Free Blackjack!

Yes, I said free blackjack. Free as in you don’t have to play money to play.

Don’t think such a thing exists? You would be wrong if you think that.

Every reputable online casino has the option to create a free practice play account. This way you can either practice your blackjack skills or become better acquainted with the game if you’re just starting to learn. Or if you simply love the game and don’t want to risk any money you can play for free.

What you do is find your favorite online casino. Then decide if you want to download their software—which is also free—or only play in the instant flash version of their online casino. Keep in mind though that some online casinos won’t make all their games available in their flash versions. I’m going to assume this is to get people to download their software, but their software is free anyway so personally I’m failing to see the logic in limiting the number of games in a flash version.

Anyway. Once you have found the online casino you want to play free blackjack at and have decided on the free download or the flash version, you will be prompted to create a player account. Don’t worry, player accounts are free also. This allows that casino’s staff to assist you with any problems you have with your player account—such as log in issues or the like.

Once you have your player account you can go to town with all the free blackjack you want!

The great thing about being able to practice for free is that you don’t have to worry about putting any money at risk while you’re learning. Before online casinos and their free blackjack, players who were learning the game and working on fine tuning their strategies had to wager money. The problem with this is that you’re learning—why should you be putting your money at risk, even in a low-stakes game?

Thankfully online casinos understand that players are more likely to stick with the game if given a good way to practice and work on their strategies. They have given us free blackjack. And we can have access to it at any time we need to.

The Easiest Way to Play Blackjack

Want to know what the easiest way to play blackjack is?

Really? You want to know?

It’s quite simple.

Basic strategy.

Yes, I know, I’ve talked about basic strategy before, but some things you need to go over a few times before novices and hold-outs will finally give over and use it.

But the truth is that basic strategy is the easiest way to play blackjack—online or off. All you have to do is check what the chart says to do with the two cards in your hand when faced with whatever the dealer’s up card is. It is that easy.

Basic strategy is the best statistical plays for every hand in blackjack. So not only do you have to just to what the chart says to do, you also have the knowledge that this is the best possible play for you.

That’s what basic strategy does—give you the best possible play for your hand. Over time, just by following the chart—you can lower the house edge to 0.05%. Just by doing what the chart says—no fancy calculating or math. Just hitting when it says to hit and stand when it says to stand.

And basic strategy is legal to use in casinos. There is no fear of being thrown out or barred from using basic strategy. You can bring the chart with you to the table, sit right down and play with it.

Now when you think about it, what casino game offers such an easy way to play with such awesome benefits? Any blackjack player can have that chart and not only have an easy way to play, but have the ability to lower the house edge and not be breaking casino rules.

The Good in Online Blackjack

While nothing can quite compare to the actual casino experience, online blackjack definitely offers players more convenience.

For one thing you don’t have to leave your house. You can sit at home in your PJs and your hair a mess and turn a few hands of blackjack. You can play whenever you want without having to make travel plans and worry about accommodations or when you have to leave to return home. All you do is sit down and sign on to your favorite online casino.

Casino environment aside you aren’t missing anything. I repeat, you are not missing anything. Blackjack is a game in which it is you versus the dealer. It’s not like poker. A downside to online poker is that you can’t see who you’re playing against—you can’t see if they’re bluffing. Thankfully blackjack is not the type of game in which you have to worry about the other players. So you can easily play blackjack online without fear that you’re at a disadvantage.

Another advantage is that you can play for free. Yes, for free. And while playing for free won’t make you any money, it does allow you to practice without the fear of losing any money.

See, if you were to practice in a casino you would probably be playing in a low-stakes game. But you can still lose money there. And the point of practice is to get better at your blackjack skills, not lose money. Online casinos have play-for-free versions of their software that you can use to improve your blackjack skills.

It’s also easier to use basic strategy. There is no pressure to ‘hurry up’ with whatever play you’re going to make. You can look over the chart without everyone staring at you, waiting and making jabs at you to move it. Blackjack online allows you to play at your own pace.

Blackjack being available online is a boon to players because of the easy access and improved playing conditions—not to mention being able to play for free when you need to.

How to Learn Blackjack

Every now and then I’m treated to ‘new’ ways to learn blackjack.

This morning I heard tell of a site where someone new to blackjack and looking for a place to learn can go. All this particular educational site has on it is videos. So all a novice blackjack player does is sit down, watch all the videos and then, wa-la, he knows how to play blackjack.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

Blackjack is a game of skill. And, like any skill worth learning, it takes effort to learn. Sitting down and just watching a video series is not enough. Blackjack must be practiced. This applies to both online blackjack and casino blackjack.

Sure, you could read everything that I have written on this site, and while you will have an abundance of information about blackjack and information about how to play blackjack, it doesn’t mean that you have ‘gotten’ the game.

Blackjack must be practiced.

Think of it as like learning to ride a bike. You could watch videos and videos about it. You could read books about it. But it doesn’t mean that you’ll be perfect when you climb on a bike the first time.

So how do you practice blackjack?

You can go to a casino and play in low stakes games. Make sure you take a basic strategy chart with you though since it’ll help you hang onto your bankroll while you’re learning.

Or you can go to an online casino and practice blackjack in the practice modes of their casino software. Reputable online casinos have two versions of their software, the version in which you play with real money that you’ve deposited to your account, and a practice version in which you play with pretend money.

Practicing at an online casino doesn’t cost anything. The player account is free. And if you want to download the casino software it’s free too. Or you can practice in the instant play version of their software. The point is that an online casino doesn’t cost you money until you choose to deposit money there.

So go on, read about blackjack. Watch videos about blackjack. But then make sure you practice so that you understand the plays you’re making, and become comfortable with basic strategy. Practicing any skill will only improve your ability to use that skill over time.

In other words, the more you practice, the better at blackjack you will be.

The Pros of Blackjack Online

Upon thinking about it I’ve come to realize and appreciate some of the pros to playing blackjack online.

Firstly, I can play wherever I want. I don’t have to travel to a casino and mess with hotel reservations. Nor do I have to deal with the worst thing: packing to go and unpacking when I come home. I can site in my home office in my PJs and play to my heart’s content. Pro: Online Blackjack can be played wherever you can get internet access.

Secondly, I don’t have to worry about my speed of play. I can play as fast as I want or at a more leisurely pace. I don’t have to worry about another player slowing the game down either. Pro: The pace of the game is set by me and controlled by me.

Thirdly, and one of my favorites, the payout percentage of playing at an online casino is higher than at a land-based casino. This is because online casinos don’t have nearly the amount of overhead costs that an online casinos has. For example, online casinos don’t have dealers since a ‘dealer’ is built into the game software. With less overhead costs, online casinos can payout more in winnings. It’s not unsurprising to see an online casino with a payback percentage of 97-98%, meaning that they’re only keeping 2-3% of all money wagered; the rest is paid back to players in winnings. Pro: The payback percentage is greater meaning, I could win more.

Fourth, the bonuses and loyalty programs. Sure land-based casinos can hand out comps for free food and rooms in the casino’s hotel, but can they give me free money? Can they give me paybacks on the money I’ve lost? Nope. Online casinos will offer Welcome Bonuses ranging from $888 up to $20,000 to new players. And their loyalty programs will give players weekly deposit bonuses and paybacks on a percentage of money lost in wagers from a previous week. Pro: While land-based casinos can give me free food and maybe a room, playing blackjack at an online casino can give me free money to play with.

To me it seems that playing blackjack online not only offers convenience, but it also offers some great monetary rewards as well. And while playing in a land-based casino can give you the thrill of the casino environment, which is fine, sometimes it’s fun just to stay home in your PJs and bunny slippers and receive some bonus money.

Online Blackjack Benefits

Blackjack is a classic when it comes to casino and gambling games. It’s a staple. It’s just not the same to walk into a casino and find that they lack blackjack. It’s one of those games you expect them to have. Like poker.

It is such a staple that even those online casinos that have a heavy emphasis on slots will offer online blackjack.

But we’re not going to look at land-based blackjack right now. We’re going to focus on online blackjack and its benefits.

Mostly I feel kind of bad for telling how insurance can be profitable for those who can card count in land-based casinos while also saying that you really can’t make the same work online. So I’m going to give some benefits of playing blackjack online that those in land-based casinos are missing out on.

First, you can control your rate of play. It’s just you and the dealer. If you want to play slowly, take your time consulting your basic strategy chart, by all means, take all the time you like. When playing blackjack online you don’t have to risk the ire of other players by holding them up. It’s just you. Play as slow or as fast as you want.

But probably one of the best things about online blackjack is its payout percentages.

Online blackjack will generally have a higher payout percentage than land-based blackjack. This is because online casinos have a lot less in overhead expenses than a land-based casino does. Online casinos don’t have nearly as large of a staff. They don’t have a whole casino to up-keep.

As a result online casinos can payout more often when you are dealt a natural blackjack or beat the dealer. This allows for more wins on average than you would normally find in a land-based game of blackjack.

And winning more often allows for more money to be won. And that is probably the biggest benefit of playing blackjack online.

Going Back to Basics

I haven’t really said too much specifically about basic strategy for blackjack lately, other than a mention here and a mention there.

Blackjack is a wonderful card game when it comes to casino games. It’s a game of skill. You can take a strategy that will improve your odds; and the more you practice that strategy the better your game—and your odds—get. But every now and again we must get back to the basics.

You can learn card counting—although this doesn’t work for online blackjack—to help control you betting. You can memorize little tips and tricks such as betting on another player’s hand or additives for insurance. But at the core of any blackjack player’s strategy is basic strategy.

Hence the word ‘basic’ in its name.

Basic strategy is a chart that tells you how to play every possible against every possible dealer up card. Each combination and play has been tested and simulated so that the play that you have on the chart is the best statistical play for you to make each time.

While basic strategy won’t win every single game for you, you will win more over time. Part of your strategy is finding a way to lower the house edge and improve your own odds. Basic strategy is the most basic, and one of the best, ways to do so.

Playing according to basic strategy in blackjack can lower the house edge to about 0.05%. And when you’re starting at about 2-5% that’s quite a difference.

The best part of basic strategy, after its ability to lower the house edge to 0.05%, is that you can play with it in casinos. You can use it when playing blackjack online as well.

This is one of the best strategy tools available to blackjack players. You can find charts online for free that you can pull up when playing online, or print when you’re going to a casino.

But in order to lower the house edge to that 0.05 % you must play every hand according to what it says. Don’t change the plays, just do as the chart tells you to. Be prepared to lose some hands because you will. Just keep in mind that you will win more over the long run.

Bye Bye Visa and Mastercard

It finally seems that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UICEA) is upon U.S. players. In light of the upcoming implementation, Mastercard and Visa have both stop processing payments to and from online gambling sites.

So it seems that they are trying to stop us from playing blackjack online. But where there is a will to play there is a way to play. U.S. players will now have to turn to other payments options. And, yes, they do exist.

Other payment options include eChecks, eWalletexpress and Usemywallet. Electronic checks are also an option. They can be deposited directly with the online casino. Then you’ll be off to play blackjack online. And once you have your winnings, you can have the online casino issue you an electronic check. It’s kind of like having a bank account on the internet without it actually being a real U.S. bank that will try to block your financial interactions with an online casino. These electronic checks are usually free of charges,

But maybe U.S. blackjack players can hope. Online casinos got around this sort of thing once in the past. The last time Mastercard tried this, within two months online casinos had removed code that identified payments from them as being from an online gambling site.

But it seems that this time around online casinos are just going to turn their backs on Mastercard and Visa and not even bother. Rather they’ll just rely on other electronic forms of payment and keep on providing games.

But a certain amount of pity should be directed at Mastercard and Visa, blackjack fans. While we don’t like paying fees to them, they are missing out on a lot of money in fees. And well, that is how they make their money so that they can go on giving us credit. But then it’s one more aspect that UIGEA hurts.

Really I must say that U.S. citizens are actually pretty lucky. UIGEA was supposed to take effect in December of 2009. So we should really feel lucky that we have until June now.

Where to Find Free Blackjack

We’ve heard it everywhere we go: the economy certainly isn’t what it used to be. So since we’ve all heard it I’m not going to go on about it. But I will say that a very large number of people in America are looking for ways to cut costs and save some money. Usually it’s the extras that go first. And gambling games, such as our blackjack, are probably on that list.

But for blackjack players who play because they love the game, they don’t have to actually give it up. You can always play for free.

Granted, you won’t make any money playing for free, but you can still enjoy the game. And it also can serve as practice if you’re trying to bone up on your skills—after all, if you’re playing for free you don’t have to worry about losing money to practice.

And even though you don’t have any money at stake when playing blackjack online for free, you still want to play a reputable online casino just in case you run into some technical issue or need some help from customer support. You want to know that there are people that are there to help you.

Some of the best places to play free blackjack online are at the same online casinos you play at for money.

Online casinos also have the gaming software that is specifically designed for casino favorites. These aren’t little flash jobs. These have all the lights and sound of a real casino. And when you’re playing blackjack online you’ll get the view that you’re playing at a blackjack table.

The majority of online casinos offer free-play modes. Usually they use these to allow potential players to try out their interfaces and games in hopes that these new players will create a real money account. And they have the customer support staff to handle any concerns that you might have.

But established players can log in to their favorite online casinos to play blackjack and still play for free. Just make sure that you click on the Play for Fun option—you don’t want to accidently play with your money when you‘re wanting to play blackjack for free.

Blackjack doesn’t have to be out of your reach just because you might not have extra money floating around. The point is to enjoy this game. And playing for free online can give you that.

Training Yourself in the Ways of Blackjack—Making and Breaking

There are several myths and philosophies in blackjack that revolve around the idea that there is an order to the cards, and that the order must be preserved. But in truth there is no order to the cards. They are shuffled and then dealt.

It seems that blackjack players who play online don’t seem to have that worry that there’s some order that must be preserved.

Why is that?

It probably has something to do with the fact that in online blackjack there are no cards visible other than the ones that have been dealt. And perhaps, because the remaining deck isn’t visible, players focus more on the cards on the screen in front of them rather than worrying about those that have yet to be dealt.

Another reason that perhaps online blackjack players don’t worry about the order of the cards is because they know that there can’t be any order. In online blackjack any card, it is assumed that players are playing with multiple decks.

And there are no discards. The cards in online blackjack can be thought as playing at a table with a continuous shuffle machine. And while the CSMs in land-based casinos are considered a low blow to blackjack players, there is no other way to play online blackjack. Online blackjack can’t have real cards with discards. And the similarity to a CSM is from the Random Number Generator that keeps the results of each card dealt random and fair to the players.

What land-based blackjack players can learn from online blackjack players is to let go of the idea that there is an order to the cards. Land-based blackjack players can utilize the play-for-fun option that online casinos offer to play blackjack and try playing without the idea that there is an order to the cards.

Letting go of this order-to-the-cards idea can free players from making mistakes in their plays that cost them money. Give it a shot.