Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in the world, so no wonder online Blackjack was also one of the first table games to feature across online casino platforms. The game comes with very good odds of winning, and a delicate balance of skill and luck that appeals to thousands of gamblers. Today, you can also play Blackjack online free or for real money from New Zealand by joining a licensed casino site. In this Online Blackjack NZ Guide, we’ll show you exactly where and how to play online Blackjack, and introduce you to the best virtual and Live Blackjack games to help you get started on the right track!
If you’d like to play online Blackjack for real money, then you must join a reputable online casino that welcomes players from New Zealand, and which preferably accepts the New Zealand Dollar. Below, we’ve listed some of the best Blackjack casinos for Kiwi players, which we love because they offer some of the best online Blackjack games on the market, coupled with great bonuses and promotions on Blackjack.
Blackjack online is none other than the digital version of the popular card game that’s been around since the eighteenth century. Online Blackjack is played following the standard Blackjack rules, and is played between a player and a dealer. The aim is to get a combination of cards with a value that is equal to 21 or as close as possible to it, without going over 21. Whoever of the two participants (the player or the dealer) gets 21 or the score closest to 21 without going bust will win the round.
In online Blackjack, players place their bets digitally, and the program behind the game will generate random cards (except in the case of LIve Blackjack - when a real dealer will actually deal out the cards!)
There are different variants of Online Blackjack these days, as providers keep adapting the game for modern times. These variants differ depending on the number of decks used, the side bets allowed, Surrender rules and the rewards on offer.
There are two types of online Blackjack games you can play today: the first is virtual (RNG) BLackjack, whereas the second and latest form of Blackjack games, is Live Blackjack. Virtual Blackjack works based on a Random Number Generator, which is a program that generates outcomes (in this case, cards) at random, based on actual Blackjack odds. This means that those playing virtual Blackjack will be playing against a computer, and not a real dealer.
In Live Blackjack, players will get the chance to play against a real dealer, who is present in a live casino studio and streamed to players’ screens in real time. This allows players to also interact with the dealer via a chat function, and to watch him deal out real Blackjack cards. As you can expect, if you play Live Blackjack you’re in for a much more authentic gaming experience.
While Classic Blackjack remains the most common online Blackjack game, especially at virtual tables, there are other variants that you can typically find at online casinos these days, such as:
Most online casinos in New Zealand offer Live Blackjack games these days, as live casinos are gaining in popularity. Not only can you play Live European and American Blackjack, but providers have also come up with other variants to spice things up!
The same Blackjack Rules that apply at land-based casinos will normally be applicable while playing online Blackjack. The aim is always to get a score that’s equal to 21 (i.e. a Blackjack) or a score higher than the dealer’s without going over 21. However, each Blackjack table may come with its own specific rules concerning the side bets allowed, payouts and the number of decks used. In this section, we’ll be taking a look at the basic Blackjack rules, so that beginners can get a good idea of how to play Blackjack.
Blackjack is played between one or more players and a dealer, with at least one deck of cards and up to 8 decks. Usually, there will be between 1 to 7 players at a Blackjack, but ultimately each player is only playing against the dealer, and not against the other players.
At the beginning of the round, players have to place a bet. Then, they get two cards, whereas the dealer also gets 2 cards, but one of them is kept face down. Players will then decide whether or not to draw another card, if they think that it will help them get close to 21 without going bust. Alternatively, they can decide to stand (i.e. not to draw another card).
The value of a Blackjack hand is determined by the total of the individual cards. The Blackjack is the highest possible hand, consisting of an Ace (which is worth 11), and a 10-card (10, Jack, Queen or King).
After every player has made his decisions, the dealer will reveal his hole card (or draw the second card). If he gets a score of 16 or less, he has to draw card. If the dealer has an Ace and one or more cards that add up to six points, he is said to have a "soft 17". In this case, he may be required to stand, or to hit, depending on whether or not the table applies the soft 17 rule.
If the dealer goes bust, then all players who didn’t go bust win the game. If the dealer does not go bust but his total is less than the player’s, the player will win.
The below are the decisions that you can take if you play Blackjack, once you are dealt your 2 cards:
As we’ve said before, Blackjack is a game with a very low house edge, which means that players have a high probability of winning a round. The house edge in Blackjack varies depending on the number of decks used and the other rules that each table follows. The more decks there are, the higher the house edge will be. Below you can get an idea of how this house advantage increases with the number of decks.
However, it is best to check the RTP of each individual online Blackjack game to check exactly how that game pays out (the RTP is the very opposite of the house edge, which tells you how many times you can expect to win in the long term - in online Blackjack, this is almost always over 98%).
|Number of Decks||House Edge|
To be able to benefit from Blackjack’s extremely low house-edge, you have to know the basic strategy. If you play Blackjack without following this strategy, you will be more likely to lose more to the house. Blackjack basic strategy essentially shows you how to act depending on your first 2 cards and the dealer’s up card, i.e. whether to hit, stand, double down or surrender.
Since it will be difficult to remember which move to make in each circumstance, especially if you’re a beginner, a Blackjack strategy chart will help you stick to the right decisions.
Blackjack Basic Strategy is based on combinations of Blackjack hands and the likely outcome with each hand. It will tell you what decision to take as you play Blackjack depending on the risk of going bust and the probability of improving your hand.
Basic Blackjack Strategy was created by a computer simulation based on combinations of millions of hands. In this way, people were able to conclude what are the best decisions to make with each hand, and this gave rise to the Blackjack chart above. The Blackjack strategy card above explains this in the most convenient way possible, but there are also some additional rules on when to double down, surrender or split pairs.
For example, it makes sense that Aces should always be split, because otherwise one of the Aces will count as ‘1’ and will leave you with a good hand. Conversely, 10s should not be split, because if you’ve got two 10s, you’ve already got a strong hand that amounts to 20, which is very likely to beat the dealer’s, unless he gets a Blackjack. We shall cover all these rules in our separate Blackjack Strategy guide.
Online Blackjack always comes with a couple of side bets, and these can vary from one table to another. However, there are some common side bets that will almost always be allowed in Classic Blackjack, which we’ll explain below.
Blackjack Insurance is the most popular Blackjack side bet. If the dealer’s face up card is an Ace, players most often have the option of taking an ’insurance’. Blackjack Insurance is a side bet which pays 2:1 if the dealer does indeed get a Blackjack, to make up for losing your original bet.
This side bet is inspired from Poker, and allows you to bet on a number of possible scenarios concerning the players’ first 2 cards and dealers’ up card, as follows:
In Blackjack, players may be allowed to bet on getting 3 different types of pairs as their first two cards. The possible scenarios are:
This interesting side bet involves betting on another player’s hand, if you think that he’s got a good hand! It gives players a chance to maximise their profits by identifying a good opportunity. Today, you can play Live Blackjack Bet Behind at live casinos, with Evolution’s version of the game being the most popular one.
Card counting is a strategy that can be used at land-based casinos to keep track of cards by trying to determine how many high-value cards are left in the shoe. This is done with the assumption that if there are more high value cards left, the player is more likely to win. To do this, the card counter assigns a value (positive, negative or zero) to every card, depending on its value, and keeps adjusting the count whenever a card of that value is dealt.
A lot of players ask whether card counting is possible while playing online Blackjack. The short answer to this is no. Virtual blackjack is operated by a program that generates outcomes at random, so that there is no actual shoe. On the other hand, Live Blackjack makes use of other technology to shuffle the cards, or else decks are cut down the middle. Some players have claimed that they managed card counting at certain Live Blackjack tables, but as time goes by, this has become increasingly difficult.
If flexibility and variety are something that you value, then it will soon become obvious why you should play Blackjack online as opposed to heading to your nearest casino venue. Online Blackjack NZ casinos offer some of the best games by different providers, and Live Blackjack can easily make up for the lost social element. But there are also other reasons to play online Blackjack these days, which we’ll explore below.
You can play online Blackjack Multihand variants that will let you play on multiple seats simultaneously. Moreover, you have more Blackjack bet behind options should you want to make use of this facility. In this way, you won’t get bored waiting for others to make their decisions and can seize the opportunity to bag more wins!
Online casinos are more likely to award bonuses that you can use to play Blackjack with, thereby giving you a chance of playing the game with some extra funds. Some casinos offer a live casino bonus that you can use to play Live Blackjack games, whereas the best Blackjack casinos will tend to offer reload bonuses for existing players that can be used on the game.
Live Casino promotions are the staple of the best live dealer casinos these days, and most often these involve Live Blackjack. You will find all sorts of Live Blackjack promotions, some of them giving you extra rewards for getting a Blackjack, while others will allow you to participate in huge prize draws if you play Blackjack online!
Certain online Blackjack variants come with an even lower house-edge compared to land-based Blackjack. For instance, NetEnt’s Live Common Draw Blackjack has an incredibly high RTP of 99.5%!
Blackjack is so popular, that over the years casinos and game providers have come up with new variants which give the card game various twists. Blackjack variants differ based on the number of decks they’re played with, their rules governing Surrender and Doubling down, and the extra side bets allowed. Below, we’ll look into some of the best Blackjack games you can play.
Classic Blackjack, also known as American Blackjack, is played with the standard 52-card deck and involves a couple of side bets, which usually include Insurance, pair bets and the 21+3 bets. In this game, the dealer gets a hole card before the players have made any decisions, as opposed to European Blackjack, where players first make their decisions before the dealer draws the second card for himself.
Spanish 21, is a Blackjack variant which is played with 48 cards as opposed to the standard 52. In this game, player Blackjacks will always win over the dealer’s, and players can double down whenever they want. What’s more, blackjacks made up of 5 or more cards get higher payouts to compensate for the higher house edge.
In this game, players are dealt 2 hands and are required to place identical bets on each one. The interesting thing about Blackjack Switch is that players are allowed to switch cards from these two hands if they realize that they’ve got bad hands. This game follows standard Blackjack rules, with a few variations to make up for the player’s advantage given by the possibility to switch.
You can play a great RNG game of Blackjack Switch by checking out Playtech’s version of the game, which has a great RTP of 99.87%!
This game is extremely popular in Las Vegas, although you can also find it online. The variant has different rules for winning combinations, such as having a hand made of 6 cards with a total of 20 or less - in this case, the player always wins! What’s more, the player will always win with a Blackjack, even if the dealer has one too, and players can also double down any time.
It is perfectly legal to play online Blackjack from New Zealand, if you play it with an offshore casino. This is because there are currently no laws to prevent you from joining an online casino platform. We highly recommend joining a casino that is licensed in another jurisdiction, because this will give you added peace of mind when it comes to security.
If you play with a licensed casino, such as the ones that we recommend on nzcasino.co.nz, you need not worry about online Blackjack games being rigged. This is because all of these casinos use game providers whose games have been independently tested for fairness. It is not possible to rig an RNG Blackjack game, because the RNG is programmed to produce random outcomes. When it comes to Live Blackjack, providers also follow very strict rules to ensure transparency, and players can also follow the dealer’s actions in real-time via multiple camera angles.
Last but not least, we thought we’d remind you that you can always play Blackjack free online if you don’t feel like risking real money. This will also allow you to practise your Blackjack strategy and improve on it without taking any risks. To play free online Blackjack, all you need to do is go to the Table Games or Blackjack category of an online casino and choose the ‘demo mode’ or ‘play for fun’ button.
That said, you can only play RNG Blackjack for free. Live Blackjack free play is not possible, because these games are operated by a live dealer and therefore cost money for the provider to run. That said, you can find various Live Blackjack tables with very low limits, and you may also be able to claim a Live Blackjack bonus to play the game with some free money!
Ready to enjoy this classic game? Check out the casinos featured on this page to play Blackjack online with the best operators in New Zealand!