Legal US Online Blackjack Guide
It used to be that if you wanted to enjoy betting blackjack legally, you had to head to a brick-and-mortar casino. With all the commercial casinos and tribal casinos in the United States, that’s still mostly true, but there is now the option to play legal blackjack – for real money – online. And best of all, you can do it from anywhere!
In today's information age with the global reach of the World Wide Web, you can legally play blackjack online from your smartphone or favorite PC, any time day or night. Yes, you can still enjoy a fun evening of exciting 21 tables at a nearby physical venue or take the occasional trip to Sin City or AC, but for daily play, legal online casinos that offer blackjack are available!
To find out how to online blackjack safely and legally – and make good money doing it – our legal USA online blackjack guide hits you with all the basics to get started.
Is It Legal To Play Online Blackjack In The US?
Yes, there is nothing illegal about playing online blackjack for real money, even if you live in the USA. Check out our USA gambling laws page to learn more about the exact laws that apply to online casino gambling. While federal laws like the Wire Act and UIGEA are still in effect, these don’t apply to non-domestic gaming, and offshore blackjack venues are exempt.
Two states – WA and CT – nominally ban online 21 and all other forms of Internet gambling, but these laws are historically unenforced. Still, we recommend abiding by all local laws and only signing up at your own risk if you live in either of the above states.
Top Rated Casino Offering Legal US Online Blackjack
Real Time Gaming + Rival
#1 Rated Blackjack Site For USA Players
Bovada is considered the most trusted online casino available to USA players. They feature a full online casino, an international sportsbook, tournament poker, and a robust racebook. Of course, they also have the best online blackjack tables anywhere, with both RNG games and live dealer blackjack games to choose from.
Bovada’s 100% bonus up to $3,000 is quite attractive, and if you deposit with Bitcoin, the site will boost that bonus up to $3,750! Best of all, Bovada has never missed a single payout, which is why the industry as a whole feels Bovada is a top-shelf option for US players.
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Only accepts US, Mexico, and Brazil players (no other countries currently supported)
Limited deposit options compared to some other sites
Excluded States: DE, MD, NJ, NV
Top Rated US Friendly Casinos For Blackjack
These are the most trusted online casinos that are legally licensed for USA players. Claim huge welcome bonuses when you sign up and make your first real money deposit at any of the following sites:
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Is It Legal To Play Blackjack Online?
Yes, for most US residents aged 18 and up, online blackjack is legal and safe, provided you use one of the casino sites listed here. There are no US federal laws that prevent individual gamblers from signing up and playing with offshore operators for real money, and millions of Americans use these services every day.
Two states – Connecticut and Washington – have laws on their books banning all forms of online gambling, but these are unenforced, and we’ve never uncovered even a single instance of any 18+ 21 player getting fined or arrested for online gaming in these states. Still, we advise abiding by all local laws and proceeding only at your own risk.
Note: No top-rated online BJ casino currently accepts NJ residents. While it isn’t against the law for New Jersey gamblers to use offshore sites, they’ll have to do so outside of state borders for the time being.
Safest Ways To Deposit Funds Into Your Blackjack Accounts
The best banking option for depositing into your casino account is going to depend on several factors. However, the fastest deposits can be made with credit, debit, or Bitcoin (BTC). We prefer BTC, because it’s also the most secure and reliable method of deposit, has no added fees, comes with the biggest blackjack bonuses, and has quantum-hacking-resistant encryption.
Other common banking methods include wire transfers, money orders, person-to-person services (like MoneyGram), cashier’s checks, and so on. These all cost more to use and process much slower, so they’re not recommended for players who want to hit the digital blackjack tables ASAP.
For withdrawals, Bitcoin is again king, and it’s the only method that lets you get your payouts the same day you request them. It’s also the only blackjack payout option that doesn’t have large processing fees associated with it. For sites that take other cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin (Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, etc.), you can typically get the same BTC benefits.
Mobile Blackjack Apps
Mobile casino applications are the real jackpot in the offshore casino industry, as it lets you play from anywhere, any time. That said, you won’t find any iPhone blackjack apps or Android blackjack apps for real money in the App Store or on Google Play, due to those stores’ corporate policies.
But that doesn’t matter, because the best BJ operators have all put together web app experiences for their players. You can access these by simply visiting your casino site of choice via your mobile device’s web browser, and the blackjack tables will automatically conform to your device’s parameters. You’ll get intuitive tap and swipe style controls, too, and there’s no need to worry about downloads and updates. It’s the best of both worlds – it’s literally blackjack!
Check this page to learn more about how mobile gambling apps work.
Live Dealer Blackjack Options
If you’re looking for live dealer blackjack online, all the top sites we recommend offer this feature. While you can enjoy RNG (random number generation) games of 21 in these casinos, you can also join live tables where real dealers are flipping the cards.
This is a fun way to simulate a brick-and-mortar experience in the virtual realm, and it adds a bit of human touch to the online game. You can even choose which dealers you like best, and spectating is also possible, so you can watch other players and learn their strategies before spending your own money.
How To Play Blackjack
Blackjack is one of the easiest casino games to learn, and online 21 has the same rules as those you’ll find at any retail casino in the US. All you need to do is be the closest to 21 without going over. The cards are ranked by face value, with face cards each being worth 10 points and the Ace being either worth one point or 11 points.
The dealer will deal each player at the table – including themselves – one card, face up. Then, each player gets another card, also face up. However, the dealer’s second card is dealt face down.
You can then elect to be “hit” and receive a third (or fourth, or fifth) card if you think it will bring your total closer to 21. If you go over 21, this is called a “bust.” In blackjack, each player plays only against the dealer/house.
The rules of 21 are simple, and the basics are outlined above. While some blackjack rules will vary based on the casino or game type you’re playing, most have the following dictates:
- Each player gets two cards to start, face up.
- The dealer gets two cards, with second card face down.
- Players do not compete against each other. They only compete against the dealer. If several players are at a single table at the same time, you can view this as being several independent games being played simultaneously against the house.
- The goal is to build a hand that is closest to 21 without going over.
- Numbered cards are worth face value.
- Picture cards (J, Q, K) are worth 10 points. Jokers are not used.
- Aces are worth one or 11 points, depending on the player’s needs.
- If you get a 10 or a face card and an Ace, this is called a “natural” blackjack and is a winner.
- If you are dealt two of the same cards by rank, you can elect to split your hand and play two hands, receiving a second card for each. This requires you to double your bet, however, and can be a risky move.
- If both the player and the dealer bust, the player loses.
- If both the player and the dealer have blackjack, the bet is a push and no money changes hands.
- A natural blackjack (i.e. scoring 21 in two cards) beats any hand of 21 that utilizes three or more cards.
- The dealer typically must hit on 16 or less and stand on 17 or more.
The HIstory Of Blackjack In America
Blackjack – originally known as “Twenty-One” – has unknown global origins, with the first recorded references coming from the writings of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, who first mentioned it in approximately 1600.
When the game came over the sea to America, casinos had a jackpot promotion where a natural 21 consisting of a black Jack card (Clubs or Spades) and an Ace of Spades paid out at 10-1 (or +1000). The hand was dubbed a “blackjack,” and the term caught on, becoming the moniker for the game today. Now, of course, a “blackjack” is any hand that adds up to 21 in only two cards (that is, an Ace plus a 10, J, Q, or K).
Blackjack has been famous ever since, thanks to its simplicity, straightforward rules, and sedate pace of play. Now, with online 21, the popularity of this centuries-old game is greater than ever, and you can get in on the action at any reputable offshore legal betting site.
FAQ's Related To Legal Online Blackjack In The U.S.
No. The online 21 games at our recommended casinos all adhere to strict, provably fair iGaming standards. The RNG technology that drives these games is regularly audited, ensuring that you’ll get the same chances to win online as you would in a heavily regulated Vegas casino.
The house always has a slight edge in blackjack (roughly 0.5%), but the online version of the game is absolutely identical in every respect. Industry auditors ensure that this house edge remains in this plausible ballpark, which lets players be confident that they’re getting the best BJ experience possible.
Yes, all online casino bonuses are perfectly legitimate, as long as you play with a reputable operator. However, that doesn’t mean that you should always accept such bonuses. These bonuses come with rollover requirements before you can withdraw your winnings, so always be sure to check your gambling site’s promo terms and conditions.
As a general rule, if you play frequently, take the bonus, and if you play infrequently, take a pass. Also note that blackjack bonus playthroughs do no accumulate for live dealer games.
Most online blackjack (and casino-based brick-and-mortar blackjack) is played with a shuffled six-deck “shoe.” This eliminates the possibility of effective card counting and enables more players to have a seat at each blackjack table.
In 21, an Ace is worth one point or 10 points, depending on the player’s needs. For example, if you have a 6 and an Ace, this can be worth 7 points or 17 points. The choice you make about the Ace’s value here will determine whether you hit or stand.
A King in blackjack is worth 10 points, as are all face cards (and 10s) regardless of suit.
In 21, when you have two cards of the same number, you can split the hand into two hands and “double down” your bet.
Let’s say you bet $10 and are dealt a pair of 8s. You can view this a single hand of 16 and choose to hit or stand, or you can split the hand into two new hands, getting a fresh second card for each.
However, in so doing, you must pay an additional $10 wager of the new hand you’ve added. Knowing when to split in blackjack can be the difference between a big loss and life-changing win when the stakes are high.
There are online resources for learning to count cards in 21, but it’s a largely fruitless pursuit. Since online casinos (and all casinos) use multi-deck shoes shuffled together – and since this massive number of cards is shuffled after each hand – card counting will do you little good in modern BJ.
You can’t. Sorry. The best online casinos all use robust security measures to prevent hackers from taking over games, and any such manipulation would be immediately identified, with the game halted.
If you want to cheat at blackjack, well, take it to a land-based casino, Jack. And after they catch you, you’ll be a one-eyed Jack. Happy trails, Patches!