Online Blackjack Guide
Anyone who’s played at an online casino or even someone who hasn’t made it past the signup page has probably heard of Blackjack, a game that combines skill, patience, and chance. It’s been around since the 1960s and has made its way online all over the world, now giving PA players a chance to legally beat the online dealer. Online blackjack will be an absolute must for any new Pennsylvania casinos game library launching in the state, some going a step further and offering multiple variations for those who consider themselves “blackjack pros.” From the basics to side bets strategy, we’ve created a guide designed to aid you in your next online blackjack game regardless of if you’re the new kid on the block or a seasoned pro.
Online Blackjack Advantages
Let’s start by asking, what makes playing blackjack online so much better than at a land-based venue in Pennsylvania? Casinos are great when you’re looking for a social environment but with new casinos starting to launch online platforms in the state, players now have a new way to play the classic game right at their fingertips and from the comfort of home.
Fast: Instead of waiting for the dealer to shuffle the cards, playing online means you are in charge and as the game is already automated you don’t need to wait for anyone. This ensures quick game time making this a more efficient option.
Smaller stakes: When playing in a land-based PA casino, players will often run into tables with minimums so high they can’t even afford to get in on the first sound. Luckily with online blackjack, these minimums don’t exist and players can set their own boundaries and wagers as they wish.
Convenience: A little bit of socializing is great, but what happens when the closest PA casino is an hour's drive away? Online blackjack lets players choose where they want to play (as long as they are in the state of PA) and can be played in their pajamas at any time of the day or night. It saves people from having to travel and can be accessed to play for real money at their favorite online casino in minutes.
Play Blackjack Online
Online blackjack is expected to be a part of every online casino library in Pennsylvania, with more than one variation available to players to choose from. Basically, the goal is to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 as you can with your cards and avoid going over. Each card represents a number; Aces either a 1 or 11 and can be decided on the hand, face cards represent 10 and the rest go by their numeric value.
When playing blackjack at a PA online casino players need to hit the “Deal” button to get things started after placing their bets, and from there the player will be dealt a card face up while another card is taken by the dealer face up. The player and dealer then both take a second card but this time the dealer's card stays face down, and the house has their edge.
Now it’s time for the player to make a few decisions.
- Split - This is an option for players when they’ve received two cards with the same value. By splitting, you’re adding an extra bet that is worth the same amount as your first one and if done at the right time, could double your winnings.
- Double Down - When you double down, you are dealt another card after doubling your original bet. This is great when the advantage is given to the player and as will result in more money won. If the dealer shows a 4,5, or 6 and as the player, you’re holding a card greater than a 9, this is a great time to double down.
- Hit and Stand - If you’re lucky and get a good hand dealt your way right at the start, you can use the stand option to stay put and take no more cards. Those players not so lucky can opt to hit which means taking a third card in hopes of reaching 21 points before the dealer.
- Surrender - If you have chosen to surrender, it means you believe you don’t stand a chance against the dealer's hand and would prefer to take back half your bet rather than losing it all.
Online Blackjack Strategy
Eyes have been on Pennsylvania for the last year or so now as online gambling has finally been made legal with four casinos already launching a desktop and mobile platform. Players will be able to find different variations of blackjack each with different rules attached.
If you see any of the following rules in a game of Blackjack at an online PA casino, we recommend finding a new site to play at:
- More decks in the game.
- Players can only split once.
- No surrender as an option.
- 6 to 5 Blackjack.
- No doubling allowed after a split.
- Soft 17 and the dealer hits.
However, keep an eye for the following rules:
- The game should allow players the option to surrender.
- Allowed to double after splitting.
- Less decks in the game.
- 3 to 2 Blackjack.
- Aces can be re-split.
- Multiple splits allowed.
- Soft 17 and dealer stands.
Parx, SugarHouse, Hollywood, and PokerStars are four Pennsylvania casinos with an online presence, each featuring at least one Blackjack game for players to wager real money on. The lack of selection is due to the fact that online gambling is still very new in the Keystone State and is experiencing a bit of a delay when it comes to table games. Nonetheless, one is better than nothing and players will only see the list and options for online blackjack grow in PA. By starting with the basics and taking advantage of Demo mode play, players can experiment with their own strategy and see what works best for them.
PA Blackjack Online Tips
In the end, regardless of if you’re a pro or a newbie to the game of blackjack, there is always something new to learn and a new technique/strategy to experiment with. By using casino bonuses, recognizing when you have the advantage against the dealer and knowing as much as you can about the specific rules and bets of blackjack, PA players should see rewards. We are already seeing the online PA casino game libraries grow with more and more blackjack options, and predict that eventually, every online casino in the state will have multiple blackjack variations for players to choose from.
There is a lot that could go into influencing your chances of winning a game of blackjack online. No matter your skill level, we have highlighted a few tips and tricks we believe will help and result in a successful game of blackjack.
As we said earlier, a lot of online casinos that launch in Pennsylvania will offer more than one variation of blackjack which will affect what the house edge is, and the lower it is the better. Different PA casinos may not offer the same variations on blackjack so we recommend testing a few out in demo mode before wagering any real money and being aware of the house edge.
Knowing the Game
It definitely pays off to know the basic strategy used in blackjack and specific rules (as we highlighted earlier) to raise your chances of winning. For example, players should be asking themselves:
- Am I able to surrender?
- Am I able to split Aces?
- How much does the Blackjack pay?
Players will also see a variety of blackjack offered by online casinos in PA powered by different companies like NetEnt and IGT which can also affect the house edge and rules used to play with.