Blackjack is not exactly the same as 21. A couple of nuances make a difference between the two blackjack games.
Players should note that both European and Spanish variations can be played as free blackjack.
In this article, we explore the world of free blackjack online. We tell you how to beat the house, what the RTPs are, and all the blackjack rules.
Furthermore, we discuss all the blackjack games available at online casinos. So, stick with us for American, Spanish 21, European, and Bonus Blackjack reviews.
What Is Free Blackjack?
Free Bet Blackjack is a blackjack game that accepts double-down and split bets for free. When your first two cards make a 9, 10, or 11, you can double down and split free of charge.
If you should do that, according to the basic strategy, find out below.
When you say “free blackjack”, most players think of free bet blackjack. So, it’s only logical that we explain what free bet blackjack is about. However, that is not where the definition of “free blackjack online” ends.
Another meaning of “online blackjack free” is pretty straightforward – it’s a game that you can enjoy completely free of charge. Otherwise famous as free-play or demo mode, free blackjack allows players to practice the game before playing for real money. Polishing one’s skills is an often-overlooked aspect of online gambling.
An untrained eye might mistakenly believe that gambling is all about luck. While luck is desirable, it is not decisive, especially in Twenty-One.
Free blackjack practice should be the first step in your digital gambling voyage. And after all, why would you play for real money if you can do so for free?
- How do you practice blackjack?
- Can I play free online blackjack with other players?
- How can I switch to real money blackjack games?
Select any of our recommended casinos. Load the lobby page and select your preferred title. Instead of real-money, click demo. A faux game shall begin in a few seconds.
Remember, though, only RNG blackjack can be played for free. To play live dealer blackjack, you need to deposit real cash.
Glossary of Blackjack Terms
Since you’re here, we imagine you’d like to nail the lingo of the game. Knowing appropriate slang, terms and jargon can help you both short-term and in the long run.
For example, when you sit down at a virtual table and open the live chat, you’ll see players use these confusing words. Not sure what they mean? No worries, CasinosOnline prepared a lengthy list of blackjack vocabulary.
Check out key glossary terms used in the card game blackjack:
|Blackjack (Natural)||A hand consisting of an Ace and a picture card (Royal) aka hand equal to 21|
|Bust||Going over 21|
|Cut Card||A red, blue, or purple plastic card that marks the end of a deck. It helps the dealer see when to reshuffle.|
|Double (Double Down)||A (side) bet that allows you to double your bet in certain circumstances|
|Hard Hand (Stiff Hand, Stiffie, Stiffy)||If the chance of busting is big if you hit, you have a hard hand|
|Push (Tie)||When a player and the dealer have the same total under 22, that’s called the push|
What are hard and soft hands in blackjack?
A hard hand is one without an ace or with an A that’s worth 1. For example, K and 5 make a hard hand. Similarly, having an A-3-4-K hand is called a stiffie and totals 18.
A soft hand has an Ace with an assigned value of 1 or 11, depending on the player’s decision. To exemplify, A-6 is a soft hand, totaling either 7 or 17.
- Is blackjack rigged?
- Can blackjack be beaten?
- What blackjack tables to play?
Keep reading to find out.
Our team has already written a detailed guide to blackjack rules. However, here are free blackjack online rules in a nutshell.
- Your mission in blackjack is to reach or get as close to, 21 as possible.
- In most variants, the dealer draws two cards for the player and two for him or herself, with one face-down.
- Face cards (2 – 10) keep their pip value.
- Picture cards are worth 10.
- A is assigned 1 or 11, depending on the circumstances.
- To hit means to ask for another card.
- To stand is to stop drawing extra cards.
- Doubling is similar to hitting, except that you double your next bet.
- Splitting is possible only if you have a pair.
- Following the basic strategy results in a 99% chance of beating the house.
If you’re into alternative ways of beating the house, you might want to consider counting cards and deviations. However, these are advanced blackjack strategies that require lots of experience in Twenty-One. Be that as it may, we will discuss card counting in the following paragraphs.
Is Blackjack a Game of Skills?
Free blackjack is a game of skills. Cards have an undeserved reputation of being featured only in games of luck. Nonetheless, cards are but tools for exercising one’s gambling skills in free blackjack.
Many reasons speak in favor of this statement.
Truth be told, you cannot control what hand you’ll get, but you can decide what you’ll do with it. And that’s how expert blackjack players stand out in the crowd. Blackjack legends such as Bryce Carlson, Ken Uston, and Don Johnson have proven this. By applying the correct strategy at the right time, they succeeded in beating the house many times.
Free blackjack is a math-based game of calculation and probability. Players have for centuries been developing and perfecting strategies to win. And now, in the 21st century, humans claim the right over the famous basic strategy and other unorthodox tactics.
And those betting systems are the reason why free blackjack is a game of skills. It’s been proven that applying perfect strategy results in beating the casino. In plain English, you will gain the advantage if you use the perfect basic strategy.
In the next paragraph, we tell you when to hit and stand in free online blackjack with other players.
Free Blackjack Strategy – Hit or Stand?
Free blackjack: hit or stand – that is the question.
To decide what move to make in free blackjack online, follow this basic strategy chart:
- Always split Aces and 8s.
- Do not split 5s and 10s.
- Split 4s only against the dealer’s 5 or 6.
- If the dealer has anything but 7, K, or A, split 9s.
- Don’t split 2s, 3s, and 7s against the dealer’s 2-7s.
- 8 and less always hits.
- 9 hits against 7+.
- 9 doubles against the dealer’s 3-6s.
- 10 doubles except against A or 10.
- Always double 11.
- Stand on 17+.
- 13-16 stand against the dealer’s 2-6.
- 13-16 hit against the dealer’s 7+.
- Stand on soft A+10 and A+9.
In his book Beat the Dealer, Edward Thorp, the father of counting cards, describes the foundation of card counting. Thorp then goes on to illustrate how you can start counting cards in free blackjack. If you need a springboard for 21, start with Edward Thorp’s must-read manual. Find more blackjack books here.
Card Counting in Online Casinos – Is It Worth It?
But what about counting cards in online casinos? Is that even doable?
Practice shows that counting cards is possible in online casinos and live dealer casinos. However, it is not the optimal way to make money playing free blackjack.
First of all, one needs to find the perfect conditions to count cards. That includes three aspects – adequate rules, good deck penetration, and enough hands per hour.
With so many free blackjack variations on the market, it is actually possible to spot a game that ticks all the boxes. But you would have to find the table that suits your bankroll. We cannot do that for you.
What we can is to tell you what attributes a game should satisfy to be card counting-friendly.
- The game should be fast enough. Speed allows you to play more than 20 hands per hour, which is an average in online casinos. Variants like Speed Blackjack by Evolution Gaming and Playtech’s Majority Rules Speed Blackjack might fit the mold.
- Favorable deck penetration. Online casinos usually don’t deal all the shoe through, but only to a degree. Somewhere in the middle of the shoe, you’ll see the cut card telling the croupier when to reshuffle. To successfully count cards, you need to keep track of your EV, which is impossible without deck penetration. So, be careful when choosing the right table for counting cards.
- Transparence. As private property, online gambling venues can kick you out if they suspect you’re using forbidden practices. As you might know, counting cards and deviations are legal but casinos still frown upon it.
That’s why you see most advantage players in brick-and-mortar establishments. But the skilled and ambitious would manage it online, too.
So, card counting in online casinos might not be convenient but it’s certainly feasible.
Top 7 Free Blackjack to Play in 2021
Why do we gain knowledge than to use it? Considering all the factors we discussed above, we selected a septet of free blackjack games to enjoy this year.
These are the best blackjack games for fun:
|#||Blackjack Game||House Edge||RTP|
We’ll regularly update the list above with the best-paying variants.
Other 21 Games
Now that we’re clear on what free blackjack is, let’s solve the second-biggest blackjack mystery. Are blackjack and 21 the same?
As we indicated earlier, there are discrepancies between the two games. And to make the matter even more confusing, there are a few more games similar to free blackjack.
But worry not – CasinosOnline is always here to make things clear.
Here are all the other free blackjack games explained:
Vingt-un is the literal French translation of the number twenty-one. This is what the game was primarily referred to back in the day, particularly in France and Britain. However, it’s worth noting that Vingt-un likely originated in 17th-century Spain. Nowadays, Vingt-un is considered the ancestor of blackjack. Although the prototype, it was transferred to contemporary online and land-based casinos under its new name.
There isn’t much to explain about how to play Vingt-un (Van John). Essentially, the rules are almost identical to those of standard, modern-day blackjack.
An unlimited number of players can sit at the table, similar to today’s Infinite Platform from Evolution Gaming. However, five to six punters at one table should suffice in Van John.
This is how to play Vingt-un. Each player and the dealer receive one face-down card. Then, they decide on their stakes aka chips they would lodge. Having looked at his card, the croupier decides if they will the players’ stakes. The goal of each participant is to reach 21.
Card values are also standard – picture cards are worth 10, 2 through 10 keep their pip value and A is either 1 or 11.
European Blackjack (No Hole Card) is what gamblers usually refer to as Classic Blackjack. So, unless you’re completely new to the game, you’ll know the basics.
In the classic variant of free blackjack, a natural (A + a court card) beats any other hand and pays at 3:2.
By the rules of Classic Blackjack, the croupier always stands at 17 and busts when exceeding 21. In turn, the player wins when the dealer busts.
However, if the push occurs, regardless if it’s a blackjack, no one wins. So, if both the dealer and a player hit 21, you will no win. Nonetheless, you can place the insurance bet, which lets you save a portion of your stake if the croupier hits a natural. Remember that you can take the insurance side bet only if the dealer shows an A. But don’t take insurance too often because it doesn’t pay off long-term. More about insurance can be found in our top tips.
Atlantic City is available as both a single- and multi-hand variant. Also, Atlantic City has a very low house edge, making it extremely popular with other players. Namely, the casino advantage in Atlantic City is just 0.35%, making the RTP 99.65%.
The difference between the classic and Atlantic is the number of decks in the shoe. Although similar, Atlantic City is playable with 8 decks.
A significant difference to other free blackjacks lies in the American Hole Card. In the American Hole Card, the dealer announces a blackjack before you lose any money. Once the croupier deals two cards for him or herself, they check for a natural. If there is one, the round ends. As a result, you keep the money you might have otherwise wagered. Thus, American Blackjack offers players a solid advantage. A lot of free blackjack and poker games feature this option.
Finally, in Atlantic City free blackjack, you can double down on any of the first two cards. Plus, you can double after a split, which you can’t do in most other editions of the casino game. Additionally, the game permits re-splitting and late surrender.
On the opposite side of the scale, we have Double Exposure Blackjack. Double Exposure is not as player-friendly as its American counterpart. Namely, the house edge in Double Exposure stands at 0.69% or worse and a natural pays only 1:1. Moreover, the dealer wins when there’s a push, so you might want to avoid Double Exposure, especially if you have a thin bankroll.
For what it’s worth, you can play this free blackjack without download with its 8 decks. But know that doubles are allowed only on hard 9, 10, and 11.
Another way to enjoy free blackjack real money is by investing in Bonus Blackjack. The rules of Bonus Blackjack are the same as those of the European options with a twist. What the creators did was to boost the game by adding the bonus feature. Not only is Bonus Blackjack played with 2 decks, but there are more benefits. Namely, this advantageous variant offers a whopping 50:1 payout for the Jack and an Ace of Spades combo. What’s more, a Jack paired with any Ace pay at a mind-blowing 25:1 in Bonus Blackjack.
And as only two decks are in play, counting cards is possible. However, Bonus Blackjack is not yet available in online casinos.
So, is blackjack the same as 21? Not quite.
Spanish Blackjack, or Twenty-One, is a unique free blackjack to win real money. In the Spanish version of the popular casino game, there are 8 Spanish decks involved. A Spanish deck contains 48 cards, giving players an enormous head start. The dealer hits on soft 17. The croupier also glances at the cards on a 10 and an Ace for a natural. Importantly, in Spanish Blackjack, the player’s 21 beats the dealer’s. You’re allowed a late surrender, double down at any point (even after a split), and a split (even Aces). The only thing you can’t do in Spanish Blackjack is re-double down more than once.
Where Can I Play Free Blackjack
Having learned how to play free blackjack, you might want to know where to play. You can play free blackjack online for real money and with friends and other players in many online casinos. Blackjack free to play is on offer in the following real-money online gambling sites:
Click on any of the casinos’ name to enter their blackjack lobby.
Bear in mind that not all free online blackjacks that we described are available in all of the casinos above. You might need to explore the venues a little before deciding what free blackjack to play.
Conclusion – How to Play Free Blackjack?
Since you’ve come this far, we’ll provide you with a short and sweet conclusion.
- Enjoy free blackjack practice.
- Consistently use the basic strategy.
- Advanced players should know how to count cards.
- Get rid of myths and superstitions.
- Learn the quirky lingo before entering a live casino lounge.
That would be all from us about free blackjack online for now. For online blackjack free articles and news, subscribe to CasinosOnline.com!