13 Reasons I Prefer to Play Blackjack Online Instead of in Casinos
Online gambling was made for people like me — people who prefer solitude over the hustle and bustle of brick and mortar casinos.
This goes for any form of gambling I play, such as slots, video poker, casino table games, and poker. Blackjack tops the list, though.
I have several reasons why, and I thought I’d share them with you now to see if you can relate. And maybe it’ll help you figure out if it makes more sense for you to play blackjack online instead of live.
1. Play Blackjack for Free Online
Most online casinos allow you to play their games for free. There’s no time limit, and if you ever run out of chips, the casino will reload your account. You can also refresh your screen.
Online casinos offer free games for a variety of reasons, but they’re able to do it because their overhead is low. Software isn’t terribly expensive to maintain, and website hosting is relatively cheap.
This is unlike brick and mortar casinos. They only have so much space, and that space is expensive. And they have overhead such as staff, utilities, and maintenance to pay for.
While nothing beats playing blackjack for real money, I like to sometimes play for free. It’s a nice option to have if you’re in between paydays or if you want to learn a new variant or strategy.
You might even decide that there’s no reason to risk real money if you can play for free. And if you play blackjack online, that’s a decision you can make.
2. Play Blackjack From Home
Going to the casino takes effort. You’ve got to shower, get dressed, and then make the drive there. That’s assuming there’s a casino near you.
Some people don’t have a nearby casino. They have to fly instead. This often means taking time off work so that they can leave town.
This takes time. It costs money. And this is unfortunate because the money you spend on traveling, food, and so on, you could otherwise spend on more blackjack hands.
That’s one of the reasons why I prefer playing online blackjack. I don’t have to dress to impress. I don’t have to get in my car and deal with traffic. And I don’t have to book a flight and hotel room.
I gamble from home instead and save myself hours of time, the inconvenience of traveling, and hundreds to thousands of dollars.
3. Find the Best Games Online
You probably already know this, but the rules and payouts for the games you play will have a huge impact on the casino’s house edge. The more rules that are in your favor and the better the payouts, the lower the edge.
I’ll show you a couple examples so that you can see how big a deal this is.
Let’s assume your game uses eight decks, the dealer stands on soft 17, you may double on any two cards, double after splitting, and you may split up to four hands.
Here are how the following rule variations will change your edge.
- Single deck: +0.48%
- Early surrender against a 10: +0.24%
- Blackjack pays 6:5: -1.39%
- Dealer bust on 22 is a push: -6.91%
- Player may draw to split aces: +0.19%
There are many blackjack rule variations, and every game will have their own. The rules you have to play by will depend on the specific game and where you’re playing it.
The challenge with playing blackjack offline is that you only have so many casinos to choose from. Those casinos will have only so many blackjack tables. So there will only be so many sets of rules that you’ll have to choose from.
One of the great things about playing online blackjack is that you’ll have a dozen (or more) casinos to choose from. Each casino will have at least five and often more than ten BJ games for you to play.
This means you won’t have to search very hard to find the blackjack games with the most favorable rules and payouts.
This is low-hanging fruit. It’s the easiest way to improve your odds against the house. And you didn’t even have to study strategy to get it.
4. Play Live Dealer Blackjack Games
One reason why people like to play live blackjack is so they can socialize — chat with other players, the hot dealer, or get the cocktail waitress’ number.
What about when you can’t get to the casino? What if you can’t afford to take the trip, or you can’t fit it into your schedule? What do you do then?
Play online blackjack instead, specifically live dealer blackjack. This is a variant where the games are dealt by an actual dealer. The action is recorded in a studio or casino and then streamed to an online casino in real time.
These games are the perfect balance between live play and technology.
You can chat with your tablemates. And while there won’t be any cocktail waitresses to solicit phone numbers from, there are attractive dealers. You’ll have no problem finding someone to flirt with.
These characteristics of live blackjack are hard to replicate online, but live dealer blackjack does a good job of it.
5. Claim Bonuses and Earn VIP Rewards
Another benefit I enjoy from online blackjack is the bonuses and rewards.
You can earn rewards when you play offline too. Most casinos offer perks or “comps.” If you plan to spend $50-$100 or more per hand, you can receive hotel and meal comps after a couple hours of play.
$50-$100 per hand is far outside my bankroll, and I don’t necessarily want a free hotel room. Not when I can play blackjack from home instead.
When you play blackjack online, you can claim a deposit bonus. This is an offer where the casino will match a percentage of your deposit up to so many dollars.
For example, if you claim a 100% deposit bonus up to $500, you can get $1 for every $1 you deposit up to the $500 cap. This means that you can get an extra $500 to play with.
The challenge with blackjack and deposit bonuses is that it’s much harder to fulfill the casino’s terms and conditions. You’ll have to play 3-5 times more rounds than you would if you were playing slots.
This is okay, though. You can use blackjack strategy to give yourself the best chances of clearing the offer.
Online casinos offer VIP rewards too. These come with perks such as cash back, additional bonuses, expedited cash-outs, higher table limits, free gifts, and more.
VIP perks are like bonuses in that they’re harder to earn playing blackjack compared to playing slots or keno. Just keep this in mind if you decide to go the online route.
Does that matter? Probably not if you’re going to play online blackjack anyway. You might as well earn whatever perks and freebies you can. Otherwise, you’re just leaving money on the table.
The great thing about playing online is that you can earn bonuses and rewards regardless of how much you wager. The more you can spend, the (obviously) better the rewards you can earn. But unlike live blackjack, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to earn anything worthwhile.
6. Play Blackjack on My Phone
Imagine playing in your local casino. You get tired of playing blackjack on the floor. You’re ready for a change in scenery.
So, you hulk out, pick up the blackjack table, and walk out the door with it.
Never mind the fact that you’re not the Hulk and you’re not strong enough to pick up a blackjack table, much less walk out of the casino with it. The staff would tackle you if you tried it.
I know, this is a dorky example. I’m putting it out there because I think it illustrates one of the benefits of playing online — playing blackjack on your smartphone or tablet.
Play blackjack on your phone, and you’ll have the option to play from your couch, toilet, car, or while waiting at the doctor’s office. You can take your favorite blackjack variant with you wherever you go.
This is freedom that you cannot get playing blackjack live.
There are some limitations, of course. Some online casinos don’t offer their full library of blackjack variants on mobile devices. You might also be limited to playing only one game at a time.
Those are tradeoffs worth considering, though.
7. Play Blackjack Variants Unavailable Offline
When you play casino games offline, you’re limited to what’s available in your area. If you only have one casino near you, the only variants you can choose from are whatever the casino offers.
If they offer two blackjack games, you’ll have only two games to choose from.
Obvious, I know, but I point it out to show you the contrast between playing blackjack live and online. When you play online, you’re only limited to the casinos that you can join.
The good news is that most people will have at least a dozen online casinos that they can join. And every online casino I’ve joined has at least five BJ games. Some even have more than twenty variants.
- Atlantic City Blackjack
- Double Exposure Blackjack
- Spanish 21
- Blackjack Switch
- Vegas Strip Blackjack
- European Blackjack
- Perfect Pairs
- And more!
Choose the right online casino, especially one that offers blackjack games from Microgaming or Playtech, and you’ll have loads of variants to choose from.
You won’t find a dozen different blackjack games in most casinos. This is another reason why I prefer to play blackjack online instead of offline.
8. Switch Casinos in Seconds…and Without Breaking a Sweat
Have you ever been to Las Vegas?
My wife and I go at least once every year. We like to eat at nice restaurants, which would normally add a little extra weight to our waistlines.
It doesn’t happen, though. Not in Las Vegas. We just walk too much — usually anywhere from 10-30 miles in a week. A lot of this comes from walking from one casino to the next.
This is a good and bad thing. It’s great to get the exercise, but walking several blocks in the desert heat isn’t my idea of a good time.
Of course, you can take a taxi or Uber from one casino to another. But these rides aren’t cheap, even when the casinos are only a mile apart. You’ll spend $15-$30 per trip.
This is yet another reason why I like playing blackjack online. Whenever I want to play at another casino, I log out of the one I’m currently logged into and then log into the one I want to play at next.
This takes seconds instead of minutes or hours. It doesn’t cost me any money. And I don’t feel like I got a workout when I do it. I’m not panting or sweating up a storm when I’m done.
(If you do pant and sweat heavily while switching casinos online, you might want to seek medical attention.)
9. Play Multiple Blackjack Games Simultaneously
You can play multiple blackjack hands offline. You can play the seats to your left and right. There’s a limit to how many hands you can play, though. And you might not be able to play multiple seats if someone else wants to sit down.
This isn’t a problem online, though.
You can play multiple seats online. Many multiple or multi-hand blackjack tables will allow you to play three hands at the same time.
If that’s not enough, you can simply load up another table. And if the casino won’t allow you to do that, then you can log into a different casino and load up one of their blackjack games.
Of course, you’ll need a larger bankroll to play multiple hands. The good news, though, is that if you play $1 per hand on a three-handed table, you’ll still save $2 overall per hand compared to playing one table live.
You might negate those savings if you play fast, but you’ll still get more action per round for a similar price compared to live blackjack. And that’s worthwhile to me. Who doesn’t want more action?
And the more hands you play, the faster you can clear bonuses and earn rewards. While this is doable offline, it’s far, far easier when you play blackjack at an online casino.
10. No Socializing Required Online
Some people enjoy the social element of live gambling. They love to chat with other players or the dealers.
Not me, though.
I prefer solitude. I’m not interested in making small talk about where I’m from or how long I’m in town for. And I’m not the person that cheers for my tablemates or feels bad for them when they lose.
That’s why I prefer to play blackjack from home. I don’t feel like I have to talk to everyone around me or be pleasant. I can play 21 in my underwear, on my couch, while in a grouchy mood.
What’s more is that when you play blackjack online, you’ll dodge the know-it-alls who feel compelled to give you advice. They’re the ones that’ll tell you when you should split or double down.
As if you care.
You’ll also dodge the people who’ll berate you for not playing optimally. You can dodge everyone from advice-givers to smokers to alcoholics when you choose to play online blackjack instead.
11. Use Blackjack Strategy as You Play
Most casinos allow you to use basic strategy cards at the table. In fact, many casinos will sell you their own branded cards for you to use. You’re allowed to use these cards because the casino will still make money from you in the long run.
If you’ve never used these cards, aren’t sure what the terms mean, or want to deviate from the advice they give, you might hold up the game.
This won’t be a big deal if you’re playing by yourself, but there’s a good chance you’ll make others grumpy if you delay the action too long.
This is another benefit to playing 21 online. You can Google “blackjack strategy” and find the optimal ways to play the specific variant you’re going to play.
You can take as long as you want to. If you want to take five minutes between hands to figure out the best strategy to use and to learn why, you’re not slowing anyone down but you.
This is also a great way to learn advanced strategy. While many advanced blackjack strategies won’t work online, that doesn’t mean that you can’t at least practice them online.
12. Take Your Time
Another reason why I like to play online blackjack instead of live blackjack is that I get to take my time.
When you play live, you’re usually not the only person at the table. There are other people playing with you. And most people want as much action as possible.
But sometimes you just want to take things slow and enjoy the game. You want to chat with people or talk strategy with the dealer. You don’t want to focus on playing as many hands as possible.
This is a benefit to playing online. You can take as long as you want because you’ll have the (animated) tables all to yourself.
You can take ten seconds between hands or ten minutes. It’s up to you.
In fact, this is a great strategy to use if you want to prolong your bankroll. I’ve mentioned this in previous blog posts and articles, but taking a few breaths between spins is a great way to make your bankroll last playing slots.
You can apply this strategy to blackjack too.
13. Play Blackjack for Smaller Stakes
Even when you ignore the costs of traveling, a hotel room, eating out, and other expenses related to traveling, playing blackjack live is expensive.
Ten to fifteen years ago, it was a little easier to find $3/hand tables. And it was even easier decades before that. Nowadays, it’s tough to find a table that’s less than $5/hand, especially on the weekends.
You can play anywhere from 50 to 85 blackjack hands per hour. This amounts to $250-$425 per hour. Of course, this assumes you lose every hand, which is unlikely to happen. Even still, you’re still risking a lot of money.
When you play online, you can find blackjack games for as little as $1/hand. Even if you play 100 hands per hour (which is doable since there’s no one else playing and the software is dealing the hands), you’re still risking way less compared to live.
And if you take your time playing each hand, you can reduce how much you spend every hour even more.
Not everyone wants to play blackjack for the highest stakes possible. I don’t. I like to play blackjack for real money because it’s exciting to win real money. The feeling’s the same regardless of if I spend $1/hand or $10/hand, so why risk more money than I have to?
The good news is that, when you play blackjack online, you don’t have to.
I prefer online blackjack over live blackjack for many reasons. It’s more convenient, mobile, cost effective, action-oriented, and less risky.
I still play live on occasion. But usually when I do, it reminds me of why I like to play blackjack online instead.
Give online blackjack a try, and make sure to let me know if you prefer it over live blackjack too in the comments below.