Mobile Blackjack for Real Money
Mobile blackjack games make one of the world’s most popular casino games accessible on smartphones and tablets. We have the French to thank, once again, for this classic table game. Originally called vingt-et-un (French for “twenty-one”), the contest that modern casino guests would recognize as blackjack has evolved over hundreds of years. The game we play on our mobile devices today resembles the original French game very little.
One of the reasons blackjack has remained popular: its low casino advantage. Thanks to the work of a small group of mathematicians in the mid-20th century, modern players have access to a set of tactics (known as “basic strategy”) that reduce the casino’s edge even more. Using basic strategy, players can reduce the casino’s edge to around 0.5%, depending on the game rules used. The ability to count cards can decrease that edge even further, but counting cards is useless online or on a mobile app.
Top 3 Mobile Blackjack Casinos
Web-based versions of blackjack operate just like their land-based cousins, with a couple of crucial differences. Understand that most online casinos (if not all) shuffle the deck after every hand, which is probably the biggest difference between brick and mortar and online blackjack games. You may also notice that the game moves faster, thanks to the fact that it’s just one player competing against one dealer.
Best Mobile Blackjack Software
For the most part, mobile blackjack titles mirror online versions of the game that have existed since the beginning of the online betting industry. That means that the top designers from the traditional online gambling world are also the best names in mobile blackjack.
The three software platforms described below do not represent every mobile-accessible game of 21 available. Instead, these are the most popular mobile platforms that provide blackjack to their customers.
NetEnt Touch Mobile Blackjack
NetEntertainment’s Touch series of games premiered in 2011. All of the Touch series are mobile-capable titles. At last count, NetEnt has a collection of 33 titles in the Touch series. Of those 33, three are blackjack variants: a game called simply “blackjack,” one called “classic blackjack,” and a single-deck version.
It’s nice that NetEnt spent so much time on their blackjack collection – their “table games” category only includes four titles, three of which are blackjack variants. Where things get confusing for me is the difference between the three variants. According to NetEnt’s website, both the classic and single-deck version use just one deck of cards. There appears to be very little difference between these two titles, except some minor differences in the rules for splitting and doubling down.
All three games are easy on the eyes, as I’ve come to expect from NetEnt’s library. The best-looking one (with nice sound effects and the most-modern looking graphics) is good old NetEnt Touch Blackjack, the standard game that uses six decks rather than the single-deck or classic versions. Which version you choose to play has to do with personal preference and the strength of your desire to play at a high-advantage game or not.
Microgaming Mobile Blackjack
Microgaming is known for having a large game library, and their collection of mobile-capable blackjack titles doesn’t disappoint. This company has produced by far the largest number of mobile blackjack variants. I just visited a few Microgaming-powered mobile sites and the largest number of variants available at this time is seven. That’s pretty outstanding in an industry where one or two variants of any classic is the norm.
Here is a quick breakdown of each of Microgaming’s mobile-accessible blackjack titles, along with a short description. Take note that these variants aren’t all that different from one another.
- Single Deck Blackjack: Uses one deck; otherwise identical to classic rules.
- Vegas Single Deck Blackjack Gold: Uses one deck; otherwise identical to Vegas Downtown.
- Vegas Downtown Blackjack Gold: Uses two decks; dealer hits on soft 17.
- Classic Blackjack Gold: Identical to classic rules with enhanced graphics and player options.
- European Blackjack Gold: Uses two decks; otherwise identical to classic rules.
- American Blackjack: Uses eight decks; allows up to three splits.
- Blackjack: Uses five decks; standard game rules apply.
Maybe you noticed that Microgaming’s different variants aren’t really all that different? That’s kind of a hallmark of this designer. Yes, they have a huge library, but the games have few variations between them. Still, it’s nice to see a decent selection of different deck sizes and some rule variations – this allows bettors to pick the game that has the exact rules they like.
Playtech Mobile Blackjack
Playtech does a lovely job of producing traditional desktop casino versions of blackjack – at last count, they offered two dozen variations on the classic casino version. Though mobile technology has not yet improved to the point that they can offer that many variations on mobile-accessible sites and apps, I would expect more than just one variation available to mobile customers.
The only Playtech-designed mobile-capable blackjack title is a six-deck game that follows a fairly standard set of rules, except for one feature. Customers at Playtech-powered mobile sites and apps can play as many as five hands at a time, a feature not found at many other mobile casinos as of this writing.
Though I was disappointed in the lack of variety, the game looks nice, with rendered shadows and highlights that amplify the visual experience more than some other game designers. I’m not crazy about the $50 maximum wager, but not a lot of mobile bettors are willing to risk much more than that anyway.
If you’re interested in mobile gambling and you’re a fan of blackjack, the good news is that you have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a place to play. It doesn’t matter what type of mobile device or operating system that you run – some version of blackjack is available on all the most popular mobile platforms. Selecting a place to play mobile-accessible blackjack games requires a little research on your part – make sure the site you’re going to do business with offers the rules you like and a piece of software that you enjoy playing.