Blackjack is a casino favorite for card counters and novices alike. In part, this popularity is because free blackjack is an easy game to learn but takes both skill and luck to master. Its popularity has also made it a favorite of Internet-based gaming sites. In particular, online casinos and free-to-play sites provide a variety of classic and modern takes on the popular card game.
Depending on the site, you might play directly online or download software and play the game via a program run from your computer. Regardless of the method, though, the objective of the game, rules of play and basic strategies for winning remain largely the same. The minor exceptions to this are Blackjack Variations, where some of the rules change. The end goal is usually the same, but the unique twist adds a touch of flavor to the experience.
No matter which style of free blackjack you decide to play, the most important thing to remember is that the odds are not in your favor, but a careful strategy can improve your chances of winning. Basic strategy is fairly easy to grasp, but becoming seasoned will require the memorization of certain principles and key questions that you'll need to ask yourself throughout the course of any given hand of Blackjack.
The Basics of 21
The basic objective of blackjack is to obtain a higher point total than the dealer without going over 21; exceeding 21 is a “bust,” and you will lose the game. After placing an initial wager, you will receive two cards that are face-up at the beginning of each hand; the dealer will also receive two cards but one will be face-up, and the other face-down. With each turn, you will need to decide how you will proceed. There are several options:
- Hit — You take an additional card.
- Stand — You elect not to take any more cards.
- Split — You divide your current hand into two hands.
- Double Down — You take one card without the option of taking any more.
The dealer must hit on any hand with a value under 16; you have the option of hitting, standing or doubling down on each turn. You may only split when you are dealt a pair of the same card (two aces, for example). As long as your card total remains under 21, you are still in the game.
Once you (and all other participants) are satisfied with your hand, the dealer will reveal their facedown card, concluding the round. Remember that aces are worth either 1 or 11 (it's up to you to decide), face cards are worth 10, and all additional cards retain their pip value.
Free Practice Games
Finding a free blackjack game to play is simple. Most web searches will yield a long list of online casinos and other gaming sites with both standard blackjack and free blackjack variants. When selecting a site to play with, you should bear in mind a few key factors.
Since you'll be playing free Blackjack (no real money involved), your primary concerns should be the reputation of the site in question, the quality of their games, and the clarity/ease of their player interface. Ideally, you'll want to play with a site that is well-known and respected by the larger community, has games that run smoothly and a player interface that is simple to understand and navigate.
Hit, Stand, Split or Surrender?
Strategy in Blackjack involves knowing when to make the most appropriate move. Whether you should hit, stand, split or surrender depends on a long list of probabilities.
Card experts have calculated the most likely outcomes for any given hand and have also developed detailed Blackjack game guides and strategy charts for players looking to improve their game. You can find many online, and memorizing these will improve your likelihood of winning.
Practice 21 on Your Phone – Free Gameplay Video
Free Blackjack FAQs
What Are Some Common Blackjack Variations?
There are many variations of Blackjack, and some are unique to the online platform that you use to play. Some of the most commonly encountered Blackjack variants, however, are:
- European Blackjack
- Chinese Blackjack
- Vegas Strip Blackjack
- Atlantic City Blackjack
What Are Some Basic Strategy Tips?
Basic strategy involves maximizing outcomes and depends greatly on the dealer's face-up card value. If a dealer has a high-value card, such as a 7, 8, 9 or 10-value card, you should hit until your total exceeds 17, because the chance of them having a good hand is more likely. If the dealer's face card is low, such as a 2 or 3, you'll want to stand once your value is more than 12 so that the dealer will have to hit and (hopefully) exceed 21.
Additionally, when you have the chance to split cards, you should always do so when you have a pair of aces or 8s, but never when you have 10s or 5s, since two 10s is already close to 21, and you would be better off doubling down with a pair of 5s. You can learn more about probabilities and correct move choices by referring to a Blackjack strategy chart.
Where Can I Find Blackjack Strategy Charts?
You can search the web to find strategy charts. You should bear in mind that some strategy charts may differ, as their creators may have based them on different variants of the game (Hit 17, Stand 17, a European variety, etc.) Memorizing a chart and reinforcing the techniques through practice will improve your game.
How Can I Practice My Blackjack Technique?
Playing free Blackjack is itself a form of improving your game, as there are no real money stakes. There are, however, various “Blackjack Trainers” available across the internet that will grade you on your move choices and help you take your training to heart. You can also customize trainers to mimic a wide range of Blackjack scenarios.