Blackjack is one of the mainstays of casinos worldwide. It’s been played in one form or another since at least the early 1600’s and has been a staple of the U.S. gambling scene since the days of the Wild West.
It’s no surprise, then, that when casinos started appearing on the nascent internet, around 1995, that blackjack was one of the first games offered. Over the last two decades, blackjack has online gained in popularity online. Every online casino offers at least one variant and some, like those powered by Microgaming, offer over 10 variants at each casino.
The reasons for the game’s enormous popularity are many. But there are a few that stand out. Here are four interesting facts that make blackjack the best game to play online.
The game itself is beatable
In 1962, a mathematician by the name of Edward O, Thorpe published a groundbreaking book. Its title was “Beat the Dealer”, and it showed the reader a simple mathematically-based system that could give the player an edge. Over the next 50 years, card counting and other techniques to gain an edge at blackjack were developed into a fine art and an established science. Today, methods from shuffle tracking to ace-keying to multi-level count systems are used by professionals to gain an edge over the house. But what many don’t know is that these techniques are actually applicable online as well! Many casinos offer live dealer blackjack, and those games can be counted and tracked just as their live counterparts can. In addition to this, variants of software-based blackjack have been known to pop up, from time to time, that can give the player an edge over the house using counting techniques. One example is single deck blackjack that allows multiple hands to be played. This game can often give the player .5% edge or higher, depending on rules.
Even basic strategy gives the lowest house edge of any game
The mathematically correct strategy when playing blackjack is called basic strategy. This strategy can be written on a small card and referenced by the player for each move. What many don’t realize is exactly how small the house edge at blackjack can be if the casino is offering rules that are favorable to the player. In fact, certain variants of the game, like single-deck Vegas blackjack, can actually produce a small edge for the player, even without using any counting or other advantage play technique.
It’s the best game, by far, for clearing bonuses
As the saying goes, quantity has a quality all its own. When clearing bonuses with high wagering requirements, a house edge of .1% can make an astonishing difference. In fact, when blackjack is allowed, bonuses with absolutely huge wagering requirements, as high as 200x, can become highly profitable. These bonuses would be not only worthless, but would guarantee large losses to the player if they were forced to wager on higher house edge games. The sheer quantity of wagering renders even low-house-edge games like French Roulette far too costly to use. However, single deck blackjack with typical Vegas rules can easily preserve enough of the bonus amount to make it worthwhile.
Online, it can be played lightening fast
Another reason that makes online blackjack an enormously profitable choice for clearing bonuses is the number of hourly hands that can be played. A good blackjack player on good software will often be able to realize 300 or more hands per hour. This means the hourly rate on any bonus that allows blackjack can quickly ascend to the levels of top wage earners and beyond.
But there is another reason getting in so many hands per hour is great, it’s practice for the real thing. In the United States, there are more casinos than ever, with states passing legalized gaming and Indian casinos popping up all across the Midwest. This means, even though the games have gotten tougher, now is as good a time as any to learn the basics of blackjack and to start practicing as a card counter and general advantage player. There’s no better practice for this than playing online.
For these reasons, online blackjack remains the best option for the online casino player.