Online blackjack is popular in South Africa, but some people who want to try their luck at the virtual tables might be unsure about how to get started.
Blackjack is loved for several reasons, with the game being simple to pick up and play. It also has a very low house edge compared to many other popular casino games.
Mostly a matter of luck - though blackjack strategies can be used to try to give people an increased chance of winning - profits can mount up quickly at the blackjack table.
While the flip side is true as well, many South Africans also treat playing blackjack as nothing more than a fun hobby, rather than as a genuine method to try to make a lot of money.
For everything that people could need to know about playing online blackjack in South Africa, read on for our ultimate guide to this gambling game.
Blackjack - sometimes also called 21 or pontoon - is a very easy casino game to learn. The aim of the game is very simple, with players trying to reach the number 21 with the value of their cards. An ace can be worth either 1 or 11 in the game, while face cards like kings are valued at 10.
A hand of blackjack starts with both the dealer and the player receiving two cards. Should the first two cards add up to 21 - for example a king and an ace - this is known as a blackjack and is an automatic win for either the player or the dealer unless both of them actually get blackjack.
With two cards turned over, it is up to the player to decide what to do next. They can stick or stand on what they have, gambling that the value of their cards will be closer to 21 than the dealers will be. Alternatively, they can 'hit', which is to take another card.
In the event of the value of the cards exceeding 21 - for example, a seven, an eight and a king would be 25 - this is known as being bust and the player has lost the hand. The dealer can also go bust, which means that the player wins the hand. Blackjack is unlike most other casino games in that winning the hand exactly doubles the stake that was put down on the table.
Side bets are available when playing online blackjack in South Africa as well. For example, when a player has two 10s they will have the option to split them. This means they now have two hands, both starting with a 10, although they have to double their stake to do this too. Double is another option that can be used at South African online blackjack sites. Doubling might be a good choice when players have 11 in their hands and feel the chance of hitting a blackjack on their next card is strong enough to be worth a 100% increase in their stake.
Next up, let's take a look at some of the best sites for playing online blackjack in South Africa.
The best online casinos in South Africa are now offering live blackjack with interactive videos occurring in real-time to replicate the real blackjack casino experience.
Hundreds of different online casino games are offered at Europa, with blackjack among them. Many South Africans who opt to sign up for an account here will head to the live dealer tables, with blackjack among the games on offer in this section of the site.
At the Europa Casino, there is a good level of variation when it comes to the stakes on virtual blackjack tables. There is therefore something for everyone, from newcomers to online blackjack who want to play for little cash, to experienced high rollers who are comfortable laying down large stakes on a hand.
One of the largest global gambling companies, Betway's online casino site in South Africa offers blackjack among its many different games. Describing itself as the ultimate gaming experience, Betway's online casino has live games such as Infinite Blackjack, a title by Evolution Gaming, which is one of the top names in the industry.
The Six Card Charlie rule is in place on this particular live blackjack game, which also has a range of different side bets available as well. While there are limited seats at some live blackjack tables, this is not the case on Infinite Blackjack either, which makes Betway a very solid choice for South African players.
Classic blackjack tables are available at the Mansion Casino in South Africa. This is handy as, while live casino games are growing in popularity in the country, not everybody likes them.
Named the Best Customer Service Company in 2020, Mansion Casino is, therefore, a good pick for blackjack players who want to make sure they get strong support whenever they need it. Blackjack is offered at the live casino tables at Mansion too, so there is plenty of variation here. Many will know about Mansion from their sponsorships of teams such as Bournemouth.
Casino.com is one of the largest online casino sites in the world, with South Africans who sign up to play blackjack getting access to a truly massive library of different games.
Blackjack options include live dealer tables that are powered by the Playtech Eurolive Platform at Casino.com, which has some special promotions that are geared towards the standard casino game tables for blackjack and the like too. Live dealer tables are available 24/7 as expected on the Casino.com site in South Africa, with customer service offered around the clock from this online operator as well.
Founded around two decades ago, blackjack players in South Africa who want an established casino site with a long history behind it could do a lot worse than signing up to play at Casino Tropez. This South African online casino site has a very similar feel to Europa Casino, so customers who enjoy that operator will probably have a good time playing at Casino Tropez too. Like at the Europa online casino site, live blackjack dealer tables are available at Casino Tropez. New players who join to play blackjack here can get a big welcome bonus to start them off too.
More than 1,500 online casino slot games are available at Yeti Casino, making its library one of the largest of any South African site out there. Add in the fact players are also able to pick from over 100 live casino dealer games and this is nothing short of a gaming paradise.
Blackjack is available on live and standard tables, with a range of options available to be accessed on the Yeti Casino site or mobile app. As with many other top South African casino sites, Yeti's live dealer games for blackjack are powered by industry leader Evolution Gaming.
Last but not least on our list of the best sites for playing online blackjack in South Africa is the Springbok Casino. As is suggested by the name of the site, this is a proudly South African operator and users have the choice of instant play, downloading software or using an app.
Plenty of different blackjack tables are offered to pick from at Springbok Casino, like European Blackjack, Perfect Pairs, Match Play 21, Super 21, Suit 'Em up Blackjack and Pontoon.
Springbok Casino might be a good pick for those needing an introduction to blackjack as the site hosts a number of helpful guides to this casino classic.
We try and test the best online casinos that offer blackjack while reviewing these six key areas to make sure the casino provides a legal, safe, fair and fun gaming experience for all South African players.
We check to make sure the online casinos are legal, licensed and safe for players from SA. Be sure to check out our South African gambling laws guide for more information.
How do you know if the online blackjack games are rigged or not? Well, all of the licensed and legal online casinos on our list are independently checked by internationally approved testing agencies such as eCOGRA to ensure all games are fair.
Also, most of the online casinos in our list hold respected gambling licenses from the MGA or UKGC, and these licenses ensure the online games are fair and safe for all players.
The best online blackjack sites offer a wide variety of games including RNG blackjack and live casino blackjack. Players can choose from 100s of different blackjack games and live tables including European blackjack, Multi-hand blackjack, and many more. Mansion Casino offers 34 different live blackjack tables to choose from!
The payout percentage or return to player (RTP) is the theoretical statistical percentage that a machine or game will pay back to players over time. For example, if the RTP is 95%, this suggests you would get about 95 back for every 100 you spend. But, the RTP is often calculated over a long period of play, sometimes over 1 million plays and the wins are awarded randomly, so the return may not equal the advertised RTP.
Still, it is a good measure for most players and gives us an idea of which games offer the highest payout percentage. You should expect to see a higher RTP than most online slots in terms of blackjack, with some blackjack RNG games offering RTP's of 99.60%.
Almost all of the online casinos on our list offer 24/7 customer support, and we believe it to be an essential service. You should find several contact methods including a live chat, phone number, or email support to help with any issues that may arise when playing. Be sure to check our operator reviews for more information.
Playing online blackjack on the go, or from the comfort of your couch is easier than ever. Compare our list of the best mobile casinos including step by step guides for how to install each app on both Android and iOS.
If you cannot download the mobile casino apps, we also review the mobile optimised websites which are available at every online casino.
Online Random Number Generator blackjack games are quick, easy, private and available whenever you want. You can also play several RNG blackjack games for free before playing for real money. It is easy for players to set their limits and pace, and it can be easier to keep track of your wins and losses.
Also, the RNG payout percentage for blackjack tends to be much higher than other games such as slots, and the house edge can be lower than live casinos. But, players will not enjoy the full blackjack experience including a live stream and human interactions with the real dealer and other players on the same table.
Blackjack has long been one of the best games to play at a casino. But now, with the advent of online casinos, blackjack fans have an easier way to play their favourite game.
Anyone new to playing blackjack, however, might be unsure of how to get started.
This is where we come in, with this ultimate guide to playing online blackjack in SA. From tips for beginners to advanced blackjack strategy to try out, we will cover it all right here, so read on.
Blackjack - which is sometimes known as pontoon or 21 - is one of the top casino games.
Players face off against the dealer, rather than playing each other, in blackjack. The aim of the game is to reach 21 with the value of cards that are dealt with.
Both the player and the dealer start with two cards. As the ace is worth either one or 11, it is up to the player, this means it is possible to get a winning hand of 21 - a blackjack - right away. Face cards - the king, the queen and the jack - are all given a value of 10 in blackjack.
As long as neither the player nor the dealer has 21, the hand continues. Players must decide whether to stick - remain with the cards they have - or twist, by risking another card. To twist can also be known as taking a hit when playing blackjack at online casinos.
Usually, players will stick if they are on 16 or 17, but anything lower might mean twisting is the better option to take.
In some blackjack games, dealers might automatically stick on a certain value, so check out the terms and conditions of your chosen blackjack game before you start.
Side bets are also available when playing online blackjack. This includes insurance, which is offered to players whenever the dealer starts with an ace in their hand.
If the player's hands are a pair, for example, a pair of 10s, then they might also opt to split. This means a new hand is formed and the stake that was initially laid out is doubled. Splitting can be a good option if the dealer's initial hand is not good, but we will talk more about strategy later.
Another option at the blackjack table is doubling down. This means increasing the initial stake by 100%, with just one more card delivered to the player, after which they must stand.
Doubling down is most commonly used in blackjack when the player's hand is at 11, due to the chances of a face card being dealt to take the hand up to 21.
We have already touched on some of the things you need to do to play blackjack, but for total beginners, it is necessary to go into a lot more detail.
The first thing to do when learning how to play online blackjack is to choose an online casino site out of the many safe and legal options available on BettingGuide.com.
Many of these casino sites offer great welcome bonuses that increase the amount of money you have to play within your account. A deposit match bonus is a fantastic way to get started. After selecting an online casino to join, the next step is to decide which type of blackjack game to play.
There are a lot of different variations - in fact, there are more than 100 - so you might want to test them all out. Blackjack strategy can also be worth checking out for newcomers to playing at online casinos.
Since blackjack is a game of skill, as well as luck, it means the decisions you make at the table have a big impact on whether you win or lose.
There are some basic blackjack strategy and more advanced plans that can be used after players have gathered a little bit more experience in playing the game at online casinos.
As for the game itself, players are dealt with two cards, and the dealer deals himself two cards. The aim of blackjack is to have a total that exceeds the dealers while not going over 21. Players do not compete against each other and in turn, competes against the dealer. Going over the value of 21 means the hand is a bust and the dealer automatically wins. If the dealer busts by going over 21, then the player wins the hand no matter what cards they have.
What this means is that a hand of 20 - very good in blackjack - can still lose. On the flip side, players might have a relatively poor hand in blackjack but still win the hand if the dealer busts.
Indeed, players can even fail to win if they get a blackjack. If the dealer also gets to 21, then the bet will be a push. When this happens, the stake is returned to the player - it is basically a draw. The odds paid for a blackjack depend on the type of game and the online casino being used.
Traditional blackjack is played with one or more decks of 52 cards with the card values shown below.
Depending on the casino, game or table, players are each dealt two cards, face up or down. The dealer is also dealt two cards, normally one up and one down, or only one card face up. A hands value is the total of the card values, and players are allowed to draw additional cards to improve their hands. Once all of the players have complete their hands it is the dealers turn.
But, the dealer's hand will not be completed if all players have received blackjacks (21 with an Ace and a ten-value card) or busted (over 21). The dealer reveals their hidden card and must hit until the cards total up to 17 points. At 17 or higher, the dealer must stay.
Generally speaking, blackjack pays at three to two, but it can also be six to five. So what are some of the best types of blackjack games to be looking out for at casinos?
Most of the online casinos have a lot of different blackjack games to try out.
These are some of the best blackjack games to be looking out for at your chosen online casino:
Blackjack Double Attack pays just even money for blackjack, but players can maximise profits by taking the chance to double their initial wager after seeing the dealer's upcard.
Players at online casinos who want big wins could choose Progressive Blackjack, where optional side bets are added to a collective pot that can deliver large profits.
In many online casinos these days, there is a live casino where blackjack is among the options. In Live Blackjack, players go up against a real-life dealer, with whom they can chat.
Not one for beginners, Multi-Hand Blackjack gives players the chance to play more than one hand at once. Naturally, this means the stakes are raised, but it offers more chances to win.
Players who opt for European Blackjack at their favourite online casino can only double down on hands with a value of 9, 10 or 11. But players can double down on split cards here.
Beginners who are still learning the ropes of playing online blackjack in South Africa may find that playing blackjack for free is a good option.
Demo mode is available at all of the best online casinos in our list above, meaning there is no need to risk real money. Of course, by playing blackjack for free, it is not possible to win cash either.
Playing blackjack for free is a good way to test out some blackjack strategies to see if they work. Free blackjack is available at various sites, as well as at online casinos.
There are even apps that can be downloaded onto your mobile devices that allow you to play blackjack for free while on the move or out and about.
Beginners should certainly consider playing blackjack for free, at least at first, though after a while they are likely to feel comfortable even to move up to playing blackjack for real money.
After learning all the necessary rules around blackjack, it might be time to play for money. First, you will need to pick a payment method to use for deposits and withdrawals. It is best to set up your chosen payment method before joining a new online casino so you can add it during your registration.
After you have successfully deposited money, you will be able to choose your stakes, and this means it is possible to start with small bets while building confidence at the blackjack table.
High rollers who have a lot of blackjack ability can layout larger stakes when playing blackjack for real money, but be warned that losing streaks can happen in this game.
Using welcome bonuses from online casinos can be a good option when people are playing blackjack for real money for the first time. If bonus funds are used for a few hands, it is still playing blackjack for real money, but with much less risk attached.
Keep in mind the wagering requirements for bonus money at online casinos, as blackjack is one of the games that does not usually contribute a full 100% to these.
Live casino games are growing in popularity at a rapid rate. As well as games such as roulette and baccarat, blackjack is one of the games that can be played at online sites.
Online live blackjack, as the name suggests, allows players to play blackjack in real-time with a live stream and real human dealer. There is no random number generator, and the blackjack experience is designed to feel more realistic and authentic.
Most online casinos use human dealers and tables from a physical studio with HD streams and chat functions. But, you will need to play at the pace of the table and live blackjack tables often have higher wager limits.
The benefit of live blackjack games is that they are interactive, offering much more of a social experience than is found elsewhere at the online casino.
Players have the chance to chat to the dealer who is running the blackjack game at the live casino, as well as other players who take a seat at the virtual table. Live blackjack at the online casino follows the same rules as the game elsewhere on the site.
All online casinos have something known in the business as a house edge on their games. This protects their profits, ensuring they can offer generous free spins bonuses and offers.
House edge varies from game to game. The good news, though, is that blackjack is famous for having a lower house edge than a lot of the other top casino games, such as online slots.
With so many different types of blackjack games out there - we mentioned just a few of them above - the house edge can vary a lot.
Typically, though, blackjack's house edge is less than one per cent. Factors involved in the house edge of blackjack games at online casinos include how many decks of cards are used.
Fewer decks in a game of blackjack at the online casino mean that the house edge is cut as a result. Whether or not the dealer hits soft 17 is also something that affects the house edge.
The payouts in blackjack games at online casinos also affect the house edge. While 3:2 is standard for a blackjack, some games only offer 5:6 or even 1:1.
While there may be certain rules that benefit the player in these games, the house edge goes up if blackjack is at 5:6 or 1:1.
The best way to get the lowest house edge in a game of online blackjack is, therefore, to make sure blackjack pays out at 3:2 while selecting a game that uses fewer decks of cards.
Following basic blackjack tips and strategy is a good way for beginners to get up and running.
One of the most important things to learn about the game is that a hand can be either "hard" or "soft" if it includes an ace. This is due to the fact an ace can be worth either 1 or 11 in the game.
If a player has an ace and an 8, their hand would be deemed a soft 19. This is a great hand. A hand of an ace and a 4 is less good, with 15 in the balance over whether to stick or twist. If a player on a soft 15 was to hit a face card worth 10, that would turn it into a hard 15.
The dealer's face card that is showing has an impact on whether players should hit or not too. If a player starts with 12, they may want to hit. This is usually the best blackjack strategy to use unless the dealer's face card is a 4, a 5 or a 6.
Naturally, some hands make the decision to stick or twist easier than others. Players would rarely opt to take another card if they had 20 in their hand. On the flip side, if their hand is worth less than 10, it would always be advised to stay in the game by taking another card.
Doubling is usually recommended if a player has 10 or 11 from their first two hands. Splitting a pair of aces is another no-brainer of a decision due to a good chance of hitting a blackjack.
These tips should help beginners to start, but experts may require more advanced strategy.
Those who are planning to get serious about online blackjack are likely to need to know some advanced blackjack tips and strategy.
The dealer's face card that is showing has an impact on whether players should hit or not too. If a player starts with 12, they may want to hit.
This is usually the best blackjack strategy to use unless the dealer's face card is a 4, a 5 or a 6. There are also some named blackjack betting systems that some players swear work for them.
Among the best known of these is the Martingale betting system for blackjack. With this strategy, players double their stake every time that they lose a hand of blackjack.
However, the Martingale system has a major downside, namely that the stakes can soon start to get out of control in the event of a player going on a losing streak.
The idea behind the Martingale betting system for blackjack is that the player will eventually win a hand, wiping out any of the losses they sustained earlier. But a lot of online casino experts believe this system is better used for roulette at online casinos.
An alternative to the Martingale betting system for blackjack is Oscar's Grind, which is another progressive betting system that can be used in a variety of casino games. Players using Oscar's Grind begin at the blackjack table by staking the minimum amount possible.
After the first hand, players retain the same stake whether they win or lose. After the second hand, players double their stake if they win and keep it at the same level if they lose again.
Players continue with the same pattern until they have made a profit of the size of their initial stake. When this happens in the Oscar's Grind system for blackjack, they start it again.
Opinions are split over whether or not systems such as Oscar's Grind and Martingale can be profitable for online casino games such as blackjack. But they can be worth trying out, albeit at small stakes, to see whether or not they can work for you at the online casino.
Aside from those systems, using a blackjack strategy chart is a good way to learn about which moves to make when playing blackjack online. These charts, which are freely available online, guide players on when they should stick, twist, double or split.