Beat the Dealer: Best RTP Rates for Online Blackjack Variants

Daniel White

Last updated 7.12.2023

Beat the Dealer: Best RTP Rates for Online Blackjack Variants

The Return to Player (RTP) rate in blackjack is fundamental, especially online. It indicates the potential return on a player’s bets over time.

For example, an RTP of 99% implies that players can expect to return $99 for every $100 wagered. Online blackjack games often offer high RTPs, sometimes exceeding 99.5%, providing a significant edge to players.

This is notably higher compared to other online casino games, such as slots, which generally have lower RTPs ranging from 94.5% to 99.0%.

Understanding RTP in Long-Term Play

RTP in blackjack is a theoretical indicator of a game’s generosity. In practical terms, an RTP of 95% means that players can expect to win back around $9,500 from $10,000 wagered, with the remaining amount being the casino’s profit.

Although this is based on long-term averages, RTP is an essential concept for players, particularly in online blackjack where the range of games and RTP rates is vast.

By choosing games with the highest RTP, players enhance their winning chances in each session and positively impact their long-term profitability.

This strategy of selecting high RTP games is fundamental in online blackjack, enabling players to adopt a more calculated approach to beat the dealer and maximize their gambling experience.

The Basics of RTP in Blackjack

Return to Player (RTP) in blackjack is an essential metric that estimates the amount players can expect to win over the long run.

It’s a theoretical value reflecting the game’s generosity. For example, a 95% RTP in blackjack means that players could win back approximately $9,500 from $10,000 wagered.

Blackjack is known for having one of the highest RTPs among casino games, offering significant winning opportunities compared to other games like slots and roulette.

The Basics of RTP in Blackjack

RTP Calculation and Player Returns

In online blackjack, the RTP is not a fixed number but varies based on players’ decisions and skill levels. While the element of chance in blackjack means there’s no guarantee of winning, playing games with higher RTPs can enhance winning probabilities.

This variability highlights the dynamic nature of RTP in blackjack, where player choices and game strategies can significantly impact potential returns.

Comparison with Other Casino Games

Blackjack’s RTP, especially in online variants, is notably higher than many other casino games. For example, blackjack variants can offer RTPs ranging from 99.27% for Blackjack Switch to 99.75% for Single-deck Blackjack. These rates are considerably higher than the average online slot game.

Such high RTPs in blackjack variants like Multi-hand Blackjack, Double-exposure Blackjack, and Pontoon not only make the game appealing but also influence the strategies players choose to adopt, underscoring the importance of understanding RTP for effective bankroll management.

Analyzing RTP Rates Across Blackjack Variants

RTP Rates in Different Blackjack Variants:

Blackjack variants offer diverse RTP rates, influenced by their specific rules and strategies. 

  • Blackjack Surrender features an RTP of 99.62%, allowing players to surrender their hand for half of their original wager.
  • 21 Burn Blackjack offers an RTP of 99.40%, where players receive three cards and can replace the second card by increasing their wager by 50%.
  • Pontoon, another popular variant, has an RTP of 99.64%, characterized by different rules and terminologies compared to classic blackjack.

Impact of Game Rules on RTP

Each blackjack game has unique house rules that impact the RTP. For example, single-deck games generally have a higher RTP than multi-deck games.

The dealer’s actions, such as hitting or standing on soft 17, and the payout for a natural blackjack also significantly affect the RTP. For example, if the dealer stands on soft 17, it’s more beneficial for the player, increasing the RTP by about 0.22%.

Variants where the natural blackjack pays higher, like 3 to 2 or 2 to 1, also favor the player, positively influencing the RTP.

Relationship Between RTP and House Edge

Understanding the relationship between RTP and the house edge is very important in blackjack. The RTP represents the amount a player can expect to win back from their total bets over the long term, while the house edge is the casino’s expected profit from players’ bets.

For example, a game with a house edge of 0.46% equates to an RTP of 99.54%. A strategic player should seek blackjack games with the highest RTP and consequently the lowest house edge.

Certain house rules can have positive or negative impacts on RTP. Rules like blackjack paying 2 to 1 or allowing early surrender against the dealer’s Ace increase the RTP, while rules like the dealer hitting on soft 17 or restrictions on doubling down decrease it.

Best RTP Rates for Online Blackjack Variants

Various online blackjack variants offer impressive RTP rates, appealing to both novice and experienced players:

Blackjack VariantRTP RateDistinctive Features
Single-Deck Blackjack99.75%One deck, lower house edge, favorable for beginners
Zappit Blackjack98.87%Allows players to ‘zap’ and replace cards
Pontoon99.64%Different rules and terms, higher strategy requirement
Blackjack Switch99.87%Players can switch cards between two hands
European Blackjack99.60%No hole card for the dealer, doubling down restrictions
Vegas Strip Blackjack99.65%4-deck game, doubling after splitting allowed
Atlantic City Blackjack99.65%Late surrender option, dealer stands on soft 17
Double Exposure Blackjack99.33%Both dealer cards are exposed, higher risk and reward

High RTP Blackjack Variants

  1. Single Deck Blackjack – 99.75% RTP: Ideal for players adept at card counting, as playing with a single deck makes it easier to predict upcoming cards.
  2. Double Deck Blackjack: Offers an RTP of 99.60%, balancing simplicity with strategic depth.
  3. Zappit Blackjack: A unique variant allowing players to ‘zap’ certain cards, offering a competitive RTP.
  4. Pontoon – 99.64% RTP: Features unique terminologies and rules, such as all dealer cards being dealt face-down and specific actions when holding a hand of 14 or less.
  5. Blackjack Surrender – 99.62% RTP: Allows players to surrender their hand for half their original wager, a strategic option to minimize losses.
  6. Multi-hand Blackjack – 99.60% RTP: Players can play multiple hands simultaneously, offering more opportunities to win and a better understanding of the deck.
  7. European Blackjack – 99.60% RTP: Similar to American Blackjack, but the dealer waits for the player’s move before receiving the second card
  8. 21 Burn Blackjack – 99.40% RTP: Offers an additional burn option, where players can increase their wager and replace a card for higher risk and excitement.
  9. Double Exposure Blackjack – 99.33% RTP: The dealer’s cards are always face-up, providing players with more information to make decisions.
  10. Blackjack Switch – 99.27% RTP: Players are dealt two hands and can switch the top two cards between hands, with unique payouts and rules.
  11. American Blackjack: Often referred to as Classic Blackjack, this widely played version has an RTP of 99.59%​​.
  12. Spanish 21: Known for bonus payouts for specific card combinations and flexibility in doubling down, its RTP stands at 99.58%
  13. Double Attack Blackjack: Utilizing Spanish 21 Card decks, this game lets players double their first bet after seeing the dealer’s hole card, offering an RTP of 99.53%.
  14. Faceup Blackjack: All cards are dealt face up, providing a significant player advantage, with an RTP of 99.33%.
  15. Super Fun 21 Blackjack: Playable with single or double decks and allowing various player-friendly moves, this variant has an RTP of 99.10%.

Verifying RTP Rates

Players can verify the RTP rates of these variants on various online blackjack sites. Most online casinos display the RTP rates in the game information section.

For accurate RTP rates, players should refer to trustworthy online casino platforms and reviews, as these rates are the key to strategizing and choosing the right game.

Demo versions of these games can offer insights into the payout potential and help players understand the practical aspects of RTPs.

Strategies to Maximize Returns in Blackjack

Optimizing Winnings with Strategy

In blackjack variants like Vegas Strip Blackjack and European Blackjack, adopting a basic strategy is the key to maximizing returns.

Perfect blackjack strategy, determined through probability theory and computer simulations, guides players on the best actions based on their hand and the dealer’s visible card.

By meticulously following these strategies, players can reduce the casino’s advantage to less than 0.5%. This makes blackjack one of the most advantageous games for players in a casino setting.

StrategyImpact on RTPDescription
Doubling Down on Hard 11PositiveBest when busting is impossible, maximizes winnings
Hitting on Hard 12 Against 2 or 3PositiveReduces the chance of busting, improves odds against dealer’s weak hand
Avoid Splitting Pairs of 10sPositivePreserves a strong hand (20), increasing win probability
Always Split Aces and 8sPositiveIncreases the chances of hitting 21 or a strong hand
Stand on Hard 17 and UpPositiveReduces the risk of busting, solidifies a strong hand
Never Take InsurancePositiveAvoids a bet with a high house edge, preserving RTP

Influence of Optimal Play on RTP

Advanced techniques like card counting can further improve the return-to-player (RTP) percentage. Card counting, in particular, raises the player’s advantage by about 0.5% for each positive true count.

Casinos may counteract this by modifying game conditions, such as adding extra decks or implementing restrictive rules.

Understanding how these changes affect the odds and the RTP is important for players looking to maximize their returns. Note that card counting has a more pronounced effect in land-based casinos compared to online variants, where decks are shuffled more frequently.

Understanding Probability and Blackjack Odds

Grasping the concept of probability and how it impacts blackjack odds is essential for strategizing effectively. This understanding helps in maximizing payouts and minimizing the risk of losses.

For example, the odds of winning at blackjack can peak at 42.22%, but these odds can vary significantly based on the blackjack variant, the rules for the player and the dealer, and the player’s style. Players lacking a strategic approach may see a dramatic decrease in their winning odds.

Strategic Actions for Enhanced RTP

Players should maximize their earnings by adapting to the game’s dynamics and employing effective betting strategies. Adapting to changing scenarios and employing techniques like card counting where appropriate can improve a player’s chances.

Players should utilize blackjack odds calculators and strategy charts to make informed decisions in each hand. This approach allows players to capitalize on favorable situations, minimize losses, and enhance their overall RTP in the game.

Understanding and applying these strategies in blackjack can significantly influence a player’s RTP. By combining basic strategy with advanced techniques and a thorough understanding of game odds, players can effectively maximize their returns and improve their overall performance in blackjack.

Skill in Blackjack RTP

Player skill significantly impacts achieving theoretical RTP rates in blackjack. Even with a basic strategy, players can drastically reduce the house edge, increasing their RTP.

For example, in American Blackjack and multi-hand games, strategic decisions can improve RTP. A solid understanding and application of basic blackjack strategy can decrease the house edge from 2% to as low as 0.5%.

Skill LevelInfluence on RTPDescription
NoviceLowerBasic strategies lead to an RTP of around 95%; prone to simple errors
IntermediateModerate to HighMore consistent strategy usage improves RTP; less prone to costly mistakes
Skilled (Basic Strategy)HighUtilizing full basic strategy can lower house edge to 0.5%, increasing RTP
Advanced (Card Counting)Very HighMastery of card counting and other advanced strategies can maximize RTP, often exceeding 99%
Expert (Perfect Play)OptimalEngaging in flawless gameplay with no errors ensures the highest possible RTP

Effect of Skill on RTP

Players’ skills, particularly their grasp of blackjack charts and basic strategy, can indeed influence RTP.

In blackjack, unlike games of pure chance like slots, the decisions made during gameplay can significantly alter RTP. A player employing a perfect strategy can achieve an RTP of 99%+, while errors can reduce it.

Variations in RTP also depend on the specific rules of different blackjack variants. For example, the ability to double down or re-split can impact the player’s expected return.

Basic Strategy Chart

For a standard game of blackjack:

  1. When to Hit or Stand:
    • Always hit on a hand value of 11 or less.
    • Stand on 17 and higher.
  2. When to Double Down:
    • Double down on 10 or 11 if it’s higher than the dealer’s up card.
  3. When to Split:
    • Always split Aces and 8s.
    • Never split 10s or face cards.
  4. When to Surrender:
    • Surrender if you have 16 and the dealer shows a 9, 10, or Ace.

These guidelines are quite basic and may vary depending on the specific rules of the blackjack game you’re playing. For a full, detailed strategy, it’s best to consult a complete chart from a reliable blackjack resource or use a blackjack strategy app.

Strategic and Calculated Approach in Blackjack

A player’s strategic decisions, employing tools like blackjack cheat sheets, can be calculated to maximize RTP.

Being skillful in navigating various scenarios, such as understanding when to hit or stand, directly influences the game’s RTP.

This calculated approach, especially in variants that allow more strategic flexibility, can lead to more skillful play and, consequently, higher RTP.

Note that side bets, often featuring in these variants, usually have a lower RTP, and thus a “strategic” player should generally avoid them to maintain a higher overall RTP.

Player skill in blackjack is game-changing for manipulating RTP. A strategic, calculated, and skillful approach to the game, aided by tools like strategy charts, can significantly enhance a player’s returns, especially in variants like American Blackjack and multi-hand games.

Advanced Basic Strategy Blackjack Chart

Based on the rules of playing with a single deck and the dealer standing on soft 17, can be represented as follows:

Single Deck, Dealer Stands on Soft 17

Your HandDealer’s Upcard 2345678910A
5 to 7HHHHHHHHHH
8HHHDhDhHHHHH
9DhDhDhDhDhHHHHH
10DhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhHH
11DhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhDh
12HHSSSHHHHH
13 to 16SSSSSHHHHH
17+SSSSSSSSSS

Soft Hands

Your HandDealer’s Upcard 2345678910A
13 to 16HHDhDhDhHHHHH
17DhDhDhDhDhHHHHH
18SDsDsDsDsSSHHS
19 to 20SSSSDsSSSSS

Splits

Your HandDealer’s Upcard 2345678910A
2, 2PhPPPPPHHHH
3, 3PhPhPPPPPhHHH
4, 4HHPhPdPdHHHHH
6, 6PPPPPPhHHHH
8, 8PPPPPPPPPP
9, 9PPPPPSPPSS
A, APPPPPPPPPP
  • H = Hit, Dh = Double if possible, otherwise Hit
  • S = Stand, Ds = Double if possible, otherwise Stand
  • Ph = Split if double after hit is allowed, otherwise Hit
  • Pd = Split if double after hit is allowed, otherwise Double
  • P = Split

This chart offers a comprehensive strategy for different scenarios in single-deck blackjack

Strategic Selection of Online Blackjack Variants

Selecting online blackjack variants with the best RTP rates is a strategic and informed choice for players aiming to maximize their gains and beat the dealer.

Variants like Microgaming’s single hand Classic Blackjack or Playtech’s Blackjack Switch, known for their low house edges, offer players a better chance of winning compared to other variants with higher house edges.

This selection is key as each game’s unique design influences its house edge and, consequently, the player’s potential returns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do online blackjack casinos use Random Number Generators for their games?
Yes, online blackjack casinos utilize Random Number Generators (RNGs) to ensure fairness and unpredictability in online games.

How does the selection of blackjack games vary across online platforms?
The selection of blackjack games in online platforms offers a variety of blackjack games, including traditional and innovative versions.

Can card counters gain an advantage in online blackjack games?
Card counting is generally ineffective in online blackjack games due to the use of Random Number Generators.

What is the role of additional cards in classic blackjack?
In classic card games like blackjack, additional cards are drawn by players to improve their hand value.

How does the number of decks of cards affect the house advantage in blackjack?
The number of decks of cards in play can significantly influence the house advantage, with fewer decks usually favoring the player.

What influences the payout rate in different variations of blackjack?
The payout rate in different variations of blackjack is influenced by specific game rules and the blackjack version played.

Are the odds different when playing single-deck blackjack games compared to multi-deck games?
Yes, single-deck blackjack games often offer different odds and a lower house edge compared to multi-deck games.

How does the return to player rate change over a period of time in blackjack?
The return to player rate in blackjack can fluctuate over a period of time, depending on the gameplay and strategy employed.

What strategy should players use when dealt identical cards in blackjack?
When dealt identical cards in blackjack, the correct strategy often involves splitting the pair, depending on the specific game rules.

How does playing blackjack in demo mode differ from real money blackjack games?
Playing blackjack in demo mode allows players to practice without risking real money, unlike real money blackjack games.

Can the basic strategy blackjack chart improve a player’s win percentage?
Yes, using a basic strategy blackjack chart can significantly improve a player’s blackjack win percentage.

How does the house edge in blackjack compare between land-based and online blackjack casinos?
The house edge in blackjack can vary, with some online blackjack casinos offering reduced house edges due to lower operational costs.

Understanding RTP in Game Selection

Understanding RTP and its significance in online blackjack is paramount for players. This knowledge impacts player choice, strategy, and overall game selection. Online blackjack, if chosen wisely and played optimally, can yield better results than playing in land-based casinos.

Players must remain mindful and clear-headed, especially when playing online, to maintain a grasp of reality and make strategic decisions that favor their gameplay and potential earnings. 

The understanding and strategic selection of online blackjack variants based on RTP rates and house edges play a primary role in a player’s success.

This approach, combined with skillful play and an understanding of game-specific rules and payouts, can significantly enhance a player’s odds and overall gaming experience.

Daniel White

Daniel White, based in London, UK, serves as the dynamic Editor-in-Chief at Best-RTPCasinos.com. With a sharp eye for detail and a deep understanding of the online casino industry, Daniel specializes in RTP analytics and player-focused content. His leadership has transformed the site into a go-to resource for players seeking the most rewarding online gaming experiences in Europe and beyond.