It’s tempting to think that you don’t need free blackjack online. After all, many people grew up playing practice blackjack games on the kitchen table with their moms when they were kids. I certainly did.
You Can’t Lose Money in Free Online Blackjack
When you play a free online blackjack game, you’re playing with play money chips that online casinos have provided you to practice with. These play money chips have no real value. They’re just a means of keeping score.
That’s the best thing about practice games.
It’s impossible to lose money playing them.
The casino, though, is hoping you’ll have so much fun that you’ll try their real money games. If you’re absolutely committed to not losing any money at blackjack online, be sure you have the self-control necessary to resist the siren call of the real money games.
You Can’t Win Any Money in Free Online Blackjack
Have you ever heard the expression, “No risk, no reward?”
That’s not how gambling works, and you should understand that before sitting down at any kind of practice blackjack game.
Practice Games Are Great for Learning Blackjack
If you’ve never played blackjack for real money in a casino, you are probably unprepared for how fast the game moves. If you’re playing heads-up with a dealer, you can easily see 200 hands of blackjack per hour.
That’s more than three hands per minute—a hand every 20 seconds.
Savvy blackjack players have no trouble with the rhythm of such a fast-paced game, but I think new players should try the online games to get a feel for how fast the game is before playing for real money in person or online.
I’m convinced that online blackjack is even faster than playing heads-up with a dealer in a live casino. I’m guessing that you could see 300 or 400 hands per hour if you wanted to maximize how fast you can play.
The results might surprise you.
You Can Learn How to Do All the “Fancy” Blackjack Moves
Lo and behold, the first time I visited Vegas, I had no idea how to do any of the following:
- Double down
- Take insurance
Doubling down is just doubling the size of your bet and agreeing to take one (and only one) more card. If you’re not doubling down on totals of 10 and 11, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. This is a great move to learn on the free blackjack games.
Here’s an example:
You’ve bet $5 on a hand of blackjack, and you get dealt an eight and a three for a total of 11. The dealer is showing a six. You double down, which means you have $10 in action. You’re dealt a 10, and the dealer busts. Your total of 21 wins, so you win $10 on the hand instead of five.
Splitting is when you get two cards of the same rank, like aces or eights. You put up a second bet and play two hands, and the first card in each of those hands is one of the cards from your original hand.
Here’s an example:
You’re dealt two aces on a hand where you’ve bet $10. You split the aces, which means you now have two hands in action with $10 on each hand. You’re dealt a 10 on top of each ace, which means you have a blackjack. The dealer doesn’t have a blackjack, so you win $15 on each of your two hands.
Surrendering is giving up your hand while sacrificing half your bet. You don’t even play your hand.
Here’s an example:
You’ve bet $10 on a hand of blackjack, and you get a total of 16. The dealer has a 10 showing as her up-card. You surrender, which means you get $5 of your original bet back.
Taking insurance is a sucker bet unless you’re counting cards, but if you eventually want to count cards, you’ll eventually want to take insurance, too.
You have the option of taking insurance when the dealer has an ace as her face-up card. The insurance bet is a bet that the dealer has a blackjack—a two-card hand totaling 21. It pays off at 2 to 1, and you must bet half your original bet.
Here’s an example:
You bet $10, and the dealer has an ace showing. You place an insurance bet of $5. The dealer does, indeed, have a blackjack, so you win $10 on your insurance bet. Of course, you lose your original $10 bet, so you still only break even on the hand.
You Can Find Free Blackjack Games Through Other Venues
I used to hang out at a Dave and Busters in Dallas, Texas, that offered free blackjack for play money chips on the weekends. It was a fun way to while away the time. You could even practice counting cards there. They just wanted to sell drinks.
You couldn’t win prizes or anything.
Maybe a bar in your area does something similar?
Some corporations host casino nights where there are prizes for the gamblers who wind up with the most chips at the end of the evening. They usually don’t require you to spend any money to get those chips.
In this case, you have an exception to my rule about how you can’t win anything playing free blackjack. The prizes might not be worth much, but if you’re good at blackjack, it probably offers you the best opportunity to win something.
Using a Casino Bonus to Get Free Hands Doesn’t Work
Many casinos offer signup bonuses as a percentage of your initial deposit. Some casinos even offer bonus amounts without a deposit requirement. This would seem like a way to get in some free blackjack hands.
For the most part, this doesn’t work. Casinos offering bonuses have wagering requirements; they want you to give them a certain amount of action in exchange for the bonus. You’re not allowed to cash out until you’ve met those wagering requirements.
Most online casinos only allow wagers on their slot machines to count toward their wagering requirements.
Blackjack Is the Best Game in the Casino
What’s the house edge?
Free blackjack online has its uses for beginners, but it’s a waste of time if you’re a seasoned blackjack player. Most gamblers who’ve been at it a while certainly don’t feel the need to play practice games.
But if you’re new to the game, it’s a great way to get some seasoning without risking any real money.