Online blackjack options are limitless

26 April 2007

There are 973 online casinos listed in the directory, and the vast majority of them offer blackjack.

Many of these sites offer several different versions of the classic casino card game, so deciding between casinos and variations can be a bit overwhelming. But most — if not all — offer play money versions of their games, which allow players a chance to get used to settings and formats before they decide to start plunking down real cash bets.

Casino Classic, which uses Microgaming software, offers the widest array of blackjack games of the casinos I surveyed, with a whopping 37 different types of games. In reality, only 14 of these games are unique, while the other 23 either offer the player a different table layout or the ability to play more than one hand.

Players can choose tables that deal from a single deck all the way up to eight decks. The different games offer a variety of rules, with some that allow players to surrender, others that allow players to double down after splitting, and several where the dealer stands on soft 17.

Bodog, which uses Real Time Gaming software, limits a player's decision-making to how they will play their hand as it has just one blackjack game available. The site makes up for the lack of options with a clean design and options that allow the player to slow the deal to a crawl and speed it up to a frenetic pace.


EuroGrand Blackjack

EuroGrand Casino offers a middle ground with five different blackjack games, including Blackjack Switch. Here, bettors play two hands at once and may switch the top cards of their hands if they wish. The price you pay for this option is a reduced payout for blackjack (1:1 instead of the standard 3:2), and all hands that do not bust push when the dealer has 22, except for blackjack, which still wins.

The site, which runs on Playtech software, also offers multiplayer tables, allowing a player to try to beat the house with other casino patrons. You can even create and play on private tables with groups of friends.

Playing blackjack at an online casino can be a great learning experience. Bodog and Casino Classic even offer the player the ability to have the software play for them using perfect basic strategy. Players can opt to play a set number of hands utilizing the strategy and have the option of stopping play at any time.

Inexperienced blackjack players, or those looking to play online for the first time, are probably best served by trying a casino with just a few options to get comfortable. Once you've perfected your strategy and are looking to trim the house edge to the slimmest of margins, you will be ready to try an online casino with more blackjack options.

Aaron Todd

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Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.