Online Blackjack: Play for Free or for Real Money in the UK

Online blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the UK. 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 is designed to 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 that 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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Real Money Blackjack vs. Free Blackjack

While we offer a free version of the game on this page, many players 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

  • Gives you the chance to win money
  • Potential for wins and losses adds excitement
  • The true test for card counting systems
  • Can help clear online casino bonuses
  • Play against a real croupier in live blackjack

Our Top Casinos for Online Blackjack in the UK

If you think that real money blackjack is right for you, then we can help you get started. Our team of experts has found the best blackjack casinos for UK players. The VSO team has evaluated all the top gaming sites to pick the safest, most trusted casinos that offer the best online blackjack options. By sticking with our recommendations, you’ll be able to play blackjack in a professional and secure environment.

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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 it offers a great experience for blackjack players, but that it is also safe and trustworthy. Here’s a look at the most important areas we evaluate when rating online blackjack sites.

Security and Trustworthiness

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 sites that are regulated and licensed by the UKGC. If a site has failed to pay its members or runs games that are not tested for fair play, then they won’t make our list.

Selection of Blackjack Games

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 rulesets 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

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.

Availability of Live Blackjack Games

Availability of Live Blackjack Games

One of the best online blackjack options in the UK 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.

Quick Overview of Playing Blackjack

If you’re looking to play blackjack online, you’ll need to learn the rules first.  We’ve written a comprehensive How to Play Blackjack guide that covers all the rules and beginner’s tips you could need as a new player. It’s easy to follow and a sure guarantee that you’ll know what exactly what you’re doing when you next hit the blackjack table.

If you want even lighter reading, here’s a quick step-by-step guide to the blackjack rules you’ll need to know to get started with the game.

1

The Basic Setup

Blackjack is played using standard decks of 52 playing cards. Games are dealt a “shoe” usually made up of multiple decks, with online blackjack games using anywhere from one to an infinite number of decks. Before the game begins, you will need to make a single bet in order to play.

2

Beginning the Hand

A hand of blackjack begins with each player receiving two cards. In most blackjack variants, these cards are dealt face up. In addition, the dealer will receive two cards: one face up, and one face down.

The object of the game is to make a hand closer to 21 than the dealer, without going over that number. In blackjack, cards have the following values:

  • Ace: 11 or 1
  • King: 10
  • Queen: 10
  • Jack: 10
  • Ten: 10
  • Nine: 9
  • Eight: 8
  • Seven: 7
  • Six: 6
  • Five: 5
  • Four: 4
  • Three: 3
  • Two: 2
3

Checking for Blackjack

Before anything else happens, both you and the dealer will check to see if you have a blackjack. This is a starting hand that contains an ace and a 10-point card, for a perfect score of 21. If you start with that hand, your bet will win at 3-2 odds.

If the dealer is showing an ace or a face card, the dealer will check for blackjack by peeking at their face-down card. In the case of an ace showing, the dealer will first ask you if you want to purchase insurance. This bet will cost half of your initial bet but pays out at 2-1 if the dealer has blackjack – meaning you’ll break even if the bet pays out.

If both you and the dealer have blackjack, your bet will push. Before checking for their own blackjack, the dealer will offer to pay you even money on your blackjack. This is mathematically the same as offering you an insurance bet.

4

Playing Your Hand

If neither you nor the dealer has a blackjack, you may then start playing your hand. If there are multiple players at the table, the action moves clockwise, starting from the players’ right.

There are two basic actions you can always take. You may choose to hit, which means the dealer will give you another card. You may also choose to stand, meaning you want no more cards and are done playing your hand. If at any time you have more than 21 points in your hand, you have “busted,” meaning you immediately lose your bet.

Other specialty actions can take place under certain circumstances. If your first two cards are of the same rank, you may split them into two separate hands. To do this, you must make a separate, full bet for each hand. Each hand will get a new second card and will be played independently. Those hands can potentially be split again, though there is often a limit on how many times you may split on a single hand.

After receiving your first two cards, you also have the option to double down. This allows you to double your bet in exchange for getting exactly one more card from the dealer, after which you must stand. This is used when you are in an advantageous situation and wish to maximize your bet.

Finally, many online blackjack games offer you the option to surrender. If you do so, you will forfeit half of your bet and end your play for that hand. Surrendering is used in especially bad situations where losing half of your bet is a better option than taking your chances by playing the hand.

5

Ending the Hand

If at any time all players have busted, the hand ends immediately. Otherwise, after all remaining players have finished playing their hands by standing, the dealer will reveal their face down card (known as the hole card).

The dealer will then play out their hand following a strict set of rules. If the dealer has 16 or less, they will always hit. If the dealer has 18 or more, they will always stand. In some online blackjack games, the dealer will stand on all 17s. In others, the dealer will hit if they have a “soft” 17 – one that has an ace that still counts as 11 points – and stand only on a “hard” 17.

If the dealer goes over 21, they have busted, and all player bets win. Otherwise, your hand or hands will be compared to the dealer. If your hand is higher than the dealer’s, bets on that hand will win at even money odds. In the case of a tie, your bets will push. Finally, if the dealer’s hand is higher, your bets will lose.

How to Win at Blackjack Using Our Top Tips

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 while playing blackjack:

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, you should 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’ll need to memorise 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 do have one, its value is counted 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 favour include games with fewer decks, those in which the dealer stands on all 17s, and allowing players to hit after splitting aces. To learn more on player advantage and reducing the game’s house edge, check out our comprehensive blackjack odds guide.

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 more often than not, 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.

Access Our Ultimate Blackjack Strategy Guide

It’s all very well knowing the basics of playing blackjack online. But if you really want to kill it at the tables, then your best bet is to learn blackjack strategy.

Blackjack strategy is a lot easier to grasp than you might think – especially when you learn it from our own blackjack strategy guide. Check it out today and you’ll get access to a slew of knowledge, tips and tricks that will put you at an advantage when you play.

Here’s what you’ll get out of reading our ultimate blackjack strategy guide:

  • Expert tips for playing blackjack online and offline.
  • An overview of the best moves to make in any situation.
  • A list of common blackjack mistakes that you can avoid.
  • Our blackjack chart that you can follow while you play.
About Our Expert Team

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, casinos have the right to deny service whenever they like, and live 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. You are required 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 in UK casino sites. 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 casinos that use continuous shuffling machines.

If you want to learn how to count cards to upgrade your blackjack play at land-based casinos, then we recommend you check out our expert card counting guide.

Blackjack FAQ

Is online blackjack legal in the UK?

Yes, online blackjack is legal in the UK. However, you must be over 18 to play the game, whether it’s for free or for real money. Online casinos will require you to confirm your age before you play blackjack.

Where’s the best place to play free blackjack?

Right here at VegasSlotsOnline! We have a quality free blackjack game on this page for UK players. All you need to do is load up the game in your browser, confirm your age, and start playing. No download or registration is needed.

Can you make money playing online blackjack?

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.

Can you beat online blackjack?

Online blackjack games are certainly 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. Do remember though that the house edge ensures the casino will win in the long term, so gamble responsibly and don’t chase your losses.

Can you play blackjack online for real money?

Yes! We advise playing free blackjack first to get a feel for the game and to become familiar with blackjack strategy. However, there’s nothing quite like playing real money blackjack. All our top casino sites offer real money online blackjack games.

Which are the top UK blackjack sites?

You can find the top-rated UK blackjack sites here on this page. Our expert team has selected these casinos based on their superb customer support, extensive games lobby, safety measures, and generous bonuses. All our blackjack sites are licensed by the UKGC, too.

Are there any real money blackjack apps in the UK?

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 you can access in your favourite web browser. In either case, you can play blackjack online through your mobile device at all our listed casinos.

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