Low Limit Blackjack
Low limit blackjack allows players to enjoy real money blackjack without breaking the bank. This is why low limit blackjack tables can be found at any brick and mortar and online casino. These offer different odds, payouts, and low betting limits for players that want to play with a smaller bankroll.
The problem in the past has been that when you walked into a casino you were lucky to find a $5 minimum table. If you did, more often than not the payout for a blackjack was 6 to 5 instead of the superior 3 to 2. Many times you were forced to play at a $10 or $20 minimum bet table in order to receive the better payout. This made it difficult for low rollers to play for long, especially if they had a limited bankroll.
Now, you can play for real money at extreme low limit blackjack online games – and in some cases, for free. Almost every online casino offers blackjack, and the majority of them have wagers as low as $1 per hand.
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Free vs Low Limit Blackjack
Why would you play for real money if you can play for free? Can’t you play for free for 100 hours and get the same level of enjoyment out of the game as you do when playing for $1 a hand?
The truth is some players quickly lose interest in free blackjack games, but continue having fun for hours if they’re playing for real money, even if it’s low stakes blackjack. You can find scientific studies showing how gambling affects people. Many players simply have to play with a few dollars on the line in order to enjoy a game.
Of course, if you’re one of the millions of blackjack players who enjoy playing free games, there’s no reason you shouldn’t continue playing. You can follow the simple steps listed below; just skip the part about making a deposit and the bonuses. Even if you have no intention of switching to real money play in the future, you might receive a no deposit bonus offer or decide to deposit a few dollars to grab a special deposit bonus. Playing for free is a great way to practice and get the feel for the game offered at that particular casino, so when you do play for real money, there won’t be any surprises.
Best Places to Play Low Limit Blackjack
The first goal of most low limit blackjack players is to find a safe place to play. Even though you might only be playing for a few dollars, the safety and security of your banking and personal details are important.
Online United States Casinos has screened thousands of possible places to play low limit blackjack online and only recommend the best online casinos on this site. You can feel safe in picking one of the casinos listed on this page or read our reviews to find one you like.
|Casino||Country||# of Decks||Edge||Blackjack Pays||# of Variants||Mobile Blackjack||Live Dealer Blackjack|
|Las Vegas USA||USA||6||99.46%||3:2||10||Yes||Yes|
While blackjack is a fairly straightforward game and doesn’t vary much from casino to casino, you should consider playing in at least a few different online casinos to see which ones offer the best game and the best rules.
US Online Casinos
Where you can play depends on where you live and the ever changing laws around the world. Because this site is focused on the United States, we do our best to only recommend safe and the best US online casinos.
Once you decide to try a casino or two, follow the link to the casino main page and follow the instructions on how to sign up for a free account. Once you have an account established, you make a deposit. Most players have success using a credit card, but you might also be able to make a bank wire deposit.
US players have limited options compared to most other countries when it comes to making deposits because of many of the banking laws in the country. It’s not illegal for players to play in most situations, but it may be illegal for a bank to process the transactions.
The easiest way to learn which casino deposit methods you can use is to contact the support department after signing up for an account or visiting the chip cage or cashier area at the online casino.
Those interested in playing low limit blackjack, the odds are that you don’t want to deposit too much the first time you play online. Most online casinos have minimum deposit amounts, so you’ll be forced to make a deposit of a certain size. Usually these minimum deposit amounts are quite low, letting players deposit between $5 and $25.
Playing with the Minimum
If you plan to deposit at least $25, you shouldn’t have any problems finding an online casino. Most of them have a minimum of $25 or $20. If you want to make a smaller deposit, you may find it difficult to find a suitable casino. We’ve seen minimum deposit options as low as $10, but most online casinos want you to deposit more because they have fees associated with most methods.
Even if you don’t have $25 right now, you could start playing the free blackjack games and save a dollar a day. In less than a month, you’ll have enough for a deposit. Another option is to find an online casino that offers a no deposit bonus. These are covered in the next section, but it’s free money to try the games that don’t require a deposit.
At $25, you don’t have much cushion to ride out the lows that come with the highs. You can expect on average to play around 25 hours at $1 per hand on a $25 bankroll. It’s a much better idea to deposit $50 or $100 so you have plenty of extra to keep playing even if you take a hit to your bankroll in the short term.
Bonuses are one of the most important parts of low limit blackjack. If you can play 100 hours at $1 per hand on a $100 bankroll, how long can you play on a $200 bankroll?
As a low stakes blackjack player, you should try to find a blackjack bonus each time you make a deposit. This is not as easy as simply finding a flashy looking bonus and making a deposit. You need to study the online casino bonuses before you get started.
Bonuses can be a great way to increase your bankroll and let you play longer, but don’t plan to make a great deal of real money using blackjack bonuses.
The bonuses most frequently offered are called deposit bonuses. You make a deposit and the casino gives you a matching percentage. Common bonuses are 100% of your deposit, basically doubling your bankroll, but the percentages are all over the board. Some are as low as 10% and we’ve seen a few of 500% or more, but these are rare.
No Deposit Bonuses
A no deposit bonus is a special type of bonus offered from time to time by a few online casinos. They give you free money to try their games without requiring a deposit. This sounds great, but these usually come with even more requirements and regulations than normal bonuses. You have to meet play through requirements, often can only play certain games, and have a limited amount you can cash out even if you win big. You’ll also need to make a real deposit before you can process a cashout. We’re not saying you should avoid no deposit blackjack bonuses, but you need to read everything carefully before accepting one.
A sticky bonus is one that is removed from your account before you can cash out. These often say they’re for playing purpose only. Almost all of the insane looking bonus offers, like $7,000 or $10,000, are sticky bonuses and require a large deposit or series of deposits. As a low limit blackjack player, you don’t need to worry about most large bonus offers because you’re not going to be making large deposits.
The best kind of blackjack bonus in most cases is one you can cash out when you meet all of the clearing requirements. While more and more online casinos are moving to sticky bonuses, you can still find some that have bonuses you can withdraw.
Most online casino bonuses don’t appear to have a restriction on which games you can play. But once you start looking at them closer you often find the bonuses only let you play slot machines. Many bonuses are void if you play blackjack or any other table game.
Once you find a bonus that isn’t restricted to slots play, you need to make sure that they include blackjack. Most blackjack bonuses aren’t called blackjack bonuses. They might be called table games bonuses or all games bonuses, but even these don’t always include all of the possible games. Unless the terms specifically say you can play blackjack, don’t assume you can. If you contact support and they tell you a bonus can be used to play blackjack make sure you have a record of the conversation.
So, which is better for low limit blackjack players: a sticky bonus or a cashable bonus? The first answer that usually pops into mind is a cashable bonus, but what if you can get twice as much in a sticky bonus?
Blackjack Bonuses Example
You’re planning to deposit $50 and one casino will give you a 100% matching cashable bonus and another will give you a 200% matching sticky bonus. You can play with $100 in the first casino but you get to play with $150 in the second.
Did you now that most online blackjack players don’t withdraw any of their first deposit? They tend to play until the run out of money and then make another deposit to play more. In other words, they want the excitement of playing as long as possible and treat their play more as a form of entertainment than having a realistic expectation of winning.
If you’re planning to play until you run out of money anyway, wouldn’t you rather have the bigger bankroll?
The other thing you must consider is the clearing requirements of both offers. If the cashable bonus requires a 250 to 400 times play through to clear, it doesn’t really matter if it’s cashable. The odds of clearing it before running out of money are minuscule. A play through of 300 times under almost perfect parameters is still $150 on a $50 deposit with a 100% match.
To learn more about bonuses, check out The Wizard of Odds. The bonus hunting page is worth reading.
Stretching Your Bankroll
As a low limit blackjack player, one of your main goals is to play as long as possible on your bankroll. If you can double or triple your bankroll, you can play blackjack two or three times longer. You can also do a few other things to increase your playing time and conserve your bankroll.
Slow Down Your Playing
An average online low stakes blackjack player can easily play 100 hands or more per hour. In a live casino in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, you might only play 50 hands per hour. When you’re playing a game like blackjack that has a house edge, the faster you play the quicker the house takes your money.
By simply slowing down your play, you can double your playing time. If you normally play 100 hands per hour, by only playing 50 per hour you effectively double your bankroll.
Imagine if you only played 25 hands per hour. While most players feel that 25 hands per hour is too slow, if you do something else while playing like watch television or read a book you can pass the time at a slow pace. You still get to enjoy some low limit blackjack but you don’t burn through your bankroll very quickly.
Be Patient and Don’t Tilt
The next thing you need to do is remain patient. Most players start playing low stakes blackjack, run into a short-term downturn and start betting more to make back part of what they’ve lost. Before you know it, they are betting $5 or $10 a hand instead of $1. This just makes you burn through your bankroll faster. Set your limit and stick to it.
Perfect Basic Strategy
You always need to play using the best basic blackjack strategy so you don’t give the house a higher edge. Most players give the house a 2 or 3% edge by not making the best plays. In most online blackjack games, you can play and only give the house around a half a percent edge. Reducing the house edge from 2% to a half percent lets you play four times longer on the same bankroll.
It’s easy to play perfect strategy when you play low stakes blackjack online. Simply print out a strategy chart like the one found on our blackjack strategy page and use it to make all of your playing decisions. Another important strategy decision involves insurance when the dealer is showing an ace. Never take the insurance bet. It’s also called even money by some players, but insurance and even money are the same things.
Don’t Take the Sucker Bets
You’ll always lose money in the long run by accepting insurance. You’ll see many players that accept insurance, especially if they have a strong hand, but at the end of the day all you’re betting on when you take insurance is if the dealer’s down card is a 10 value card or not, and the 2 to 1 odds aren’t enough to make this a good bet.
Reducing the House Edge
In order to reduce the house edge to the lowest amount possible with the basic strategy, you also have to find games with good rules. You can see a complete breakdown of the rules on our page dedicated to variations, but here are the main ones to look for.
- Always make sure the payout for a blackjack is 3 to 2. Anything less makes the house edge too large to overcome.
- It is better if the dealer has to stand on a soft 17.
- The more options for doubling and splitting you have the better. Any restriction on the number of times you can split pairs or on which totals you can double down on is better for the house. If you can double after splitting and double split aces it helps you quite a bit in the long run.
- Surrender is a good rule for the player. In games that let players surrender, you can fold your hand and get back half your original bet if you choose. This helps you save money by folding your hand when you’re in a bad situation. If you have a hard 16 against a dealer ace, you lose less money in the long run by folding for a half bet than playing out the hand.
Wikipedia has a nice list of how variations change the house edge.
Edge Reduction Example
Let’s do the math to see how long you might be able to play on a single $50 deposit if you use every trick mentioned above.
If someone told you it was possible to play over 20 hours a week for the next year of low limit blackjack for a small investment of only $50, would you take advantage of the offer?
Low limit blackjack players have more options than ever before. Instead of being forced to play for $5 a hand or more and put up with poor rules in land based casinos, they can play online with great rules, low minimum bets, bonuses, and plenty of options.
Follow all of the steps in the section on stretching your bankroll and you can spend hundreds of hours playing real money blackjack for a small investment.