The #1 Site for Playing Online Blackjack: Wild Card City
These online blackjack reviews study all the games in the 21 category offered by Microgaming casinos–and then some. Many players prefer the classic game and have no interest in other variations. That’s sensible, since each new game played requires mastering a new basic strategy chart. Each variant is different. In fact, each rule added or subtracted changes at least some of decisions you should make on some of the hands.
Our aim is to offer a useful listing of variations with full reviews of each game, a discussion of the pay schedules, common rules variations, and tips for stretching your bankroll. We don’t promise to show players a foolproof way of beating the casinos. Gambling companies always reserve a nice house edge for themselves. They ARE running the games to make a profit. Only advantage players like card counters beat the dealer with any regularity. In the online gambling industry, counting cards is no help, because the deck changes every hand. The computer shuffles up every time.
That might be bad news to mathematicians and serious gamblers, but this information is also liberating. Players don’t have to worry about mastering a skill which is indispensable offline but fruitless online. You’re free to play for the enjoyment of the game, still mindful of the odds and optimal play, but understanding that you gamble at a disadvantage. The trick is finding the games which are least disadvantageous to you, which is what the reviews on this website are for.
The basic game includes 3:2 payouts for a “natural”, which is the term for a two-card 21. You must be dealt an ace and a card with the rank of 10, meaning a king, queen, jack, or ten. This hand beats all others and pushes (ties) if the dealer also receives a natural twenty-one. Otherwise, insurance costs 1:1, though players should never take insurance, because it’s a sucker bet. The number of decks is one. Players can split any two cards, but the ten-rank cards must actually match–you can’t split a 10 and a king, for example. Players can double down, but only once. Also, doubling only happens on a 9, 10, or 11. On the good side of things, the dealer cannot hit on a soft 17. All seventeens are a stand. This version of blackjack has a house edge of 0.13%, making it one of the best games in the casino.
The classic variant is just one of a dozen different popular 21 games most online casinos have. The various software design companies (including our favorite, Microgaming) not only create their own rules, but they often rename existing games. Occassionally this is done for trademark purposes. For example, Let It Ride (another popular gambling card game) is trademarked by Shufflemaster, so online companies often offer the same thing with a different name. Microgaming, for example, calls Let It Ride “Poker Ride”.
In other cases, it’s done for marketing purposes, so it looks like a website has their own brand new selections. For example, Microgaming offers “Super Fun 21”. RealTime Gaming offers the same game but calls it “Super-21”.
This can confuse players, so we try to list all the names a certain game is named at the big online casinos. Australian pontoon might be the most popular version of the game in land-based casinos here, so we’ll start there.
Spanish 21 is similar enough to Australian pontoon that most gamblers consider them the same thing. The Spanish deck is used in this version of 21, meaning all 16 cards with the rank of ten are removed from the deck. When you get hands with a “777” or a “678”, you win special payouts. If all three cards are spades, you win a 3:1 payout. If the cards are suit clubs, diamonds, or hearts, you win a 3:2 payout. If they are any other combination, you win a 3:1 payout.
Our site focuses on Microgaming casinos, specifically the Fortune Lounge Group, because we feel like they offer the best options for players. They offer a huge array of progressive games, including a version of 21 with a progressive jackpot. Microgaming’s offerings also have excellent payouts, attractive graphics, and realistic sound effects. We’re especially fond of the Gold series from that software provider.
Microgaming games we’ve reviewed include:
Most Internet casinos offer a few blackjack tournament events, but they focus their activity on cash games, much like you would find in a live casino. Some sites offer whole leagues, which have a full schedule of tournaments. The difference in league play and individual gaming is the league keeps track of your finishes over time. The best players are displayed on the overall leaderboard.
Otherwise, the game interface and style of play is similar to what you know. Gamblers can join freerolls, sit ‘n go or turbo events, and scheduled tournaments. The only difference is you’ll need to learn how to play elimination blackjack, where certain elimination hands remove players from a tournament. We also offer information on joining leagues like the Internet Blackjack League from Microgaming.
As you can see, a wider world of blackjack exist online than what you’re used to in the land-based casinos. This page doesn’t discussed the widespread resources for free Internet versions, Facebook versions, or the many mobile casino apps available on your smartphone or tablet computer. Real money casino gambling online continues to change from year to year. The industry is continually evolving, so check back here for constant updates about new games, features and casinos.
Our Top Recommendation? The #1 Site for Playing Online Blackjack: Wild Card City