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Online Blackjack: Play for Free or Real Money in NZ

Online blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in New Zealand. Not only is it simple to play, but the best online blackjack games offer great odds that few other options can match.

Our ultimate blackjack guide will teach you the best blackjack strategy, and you’ll also benefit from some expert tips. We also provide a free blackjack game for you to get practicing, and a top casinos list so you can play real money blackjack safely. Our guide saves you the hassle of hours of research, since you’ll receive reliable information on playing online blackjack in one source.


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Play Real Money Blackjack vs. Free Blackjack

While we offer a free version of the game on this page, many Kiwis also enjoy real money blackjack. Both free blackjack and real money games are valuable, but they offer you different benefits and experiences. Here’s a quick breakdown of why you might want to play either version of online blackjack.

Free Online Blackjack Benefits

  • Perfect for learning the rules of blackjack
  • No risk of losing money
  • Let’s you try out new strategies
  • Helpful for learning new blackjack variants
  • Free online games are fun, but not stressful

Real Money Blackjack Benefits

  • Allows you to win money
  • Potential for wins and losses adds excitement
  • The true test for card counting systems
  • Can help clear online casino bonuses
  • Win and lose together when playing with friends

Our Top New Zealand Casinos for Online Blackjack in 2023

If you think that real money blackjack is right for you, then we can help you to get started. Our team of experts has found the best New Zealand casinos for online blackjack. The VSO team has evaluated all the top gaming sites to pick the safest online casinos that offer the best online blackjack options for NZ players.

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How We Rate the Best Online Blackjack Casinos

Our team uses a thorough evaluation method to determine which casinos are worthy of making our top list. A casino must not only show us that it offers a great experience for New Zealanders, but that it is also safe and trustworthy. Here’s a look at the most important areas we evaluate when rating online blackjack sites.

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Security and Trustworthiness

The most important thing we look out for in an online casino is that our players can feel safe while playing. That means we only approve regulated and licensed sites that have proven that they treat New Zealanders well. If a site has failed to pay its members or runs unfair games, then they won’t make our list.

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Selection of Blackjack Games

Every online casino under the sun offers a couple blackjack games, but we know that sometimes you want to play more than just a Vegas-style game of 21. We rate casinos on the variety of blackjack variants offered, from common variations on the normal rule sets to alternate games like Spanish 21 and Blackjack Switch. We also ensure that the game variants on offer come from prominent software providers like NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, and Playtech.


The Best Bonus Offers

Not every casino offers bonuses that are specifically designed for blackjack players, and many bonus offers don’t allow you to play blackjack at all. That’s why we look for promotions tailored to your preferences, so that you can play blackjack online and get rewarded for it at the same time.

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Availability of Live Blackjack Games

One of the best online blackjack options is live blackjack, in which you can see a real human dealer use a physical deck of cards to keep the game going. You can control your actions while watching the hand play out over a live video stream. It’s the closest thing to playing blackjack in an actual casino, and we recommend casinos that give players the chance to enjoy this exciting version of the game. We also give extra points to NZ casinos which offer bonuses to players, such as a live casino welcome bonus or a free chip no deposit bonus.

Quick Overview of Playing Blackjack

If you’re looking to play blackjack online, you’ll need to learn the rules first. Below, we’ve provided a step-by-step guide on how to play blackjack to help any Kiwi get started with the game.

How to Win at Blackjack Using Our Top Tips for Kiwis

One of the most important things to know before you play blackjack online is that this is not simply a game of luck. Blackjack strategy is very important, as the decisions you make can make a major difference in your results over the long term.

We’re happy to help you get started with some basic blackjack tips. These range from simple, easy-to-remember concepts that will help you avoid making major mistakes to “basic strategy,” which is the mathematically correct way to play in every situation. Here’s a look at the most important things you should remember if you want to win money playing blackjack.

Top Blackjack tips:

Play Free Blackjack Games

The most important thing you can do to get better at this game is to play blackjack as much as possible! Before jumping into real money blackjack, though, hone your skills with free online blackjack games like the one above. This will help you avoid mistakes when you start playing for real money, and applies to any other table games you want to try out.

Don’t Purchase Insurance

One of the most basic tips known to experienced players is that insurance is a sucker bet. You’re better off taking your chances and sometimes losing everything when the dealer has a blackjack. This also applies to taking even money on your own blackjacks: this is phrased differently to confuse players but is just another way of offering an insurance bet.

Learn Basic Strategy

Before you can try any sort of card counting or advantage strategies, you must memorize a basic strategy chart, so you know the correct play in every situation.

Understand Hard vs. Soft Hands

Hard hands either do not contain an Ace, or if they have one, we count its value as 1 and not 11, otherwise you would bust. Soft hands also contain an Ace, but it can be counted as 1 or 11 depending on the player’s preferences. Often at the table, you could start with a soft hand which turns into a hard one after you take one hit or more. Soft hands are much safer, as you cannot go bust by hitting on a soft hand, which is why it is often correct to hit even with seemingly strong soft totals.

Always Split Aces and Eights

A basic strategy chart will give you the full rundown on when you should choose to split when the option is available to you. But if you want to play online blackjack right now, you should at least know the basic rule that aces and eights should always be split in every situation.

Know What Rules Work to Your Advantage

Each blackjack game has a unique set of rules, and some of these variants offer you better odds than others. The best rules that tilt the odds in your favor include games with fewer decks, those in which the dealer stands on all 17s, and allowing players to hit after splitting aces.

Avoid Short Payouts on Blackjack

The worst common rule is one in which player blackjacks are only paid 6-5 odds rather than 3-2. That means on a $10 hand, you’ll win $12 if you make a blackjack instead of $15. This rule dramatically increases the house edge and should be avoided at all costs. Thankfully, while it has become more common at live casinos, it is less common in online blackjack games.

Ignore Advice from Other Players

Other players may mean well, but often, they will give you poor advice on how to play blackjack. Stick to your own strategy and don’t worry about what other players think–especially in live casino games. Some players may blame your decisions for their bad luck, even though your choices won’t change their odds over the long run.


Should You Count Cards in Blackjack?

Card counting is one of the best known, but least understood, aspects of blackjack strategy. There are a few different strategies that you can use to count cards, from simple techniques that even the odds between player and dealer, and complex systems that can give you a huge edge when you play.

Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing illegal about card counting! That said, land-based casinos may deny service whenever they like, and live dealer casinos are likely to stop letting you play if they believe you are gaining an advantage through card counting. That’s why avoiding detection is a key part of most systems.

While every card counting technique is slightly different, most systems follow the same basic tenants. It requires you to keep track of cards that come out of the shoe, noting cards that are good for you–like aces and ten-point cards–and those that are bad, such as fours, fives, and sixes.

If enough bad cards come out of the deck, you can raise your bets, knowing the remaining shoe is advantageous to you. If a lot of good cards are out of play, you might bet the minimum, or step away until the shoe is reshuffled. Some systems can also advise changes to basic strategy, such as taking insurance in some cases.

Unfortunately, you won’t really be able to count cards most online casinos. This is because these strategies rely on many cards coming out of the shoe before it is reshuffled. Online blackjack games typically reshuffle the entire virtual shoe between each hand, meaning the cards that leave the deck in previous hands don’t impact your future odds. This is also a problem at live dealer casinos that use continuous shuffling machines.

Blackjack FAQ

Yes, it is possible to win real money when you play online blackjack. The odds in online blackjack games are very similar to those in live dealer games. While the casino has an advantage, it is very slight, meaning you will have a fair chance to win each time you play.

Online blackjack games are beatable in the short run, as the house edge is very small in most blackjack variants. That means you can win money playing blackjack on the internet if luck is on your side. Most advantage plays like card counting won’t work at online casinos, but you can benefit from the bonuses promoted at our best gaming sites. These offers will provide you with opportunities to make a profit through online blackjack.

Some online casino sites will allow you to play blackjack through apps that are available in the Apple or Android stores. In other cases, these casinos will have their blackjack games available through browser-based platforms that you can access in your favorite web browser. In either case, you can play blackjack online through your mobile device at all our listed casinos.

The legality of online blackjack and online gambling varies depending on your jurisdiction. New Zealand gambling law prohibits online casinos from operating within the country, but it doesn’t stop Kiwis from enjoying blackjack games at casino sites licensed in other jurisdictions. You can legally play online blackjack at any casino site, so as long as it’s licensed outside of New Zealand.

Yes! When you join one of our NZ casinos to play online blackjack, you’ll be rewarded with a welcome package for signing up. Your welcome package will usually be a match bonus, a no deposit bonus, or free spins. As an existing member of the casino site, you can then take advantage of weekly promotions, such as cashback bonuses or prize draws.

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