Advantages to Playing Online Blackjack

Introduction

While Carnival Games in casinos come and go, and very few stick, Blackjack is the one seeming constant in any casino that offers table games. Even in small casinos, Blackjack is the one game that tends to operate during all open hours and is extremely popular due to the perceived ease of play.

Of course, what many people don’t realize is that land-based casinos that offer a half decent Blackjack game are only able to do so due to the fact that players often make mistakes that effectively decrease the return-to-player, (i.e. increase the house edge) if all Blackjack players played a perfect game, then Blackjack rules would have deteriorated even more than they already have.

Unfortunately, Blackjack rules have deteriorated and many casinos, particularly those on the Las Vegas Strip (but even some in smaller markets) have now instituted Rules such as a winning player natural paying 6:5 rather than the traditional 3:2. Often, players do not realize that they are playing such a game until it is too late. Even then, many of them don’t care.

In order to get a decent 3:2 game in several locations, the table minimums are often as high as $15-$25 and occasionally even higher. Fortunately, most online casinos can offer a decent electronic Blackjack game, and sometimes even Live Blackjack games, due to the comparatively low costs of delivering the game to the players.

One similarity between land-based and online games is the importance of shopping around for the best available Blackjack games. Of course, it’s much easier for a player to do this online given the tools available at this site as well as other sites in our family, such as Wizardofodds.com. Using these resources, players can not only determine which games have the lowest house edge, but they can also utilize the resources to generate and learn Blackjack strategies appropriate to the Rules to ensure optimal or near-optimal play.

The Differences in Games

The first thing that the savviest player should do is start with the Wizard of Odds Blackjack page and search out the casinos that offer a combination of player-favorable rules and decent bonuses that allow for the playing of Blackjack.

The first thing that we are going to do is compare the Rules and Bonuses at various casinos, specifically the Top 10 US accepting Blackjack casinos listed by the Wizard, to determine the ones at which you are going to get your best bet.

Superior Casino

In full disclosure, Superior Casino has not yet earned the Wizard of Odds Seal of Approval, so if that is important to you, it is something to keep in mind. However, this casino has a strong average user score of 4/5 across our family of websites. Superior Casino has also received rave user comments at this site: Positive comments include generous bonuses, terrific customer support and praise for the quick and easy Bitcoin withdrawal and deposit methods.

The Wizard notes that Superior Casino is powered by Rival and Betsoft and is known for their quick payouts as well as being one of the better Rival powered casinos. Superior Casino accepts players from the United States and elsewhere in the world.

In addition to both a downloadable and instant play casino, Superior Casino also offers a mobile casino enabling players to play on the go provided they have an Internet connection.

The best Blackjack game offered by Superior is their standard Blackjack game which comes in with a return-to-player (RTP) of 99.34%, which is fairly mediocre for an online casino. Admittedly, there are many other casinos with a house edge of less than half a percent, so this is not the best Blackjack game out there in terms of favorability to the player. However, it is important to note that a strong bonus could conceivably make up for that, so let’s take a look at their bonus:

The withdrawal limits at Superior Casino are fairly low, with $500 being the maximum daily withdrawal as well as $2,000 for a maximum weekly withdrawal. However, those withdrawal limits are somewhat offset by how fast the withdrawals are processed (within 72 hours) and Superior Casino is known as a casino that does not engage in any delayed withdrawal slow-pay tactics.

It is important to select the right bonus with this casino if you wish to play Blackjack due to the fact that this is one casino that offers multiple deposit bonuses, but some of them do not allow Classic Blackjack to be played. The bonus that does is structured as follows:

  • Sign-Up- This is a 50% sign up bonus with a maximum bonus amount of $500 (Maximum Deposit $1,000) with a wagering requirement of 35x Deposit+Bonus.
  • 2nd Deposit- This is a 30% sign up bonus with a maximum bonus of $300 (Maximum Deposit $1,000) with a wagering requirement of 25x Deposit + Bonus.
  • 3rd Deposit- This is a 20% sign-up bonus with a maximum bonus of $200 (Maximum Deposit $1,000) with a wagering requirement of 20x Deposit + Bonus.

As you can see, each of these bonuses is reduced in terms of percentage, but is also reduced in terms of the playthrough requirements. Let’s take a look at some more of the bonus terms and determine the value of this bonus.

  • The first thing that should be noted is a rather unique term:

A promotion is deemed completed only if you have fulfilled the wagering requirements AND requested a cash out, OR if you reach a balance of $0.00. All wagering requirements/restrictions of a particular promotion will remain attached to your account unless one of the two situations is met. New deposits to your account when your balance is $0.01 or higher will have remaining wagering requirements and restrictions of a previously uncompleted promotion.

What that means is that, if you do this bonus, you want to make sure that your balance hits $0.00 before making another deposit if you fail to complete the Wagering Requirements. If you make a new deposit prior to your balance hitting $0.00, then you will still be subject to completing the Wagering Requirements of the bonus that you have basically already lost.

  • Another unusual term is the fact that, as a player, you must WIN inclusive of the bonus in order to be able to withdraw any of the funds that came as a result of the bonus:

In order to withdraw a bonus, player must request a withdrawal which is a total amount greater than the sum of the purchase and the bonus. This means that the player will only be able to withdraw the bonus (or part thereof) if they make a profit greater than or equal to the amount of the bonus. If your profit is less than the amount of the bonus, this amount will be credited back to the player's casino account for the player to continue wagering. If the player loses more than the amount of the bonus no restrictions will be imposed on your withdrawal, other than the wager requirements noted above. For example, if the player deposits $100 and receives a bonus of $50, then a withdrawal $140 will result in $40 being returned to their casino account, and they will only be able to cash-in again once their balance exceeds $50 (being the amount of the bonus received).

In other words, if you deposit the $1,000 and get the $500 bonus, then you would need to have a total balance greater than $1,500 in order to withdraw the whole thing at once. If you had a total of $1,250, then you would be able to withdraw $1,000 and the remaining $250 would go to your account and could not be withdrawn until you had a balance of over $500.

This is not technically a Phantom Bonus (disappearing upon cash out) in the strictest sense of the term because the player can theoretically cash out the bonus funds, it just requires the player to have an overall profit.

The reason that the casino does that is because the Wagering Requirements are such that the player is not expected to finish with a profit in excess of Deposit + Bonus. In other words, even if the bonus could be played at an advantage, (if less than the bonus could be cashed out in addition to the original deposit, say you finished with $1,100 and could cash it all out) it no longer can because the game would have to return 100%, or more, for that to happen.

I will give Superior Casino credit for at least coming up with a unique way to circumvent, ‘Bonus Abuse,’ without having to resort to threatening players. In this sense, players can bet as much as they like and may vary their bets in any way that they wish. They’re expected to lose, anyway.

If we look at the $1,000 deposit + $500 bonus, we arrive at $1,500 with a Wagering Requirement of 35x, which means the player must wager a total of $52,500 if the player wishes to take the full bonus. The House Edge of the Classic Blackjack is 0.66%, which makes the expected loss on the playthrough $346.50.

Under normal circumstances, that would result in a final balance of $1,153.50 and would be an unbelievably good bonus with an expected player profit of $153.50. Unfortunately, that’s not the case as the $153.50 will just be returned to your account if you cash out the $1,000 and you will have to play MORE negative expectation games in the hopes of getting your balance to $500+ to be able to withdraw the bonus funds.

I will say that is still not a terrible bonus, surprisingly enough. Since you are expected to finish with something over the deposit amount, the expected finish of $153.50 in bonus money effectively acts as a freeroll which enables the player to try to shoot for $500. At that point, the full amount would be cashable.

The way I would play this bonus is probably to bet the minimum per hand, or something close to it, ($1-$5) in an effort to grind out the Wagering Requirements and try to finish with some free roll bonus money. At $5, you would have to play 10,500 hands. Using the easy simulator at Beating Bonuses, I am going to try to determine what the probability of losing the entire $500 in bonus money is under those parameters.

The first thing I am going to do is use the RealTime Gaming Blackjack because it represents the same house edge of 0.66%. After that, I am going to adjust the Deposit to 100 (units) and the Bonus to zero, because I am primarily interested in the probability of finishing with less than the bonus amount. I am changing wagering to 10,500 (total amount wagered) and the bet size to one, meaning one unit.

Unfortunately, it comes up with a probability of 55.62% of busting, which means that is roughly the probability of finishing with less than the deposit + bonus. Let’s see what happens if I change the deposit amount to 500 and make 52,500 in wagering:

The probability of busting goes down to 27.91%, which essentially means that is the rough probability of finishing with less than the bonus amount. What we will do now is run the simulation with the actual deposit factored in (1500 units) at one unit per bet wagering and see what the average finish looks like at $1 bet:

What we are looking for here is to determine the average (mean) return that way we can determine whether or not we expect to finish with more than the initial deposit, and if so, how much more than the initial deposit. This is going to be relevant because we want to have an idea how much freeroll money we expect to have going after the $500 total after we have run through the playthrough requirements.

The simulation ended up with an expectation of -$304.93, but we know from the house edge it is more like -$346.50. Ultimately, we are expected to finish the wagering requirements and have $153.50 in bonus funds leftover. If that happens, we want to withdraw our initial $1,000 and then playthrough on the bonus funds. What I have done now is tried to use another simulator on that site to determine the probability of making $30 base bets with the remaining $150 and getting up to at least $500 (which is the point we can cash out again), the result is consistently right around 27%.

In other words, ultimately, we have roughly equal probabilities of losing something or eventually winning $500+. That actually means the bonus can be played at a slight advantage for the player at the $1 bet level and it looks like the $5 bet level because even though we can bust completely at the $5 level, we win right off the top (finish with more than $1,500 to begin with) 33% of the time. In contrast, we only lose $1,000 or more ($500 actual loss) about 13.81% of the time. In other words, you are more likely to win $500+ than lose $500+ without even having to play off the bonus separately. You’ll finish with a balance between $1000-$1500 (have bonus to playthrough to try to hit $500+ after cashing out $1,000) about 19% of the time. Ultimately, the upside outweighs the downside even at the $5 bet level, but the $1 level is safer.

The only downsides to the $1 level are that it is obviously much slower, and that you will win right off the top much less frequently. In fact, the player is expected to win right off the top (no need to playthrough remaining bonus funds separately because you already finish above $1,500) about 10% of the time. At the $1 level, you’ll finish between $1,000 and $1500 ($1-$499 to play with after cashing out your initial deposit) about 58-60% of the time. In other words, you will profit 10% of the time immediately, cash out $1,000 and have a chance to later profit 58-60% of the time and will lose some amount about 30% of the time. The probability of busting at the $1 bet level is almost zero percent.

Of course, you’re not strictly relegated to betting $1 or $5, you could bet $2, $3 or $4 and you can also use the simulator to determine your probability of busting and all of that in the same fashion that I did.

In short, this is actually a really good bonus, even though it is far from a sure thing. It is difficult to quantify an exact player advantage on this one, though, since so much of it is done by simulation.

Next, we have a 30% deposit bonus up to $300 on a deposit of $1,000 for a total of $1,300 and Wagering Requirements of 25x or $32,500. This is actually pretty easy to figure out now that we know the result of what is up above, or could be, if the result is right.

With the first bonus, we had a total bankroll of $1,500 with wagering requirements of $52,500, which means that our balance was 2.857143% of our Wagering Requirement total. In the case of this second bonus, that result is 1300/32500 = 4% exactly.

You might wonder why that is relevant, and I will tell you. We know that the first deposit can be played at an advantage overall, which is why we ran all of those simulations. We now know that the second deposit bonus can, too, because the amount of our total bankroll is a greater relative percentage to our wagering requirements.

Or, can it?

What is really relevant is the amount of our bonus funds relative to the wagering requirements. In the first case, it would be 500/52500 which is 0.952381%, but in the second case it is 300/32500 = 0.923077%. In other words, while our total bankroll relative to our wagering requirements is greater, the amount that comes from bonus relative to wagering requirements is lesser.

The easiest thing to do is take a look at that house edge of 0.66% relative to our wagering requirements of $32,500 and come up with an expected loss of $214.50. That leaves us with an expected remaining $85.50 in bonus funds after cashing out our $1,000. Of course, we do not have to get that amount up to $500 this time, only $300.

The first thing I am going to look at, betting $1 at a time, is the probability of finishing with a balance of less than $1,000 or more than $1300 right off the bat. In either of these cases, the player either loses some amount or is able to cash out the deposit + bonus + all winnings immediately. Unfortunately, the probability of losing something is nearly 40% while the probability of an immediate win is only 17%. The probability of finishing somewhere in between (cashing out $1,000 with a chance to get above $300 later and cash out again) is 43%.

We know that the expected finish is to cash out $1,000 and have $85.50 in bonus funds. I am going to round that down to $80 and play with base bets of $20 using the other simulator to see how often we get to $300+. After ten simulations of 10,000 attempts each, I put the probability of success at about 18%.

Ultimately, we expect to win $300 or more (one way or another) 35% of the time, we expect to cash out our $1,000 and then lose trying to hit $300 with the remaining funds (i.e. break even) roughly another 35% of the time and we expect to lose money 30% of the time. Of the 30% of the time you do lose, only 3.03% of the time do you lose more than $300 actual cash, so obviously, this is another advantageous bonus for the player.

The key is that you want to grind out the playthrough requirements in an effort to finish with a positive balance, even if you do not finish with more than $1,300 right off the top, you’ll have the opportunity to turn the overage (total - $1,000) into $300+. Essentially, you want low variance to get yourself money to freeroll with, and then high variance to try to take advantage of the freeroll!

The final deposit bonus is a bonus of 20% with a maximum of $200, deposit of $1000 again, total bankroll of $1,200 and playthrough requirements of 20x, or $24,000. The expected loss on this thing is $158.40 leaving an expected $42.60 to try to free roll with which we will just call $40.

Relative to the playthrough requirements, the total balance is 5%, but most of that comes from your initial deposit. The bonus amount is only 0.83333% relative to the playthrough requirements, which is much lower than before. We’re going to look at this the same way making our $1 bets to determine what we can do here.

The first thing that we want to note is that the probability of losing $200 actual cash, or more, is about 9%, so we see that the probability of losing more than the amount of the bonus in actual cash is almost 3x greater than with the previous bonus. In the meantime, we expect to win $200 (or more) right off the top about 20-21% of the time, so the offset is decent.

Finally, we expect to finish with some amount between $1,000 and $1,200 (giving us something to try to hit the $200 with after cashing out $1,000) about 29% of the time. We know that we will be left with an average of $40 when this happens, so we move to our other simulator to check our probability of hitting a target of $200 about 18.53% of the time which is 5-5.5% of the time overall.

Ultimately, we will win $200 or more (one way or another) 25-26% of the time, we will lose more than $200 actual cash about 9% of the time, we will cash out $1,000 and lose the bonus funds later about 23.5% of the time and we will finish with a loss of less than $200 about 40% of the time. Given these probabilities and the inability to do anything other than simulation, it is much tougher to conclude that this bonus is advantageous or worth the time even if it is.

Personally, I would only recommend playing the first and second deposit bonuses and betting $1 at a time until completion. The ultimate goal is to attempt to grind out the wagering requirements and finish with a profit right off the top, or alternatively, to cash out your deposited amount of $1,000 and bet big with the remainder in an attempt to get above the amount of the original bonus so you can cash out all of it.

It’s a unique bonus and a convoluted way to have to play it to end up with an advantage, but it is there on the first two deposits. It will take a long time to playthrough those amounts, so this really is a bonus only for those who really enjoy Blackjack. Overall, it is a very generous, though complicated, bonus.

Fortunately, most, if not all of the remaining nine bonuses to discuss will be easier to understand.

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iNetBet

The next bonus we are going to look at is that offered by iNetBet which has an average user score of 3.8/5 across our family of websites, is Wizard of Odds APPROVED and has a user rating of 4.4 on this site. The generally favorable reviews cite receiving bonuses with pretty strong frequency (especially for regular players) and strong customer service reviews.

The best Blackjack on the site has a RTP of 99.46% which represents a reasonable House Edge of 0.54%. There are a few online casinos that are better from this standpoint, but not many that will actually allow Blackjack to be played with bonus funds.

The bonus in question at iNetBet is a 50% deposit bonus on deposits up to $1000 which would result in $1,500 in total bankroll. It would be remiss of me not to mention that not only do the Video Poker games at iNetBet have a lower house edge, they also have lower wagering requirements and are, therefore, better for bonus play. However, if you only wish to play Blackjack, then we will take a look at some of the terms for that.

Another bonus that can be taken is a 100% Match Bonus on deposits up to $200 which would result in $400 in total funds.

Either of these bonuses will have a playthrough requirement of 60x if you choose to play Blackjack compared to only 25x for Video Poker which also has a lower house edge. I again want to emphasize that playing Video Poker on these bonuses is a no-brainer compared to Blackjack.

One important thing to remember with any bonus is that iNetBet wishes to avoid high variance wager structuring with the following rule:

During any bonus play players bet may not be or exceed 25% of deposited funds - If this is the case play will be void. Bonus play is active as long as the bonus funds remain in the account balance regardless of the wagering requirement.

This is actually extremely liberal compared to some casinos that have a similar rule, many will not let you risk more than $5 on a decision. With iNetBet, you can risk up to $249 if you deposit $1,000 and up to $49 if you deposit $200.

That really seems to be about it, no wonder this is a recommended casino, it’s one of only a few left not to have overly complicated conditions attached to everything!

First of all, I feel like I have a duty to point out that Aces & Eights Video Poker has a RTP of 99.78% which results in a ultra-low house edge of 0.22%. Video Poker also only has a 25x Bonus + Deposit playthrough requirement, so $1,000 deposited with a 50% match (Bankroll: $1,500) would have a playthrough requirement of $37,500 which has an expected loss of $82.50. The expected profit on the bonus for the player is $417.50, which is insanely good. Your expected profit is 41.75% of your initial deposit.

The 100% Deposit match on a $200 deposit results in a bankroll of $400 and wagering requirements of $10,000 with an expected loss of $22 and an expected profit of $178. Your expected profit is 89% of your initial deposit.

I recommend confirming these WR’s with live chat, getting a transcript of same, and then playing this on the Video Poker immediately. Also, make sure with Live Chat that the winnings from bonus funds are fully cashable.

When it comes to Blackjack, your total bankroll of $1500 will have wagering requirements of $90,000 at a house edge of 0.54%, the expected loss is $486 and the expected profit is only $14. That $14 represents only 1.4% of your deposit amount.

The $200 100% match will give you a bankroll of $400, wagering requirements of $24,000, an expected loss of $129.60 and an expected profit of $70.40. The expected profit is 35.2% of the amount that you deposit.

It’s up to you, technically the player enjoys a substantial advantage even with playing the promotion on Blackjack (especially the $200 100% Match) but the expectation with Video Poker is SO MUCH BETTER!

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Las Vegas USA

Las Vegas USA is another casino that accepts U.S. players and enjoys an average user rating of 4/5 across our family of sites as well as a score of 4.3/5 on this site. Las Vegas USA is Wizard of Odds APPROVED!

Player comments have included strong customer service and a decent variety of games. This is also a great casino for high-rollers as they are not afraid to take big deposits and dish out big bonuses in exchange. The casino does have a few downsides, admittedly. The first one is that there is a $2,000 weekly cashout limit and it can often take a couple weeks (by their own admission) for EACH withdrawal to be completed. I have personal experience with them and can confirm that complaint to be true. Another complaint is the fact that they entice players to deposit so much money yet have the low weekly withdrawal limits. I agree with that. Finally, many players complain that some of the deposit methods also come with high fees for players, and I also agree with that.

With all of that out of the way, LV USA does enable a player to take advantage of their bonuses, and perhaps even with an expected win. I certainly won a ton from that casino, but it wasn’t on Blackjack and I don’t know if they changed the terms such that nobody could win doing what I did again...I wouldn’t be surprised (or blame them!)

I have a high opinion of the customer service on the site to the extent that they will stand behind what their representatives say (especially if you get a chat transcript) but my one gripe is that it is sometimes difficult to talk to the right department. This runs on RTG Blackjack which, again, returns 99.46% for a house edge of 0.54%. Again, the Aces & Eights Video Poker had a much better RTP.

Actually, here is the best way to beat this promotion.

This is a Blackjack page, though, so we’ll discuss Blackjack. (Video Poker is also better for this promotion)

The bonus is really simple, you can deposit $1000 and get a 100% bonus up to eleven times. For each individual bonus, you would end up with a total of $2000 in funds and the result is $180,000 in playthrough to complete each of the eleven bonuses.

The house edge of the Blackjack is 0.54%, the expected loss is $972, which leaves an expected balance of $1,028 for a $28 expected profit. The expected profit results in 2.8% of the deposit amount for an expected return on deposit of 102.8%.

There. Done. Easy.

The way to play the bonus in the link (not Blackjack) is much better, so you’d be nuts to play this on Blackjack. $28 does not come anywhere close to justifying the amount of time this would take.

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Lincoln Casino

Lincoln Casino is another Wizard of Odds APPROVED casino and runs on WGS software. While this casino is relatively new, it has garnered a strong 4.1/5 average user score across our family of websites and scores 4.4/5 here.

It has a strong withdrawal limit of $5,000 weekly and claims to be able to get checks out within five business days, so players can expect to be paid quickly if they win. Positive user reviews indicate that depositing is rarely a problem and withdrawals can be made in Bitcoin for winning players. Players also like the quick withdrawal times and free tournaments.

This is another good casino for high rollers because, with many deposit methods, players may take a 100% match bonus on their first five deposits of up to $1,000 each. $5,000 in deposits = $5,000 in bonuses. Those using NetTeller or MoneyBookers may only take a 100% match on a single deposit of up to $100, though.

The base Blackjack game on the Perfect Pairs game has a low house edge of 0.36% which is a RTP of 99.64%. This is actually a lower house edge than any of their Video Poker games.

There is a 20x playthrough for the bonus on slots, but Blackjack only results in a 10% playthrough contribution, thus, the playthrough for Blackjack is 200x deposit + bonus.

That would mean that each $1,000 bonus on a $1,000 deposit would result in a total bankroll of $2,000 which would result in a playthrough requirement of $400,000. Even with a low house edge of 0.36%, the expected loss on the playthrough is $1,440, which means the player expects to finish with $560, an actual loss of $440 each time.

In honesty, even with the low house edge, this bonus is nowhere close to beatable (on Blackjack, anyway) and is not at all helpful to the player. The player who wishes to play Blackjack at this casino would be better off to take no bonus so the deposit would only have a 1x playthrough requirement and the player could withdraw at any time.

Unless you are just playing strictly for fun, there is no reason to play Blackjack at Lincoln Casino. If you’re only playing for fun, the game offers an extremely low house edge, even by Blackjack standards.

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Liberty Slots Casino

Liberty Slots Casino is another Wizard of Odds APPROVED casino that both accepts United States players and is powered by WGS Technologies. This casino comes in with a terrific user score of 4.2/5 across our family of sites and scores 4.4/5 on this site.

This site is favored for having a decent tournament system, great customer support, but has some marks taken off due to not being licensed. This casino is noted by users for good customer support and frequent bonuses, but the latter compliment is offset by the fact that the wagering requirements to complete the bonuses are so high.

This site and Wizard of Odds/Vegas have an exclusive 100% match bonus on first deposits of up to $500, whereas the maximum is usually only $100. Slots have the same 20x playthrough requirement as Lincoln Casino, and again like Lincoln Casino, Blackjack contributes only 10% to the playthrough. The result is a playthrough of 200x on Blackjack to complete the bonus.

If a player deposits $500 and gets a $500 bonus for a total bankroll of $1000 and plays the Perfect Pairs Blackjack base game, then the house edge is 0.36% and the player is expected to lose $720 on $200,000 playthrough. The player will have $280 left over for an expected loss of $280.

The math works out the same for this bonus as it does for Lincoln Casino, it’s just a different maximum deposit amount. Percentage-wise, everything else is the same. A player would be better off to play at this site and take no bonus, that way he/she can cash out anytime he/she wishes to do so.

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Ignition Casino

Start your engines and drive on down to Ignition Casino, or don’t, we’re about to find out.

Ignition Casino started out as recently as 2016 and is Wizard of Odds APPROVED mostly owing to the fact that the ownership is the same as Bovada and Slots.lv. Otherwise, such a young casino would probably not have gained approval so quickly. The user score across our family of sites is a solid 4/5 and the score on this site is 4.4/5

Ignition Casino is well-liked because of their substantial Bitcoin withdrawal limit of $9,500 every three days. Their withdrawal limits in other forms of currency are a little bit lower as they otherwise only allow for $3,000/week withdrawals. The user reviews are pretty inconsistent in terms of specifics, so it is difficult to highlight any commonly occurring pros and cons.

The games are we based and a mobile casino is also offered. The casino is powered by a combination of Rival, RealTime Gaming and Makitone Gaming, so the result is a combination of providers leading to a plethora of available games.

The Blackjack has an RTP of 99.34% which yields a House Edge of 0.66% and is not terribly impressive. As we have found out, every online casino with exception to Superior so far has at least one better game than that.

There is a way to beat the bonus, but it has nothing to do with Blackjack and will not be discussed here. If you’re interested, look here.

When it comes to Ignition Casino, they have two different bonuses that can be played. The first one is a 200% bonus on a deposit up to $2,000 in Bitcoin, while the second is a deposit bonus of 100% up to $1,000 with any other method.

The Bitcoin Bonus would result in a total bankroll of $6,000 and the other would result in a total bankroll of $2,000. The Bitcoin Bonus (with a 10% Blackjack contribution) would require the player to bet ONE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS to complete the playthrough requirements, whereas the 100% bonus would require playthrough of HALF A MILLION DOLLARS!!!

The expected loss of $1,500,000 in total bets at 0.66% House Edge is $9,900, so the player is not expected to even complete this bonus with anything left at all. The expected loss of $500,000 in total bets on the 100% $1,000 Match Bonus is $3,300, so the player is expected to lose everything, deposit included.

This is probably one of the worst Blackjack bonuses I have ever seen due to the egregious playthrough requirements. There is virtually no way to win without getting extremely lucky. If you are going to play their terrible Blackjack game to begin with, then you should ABSOLUTELY NOT use their awful bonus. You’re better off to play without a bonus and at least be able to cash out whenever you like.

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Bovada

Bovada has the longest relationship with the Wizard of Odds site of any online casino and is Wizard of Odds APPROVED without a second thought. They average a 4.1/5 user score across our family of sites and boast a 4.5/5 user score here.

It is known for timely payouts, a wide selection of gambling options, (including tables, sports betting, poker) ease of deposit and for accepting Bitcoin. Recent reviews have indicated that the customer service could stand to be a little more friendly and to respond to requests more promptly. Overall, Bovada is a very solid casino.

Powered by RealTime Gaming, Betsoft, Makitone and Rival, there is an outstanding selection of games no matter what your fancy. The Blackjack product is powered by RealTime Gaming and has a RTP of 99.46% for a house edge of 0.54%. That’s pretty reasonable, but not the best out there.

Here we go again with the 250x playthrough requirements:

The first bonus can be redeemed up to three times (but should be redeemed ZERO times) and is a 100% deposit match bonus of up to $1,000 with a 25x playthrough on slots and 250x on Blackjack. A player would deposit $1,000, get a $1,000 bonus (Total Bankroll $2,000) and would expect to lose $2,700 on the HALF MILLION in playthrough requirements. The player is expected to finish with nothing, not even a few pennies of his/her deposit.

The second bonus is a 150% bonus with a maximum of $1,500 on a $1,000 deposit for a total bankroll of $2,500 which results in playthrough requirements of $625,000. The player is expected to lose $3,375 and finish with nothing, not even part of his/her deposit.

While they may be decent for other games, these bonuses are absolute garbage for Blackjack, should not be played and a Blackjack player would be better with no bonus at all.

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Cafe Casino

Pour yourself a spot of java and sign in to Cafe Casino. Will the bonuses be as rich as your brew? Let’s find out:

Even though this site is run by the same owners as Bovada, it has not been endorsed by the Wizard of Odds and is not an approved casino. However, it does boast a 4/5 user score across our family of sites as well as a user score of 4.1/5 here. Things may have changed recently though, because reviews from this year have not been so good citing difficulty depositing as well as huge playthrough requirements on bonuses.

The blackjack is your standard 99.46% return 0.54% house edge RealTime Gaming Blackjack. Nothing to see here, just an average Blackjack game by online casino standards. They do have 99.78% return Aces & Eights Video Poker, though.

There are a bunch of bonuses, and they all suck for Blackjack:

1.) 500% Super Match Bonus up to $5000, $1,000 deposit. Bankroll: $6,000.

There is a 35x playthrough requirement on slots with this Bonus and a maximum cashout of 10x the amount of the deposit. Thus, if you win on this bonus, you cannot cash out more than $10,000 and all other winnings will be voided. The playthrough contribution of Blackjack is 10%, so the wagering requirements are 350x in total. You will have to wager 2.1 MILLION DOLLARS which has an expected loss of $11,340, which is almost double your bankroll after the bonus.

On the other hand, Aces and Eights has an expected loss of $4,620, yielding a remaining bankroll of $1,380 for an expected profit of $380 which represents an expected return of 138% of your deposit. This is an excellent bonus for Video Poker players.

2.) 100% up to $1,000, $1,000 deposit, $1,000 bonus. Bankroll: $2,000.

There is a 25x playthrough requirement on this bonus which is a 250x playthrough on Blackjack given the contribution to the playthrough of 10%. The total wagering requirement is $500,000 with an expected loss of $2,700. Thus, the player is expected to lose everything.

With Aces & Eights, the Expected Loss is $1,100, which would leave the player with $900 and is an expected cash loss of $100, so that’s not any good, either. Better than Blackjack, though.

3.) SuperPlay Bitcoin is a 600% up to $6,000. Bonus: $6,000, Deposit: $1,000, Bankroll: $7,000.

There is a 35x playthrough requirement on this bonus and players may only withdraw as much as 10x the amount of the deposit, or $10,000 on a max deposit, any other winnings will be removed from the account. The effective playthrough requirement of 350x with the 10% Blackjack contribution results in playthrough of $2,450,000. The expected loss on that playthrough is $13,230 and the player is expected to finish with nothing.

On Aces & Eights, the expected loss would be $5,390 which would leave $1,610. The result is a profit of $610 and an expectation of 161% the amount of the deposit. House Edge makes a difference, folks.

4.) Deposit $1,000 Bitcoin get 150% bonus for $1,500 Bonus and bankroll of $2,500.

There is a 25x playthrough on slots which makes it 250x on Blackjack given the 10% wagering contribution. The total playthrough requirement is $625,000 with an expected loss of $3,375, so the player is expected to finish with nothing.

The player is expected to lose $1375 on Aces & Eights thereby finishing with a bankroll of $1,125 for a profit of $125. This represents an expected return of 112.5% of the amount deposited, which is very good.

Cafe Casino players would be much better off to not take a bonus at all if they like Blackjack, because that way they can cash out whenever they want. However, the Aces & Eights game is beatable by the players right off the top, even though the wagering requirements would take forever for players looking for low variance.

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Slots.lv

Slots.lv is another Wizard of Odds APPROVED casino with a strong user rating of 4.1/5 across our family of sites as well as 4.4/5 at this site.

Recent reviews for this casino have been almost unbelievably positive citing tremendous customer service, easy withdrawal procedures, withdraw/deposit in Bitcoin, amazing game selection and terrific bonuses. There really aren’t enough superlatives to properly describe how favorable the recent reviews have been.

Favorable reviews and $0.50 will get us a cup of coffee, though, let’s see how strong the Blackjack bonuses are.

This casino has a single-deck Blackjack game with a RTP of 99.62% representing a House Edge of 0.38%. That’s the second best RTP we have seen of the casino so far on this page, so it is a great choice for players playing without a bonus. The strategy for single-deck is also fairly uncomplicated compared to some other strategies, mainly because the player is more limited in what he/she can do.

Of course, there are video poker games with even better returns, such as Split-Way royal with a 99.8% RTP.

The first bonus is a two-part Bitcoin deposit bonus, and here is how it works:

  • 1st Deposit: 300% Match up to $1,500
  • 2nd-9th Deposits: 150% up to $750

The first bonus would be a deposit of $500 for a match of $1,500 and a total bankroll of $2,000. This would have a 35x wagering requirement on slots which is 350x due to the 10% contribution of Blackjack. That would result in a playthrough requirement of $700,000 with an expected loss of $2,660, so the player is expected to finish with nothing.

Even on the Video Poker, the player would be expected to finish with a balance of $600, which would be a $100 win, so that’s obviously the best option compared to Blackjack. Other options may be better still, but we’re not here to analyze every conceivable way to play the bonus. Either way, Video Poker has an expected return of 120% of the amount deposited.

The second-ninth bonuses would be deposits of $300 with a 150% match for $450 in bonus funds and a total bankroll of $750. This would result in a playthrough requirement of 350x on Blackjack for total wagering of $262,500 and an expected loss of $997.5. Again, the player is expected to finish with less than nothing.

The player is expected to lose $525 on the Video Poker, too, leaving a balance of $225 for a loss of $75 of his/her deposit.

Besides that, here is a bonus term that many casinos have gotten rid of but applies at Slots.lv:

To acquire the maximum bonus amount, the player must redeem the bonus code SLBITCOIN300 and make a subsequent deposit of $500 or more, then redeem the bonus code SLBITCOIN150 and make a subsequent deposit of $500 or more (eight times). Once the bonus code has been redeemed, players must meet the playthrough requirement before being able to use the next bonus code.

What that means is that, even if you go broke and have to deposit again, you must complete the bonus requirements of the first bonus before being able to take another. Since the following eight bonuses are expected to lose anyway, my advice would be to never deposit in the casino again if you lose on the initial bonus.

When it comes to cash deposits, here’s what we have:

1st Deposit: Deposit $500, 200% Match, Total Bankroll: $1500

Next Eight Deposits: Deposit $500, 100% Match, Total Bankroll: $1,000

Each of these deposits also come with a 35x playthrough requirement on slots which is 350x on Blackjack, so the playthrough on the first bonus is $525,000. The expected loss is $1,995 and the player is expected to finish with nothing.

On Aces & Eights, the expected loss would be $1,050 and the player would finish with $450 for a loss of $50.

The following deposits would result in a playthrough of $350,000 and expected loss of $1,330, so the player is expected to finish with nothing on Blackjack.

The player would have an expected loss of $700 on Video Poker and would finish with a balance of $300, for a total loss of $200.

Also, this bears repeating:

Besides that, here is a bonus term that many casinos have gotten rid of but applies at Slots.lv:

To acquire the maximum bonus amount, the player must redeem the bonus code SLBITCOIN300 and make a subsequent deposit of $500 or more, then redeem the bonus code SLBITCOIN150 and make a subsequent deposit of $500 or more (eight times). Once the bonus code has been redeemed, players must meet the playthrough requirement before being able to use the next bonus code.

What that means is that, even if you go broke and have to deposit again, you must complete the bonus requirements of the first bonus before being able to take another. Since the following eight bonuses are expected to lose anyway, my advice would be to never deposit in the casino again if you lose on the initial bonus.

The ultimate conclusion on slots.lv is that you will have to complete the wagering requirements on any bonus you take even if you bust out. Blackjack players should play with no bonus at all because they are expected to lose everything anyway before completing the wagering requirements. If any players take a bonus and bust out without completing the wagering requirements, then they should never play at Slots.lv again as they are still subject to the wagering requirements of the failed bonus.

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Drake Casino

Drake Casino is a nice casino that has 3D graphics on many of their games, though they are not Wizard of Odds approved. Despite that, they come in with a decent 4/5 average score across our family of websites including a score of 4.2/5 here on LCB.

More recent reviews have not been favorable with many players complaining about game selection.

They offer Betsoft single-deck Blackjack with a 99.62% RTP and house edge of 0.38%, again, that’s a pretty good game for playing straight up. Like Slots.lv, they also have the 99.8% split-way Royal Video Poker game.

The bonus is really simple at Drake Casino because it is the same thing every time, a 300% deposit bonus on deposits of up to $500, for a total bankroll of $2,000.

The playthrough requirement on slots is 40x making Blackjack 400x due to the 10% playthrough contribution on Blackjack. Therefore, the playthrough on each bonus is $800,000 with an expected loss of $3,040, leaving the player with nothing. The player expects to lose $1,600 on Video Poker leaving a balance of $400 for a cash loss of $100 expected.

Once again, the player is better off just playing straight up and not taking a bonus because the player can at least cash out at anytime.

Summary Charts

Best Blackjack Bonuses in Terms of Profits:

Casino Expectation Notes

iNetBet

$417.50 or $178

Expectation Depends on Bonus Taken

Superior Casino

Unknown

Math Performed by Simulation, Difficult to Quantify Exact Expectation Due to Complicated Terms, but It Is Positive

Las Vegas USA

$28

Huge Playthrough Requirements

Cafe Casino

Negative

Player Expects to Lose Everything on Blackjack, but Video Poker is Beatable

Lincoln Casino (Tied with Liberty Slots)

Negative

Player Expects to Lose, but Not Lose Everything

Liberty Slots (Tied with Lincoln Casino)

Negative

Player Expects to Lose, but Not Lose Everything

Ignition (Tied for Last)

Nothing

Lose Everything

Bovada (Tied for Last)

Nothing

Lose Everything

Slots.lv (Tied for Last)

Nothing

Lose Everything

Drake Casino

Nothing

Lose Everything

Withdrawal Limits Ranked:

Casino Cash Withdrawal Bitcoin Withdrawal
(If Different)

Lincoln Casino

$5,000 Weekly

N/A

Liberty Slots

$5,000 Weekly

N/A

Bovada

$3,000 Weekly

$9,500 Every Five Days

Ignition 

$3,000 Weekly

$9,500 Every Three Days

Drake Casino

$2,500 Weekly

N/A

iNetBet

$2,500 Weekly

N/A

Las Vegas USA

$2,000 Weekly

N/A

Slots.lv

$2,000 Weekly

N/A

Superior Casino

$2,000 Weekly ($500 Daily)***

N/A

Cafe Casino

??? (Varies from Player to Player)

N/A

***Superior Casino is the only one that seems to have a daily limit, which is a highly unusual thing to have.

Ten Casinos Ranked By House Edge:

Casino House Edge

Lincoln Casino

0.36%

Liberty Slots

0.36%

Slots.lv

0.38%

Drake Casino

0.38%

Bovada

0.54%

Cafe Casino

0.54%

Las Vegas USA

0.54%

iNetBet

0.54%

Ignition 

0.66%

Superior Casino

0.66%

Overall

What is interesting is that the three casinos (out of ten) that we looked at for this page with the worst house edges are also the ones with the beatable bonuses. The casinos with terrific Blackjack games, at least on this page, have wagering requirements that are so high that players taking welcome bonuses are expected to lose some, and sometimes all, of their deposits.

The final takeaway from all of this should be that it is important to consider not just the game, but also the bonuses being offered to determine the best places to play. Some casinos with worse Blackjack games have very favorable Blackjack bonuses whereas some casinos with great Blackjack games have such high playthrough requirements that you’d be better off not to take a bonus at all.

Minimum Bets

Online Casinos offer a substantial advantage for low-rolling players when it comes to minimum bets. In conjunction with deposit bonuses, a player’s short stack can at least get the player a lot of play when one takes into consideration the low minimum bets compared to Land-Based casinos.

Some land-based casinos have minimums ranging from $5-$15 even on terrible 6:5 Blackjack games that can have house edges as great as 2% working against the player. When it comes to reasonable Blackjack games that pay 3:2 on Naturals and have house edges of under 1%, the cheapest game available at many casinos is $25/minimum.

With $25, there are many casinos at which players can take a deposit bonus and play for a long time at $1 per hand. That’s not to say that they are expected to win, (though they are with some bonuses) but players who are not card counters are not expected to win a negative expectation game at land-based casinos with higher minimums, either, unless they are working some other advantage play.

With online casinos, you don’t have to go all over the map to find a low house edge game, and when you do, it’s a game that just about anyone can afford to play.

Cheating (Not Really)

Another positive about online casinos is that it is easy to, ‘Cheat,’ by having access to a strategy guide at all times. I always recommend using the strategy maker at Wizard of Odds in order to give you the proper strategy for the rules under which you are playing.

It is true that you can take a strategy guide into the casino, but will you always have the right one for the game you are playing considering all of the possible rule differences and number of decks being used? When it comes to playing online, there is no question that you will be able to make the correct decisions for every single hand you play as long as you are willing to take the time and click on the other tab for the strategy chart anytime you are in doubt.

Some players at a live table game also feel pressure not to take too long looking up the correct play because they feel as though they are aggravating the other players at the table. Some players may even become verbally hostile if they believe that you are taking too long to make your decisions. If you want to make the correct play, every time, you cannot beat doing so in the peace and comfort of your own home.

Unless you like free drinks, have to go to the casino for that.

Get Comfortable!

Another positive aspect of online casinos is that they are available to you anytime you have an internet connection. This is especially true if your casino of choice has a mobile version.

There is nothing worse than driving all the way to the casino, and having to get ready, just to get there and no longer be in the mood to play. Besides that, if you just feel like playing a few hands, you cannot beat the convenience of online Blackjack. Who wants to get ready and drive all the way to the casino to play Blackjack for fifteen minutes? Not me. If you just want to pass a little bit of time, the online game is ideal because you can play for as little or as long as you like.

Your game, your time, your pace. There are no other players to worry about and no travel necessary.

Conclusion

Online Blackjack can be viewed as preferable to live casino Blackjack for a wide variety of reasons, but the most obvious one is all of the bonuses that are available to you as a player. It is essential to understand how the bonuses and fundamental house edge of the game relate to one another so that you do not choose a bonus that makes you worse off than if you had just played straight up. Hopefully, you will be able to use the information on this page to not only find bonuses that you can potentially take advantage of, but also so that you will know how to do the math yourself for any casinos that have not been looked at on this page.

While the world of online Blackjack is much different due to the bonus playthrough requirements now compared to the way they used to be, that doesn’t mean that you are not going to be able to take advantage of any bonuses at all. On this page, we looked at ten casinos and found three bonuses that yield an expected profit to you, the player. Two of the bonuses I would consider, ‘Very strong,’ at least relative to the amount of the deposit. Again, those are at iNetBet and Superior Casino, so go back and read those sections again if you need to.

With online Blackjack you can play for literal years (at low bet levels) without ever playing a single-hand at a disadvantage. All you need to do is have the discipline to identify and play only positive opportunities. You can’t just sit down and be at an advantage in brick-and-mortar casinos!

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Brandon  profile image Brandon LCB Reviewer - last updated 2021-03-17
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