Blackjack Online in New Zealand 2023

Online blackjack is a popular gambling choice in New Zealand casinos. The secret behind its popularity owes to its simplicity. Furthermore, it is an engaging card game with a low house edge. Thus, making it one of the popular choices for New Zealand players.

Do you want to play blackjack online in New Zealand, and do you want to play for fun or real money? If that’s the case, we have a comprehensive guide on all you need to know about online blackjack in New Zealand.

Get ready to immerse yourself into the online blackjack gambling experience. We take a deep analysis into the casino game and what to expect when playing.

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Blackjack Online with Real Money

Online Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world. When playing online blackjack, the main goal is attaining cards in your hand that ends up adding to 20 (or more). Thus, beating the dealer.

One of the first things you need to know about playing blackjack online is that it is not as simple as playing roulette or other casino games. Unlike these games, where you just bet on a specific number, blackjack has many betting options available to its players.

There are many kinds of bets that you can place on each hand of blackjack that you play. For example, if you’re betting on red or black numbers, you would place your bets there instead of in any other place on the table.

Read below to find out more about the online casino game.

Why Choose Online Blackjack?

Online blackjack is a great way to enjoy the thrill of the game from the comfort of your own home. You can play for free or use real money and stand a chance to win big. Many online casinos offer players great blackjack bonuses, promotions, and rewards.

Players from New Zealand have a plethora of choices when it comes to online blackjack games. There is a wide range available to cater to all types of players. Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned pro.

Another reason why many Kiwis love online blackjack is that it’s easy to play. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of this game. Also, it’s easy to learn the basic rules and strategies without having to leave home.

With so many developers creating great blackjack games, you can be sure that if you play blackjack online in New Zealand, you will find something that suits your needs and your budget.

Blackjack Games Variations

Online blackjack is also known as twenty-one. It’s a game that has stood the test of time and is still popular today.

However, the casino game comes with different variants used in different parts of the world. From variations of the classic game to new variations that are taking Kiwis by storm. There are plenty of options for playing Blackjack online.

Here are common variations to expect:

1. European Blackjack

The European Blackjack is a casino card game, which is also known as the Twenty-one card game. It is the most popular form of Blackjack in New Zealand. There are different variations of blackjack online for real money.

The objective of European Blackjack is to beat the dealer’s hand by drawing cards until you reach a hand that totals 21. Or closer to it than the dealer’s hand without going over 21.

If the total of your cards exceeds 21, you will lose, and if it is a tie with the dealer, you get your initial bet back.

The deck consists of 52 cards, and you play against the dealer who has to deal one card face up and one face down. You can see only one card of the dealer’s and then decide whether you want another card.

You automatically lose your wager if you take a third card and bust.

Furthermore, you can split two identical cards before taking a hit when the first two cards are similar—for example, two Jacks or two 9’s, etc.

Likewise, you can double down when the first two cards total 9, 10, or 11 only and not if they reach 12 or more. That would mean exceeding 21 and losing your bet.

2. American Blackjack

The American blackjack variation is sometimes referred to as the “original” 21, and it’s played with eight decks. The American blackjack deck has a 0.26% house edge, which can be reduced to 0.15% when players use the optimal blackjack strategy.

Most of the rules are the same as in European blackjack, but there are some essential differences. First, you can’t split more than three times per round (you get two free splits in this variation). Then, you can double only after splitting aces and after getting a hard nine, ten, or eleven value hand.

The dealer stands on soft 17 in this version of 21. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when facing an ace. Also, players can surrender at any moment during the game (late surrender allowed). This can help them save some money if they think they won’t win the hand (it doesn’t make sense to surrender with an 18 against a dealer’s seven upcards. However, it could be a good move when facing an ace). Also, if you get five cards without going bust, you automatically win.

3. Chinese Blackjack

Chinese blackjack is a card game of the banking type, which means players play against the house rather than each other. The game’s objective is to get closer to 21 than the banker without going over.

The dealer (banker) will deal out two cards to each player. Once these cards have been dealt, each player will be able to draw an additional card to improve their hand. Players can also choose not to take any additional hits. Once play has ended with all players standing or going bust, the dealer will then play their hand.

1s are wild and are worth 1 or 11 as needed. If one is turned up as a third card by either the player or dealer, it does not count as a third card for the player (it is a two-card hand).

Aces are never considered wild when making a hand less than 21. A “normal” blackjack occurs when you have an ace with any 10-value card (10, Jack, Queen, or King). A “Chinese Blackjack” happens when you have an ace with any picture card (Jack, Queen, or King).

A Chinese Blackjack pays even money on your bet instead of 3:2 like regular blackjack.

Other Popular Blackjack Variants

Here is a list of other popular blackjack variations New Zealand players can find at their preferred online casino:

Multi-Hand Blackjack

The multi-hand blackjack is a blackjack variation that allows you to play two hands at once. Multi-hand blackjack is also referred to as multi-hand 21 or multi-hand 21.

This makes it more exciting and increases your chances of winning because more cards are in play. Not all casinos offer multi-hand blackjack, but it is an option at many online casinos in New Zealand.

When you play multi-hand blackjack, the dealer will deal out one card face up and one face down for both hands. You can then choose to hit, stand, double down, or split for both hands.

If you go bust, on the one hand, you may still have a chance of winning on the other hand. The payout for both hands will depend on the payout table for the casino where you are playing.

Double Exposure Blackjack

It is another popular online blackjack variation that offers players a different gaming experience. In Double Exposure Blackjack, both dealer cards are dealt face-up, and the player can see what they are before they place their bets.

Atlantic City Blackjack and Vegas Strip Blackjack

There are two other popular variations of classic blackjack played in casinos around New Zealand. The main difference is that Atlantic City Blackjack uses eight cards, whereas Vegas Strip Blackjack uses four decks.

Spanish 21

The Spanish 21 is a variation of blackjack that, in some cases, is the best bet in the casino. In locations where the dealer stands on all 17s or allows the player to hit hands totaling 21, players using basic strategy will enjoy a house edge of around 0.40%.

Of course, many rules favor the player, and you can often find rule variations where your odds are even better.

The game is available online and offline at casinos, but not every casino will offer Spanish 21. If they do, it’s usually in addition to traditional blackjack games. While many rule variations exist for this game, most players will still take advantage of basic strategy charts to get a slight edge against the house.

Blackjack Switch

When you play Blackjack Switch online, you place two bets of equal value and receive two hands. However, the twist is that you can switch the second card dealt with each of your hands. This gives you four possible ways to play each hand — and doubles your chance of beating the dealer with a Blackjack.

The game is played with 6 or 8 decks of 52 cards, with all 10s removed. As in regular Blackjack, Blackjack pays 3:2 and insurance 2:1. The aim is to get an overall score closer to 21 than the dealer. Moreover, not going over 21 and beating the dealer’s score with both hands.

First, place a bet on both hands to play Blackjack Switch online. You’ll then be dealt two cards face-up on each hand, and the dealer will receive one card face up and another face down. If either of the first two cards is a pair, you have the option of splitting them into two different hands.

This is by placing a second bet similar to your initial wager. You can split only once per hand, and if you split Aces, you are dealt only one card for each hand.

Online Blackjack Rules

The objective of blackjack is to get as close as possible to 21 without going over. Cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value in points. Picture cards (Jack, Queen, and King) are worth 10 points, and an Ace can be worth either 1 or 11.

You will be dealt two cards initially and can ask for another card to be dealt if you want to get closer to 21.

When you decide you do not want any more cards, the dealer will reveal his hand and compare his total with yours.

If you have a higher total than the dealer or have gone over 21 and busted, you win the hand.

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As a New Zealand player, it is highly advisable to learn the language before playing. Here is a breakdown of standard blackjack terms to learn before placing your first wager:


A soft hand is a blackjack hand that contains an ace. The ace can count as either a 1 or 11, depending on which value best benefits your hand.

The two main benefits of having an ace as part of your initial two-card hand are:

  • It allows you to receive additional cards without risking going bust.
  • If your next card is a ten-valued one, you will not go bust because the dealer will count the 11 as a one instead. In this case, you have a blackjack and win 1.5 times your bet unless the dealer also has blackjack.

You have the option to split or double down with a soft hand if your other card is equal in rank to another card in the deck. The most common example of this is when you are dealt an ace and a six (or vice versa).

Hard hand

These are the hands that do not contain an ace. The strategy is slightly different because you now have to consider your hand value about the dealer’s upcard.

  • Hard 10 and Hard 11: If you have a hard ten or hard 11, you should double down against a dealer’s 2-10. You can also do this against an ace, but this is not recommended. Remember, if you choose to double down, you will only receive one more card. This is done when the player feels confident that they will win with their next card and then double the winnings from the hand.
  • Hard 12 through hard 16: Against a dealer’s 2 through 6, hit. Against a dealer’s seven or higher, stand.
  • Hard 17 and higher: You should always stand when you have a hand of hard 17 or higher unless you have an Ace-7 against a dealer’s 10. In this case, you should surrender (if allowed).


If you are happy with the value of your two cards and don’t want a third, you can “stand.” This is a common choice when you have a total of 17 or more.

For example, suppose you have two eights. The best you can make is 16, which is a low hand. You should stand because if you hit and draw another card, it’s highly likely to be over 21.

This is because you’ve only got one hand, there’s no risk that the dealer will beat you if he hits his hand and makes 21 or less.


The “hit” button gets another card, and the “stand” stops. According to house rules, the dealer will turn over his hidden card and play out his hand. Usually, the dealer will draw cards until his hand values at least 17 or more points.

Once you have decided whether to hit or stand, the dealer will reveal his hidden card and hit or stand according to house rules. If your hand outranks the dealer’s, you win, and your bet pays off at even money (1:1).

Also, if you and the dealer have hands of equal value, it’s a push, and you don’t win or lose anything on that bet. If your hand is less than the dealer’s, you lose your bet.


The double-down option is the most important tactic in all blackjack. A player can double their bet, as long as it is not greater than their original bet, after which they receive just one more card.

This is an automatic win for the player if the value of their hand is 21. If not, a player may have to use their skill, luck, and strategy to beat the dealer’s hand.

However, since doubling down often gives players an edge against the house, casinos have limited when players can double down in recent years.

Players can double down on any two cards. In addition, you can only double down before a hit or split. Players may split their first two cards up to three times (for four hands), except for Aces, which only receive one card each.

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Blackjack Card Values

Knowing the value of your cards is the first rule of blackjack.

The best hand in Blackjack is a two-card hand with an Ace and a 10, which equals 21. This is called a blackjack, and it automatically wins unless the dealer also gets a blackjack.

There are four suits:

  • Clubs
  • Diamonds
  • Hearts
  • Spades

Each suite has 13 cards: an ace, two to ten, jack, queen, and king. In online blackjack games, the cards are all given their numeric values. However, in land-based casinos, players will have to know how much each card is worth when they see it on the table.

Each card is worth its numerical value except for the face cards (jack, queen, and king), each worth 10. An ace can be worth one or 11, depending on what’s best for your hand.

For example, if you’re dealt an ace and a ten as the first two cards, you automatically have a blackjack.

If you take another card that puts your total over 21, you bust or go bust and lose your stake.

How to Play Online Blackjack

If you’re new to blackjack, and you’re having trouble understanding the game, you need a comprehensive guide. For most people, this is one of the easiest games to play.

The objective is to get a hand that has a value of 21 without going over (busting). You win if you get a higher hand than the dealer without going over 21.

You can start by playing one of the blackjack games on our list of recommended sites. Once you’ve found a great site, follow these steps:

  1. Register for an account. Follow the prompts and fill out the required information.
  2. Log in to your account and make a deposit. You’ll need money in your account to place bets.
  3. Pick which blackjack game you want to play from the lobby. Some sites offer many versions of blackjack, while others provide just one or two variations.
  4. Place a bet by clicking on chips on the table. You can bet as much or as little as you like (within table limits).
  5. Choose your hand’s action for each round by clicking on ‘hit,’ ‘stand,’ ‘double down,’ or ‘split.’
  6. Repeat steps 4-6 until you have completed your first session of online blackjack.

Online vs. Land-Based Blackjack

There are various comparisons and differences between online and land-based blackjack. There are many variants of the game of 21, but you can broadly categorize them into two types: online and land-based. The basic rules are the same for both, but significant differences exist.

Pros of Playing Blackjack Online

You don’t have to leave home when you play online. This is a big plus for some people, especially if they live in an area without any casinos nearby or if they can’t travel easily.

Others prefer to play in the comfort of their own homes because it saves them from having to dress up and drive somewhere. There’s less pressure when you play online. Most people feel more comfortable in their own homes than at the casino, where everything gears towards getting them to spend money.

There’s a lot less pressure at home to take your time and relax without feeling rushed or being bothered by other people.

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Cons of Playing Blackjack Online

There’s no social aspect when you play online. Some players like the thrill of playing against other people and enjoy the social aspect of playing in a land-based casino.

A few will even drive hundreds of miles to be able to chat with other punters over a few drinks before heading home again and hopefully winning.

Online Gambling Status in New Zealand in 2023

Like most countries, New Zealand has a complex relationship with gambling. That relationship became even more complex in 2017. The New Zealand Parliament passed the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill.

The bill had several implications for online gaming. Still, the most significant one meant that companies would no longer offer online casino games (pokies) or poker to New Zealand residents.

Since then, the debate rages on whether this ban is legal. Some argue that it’s unfair to players and illegal under international law. The International Trade and Investment Agreements (TIA) work is preventing governments from banning a service offered by another country’s company.

The only difference is when there is an ongoing banning within their borders. Since online casinos and poker sites aren’t illegal in New Zealand. Some believe the TIA should protect them from the 2017 ban.

The problem is that these agreements are not legally binding and are very difficult to enforce. However, there’s a possible case for companies who want to continue operating in New Zealand. This is true, especially with the new crop of New Zealand casinos offering online blackjack.

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Blackjack Online in New Zealand – Summary

The simplicity of online blackjack makes it a preferred choice for many New Zealand players.

Furthermore, the convenience, accessibility, choice, and the fact that you can play it at any hour of the day or night with an New Zealand casino give you the best gaming experience.

All in all, online blackjack offers an all-around gambling experience. Put your card skills to the test today at any of your preferred New Zealand casinos.

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Noah Turner Avatar

Noah is born and raised in Sydney, Australia, now residing in Auckland, New Zealand. He has been working both in the online casino industry, as a customer retention manager, as well as a journalist for several gaming-related magazines. You could find Noah’s work in print in,, and to name a few. You will find yourself surprised by how Noah with such fluency and ease in his method of writing manages to capture the essence of whatever he wants to convey.