Online Blackjack Sites for New Zealand in 2021
Blackjack is one of the most popular real money games out there for modern online gamblers, and with good reason. It is common knowledge that blackjack is a highly skilled game and that the best players who know the rules well enough have a good chance of beating the dealer regularly and winning tons of real cash. If you are going to play online, blackjack is a great opportunity to win some of the top prizes available. Just make sure that you know how to play first, because this is not a simple game of chance. We put together an easy guide for beginners so that you can learn all you need to know to win top dollar playing blackjack. Read on to learn how to play the game for real money, top tips for beginners, and where to find the best online casinos in NZ with thes perks:
- It’s simple and easy to use across different platforms
- Potential to win large amounts on top of your welcome bonus
- Secure and safe online blackjack
How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack is known as 21 in many locales because the object of the game is to reach 21 points.
Blackjack also goes by the name Twenty-One in NZ. The main objective of the game is to get cards that add up to the number 21 before the dealer does. In this game, you are never playing or betting against other players, you always pay against the dealer. The game is played with between 1-8 decks of cards. If you are playing in a multi-deck game, the cards are dealt out of a box called a shoe. Some Kiwi casinos use a continuous shuffling machine, while some only shuffle in the beginning of the game.
The top goal in this game is to beat the dealer. Cards are valued at a specific number each, and the aim of each player is to have a hand that adds up to a greater value than the dealer’s, but also not go over 21. If you get a hand over 21, you lose. If the dealer does, he loses.
In order to count the value of your hand, you have to know the numbers corresponding to each card. Here are the card values:
- 2-10 are counted at face value with no effect from their suit.
- Face cards are all worth 10.
- Aces count as either 1 or 11.
- • Hands without Aces are called “hard hands” because they only have one possible value. Aces create “soft hands” which can either take the greater or smaller value of the Ace. For example, if you have an Ace and a 9, you either have a 10 or a 20.
Blackjack tables are shaped like a semi-circle, with a separate circle or square for each player. When you sit down at a table or in an online casino, blackjack players must either buy new chips or bring them over from your last game. You place your real money wagers in the betting circle in front of you on the table. After all of the players make their bets, the game begins.
Each player is dealt 2 cards, and the dealer received one card face up and one card face down. The face-down card is called the hole card. First, the player to the left of the dealer (also called “first base”) decides how to play their hand based on the dealer’s “up” card and their 2 cards. A good rule of thumb is to assume that the dealer has a card with a value of 10 face down. In a land casino, you use hand signals to show what you want to do with your turn. When gambling online, blackjack players just have to hit a button in order to hit, stand, double down, split or surrender.
The rules stay the same whether you play in a land or online casino. Players have 5 options when it is their turn against the dealer. The options are:
- Hitting: If you take a hit, this means you draw another card. It is not always ideal because your extra card will bring you that much closer to 21, or could even put you over the line if you are not careful.
- Standing: If you are satisfied with your current hand, you can stand. This passes the turn to the next player.
- Doubling Down: This allows you to double your initial bet. Then, you receive only one card on your hand. Sometimes you can double down for less than your original bet, but you have to meet the casino’s minimum required amount. This is not the best idea, because if you are going to double down you should only do it when you are confident you will win. In that case, it is advisable to go with the full amount.
- Splitting: If you have a pair, you can split it into 2 hands. You have to make another bet that matches your initial bet to do this. The dealer first gives you 1 card to go with your first split card, and you have the opportunity to hit or stand.
- Surrendering: After the dealer checks for 21, some online casino’s blackjack tables will allow you to surrender your hand and give up half of your initial bet on the first 2 cards. You have to be careful and not surrender too many hands if you have this option available to you, because you could end up giving up the advantage that this option gives you.
Different Variations of Blackjack
If you can play blackjack with perfect strategy you’ll enjoy one of the smallest house edges of any casino game available.
There are a lot of different variations on this game out there, including live dealer blackjack so sometimes multiple versions are available at the same online casino. Kiwi blackjack players should get familiar with all available variations, so that they can have a top advantage over the dealer no matter what the game throws at them. Here are the most common variations that you will see in New Zealand:
- Late Surrender: This is when you can give up half of your bet rather than playing your hand after the dealer checks his hand for blackjack. This decreases house edge by .02 to .07 percent.
- Early Surrender: This means that you can give up half of your bet before the dealer checks to blackjack. This cuts the house edge down by .62 percent.
- Double Downs After Splitting Pairs Permitted: This is great for the player, because it decreases house edge by .13 percent. Always chose casinos with this option if it is available!
- Dealer Hits Soft 17: The house edge is increased by .2 percent here, where the dealer hits hands including an ace that could total 7 or 17.
- Double Downs Limited to Hard 11 and Hard 10: This is when a casino won’t allow you to double down unless your total is 10 or 11 and no Aces are present. This results in a house edge increase of .28 percent.
- Blackjack Pays 6-5: This means that a blackjack hand pays only $6 on a $5 bet instead of the usual $7.50. This adds a top level of 1.4 percent edge to the house. Avoid this game!
- Re-splitting of Aces Permitted: This means that if you split your 2 Aces and receive another Ace, you can split again. This decreases house edge by .03 percent, unless you are also allowed to draw more than 1 card to your split Aces. In this case house edge is decreased by .14 percent.
Tips and Strategies for Beginners
It's a good idea to add some level of strategy to their game. If you are just getting started at the game, here is a simple strategy that is sure to help you win real money.
- If the first 2 cards you are dealt add up to 12-16, you have a “stiff” hand. Do not hit or you might bust.
- If the dealer’s up card is a 1-6, this is a stiff hand for the dealer.
- If you have a hand totalling 17 or more, stand. This is called “pat” hand.
- If the dealer’s up card is a 7-Ace, it is a pat hand.
- If you and the dealer both have a stiff, always stand.
- If you have a stiff and the dealer has a pat, always hit.
There are some really great advantages to online gambling. Blackjack strategy gets quite complicated, with charts and tables to help you decide what the best move is. Most land casinos allow you to bring these in when you play, but it is not always advised. When you play at an online blackjack casino though, you can use as many cheat sheets as you need. There is never a need to memorise all of the strategies, only understand how to use them. It takes top-level effort to truly beat the dealer time after time in this game. You need to have patience, persistence and concentration if you want to play real money games and win cash consistently.
Another easy strategy for beginners that was mentioned earlier is to always assume the dealer's hole card has a value of 10. It is a reasonable guess, because cards valued at 10 are more common than any other card. For example, if your cards total 15 and the dealer has an up card of 7, you want to assume that the card in the hole brings his total up to 17. This means you should hit, so that you have a chance of beating the dealer’s 17. However, if the dealer’s assumed total is equal to yours, you never want to hit. It is more likely in this situation that the dealer will bust, and you don't want to risk busting yourself.
A lot of players get scared to hit once their total reaches 16. This is not the best move because unless the dealer busts, he is most likely to draw a 17 or higher total. This means you lose, and the risk of losing in this way is far less than the risk of busting by hitting on a 16. It seems risky, but know that the probability is in your favour if you hit.
If you have a soft hand, it is almost always advisable for you to hit or double down. There are only 2 exceptions. First, if you hold an Ace and 7 and the dealer’s up card is a 2, 7, or 8. In this case, standing is the best bet. If you have an Ace and an 8 or an Ace and a 9, you should always stand, no matter what the dealer shows.
With these basic beginner strategies, you should have confidence in going out and starting to play blackjack today. We have looked high and low to find the best NZ online blackjack sites out there, so check out our list above to see the best and top-rated casinos. When you play at one of the casinos we have recommended, we guarantee that the quality, service and odds will be better than any other sites out there. We take the guesswork out by vetting each site based on a strict rubric of fairness, customer service, gameplay, and the most advantageous rules to the player. Visit our list of the best online casinos with blackjack games for Kiwi players, and start winning real money today!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When playing online blackjack you’ll get two cards and try to get as close to a 21 point value just like you do in person. The only difference is the dealer is a computer and card shuffling occurs virtually rather than in person and relies on a random number generator.
Top games are available at most of the leading online casinos. That’s because each is built on high quality software that’s proven to work well and offer good results.
Compared to live blackjack, online blackjack tends to be a bit faster and less personal. You won’t see the dealer in front of you, this makes it a bit easier for new players because you’ll have all the time you need to think and can even keep directions nearby for reference.
Is it popular amongst New Zealand players?
Blackjack offers relatively high limits at most casinos. That means you could win tens of thousands of dollars while playing the game.
You can use a system but it’s not easy to do and many casinos actively work to prevent systems form working by making betting limits low enough.
Online blackjack is fair because of the random number generator. It keeps the outcome completely random so that luck allows you to win or lose.