Master Online Blackjack: Strategies & Best SA Casinos

Blackjack is a unique online casino game. It is one of the few games where your skill and strategy matter as much - or maybe even more - than your luck. Blackjack has a low house edge and great odds for you to win. If you play it right, that is. Whether you are a seasoned player looking for the best South African blackjack casinos or a newbie learning to play, there’s something for you on this page.

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You may wonder how we select the best casinos for blackjack. Out of the dozens of South African online casinos, we select only the most valuable ones based on these criteria:

We verify each casino in-depth, from registration to withdrawals, so we can recommend only the ones that are hundreds. 

Blackjack Chips & Cards

Blackjack Terms

But before we dive into the game itself, let’s take a look at blackjack slang. The game has its terms that you need to be familiar with to know what’s happening at the table and why. 

Blackjack Rules

Now that we have the terms out of the way, let’s take a look at the rules. Blackjack is a simple game with a simple goal: have a hand closer to 21 points than the dealer, without going over. The game is played with one or multiple decks of standard playing cards (poker cards) with no jokers. These are the values of the cards:

Blackjack Winning Conditions

winning hand

You win a hand of blackjack if:

How to Play Blackjack

Here’s how a typical game of blackjack is played out:

Blackjack Variants

Blackjack was born out of a Spanish game that reached the Americas through France and Britain. It was there where it got its name - legend has it, the game had a bonus payout for a hand consisting of a ten of spades and a black Jack. Over the years, many variants of the game emerged. 

Spanish 21

Spanish 21 is not the original game - despite its name - but a blackjack variant introduced in the mid-1990s in a Las Vegas casino. It is a mix of old and new, with rules that ensure it has one of the smallest house edges of all variants:

Vegas-style blackjack

Ironically, this blackjack variant is played in California casinos - and, of course, live casinos online. What makes it special is that going bust (over 21) doesn’t always mean an automatic loss - if the dealer also goes bust, you recover your bet.

Double Exposure Blackjack

In double-exposure blackjack, you get to see both of the dealer's cards from the start. This is an advantage for you - but the game has some challenging rules that make it a tough one to beat:

Blackjack Switch

An interesting blackjack variant mostly played in real-life casinos. Here, you are dealt two hands, and you can switch the second card you get between them. Once again, the game has challenges to compensate for the advantage you get by switching:

Infinite Blackjack

An Evolution Gaming exclusive, Infinite Blackjack is a live dealer blackjack variant with low bet limits. It has a standard set of rules and a selection of side bets:

On top of that, it has the Six Card Charlie rule. Try it today at Playa Bets.

Power Blackjack

Another Evolution Gaming title, Power Blackjack is played with decks that have the 9s and 10s removed. What makes it stand out is that you can not only double but triple or quadruple down on any initial hand, even after a split.

Live Blackjack

Live blackjack is the live casino variant of the traditional blackjack game. It was introduced in the mid-2000s and has become one of the most beloved live dealer games since. 

Live Blackjack Rules

The rules of live blackjack are, in general, the same as the rules of the game played in casinos like Sun City or Montecasino. There can be certain deviations from the standard rules - like in the case of the Infinite Blackjack and Power Blackjack games we mentioned above.

How Does Live Blackjack Work?

Live dealer blackjack works a lot like the random number generator-powered variant in traditional online casinos. There are, of course, a few major differences between the two. RNG blackjack, for example, “shuffles” the cards before every round, whereas in live blackjack, there’s a shoe with several decks that are played through before shuffling. 

In front of the shoe, there’s a scanner that uses OCR to scan and recognize the cards being dealt. This is then transmitted by the game control unit to the user interface on your side. The same GCU then transmits your bets and decisions to the dealer’s display. An important part of the game is the camera that streams the actions of the dealer as they happen. 

Otherwise, the game is played out like it would in a real-life casino:

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Betting on Blackjack

To participate in a game of blackjack, you need to place a bet. In RNG blackjack, you can play in free demo mode - in the live dealer variant, you can’t. Your only option is to play for real money.

Bet Limits

Before joining a live blackjack table, make sure to consult the table’s bet limits. Different games have different minimum and maximum bets. You should find one that fits your budget and risk tolerance.

The bet limits can vary from one table to another, and the games from one provider to another. For example, you can find tables with a minimum bet of R10 and a maximum of R250, but others can accept bets between R100 and R1,000. 

Your Main Bet

When you sit down at the live blackjack table, you are expected to place a bet. This can be any amount the table permits. This will be the basis for your payouts. Here are the wins you can achieve:

Live Blackjack Side Bets

Live dealer blackjack tables often come with interesting side bets that make the game even more interesting. These promise bonus payouts for certain card combinations that can emerge during the game.

The payouts for each of these side bets depend on the type of game and the individual table. Always consult the paytable before placing any side bets.

Bet Behind

One of the unique features of a live dealer blackjack is the option to “bet behind” other players. This means that you don’t have to play the game yourself - you can bet on the hands and actions of a player at a table instead. Betting behind can be useful when you don’t want to play yourself, letting someone else do the thinking, or when there’s no room left at the table where you want to play. 

Blackjack Basic Strategy

Blackjack is different from other casino games. Where other games rely entirely on luck (think slot machines or roulette), blackjack has a strong element of skill and strategy. This means that, if you play right, you can maximize the number of winning rounds and minimize your losses, further reducing the game’s already low house edge.

The basic blackjack strategy was created to help you make the right decisions in the game. It has a set of general rules that you should follow and is completed by a table that you can refer to for every type of hand you may be dealt during a game.

General Rules

There are many things you have to keep in mind if you want to play blackjack for profit. The first thing is to choose a blackjack variant with rules that are to your advantage. The ideal blackjack table has the following rules:

Avoid tables where:

All these increase the house’s advantage and, implicitly, reduce yours.

Basic Tips

Blackjack’s basic strategy gives you a detailed roadmap for what you should do for any hand. But you can’t always use a strategy chart or maybe it ruins your fun, like it does for me. In this case, here are a few tips that will bend the odds in your favour, helping you win more hands:

These are just a few general rules for when you don’t want to carry a blackjack strategy chart with you - or you play for fun. But even these will improve your chances of winning at any blackjack table.

Basic Strategy

There is no “one size fits all” strategy that works for every blackjack table. You should always adapt to the rules of the specific table you play at. Countless blackjack experts have created their own guides and hand charts for blackjack. We don’t pretend to know the game better than them - instead, we’ll show you which ones we use:

Blackjack FAQ

  • What is Blackjack?

    Blackjack is a card game where you aim to beat the dealer by having your cards total 21 or as close to 21 as possible without going over.

  • How to Play Blackjack?

    To play Blackjack, you're dealt two cards and can choose to "hit" (take another card) or "stand" (keep your current hand), with the goal of getting closer to 21 than the dealer without exceeding it.

  • How to Win At Blackjack?

    To win at Blackjack, make strategic decisions like when to hit, stand, double down, or split, based on your cards and the dealer's visible card, to maximize your chances of beating the dealer.

  • When Can You Split In Blackjack?

    You can split in Blackjack when you're dealt two cards of the same value, allowing you to separate them into two individual hands, each with a separate bet equal to your original wager.

  • What Is Insurance?

    Insurance is an optional bet you can make when the dealer's upcard is an Ace, betting half your original wager on whether the dealer has a Blackjack.

  • What Is 21+3, Any Pair, Perfect Pairs?

    21+3, Any Pair and Perfect Pairs are side bets you can place on various live dealer blackjack games.