If you’re looking to play online blackjack in California, you’ll have a handful of options.
Unfortunately, there are no full-fledged real money online casinos in California. The state is lagging behind markets that are a tad more progressive with regard to online gambling, and it makes sense.
It’s a huge state with a wide variety of opinions, plus various stakeholders — tribal operators, government officials, and commercial operators — that each want a solution that’s most advantageous for them.
There are still a few options to play online blackjack in California. Social casinos are legal in the state, and there are free blackjack apps in California.
Where to Play Real Money Online Blackjack in California
Real money blackjack is hard to come by in California, depending on how you define it. Full online casinos are prohibited in the state, so you won’t find any sites that allow you to gamble your actual dollars on a hand of blackjack. And it looks like this will be the case for some time to come.
So you can’t play for real money in the way bettors in Michigan, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania can — in the same way, you can’t bet on sports in California with real money.
But there is an alternative. Blackjack at a social casino, where players can practice and play for free or for a chance to redeem their sweepstakes winnings for cash prizes and more.
How to Play Social Casino Blackjack in California
If you want to play online blackjack in California, social casinos are your best bet. These sites are completely legal in California, and they allow you to redeem cash prizes and more. It’s not the same as a real money casino, but it comes close.
Plus, they are the only 18+ online casinos in California, which only adds to their value.
How the Sweepstakes Model Works
Social casinos work on a model that allows you to play to redeem cash prizes and gift cards or play for fun, depending on the in-game currency you use. There are numerous sweepstakes sites that have blackjack games. But first, here’s how the sweeps model social casinos work. Sweepstakes sites usually have two types of in-game currency. They’re most commonly called Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins, though there are small differences between platforms.
Chumba Casino uses these names, for example, but Pulsz uses Gold Coins and Sweepstakes Coins. Funzpoints, meanwhile, uses standard and premium Funzpoints. The names don’t matter much, but the function does: Gold Coins or their equivalent are used to play for fun and have no monetary value. With Sweeps Coins or their equivalent, once you play with them, they can be redeemed for cash prizes or gift cards. You cannot purchase Sweeps Coins and can only be awarded FREE Sweeps Coins via daily login bonuses, social media competitions, or mail-in offers (see below).
In order to gain the “sweepstakes” label, these sites also offer the option to mail in a request for free Sweeps Coins. If you complete the request (usually meeting very specific requirements), the site will add Sweeps Coins to your account for free. Refer to each individual site for more detailed T&Cs.
Blackjack players will enjoy Chumba Casino California because it has three different versions of the game and a welcoming bonus code. As a result, Chumba is considered one of the top social casinos.
Chumba receives accolades because it offers multiple blackjack options:
- Back Blackjack
There are two blackjack games just called blackjack at Chumba Casino. Both have different feels aesthetically but play in a similar fashion. It just comes down to personal preference. Back Blackjack has a unique side bet that involves rolling dice under certain conditions and earning a payout based on the roll. It’s a fun alternative if you want to add a bit of spice to your online blackjack play.
Pulsz Casino California is another amazing social casino that allows you to play blackjack in California. Pulsz has a single online blackjack game, so you won’t have to worry about choosing between various options.
Players can receive 2.30 free Sweepstakes Coins on sign-up. Also, if they purchase the 16,125 Gold Coin package for $9.99, they will receive 15 free Sweepstakes Coins. If players want 30 free Sweepstakes Coins, they can buy the 38,250 Gold Coin package for $19.99.
Blackjack at Casinos in California
Though online gambling has yet to truly break through in California, the state has a thriving land-based gaming scene. There are dozens of cardrooms in the state, plus a number of tribal casinos. Most, if not all, of these retail casino locations offer blackjack. California blackjack enthusiasts have myriad options:
Hawaiian Gardens Casino
Hawaiian Gardens, 11871 E Carson St, Hawaiian Gardens, CA, 90716, has more than 200 table games on offer, many of which offer blackjack. It’s open 24 hours a day, so night owl card sharks can enjoy games at any hour of the day or night.
Thunder Valley Casino Resort
Northern California blackjack players can head to Thunder Valley, just outside of Sacramento at 1200 Athens Ave, Lincoln, CA, 95648. The complex is massive — nearly 145,000 square feet— much of it dedicated to the 100+ gaming tables available. It’s open 24 hours, has bingo and live pocket, and boasts numerous restaurants and hotel rooms.
Viejas Casino & Resort
San Diego-area bettors can enjoy Viejas Casino, 5000 Willows Rd, Alpine, CA, 91901, with its high-limit gaming tables and other blackjack options. It’s a great fit for casual bettors and high rollers alike. ‘
Plenty of Casino Options
The above options are only three of the many available to folks who want to play blackjack in California. The state has a wide list of casinos and card rooms that feature blackjack.
How to Play Blackjack Online for Free in California
If you’re not ready to purchase Gold Coins at a sweepstakes site or play for real money at a land-based casino, you still have online options. There are numerous free blackjack apps in California with various features and functionality.
You can head to the Google Play Store or iOS App Store and find plenty of free blackjack apps. Some let you play on your own or even manage multiple hands at once. Others allow you to play against your friends to add some competition to the mix.
Types of Blackjack Online
Because real money online blackjack in California is still prohibited, there aren’t many variants on offer for online players. Social Casinos such as Chumba and Pulsz offer one to three versions of blackjack, and they’re structurally very similar. Most versions of sweepstakes blackjack pay 3:2 on a blackjack, which is much better than the also-common 6:5.
One fun alternate option is Chumba’s Back Blackjack, which features an interesting side bet option. If you trigger the side bet, you roll three dice, which then determine the payout depending on the amount of your bet. Otherwise, online blackjack in California — free versions and sweepstakes iterations — is pretty run-of-the-mill. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Blackjack Rules in California
California does have a few tweaks to blackjack at cardrooms and some land-based sites. These changes are made to comply with state law, and they significantly alter gameplay.
California Blackjack, as it is so named, is played to 22 instead of 21. It’s also played using a 53-card deck, which includes a joker. If you get a joker-ace combo, that’s called a natural, and your payout is 2:1. Plus, any hand that contains a joker is automatically a 21, and the hand is frozen until it is settled.
How to Play Live Dealer Blackjack Online in California
Live dealer blackjack features a real dealer, table, and cards all live streamed from a remote location. You watch on your device, making choices and bets using buttons on your phone. It’s a cool combination of real casino blackjack and online blackjack.
The catch? It’s not legal in California yet. Live dealer blackjack is a major aspect of the online casino industry in states where such gaming is legal: Michigan, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. California still doesn’t have legal online casinos, so by extension, it still doesn’t have live dealer games.
Blackjack Bonuses in California
Online casinos in legal markets offer various bonuses to compete for your business over other sites. These can include deposit matches, bonus play, or no-deposit matches. If and when California legalizes online casinos, you can expect a hugely competitive landscape with great bonuses for players.
For now, your best bet for an online blackjack bonus is to use a sweepstakes site. When you create an account, you’ll get a number of gold coins and sweeps coins to kickstart your experience. Other bonuses come with signing on daily and playing frequently. We’ll update this page with more info as California makes progress toward full-fledged online casinos.
Playing Legal Online Blackjack in California
If you see a site offering real money online blackjack in California, steer clear. There are countless offshore and gray market sites that offer their services to players in illegal markets. There are a lot of risks that come with playing at these sites. In theory, they could shut down and take your funds with them.
Instead, stick with social casinos, which are completely legal and have plenty of safeguards in place to keep you, your info, and your money safe. When you play at these sites, you are offered a safe and above-board experience. Gray market sites cannot offer you the same security, as they are inherently risky on many levels.
How to Play Online Blackjack at CA Social Casinos
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started with online social casinos in California:
- Choose your preferred social casino site. Head to the site’s homepage on your computer or mobile device.
- Sign up for an account You’ll need to provide some personal details.
- Optional: purchase in-game currency. You’ll start with some for free, so you don’t need to do this right away (or possibly ever, if you’re lucky).
- Choose your blackjack game.
- Put some coins down and start playing.
That’s it! The process is really simple. Play with Gold Coins for fun or practice. Use your FREE SC for a chance to win and redeem cash prizes or more. If you end up playing with Sweeps Coins and winning enough to get some cash prizes, you will be required to confirm your identity using some extra personal info.
How to Play Online Blackjack in California FAQs
California blackjack that’s online with real money isn’t legal. Full online casinos are not allowed in the state, so you won’t find any sites where you can gamble your actual dollars on a hand of blackjack. However, California players can enjoy online blackjack games and potentially win cash prizes and more at social casino sites.
You need to be 18 or older to play blackjack online at a social casino. If and when California legalizes online casinos, the minimum age will almost certainly be 21. California is weighing two sports betting proposals. The referendum this November will decide which proposal will come out on top.
No. Live dealer games are only available at real money online casinos, which California has not legalized. Live dealer blackjack means there are a real dealer, table, and cards that are all live streamed from a remote location. The player watches on your device, making choices and bets using buttons on their mobile.
Yes. You can use social casino sites from your mobile browser (they don’t usually have dedicated apps). Chumba Casino California and Pulsz Casino California are great social casinos to try your hand at blackjack.