Free blackjack games are blackjack games that don’t accept
real money wagers or pay out cash prizes.
Blackjack is the world’s most popular table game. Both
traditional and online casinos all over the world host the game
in multiple variants. Entire books have been written about the
game’s strategy. Blackjack is the coolest game in the casino,
carrying with it an unmatched air of skill, sophistication, and
But it’s also a lot of fun, even without the use of real cash
bets. Free blackjack games exist for many different reasons.
This page examines the pros and cons of playing blackjack
Types of Free Blackjack Games
Because so many different reasons for wanting to play a free
game of blackjack exist, many types of exist. We’ve identified 3
categories of free blackjack games, each of which is designed
for a different type of player:
Free Blackjack Games for Entertainment
Free Blackjack Games for Training
Free Blackjack Games on Social Media
Free Blackjack Games for Entertainment
Plenty of online versions of blackjack are designed just for
free-play. These are video game versions in which you play with
a specific amount of chips. This kind of game can take the form
of a handheld, an app on a smartphone or tablet, a downloadable
game for a laptop, or even a game designed for use on a console
like the Xbox or PlayStation.
It was once common to find a mechanical or electronic version
of blackjack at the bar, purely for entertainment. You played
for chips. The goal was to keep you sitting at the bar a bit
longer so that you might buy an extra drink or two. You still
find a version of this at chain restaurants like Chili’s, Dave &
Buster’s, and other casual eateries.
For many of us, our first exposure to blackjack came at home.
Free to play home blackjack game sets usually come with a few
decks of playing cards, a felt or plastic table (designed in
imitation of the real thing in a Vegas casino), a set of chips
for betting, and an instruction booklet.
In recent years, these sets have started to ship with
legitimate blackjack strategy charts. We think this is among the
most useful presentations of free blackjack from a strategy
perspective, since learning to act as both a blackjack dealer
and player can only improve your understanding of the game’s
All online casinos offer a free-play mode on all their table
games, including blackjack. This free-play version is there to
coax you into making a deposit and playing with real money.
Usually, you’ll start with a specific amount of pretend money,
and the site will let you keep playing until you’ve run through
your cash or chosen to leave. Of course, if you run out of fake
money and want to keep playing the game, you can just refresh
and start all over.
The free version of blackjack on this page is an example of
blackjack-as-entertainment. We post it here to show you what
free blackjack online looks like, and to give you a chance to
practice the world’s favorite table game without placing
Free Blackjack Games for Training
Some free blackjack is designed to be educational. These
“trainer” programs aren’t necessarily for entertainment.
Instead, they’re designed to teach some aspect of game rules or
strategy, whether it’s counting cards, basic strategy, or some
other aspect of the game. Free to play, these games aren’t
worried about graphics and special effects. Instead, their focus
is on training you to improve some aspect of your blackjack
Dealer schools and casinos offer free blackjack games as
marketing and educational tools. Anyone who’s lived near
Atlantic City or Las Vegas has seen the appeals to “come in and
try out” games like blackjack, craps, poker, and other casino
classics. While there’s always a sales pitch of some kind
involved (usually a cut-rate on a six-week dealer training
program), the free blackjack you play is legitimately free, and
it’s often presented in a format that really does prepare you
for the way the game is played in a live casino. Use this game
to your advantage – but skip the sales pitch, unless you’re
actually interested in discount dealer school.
Free Blackjack Games on Social Media
You could consider this a form of entertainment blackjack,
though we think it represents a whole new style. Social games
are not all that different from traditional computer and console
games, except that they’ve got an added social element or
connection to a popular social media platform.
The social media giant Facebook has made a major investment
in social gaming, including making queries to the US Department
of Justice about the legality of certain pay-to-play forms of
gaming influenced by real-world gambling. It’s an exciting new
market, little of which is understood. Blackjack games aren’t as
popular as games based on the rules of poker, though all forms
of social gambling have a big following on the major social
Let’s start with pros – reasons why free blackjack games are
better than blackjack played for real money:
Blackjack games that don’t accept real-money wagers are
You won’t lose your car or be forced to sell your home.
Free blackjack games allow players to practice new rules
or test out a strategy for free.
Legality of games
The legality of online gambling for real money is in
question, thanks to differences in municipal, state, and
national gambling laws around the world. In some US states, any
form of online gambling involving real money is illegal. Other
states have created regulated markets for games like poker and
The differences between gaming laws in European countries and
North American countries are vast. The legal situation can be
confusing. Thanks to that confusion, and to some backwards laws
added to US legal codes a decade ago, many Americans are scared
to place online bets.
You don’t have to worry about any of that when you choose to
play a free blackjack game, especially if it’s a game that isn’t
even designed to accept cash wagers.
Of course, the option of playing for free won’t do you any
good if your whole purpose is to gamble. Gambling is a
legitimate form of entertainment, and it’s not surprising that
an adult with her own hard-earned money might want to risk a bit
of it in exchange for a shot at a big prize. The kind of bettor
mainly interested in placing cash bets won’t enjoy a free game
because it doesn’t give her the option of taking a big risk. In
short, the legality of the game isn’t a problem for this sort of
Does this sound like you?
Maybe it’s time for a road trip to Vegas or Atlantic City,
where the legality of blackjack isn’t in question.
No risk of financial loss
That’s just our way of saying that when you play for free,
you don’t have to worry about your bankroll, your budget, or
next month’s mortgage payment. This isn’t to say that all
gamblers are degenerates who can’t enjoy themselves responsibly.
It’s an exaggeration for effect.
One of the obvious benefits of choosing a free-to-play game
is that you won’t be risking anything, and can instead focus on
the mindless entertainment or the informative strategy session
On the other hand, it’d be tough to practice your basic
strategy or newfound card-counting skills at a live table, where
each deal costs you $5 or $10.
Who can concentrate on proper double down tactics when
they’re losing money to the casino hand over fist?
By the way, just because you’re not betting doesn’t mean
there isn’t something of value on the line. Blackjack video
games hand out things like chips, points, and pretend-money, and
in some cases these things carry some intrinsic value.
We’re thinking here of blackjack games on Facebook where
credits can be exchanged for images of things, like medals,
rings, jewelry, and other “stickers” for your profile or avatar.
This kind of currency may not be as valuable as the green stuff
in your wallet, but it does carry a certain value. Where there’s
value, there’s the thrill and appeal of gambling.
If you’ve ever stayed up an extra two hours to earn a virtual
reward on a game like The Sims, you understand the mysterious
appeal of in-game incentives. Modern game designers incorporate
these incentives to keep players hooked.
Practice & testing
Even the most experienced player can benefit from learning a
new strategy or some other new trick. It would take a
particularly stuck-up player to presume he knows everything
there is to know about blackjack. Of course, the same goes for
newcomers, who should (and often do) spend hours on every free
resource they can get their hands on. Blackjack has complex
rules, including several rules that can and do change from game
to game. Besides using free blackjack games and trainers to
learn the basic conventions of the game, they need to it to test
their ability to strategize. Since each alteration in
blackjack’s rules affects the player’s choice of game strategy,
newcomers would do well to log long hours practicing hand after
Would you rather do that at $10 per hand, or on a free online
trainer or console video game?
Now for cons – reasons why real-money blackjack games have an
advantage over free-to-play versions:
You can’t win any real money or anything of value while
playing a free blackjack game.
Free blackjack games aren’t available with any sort of
variation in rules or game style.
The games made available for free to recreational players
aren’t as nice as real-money games.
No chance of financial gain
What’s the point of playing blackjack without any money on
We’ve read pages where bloggers compared free blackjack to
decaffeinated coffee and non-alcoholic beer. That’s an apt
analogy, because decaf isn’t 100% decaffeinated, and near-beer
isn’t 100% AA-approved, either. Both have a bit of residual
stuff in them that make them just close enough to the original
to drive you crazy.
The same goes for free blackjack. After all, it is still
based on the rules of the real game, and you do have something
of value to wager, whether it’s pretend-money, virtual chips, or
numbers on a digital display. You’d be better off playing
against a buddy for a nickel a hand, or finding a low-roller
blackjack game online and getting in a couple of hours a week
If you’ve read this far, you can probably predict the
objections to this argument. Yes, some online blackjack games
(and some old-school land-based mechanical ones) do reward
players in some way.
But anyone would agree that the point of blackjack isn’t to
improve your social prowess or add a fancy-looking sticker to
your profile photo. The point is to turn a small amount of cash
into a larger one. Let’s face it – men make big bets in
blackjack to impress women. Since free blackjack doesn’t help
you pay the bills in any tangible way, it’s not as cool as
real-money blackjack, and it never will be.
Don’t believe us?
Go try to attract a crowd of gorgeous Bond villains while
playing blackjack for virtual chips.
Lack of variation
The majority of free blackjack games on the Internet are
available with a single set of rules and a limited wagering
range. That means that even the old “I’m using this free
blackjack game as a training or educational tool” argument is
out the window. Unless you can find a blackjack trainer or free
game that happens to have been designed to imitate the live game
you’re training for, time spent playing a free online game won’t
do you much good beyond teaching you the basic game rules.
But this isn’t the only reason we look down on the lack of
variety in free blackjack games – let’s face it, after a few
rounds, a blackjack game set up according to someone else’s
rules that you can’t alter at all is going to get really boring.
One of the benefits of online gambling is supposed to be that
you have the option of tailoring games to look and act exactly
as you want them to. At the best online casinos, this is pretty
much true, no matter if you’re playing blackjack, slots, or
poker. Free games aren’t making anyone any money, so their
designers don’t waste time creating rule variations or the
options to change the way the game looks or behaves. That sort
of extra feature is expensive to design and maintain, and it
means the game takes up more virtual space.
Lower quality games
If you’re looking to play free online blackjack, don’t expect
much in the way of variety. By that same logic, it stands to
reason that every aspect of pretend-money online blackjack play
would be affected by the fact that free games aren’t profitable.
And that’s true.
Online casinos that host free-to-play versions of their
blackjack and other table games don’t spend a lot of time
worrying about how those games look, how nice the effects are,
or even how well the games themselves work. The free stuff gets
the least maintenance, since the people playing them (for the
most part) aren’t paying customers.
Who do you complain to about a broken feature on a free game,
especially if you aren’t a member of the casino offering the
You can see the problems inherent in the free blackjack
concept. This isn’t just a problem with free play online casino
blackjack games – all free versions of the game have a limited
appeal, including the venerable free blackjack and poker boxes
on the counter at your local pub
Whether your goal is to learn the basics of the game, to
adapt to a new rule you’re unfamiliar with, or to test out a new
game strategy that’s meant to increase your edge, free blackjack
trainers, simulators, and social games are the perfect way to
improve your blackjack skill without affecting your bankroll.
Though these games have some downsides, the main one being
that they don’t seem to have much of a point, it’s easy to
imagine why a person might want to play a gambling game without
making real money wagers. If you want to play the world’s most
popular table game without risking your hard-earned cash, free
blackjack was designed with you in mind.
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