board with that. Online gamblers are some pretty savvy people, especially online blackjack players. Not that I am biased or anything.

Online blackjack allows players to make real money without having to leave their homes. It is the one online casino game with the best odds for players. Players have a 48% chance of winning a round of blackjack. This comes about from a house edge of 0.5% when playing online blackjack according to basic strategy. There is no other house edge that is that low.

It is that low house edge combined with that 48% shot of winning a round that puts blackjack—not online poker—as the online casino game to play. Yes, online poker is more popular. It has its roots spread out more in popular culture. And, yes, you can make money from online poker. The odds are better when playing online blackjack is all I am saying.

And odds are very important for those who want to make some money from online gambling. In that case, online blackjack is the way to go.

This means that we need to be behind our representatives and senators, even Reid, that are trying to get online gambling regulation. If we want online gambling we need to make our voices heard. So tell your representatives and senators what you want for Christmas: online gambling regulation and the ability to win some real money from online blackjack.

Playing Blackjack in an Online Casino

Blackjack is an old casino game. It can be traced back to France in the 1700’s. That is not to say that it is French—after all there is Spanish 21, which is a very similar card game with obvious Spanish roots—but the 1700’s was the first record of blackjack in a casino.

Anyway. Times have changed and players are no longer limited to playing blackjack in a brick and mortar casino. Instead they can stay at home and play from their home computer. Or from their office at work if they feel risqué enough to do so.

And while online blackjack has many similarities with blackjack played in a brick and mortar casino, the two are not identical.

One, the feeling of being just you and the dealer is emphasized in that you are the only player at the virtual table. This is not like some online poker rooms in which you will be playing with a few real people from somewhere on this planet. Online blackjack is just you and the game.

Two, some types of blackjack strategy cannot be used in online blackjack. Namely card counting. Card counting requires cards to be discarded. This does not happen in online blackjack thanks to the RNG, which pulls cards and starting hands from all possibilities, creating in effect no discards.

But there are some other differences.

Three, you do not have to worry about whether you are playing at the right table with a minimum wager you are comfortable with. Online blackjack starts at $1 and most will go up to $200 per table. But the player is the one who choose how much he wagers within that range. So if you only want to wager $1 per hand, you go right ahead.

Four, you do not have to feel like you are on the spot or judged by other players that you are making the wrong play. Online blackjack can make you feel more confident in your playing without the pressure of other players telling you how to play your hand or that you played it wrong or that you took the dealer’s bust card (which is a myth anyway).

Online blackjack comes with good things and some that are more inconvenient. But on the whole I think it is a good way to play, especially if you are new to blackjack and are just branching out into playing for real money. Playing blackjack online keeps your confidence intact while allowing new players to become accustomed to playing with real money at smaller amounts than can be typically found in a brick and mortar casino.

Cake Takes on Online Blackjack Tournaments

I found where 21 Gnet went. Back in May 21 Gnet and Rushmore Casino ended their partnership in regards to blackjack tournaments. This resulted in Rushmore ceasing to offer blackjack tournaments and picking up slots tournaments instead.

But 21 Gnet is not the sort of company that just fades away. And it is true that they have not.

It appears that 21 Gnet has made a partnership with the Cake Network, who is known for primarily dealing with poker. I say primarily because they do offer blackjack, but mostly just as a back burner sort of offering. It is there is you want it.

And 21 Gnet is definitely excited about the partnership. Chief Executive Officer Shane O’Connell said, “Cake has been and continues to be an important player and industry leader and we are thrilled to unite with it. The deal is a perfect fit for us and equally beneficial for Cake. It gives 21 Gnet an extended reach and more capacity and gives Cake a great new form of entertainment to offer their players.”

And what is this new form of online blackjack tournament entertainment? Surely one online blackjack tournament is like any other.

You would be wrong.

The online blackjack tournament format that 21 Gnet offers is a multi player type of format. Rather than having players play against a dealer to earn points to move up a leader board, 21 Gnet’s format pits players against one another in elimination style tournaments.

This sort of online blackjack tournament has the potential to further close the gap in the differences between online blackjack and blackjack found in a brick and mortar casino. It would create online blackjack tournaments that are similar to the tournaments offered in casinos. This might warrant some watching to see where this goes.

Of All the Casino Games, Why Online Blackjack?

Of all of the online casino games why is online blackjack better?

It really comes down to odds, and blackjack online offers better odds than the other online casino games.

This is because basic strategy can be used in online blackjack just like the blackjack that is played in a brick and mortar casino. The impact on your blackjack odds is still the same because the rules of online blackjack is the same as casino blackjack, therefore you still have a 48% chance of winning and a 52% chance of losing each round.

Because the odds are roughly the same to begin with and because the rules of online blackjack are the same as its brick and mortar counterpart, you can use the same strategy—except for card counting. Because of the actual creation and functioning of what is now a computer game, playing online blackjack is like playing at a blackjack table with a continuous shuffle machine which makes card counting impossible.

But other than no card counting, your blackjack strategy should transfer to being used in online blackjack just fine.

In fact, basic strategy will still reduce the house edge to 0.5%. So it is possible to play online blackjack and achieve the same blackjack odds that you would have in casino blackjack.

In terms of all of the online casino games out there, online blackjack is the one capable, if basic strategy is played perfectly, casino game in which the lowest house edge is achievable. While online slots and online poker might be the most popular casino games found in online casinos, online blackjack will give the best odds when playing with basic strategy.

Dealer Hitting Soft 17 is Not Good

Some players think that working in games that allow the dealer to hit a soft 17 is good for their blackjack strategy.

They would be mistaken.

Sure, on the surface a dealer hitting a soft 17 sounds like a good thing. Players might think that the dealer has a better shot of busting because he is so close to 21. But what these players are forgetting is that Ace. The Ace that makes that soft 17 soft can be reduced to a 1 if the dealer hits and receives a card that would cause him to bust.

Because of that Ace, dealers can actually reduce that 17 to an 8 and hit to rebuild a stronger hand. He might then wind up with a hard 17 or higher that stands a shot of beating the player. Just like how an Ace can benefit a player, so too can it benefit the dealer. A soft 17 can be rebuilt whereas a hard 17 has a better shot of being beat by the player.

With that ability to rebuild his soft 17, the house’s edge goes up by 0.2%.

That is quite an increase. Think about it. Basic strategy can lower the house edge to around 0.5%. But if one of the house rules allows the dealer to hit a soft 17 and the house gains 0.2% on their edge, that puts the house’s edge at 0.7%.

In short, playing in a game of blackjack that allows a dealer to hit a soft 17 undoes just under half of what basic strategy works to accomplish. That is a big impact to a player’s blackjack odds and to a player’s opportunities to make a profit from blackjack.

Hence trying to play in games that allow the dealer to hit a soft 17 are not just bad for blackjack strategy—they are very bad and should be avoided.