Blackjack, or 21, is one of the staples of casino gambling. The game is omnipresent in retail casinos across the country, from Atlantic City to Las Vegas. Its popularity in the land-based casino sector has also translated into the online realm. When the New Jersey online gambling market launched in 2013, real money blackjack was available in every casino in the state.
Online blackjack is popular because it offers better odds than most other casino classics. The house edge can be as low as 0.13% if you play optimally, but odds vary dramatically depending on your skill level. That is where this guide comes in. It will go over the NJ casinos with the best online blackjack games and teach you how to get started — the basic rules, different variations and the pros of playing the game in online casinos vs. land-based ones.
NJ casinos that offer online blackjack
Best real money blackjack at NJ online casinos
New Jersey players have no shortage of options when it comes to online blackjack. The majority of the casino sites in the state offer at least one variation of the game, be it live dealer or random number generator-based versions of 21.
As for the best online blackjack sites — online casinos with the most diverse blackjack offerings and the biggest bonuses — here are our top five picks:
1. Golden Nugget Casino NJ
Golden Nugget Casino features 22 blackjack variations, some of which are available to play in demo mode, free of charge. This varied mix also includes single and multi-hand exclusives — Golden Nugget’s proprietary online blackjack games that aren’t available elsewhere. Casual players can get started with bets as low as $0.10 with Zappit and Super Fun 21 Extreme.
Best online blackjack games to play at Golden Nugget:
- Bet the Set 21 — It comes with an optional side bet that awards boosted payouts if the player’s initial two cards are a pair or a suited pair. It boasts a 99.42% return-to-player rate.
- Super Fun 21 Extreme — It pays a massive 250x bonus for blackjack with diamond-suited cards.
- Live Dealer High Limit Blackjack — This version is an excellent choice for high rollers, as it has sizeable maximum bet limits, allowing up to $10,000 per hand.
Online blackjack games with the lowest house edge at Golden Nugget
The three top-paying real money blackjack games at Golden Nugget are Multihand Blackjack (99.60% RTP), Golden Nugget Multihand Blackjack (99.42%) and Bet the Set 21 (99.42%).
How to claim Golden Nugget’s welcome bonus
Golden Nugget offers new customers a $10 no deposit bonus with a 20x wagering requirement. When you trigger the welcome bonus, the online casino will match your first deposit dollar for dollar up to $1,500. That bonus has a 10x playthrough requirement.
Note that any blackjack bets you make will only count toward meeting the requirement at a rate of 25% of your wager. This means that you’d have to wager four times as much on blackjack than on slots to complete the wagering requirement.
Golden Nugget bonus code: PLAYBONUS
2. Virgin Casino NJ
Virgin Casino comes packed with 10 RNG-powered versions of online blackjack, in addition to hundreds of slots and other table games. Most blackjack variants are also available on the casino’s app, as well. The casino doesn’t currently offer live dealer blackjack games.
Best online blackjack games to play at Virgin:
- Blazing 7s Blackjack — It comes with a progressive side bet that pays a bonus depending on how many 7s you get within the first three cards.
- Vegas Strip Blackjack — The variation features 3:2 blackjack payouts, and the dealer must stand on a soft 17.
- Single Deck Blackjack — Virgin is one of the few casinos in New Jersey to offer this option. It provides the absolute lowest house edge of all blackjack variants and gives players several advantages over the standard multi-deck games.
Online blackjack games with the lowest house edge at Virgin
With a theoretical RTP of 99.91% (which equates to a house edge of 0.09%), the single-deck version has one of the lowest house edges of all casino games online, matched only by a few video poker variations. Honorable mentions include Vegas Strip Blackjack (99.65%), Atlantic City Blackjack (99.64%) and High Stakes Blackjack (99.64%).
How to claim Virgin Casino’s welcome bonus
Virgin Casino offers new players $30 in bonus funds on a $10 deposit. You’ll need to wager the bonus once before you’re able to cash it out along with any associated winnings. The second part of the casino’s intro package is a rebate of up to $100. The refund comes in real cash, which you can withdraw without any wagering.
Virgin Casino promo code: 30BUCKS
3. Caesars Casino NJ
In terms of sheer diversity, Caesars Casino is undoubtedly one of the best online casinos for blackjack in New Jersey, rivaling Golden Nugget with 22 variations. All the fan-favorite options are available, including micro limit, multi-hand, live dealer and a few fun spinoffs like Zappit and Poker & Pairs Blackjack.
Best online blackjack games to play at Caesars:
- Poker & Pairs Blackjack — You win a bonus payout if your two initial cards plus the dealer’s face-up card form a three-card poker hand.
- Unlimited Blackjack — This live dealer blackjack variant accommodates an unlimited number of players.
- Blackjack Pro Atlantic City Micro Limit — This is a standard, eight-deck variation of online blackjack, with betting limits ranging from $2.50 to $100.
Online blackjack games with the lowest house edge at Caesars
Blackjack Xchange has the best RTP of all blackjack variants at Caesars, clocking in at 99.68%. Next in line is the Poker & Pairs iteration, with a house edge of 0.34%.
How to claim Caesars Casino’s welcome bonus
Caesars’ new user promo is a 100% deposit match bonus for up to $2,000, the largest maximum of any online casino bonus in New Jersey. There’s one catch, though — blackjack doesn’t have a wagering contribution, and neither do other online table games.
Caesars Casino promo code: FREE25FS
4. BetMGM Casino NJ
BetMGM Casino is a top destination for playing blackjack online. Options include several RNG games, a few live tables from Evolution Gaming and Ezugi, and the casino’s in-house variant — BetMGM Blackjack Pro.
Best online blackjack games to play at BetMGM:
- Jets Blackjack — This is a distinct, sports-branded variant of blackjack from Evolution Gaming. The online casino streams the action from a virtual MetLife Stadium.
- Blackjack Mini — It allows you to play three hands simultaneously.
- Blackjack Charlie 7 — You win automatically with a seven-card hand.
- First Person Blackjack — This is a hybrid between RNG and live dealer blackjack that offers an immersive 3D view, but it runs via a random number generator.
Online blackjack games with the lowest house edge at BetMGM
With an RTP of 99.68%, Blackjack Xchange is the best-paying version of online blackjack at BetMGM. The proprietary game BetMGM Blackjack Pro comes in second, with a house edge of 0.51%.
How to claim BetMGM Casino’s welcome bonus
New Jersey blackjack players get started at BetMGM with a $25 no deposit bonus. Then, if you do make a deposit, you can qualify for a 100% matching bonus for up to $1,000. The offer carries a 15x wagering requirement, but blackjack games contribute only 10%, so you might want to stick to real money slots until you’ve used up the welcome bonus.
BetMGM Casino bonus code: PLAYNJFREE
5. Unibet Casino NJ
Unibet Casino offers 16 blackjack variations, the bulk of which are live tables from Evolution Gaming. Minimum bets at most RNG tables are $0.10. Most of the games are available on Unibet’s app for iOS and Android.
Best online blackjack games to play at Unibet:
- Zappit — This one includes the ability to “zap” or swap an initial hand if it is for a total of 15 to 18.
- Infinite Blackjack — Similarly to Unlimited Blackjack, this game can host unlimited players simultaneously, so you don’t have to wait for a seat.
- Eagles Blackjack — This standard blackjack game uses the Philadelphia Eagles NFL franchise for its theme.
Online blackjack games with the lowest house edge at Unibet
The Xchange variation has the lowest house edge in Unibet, closely followed by Poker & Pairs, with a 0.34% house edge.
How to claim Unibet Casino’s welcome bonus
Right out of the gate, you can get $10 for free just for completing the registration process. Then, the casino will provide a 100% match on your first deposit up to $750. The bonus carries a 10x wagering requirement. Blackjack games (including live dealer blackjack) count at a rate of 10%.
Unibet Casino bonus codes: FREEBONUS, BONUS-MATCH
Playing blackjack on New Jersey casino apps
Each online casino in New Jersey has apps to ease playing on iPhones, iPads, and Android smartphones and tablets. These NJ online casino apps closely resemble their website counterparts in terms of functionality and game selection, although some don’t offer live dealer games.
Download links for the apps are generally available on each online casino’s site, either in the “mobile” section or the site’s footer. You need a compatible device and a stable internet connection for optimal performance. Per state regulations, you’ll also have to be located within New Jersey while playing online blackjack for real money.
What variations of blackjack can I play?
Since the game’s creation in 18th century France, blackjack has seen the development of many variants. If we consider the rule variations, side bets and subtle differences in layouts of numerous live dealer games, we can safely assume there are dozens of versions or more available at New Jersey online casinos.
Depending on the rules and number of decks that a game uses, the house edge may vary significantly from variation to variation of online blackjack. For instance, single-deck blackjack has a house edge around 0.25% lower than multi-deck variants.
The surrender rule also affects the player’s RTP rate. This option allows you to fold your hand after you’ve seen your two initial cards and the dealer’s up card. When appropriately used, late surrender, available in Virgin’s High Stakes and Atlantic City Blackjack, can reduce the house edge by 0.07%.
Also, you should avoid blackjack tables where the dealer hits on a soft 17, as this adds 0.22% to the house edge.
Seven Card Charlie available at BetMGM has a house edge 0.01% higher than the standard version. Conversely, the variants that don’t allow splitting aces have a 0.18% higher house edge, so it’s best to avoid them.
Some blackjack variations come with certain side bets that add a little excitement to the gameplay and the potential to win bigger-than-usual payouts. Bear in mind that side bets have much higher house edges than regular bets and that the basic blackjack strategy is to avoid them entirely.
Here are the top three most popular online blackjack side bets you’ll find in NJ casinos:
- 21+3 — It pays when the player’s original two cards plus the dealer’s up card form a winning three-card poker hand. The stronger the hand, the bigger the payout. This side bet is available in Poker & Pairs Blackjack at Caesars and Golden Nugget. You can hit a payout as big as 100x the stake.
- Blazing 7s — The success of this side bet is contingent on hitting 7s. You can play it for $1 or $5 in most blackjack online casinos. The payout depends on how many 7s are in your (and the dealer’s) hand and the suit of any 7s.
- Perfect Pairs — This side bet is available in most versions of online blackjack, including SG Digital’s Bet the Set 21. The wager pays if your first two cards are a pair or a suited pair.
Live dealer blackjack in New Jersey
Live dealer blackjack is gaining momentum among New Jersey online casino players, and it’s easy to see why. This gambling format combines the convenience of playing from your home with the authentic vibe that comes from playing blackjack in a casino.
To make the experience as realistic as possible, the action is filmed in specialized studios from different angles. Real dealers run the games, and there’s also the option of chatting with other players — all of which adds to the immersion factor.
Online vs. in-person real money blackjack
There are several distinct advantages to playing blackjack on a casino app or website rather than in a retail casino, the most notable being convenience, accessibility and flexibility. Playing blackjack in person is more expensive, as travel costs are included. In addition, the number of players at tables can be limited, and some casinos aren’t open 24/7. On the other hand, online casinos are accessible 24/7, and you don’t have to venture outside your house to play.
Due to their higher operating costs and the fact that their competitors aren’t just a button-press away, brick-and-mortar casinos aren’t as generous with their bonuses or promotions as their online counterparts.
Online casino blackjack offers lower betting limits, which makes it an excellent choice for casual players. Minimum bets in New Jersey retail casinos typically range from $10 to $15, whereas with certain variations of online blackjack, you can play for as low as $0.10.
What blackjack games can I play in NJ online casinos?
|Online Brand||Game Name||Payback %||Min. Bet||Max. Bet||Sidebets|
|Virgin Casino||Atlantic City Blackjack||99.64||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|Virgin Casino||Single Deck Blackjack||99.74||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|Virgin Casino||Multihand Blackjack||99.28||$1.00||$5,000||No|
|Virgin Casino||Vegas Downtown Blackjack||99.61||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|Virgin Casino||Vegas Strip Blackjack||99.64||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|Golden Nugget||Blackjack (IGT)||99.6||$1.00||$200||No|
|Golden Nugget||Blackjack Pro||99.59||$1.00||$50||No|
|Golden Nugget||Vegas Blackjack||99.6||$1.00||$100||No|
|Golden Nugget||Sidebet Blackjack||99.54||$1.00||$500||Yes|
|Golden Nugget||Blackjack European||99.41||$1.00||$500||No|
|Golden Nugget||Blackjack Micro Limit (Min 0.10)||99.3||$0.10||$10||No|
|Golden Nugget||Blackjack Micro Limit (Min 0.50)||99.3||$0.50||$25||No|
|Golden Nugget||Live Blackjack||99.34||$5.00||$1,000||Yes|
|Betfair Casino||Blackjack (IGT)||99.6||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|Betfair Casino||Pro Blackjack||99.6||$1.00||$10,000||No|
|Caesars Casino||Blackjack Micro Limit (Min 0.10)||99.3||$0.10||$10||No|
|Caesars Casino||Blackjack Micro Limit (Min 0.50)||99.3||$0.50||$25||No|
|Caesars Casino||European Blackjack||99.41||$1.00||$500||No|
|Caesars Casino||Blackjack Sidebet||99.54||$1.00||$500||Yes|
|Caesars Casino||Vegas Blackjack||99.6||$5.00||$100||No|
|Caesars Casino||Blackjack Pro||99.59||$2.50||$100||No|
|Caesars Casino||Blackjack Pro Micro Limit||99.59||$0.25||$100||No|
|Harrah's Casino||Classic Blackjack||99.54||$1.00||$10,000||No|
|888 Casino||Classic Blackjack||99.54||$1.00||$10,000||No|
|Borgata Casino||Blackjack (IGT)||99.6||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|Borgata Casino||Blackjack Micro Limit SP 10||99.3||$0.10||$10||No|
|Borgata Casino||Blackjack Micro Limit SP 25||99.3||$0.50||$25||No|
|Borgata Casino||SP Vegas Blackjack||99.6||$5.00||$100||No|
|Borgata Casino||Sidebet Blackjack||99.54||$1.00||$500||Yes|
|Borgata Casino||Multi-Hand Blackjack||99.39||$1.00||$100||No|
|Borgata Casino||Blackjack Multi-Hand Pro||99.39||$5.00||$500||No|
|Party Casino||Blackjack (IGT)||99.6||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|Party Casino||Blackjack Micro Limit SP 25||99.3||$0.50||$25||No|
|Party Casino||SP Vegas Blackjack||99.6||$5.00||$100||No|
|Party Casino||Sidebet Blackjack||99.54||$1.00||$500||Yes|
|Party Casino||Multi-Hand Blackjack||99.39||$1.00||$100||No|
|Party Casino||Blackjack Multi-Hand Pro||99.39||$5.00||$500||No|
|Pala Casino||Micro Limit Blackjack (Min $0.10)||99.3||$0.10||$10||No|
|Pala Casino||European Blackjack||99.41||$1.00||$500||No|
|Pala Casino||Lucky 7 Blackjack||99.54||$1.00||$500||Yes|
|Pala Casino||Perfect Pairs Blackjack||99.54||$1.00||$500||Yes|
|Pala Casino||Sidebet Blackjack||99.54||$1.00||$500||Yes|
|Pala Casino||Single Deck Blackjack||99.74||$1.00||$500||No|
|Pala Casino||Vegas Blackjack||99.6||$5.00||$100||No|
|Resorts Casino||Atlantic City Blackjack (Micro Limit)||99.59||$0.25||$100||No|
|Resorts Casino||Atlantic City Blackjack (Low Limit)||99.59||$2.50||$100||No|
|Resorts Casino||Atlantic City Blackjack (High Limit)||99.59||$25.00||$1,000||No|
|Resorts Casino||Micro Limit Blackjack (Min $0.10)||99.3||$0.10||$10||No|
|Resorts Casino||Micro Limit Blackjack (Min $0.25)||99.3||$0.25||$25||No|
|Resorts Casino||Blackjack (IGT)||99.6||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|Resorts Casino||European Blackjack||99.41||$1.00||$500||No|
|Resorts Casino||Vegas Blackjack||99.6||$5.00||$100||No|
|Mohegan Casino||Atlantic City Blackjack (Micro Limit)||99.59||$0.25||$100||No|
|Mohegan Casino||Atlantic City Blackjack (Low Limit)||99.59||$2.50||$100||No|
|Mohegan Casino||Atlantic City Blackjack (High Limit)||99.59||$25.00||$1,000||No|
|Mohegan Casino||Micro Limit Blackjack (Min $0.10)||99.3||$0.10||$10||No|
|Mohegan Casino||Micro Limit Blackjack (Min $0.25)||99.3||$0.25||$25||No|
|Mohegan Casino||Blackjack (IGT)||99.6||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|Mohegan Casino||European Blackjack||99.41||$1.00||$500||No|
|Mohegan Casino||Vegas Blackjack||99.6||$5.00||$100||No|
|PokerStars Casino||Classic Blackjack||99.39||$0.10||$100||No|
|PokerStars Casino||Perfect Pairs Blackjack||99.34||$0.50||$500||Yes|
|PokerStars Casino||Atlantic City Blackjack||99.55||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|PokerStars Casino||European Blackjack||99.65||$1.00||$1,000||No|
|PokerStars Casino||Double Deck Atlantic City Blackjack||99.77||$100.00||$2,500||No|
|PokerStars Casino||Double Deck Blackjack||99.77||$100.00||$2,500||No|
How to play online blackjack
To win in blackjack, you must have a hand total closer to 21 than the dealer, without exceeding 21, aka going bust. Cards 2 through 10 have points equal to their face value. Face cards count as 10, and aces count as 11 or 1, depending on which value helps the hand the most. Here’s what a typical round of blackjack looks like, play by play:
- Place a bet: Start by placing a bet in the designated area. Denominations usually range from $1 to $100.
- Receive your cards: After you’re done with betting, click on the deal button to receive the cards. In live dealer versions of the game, you’ll get two cards automatically once the predetermined period for placing bets expires.
- Make a move: Both your cards will be face-up, while the dealer will receive one card face down and the other face up. Based on your cards, you need to decide whether to hit, stand, double down or split. In this phase, you may also place side bets. You’ll remain in the game as long as you don’t go bust.
- Wait for the outcome: After you have decided you don’t want to go any further, the dealer will reveal the face-down card. If your hand’s total is higher than the dealer’s, you win. When both you and the dealer hit a blackjack, the hand results in a push. If the dealer goes bust, you win.
Here are the main actions you can take after receiving the initial two cards:
- Insurance — This is a side bet that becomes available only if the dealer’s up card is an ace. You place it for half of your original wager, and it pays 2:1 if the dealer hits a natural. Depending on the variation you’re playing, insurance increases the house edge by at least 5.8%.
- Stand — This means you want to hold your total and not take any additional cards.
- Hit — Draw another card. You can keep hitting as long as you don’t go bust.
- Double down — Double your bet. Once you’ve activated this option, you can receive only one more card.
- Split — This move allows players to split their initial pair. You play the two new hands separately.
- Surrender — Fold your hand after receiving the first two cards. This way, you’ll get half of your original stake back. This option isn’t available in all online casinos.
How to win at blackjack — best strategies
The ultra-low house edge that we’ve talked about is only available if you make the right plays and follow basic blackjack strategy. Here are a few tips on when to stand/hit:
- Hit hard (a hand that doesn’t have an ace) if the total is 11 or less.
- Always hit if you have a soft 17 or less.
- Always hit when you have a hard 12, except when the dealer has four to six.
- Stand if you have a hard 17 or higher.
- Stand if you have a soft 19 or higher.
- Stand on a soft 18 except when the dealer holds a nine, 10 or an ace.
- Stand when you have a hard 13 to 16 vs. a dealer with a 2 to 6 showing.
Betting systems in online blackjack tend to involve increasing or decreasing bets after each win/loss. Here are the most common betting techniques:
- Martingale — Double your bet after each loss.
- D’Alembert — Lower your bet by one unit after each win and increase by one unit after each loss.
- 1-3-2-6 — This is a positive progression system similar to Martingale. It involves placing consecutive wagers after winning hands of three, two and six units. Once you finish the cycle, you return to one unit.