Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games around, giving people the chance to go head-to-head against the dealer, irrespective of how many others are playing. It is also one of the simplest games to understand, with punters simply needing to get a higher score than the dealer without hitting more than 21. That’s why it appeals, with everyone from high rollers through to low stakes bettors wanting to play.
Not all casinos are keen to welcome low stakes bettors at their blackjack tables, whether they’re live or computerised versions of the game. For that reason, it’s good to have a sense of how much you’ll be expected to wager when playing blackjack and if it differs if you want to play one of the more new-fangled variations such as Blackjack Switch. What do low stake punters need to bear in mind?
Lowest Stakes Games
As with many other casino games, online casinos are aware that some bettors like to keep their stakes relatively low. Some of them opt to make the low stakes games nice and obvious by calling them something like ‘1p Blackjack’, but others keep things a little more vague. Equally, it’s not unheard of for an online casino to give their game a name that suggests it’s low stakes but actually have it be the same as the normal version.
Here’s a look at the names given to low stakes versions of blackjack at a selection of different online casinos. Here we’ll give you the game’s name as well as the minimum amount of money that you’ll need to bet to play:
|Low Stakes Blackjack Name||Minimum Stake Amount|
|Free Bet Blackjack||£1|
|Blackjack 5 Hand Low Stakes||50 pence|
|Blackjack Low Stakes||£1|
As you can see, most of the random sites that we selected to look at that offer low stakes blackjack start proceedings at a £1 minimum. These are mainstream online casinos that we’ve looked at, so you may well find cheaper sites if you shop around. It’s always worth remembering, though, that your money will only be safe if you bet with a licensed company, so do your research before taking the plunge.
Minimums by Game
Blackjack is a much-loved game because of its simplicity, but also because it’s a game that can be given an interesting twist relatively easily. For that reason, there are a number of different versions of blackjack that you can play at most online casinos, with each offering you something interesting to think about alongside the standard rules of the game. The question is, does the added extra also include an increase in minimum bets?
Here’s a look at a random selection of blackjack variations, including how much the original game’s minimum amount is with the bookmaker in question as well as the stake cost for the more ‘interesting’ version of the game:
|Site’s Original Blackjack Minimum Stake||Game Name||Alternative Game Minimum Stake|
|£1||All Bets Blackjack||50 pence|
|10 pence||Cashback Blackjack||£1|
|10 pence||Blackjack Single Hand||£1|
|10 pence||Buster Blackjack||£1|
|£1||Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack||£1|
|£1||Lucky Lucky Blackjack||£1|
The interesting thing to note when it comes to alternative versions of blackjack is that the minimum stake is almost always £1. Even on the site that had a minimum bet of ten pence on the traditional blackjack game, it increased to £1 when you wanted to black a different version of it. Another site, which had a £1 minimum for its traditional blackjack, also wanted a £1 minimum for alternative versions.
The other thing to bear in mind is that the minimum amount given for your stake is often based on simply playing blackjack. With Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack, for example, the £1 minimum stake was simply to play a game. If you actually wanted a chance of getting involved with the Magic Seven part of the game then you had to pay an additional £1 to do. We’ll explore that more in the next section.
It’s not uncommon for sites to have a number of games that promise side bets for customers. This is something whereby you can take protection against the dealer hitting blackjack, say, or receive an additional payout if you find yourself in a situation where you have symbols on your cards. Usually, the side bet nature of the game is why you’d look to play it, so if you don’t then you might as well play standard blackjack.
The problem, of course, is that if you want to play the side bet in addition to the normal blackjack game then you have to pay to do so, which alters what the ‘minimum bet’ you can play actually is. In order to explain what we mean, let’s take a look at All Bets Blackjack, which allows you to play normal blackjack as well as place side bets that have different minimum stakes involved.
The minimum bet for the game is technically £1, but you can’t play any of the side bets unless you play that £1 and the side bet wagers don’t count towards the £1 total that you need to stake. Here are the side bets and the minimum that you can play on each:
- Top 3: 10 pence
- Perfect Pairs: 10 pence
- Buster Blackjack: 10 pence
- Progressive Blackjack: £1
- Lucky Lucky: 10 pence
- 21+3: 10 pence
As a result of the need to place an initial wager, if you also played all of the side bets then you’d end up paying £2.50 for each hand. Suddenly a game with low stake side bets becomes an expensive one to play, especially when you consider that the side bets are also quite poor value. You could choose a side bet to play, but then you might as well play the specialised game rather than All Bets Blackjack.
On the flip side of that, a game like Buster Blackjack has a side bet that costs £1 to play in the specialised game in addition to the £1 you have to pay to play in the first place. That means you’ll pay £2 to play Buster Blackjack in the specialised game but only £1.10 to play the same game in the All Bets Blackjack variation on the game. Of course, paying less for the side bet also means you’ll receive a smaller payout, so you need to think about that.
We mentioned Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack elsewhere on this page, so we’ll have a quick look at it now. The idea behind the game is that you can get paid out on your side bet if you are dealt cards with symbols on them. The symbols will flow over from one deal to the next, but if you don’t get any then you’re basically paying an extra £1 to play standard blackjack.
It’s the definition of a low value side bet, given that the odds of getting paid out on it are really high. You end up paying £2 per deal in order to ‘trigger’ the side bet, but if you don’t get anything then you’re simply playing more expensive blackjack than you need to. That is the sort of thing that it’s always worth bearing in mind if you’re determined to play low stakes versions of games.
Bet Size & Min Bankroll
The final thing to think about when playing blackjack is how much you’ve got in the way of your bankroll. That’s because blackjack is a game that can involve betting more money as your game goes on. Let’s imagine, for example, that you’ve been dealt two tens. Some players may wish to Split, which will involve a doubling of your original stake. Something similar is the case for people who wish to Double when getting the right cards.
This is easy enough to do and simple to understand, but you can’t lose sight of how much it will cost you to do. A doubling of your stake is only possible if you’ve got enough case in your bankroll, so make sure that you think that through before placing your original stake. Having £10 in your account might seem like enough for a couple of games with £5 stakes, but it won’t be if you plan to Double or Split if giving the opportunity.
You’ll know yourself what your betting habits tend to be, so just check how much you’ve got in your account before engaging in a run of blackjack play. If you never bother using the Split or Double options then you won’t need to worry how much of a bankroll you’ve got other than how many times you wish to play, but if you do it all the time then you’ll need to keep your stakes low enough to allow you to do it when you can.