Online Blackjack Casinos Offering Single Deck (or Two Deck) Games
The online blackjack casinos offering single deck or two-deck games are legion. The pitfall real money gamblers playing single deck blackjack have to avoid is playing the game with unfair or unbalanced rules. Internet casinos are prone to compensate for single-deck blackjack by configuring rules which swing the favor back to the casino. Players need to get used to the fact that almost all one-deck games of blackjack online allow the dealer to hit on a soft 17, instead of standing. Strict rules on doubling, splitting, and surrender are also enforced in many games of single-deck blackjack.
This page discusses the various versions of single-deck and two-deck blackjack you'll find online. I'm going to organize this information according to the major Internet casino software designers. Casinos supported by the famous brands of software tend to have similar game selections, so this works as a good sign post for your gaming searches. You'll occasionally find a casino or two which has special house rules, but those are the exceptions. Even between companies, the variations are subtle. Playtech, Microgaming, Rival Gaming, and RTG software has a remarkable sameness to their single-deck game rules, though the variations can change the house edge slightly between one brand and the next.
Blackjack Pro by Playtech
In Playtech casinos, the single-deck blackjack game is called either "blackjack pro" or "blackjack professional". This might confuse a few players, but at least Playtech has a recognizable brand name for their one-deck games which can be found quickly. Playtech is a brand of online casino software which powers over 230 different online gambling websites around the globe. Playtech is based out of the Isle of Man, so it caters to UK players and European real money gamblers. This game lets the dealer hit on a soft 17. Players can double on a 10 or 11 only. The player can split only one time and cannot double after splitting. No surrender rules are in place, while the dealer peeks for a natural blackjack when showing a 10 or an ace. Blackjack Pro has a house edge of 0.48%, which means (on average) a player wins back $99.52 of every $100 wagered.
Blackjack software from Microgaming offers a single-deck version. Players will need to click on this link specifically, because it won't be found on the classic blackjack game from Microgaming. I've noticed Microgaming likes to show a lot of different game modes, so the multi-hand and gold series editions of all their core games are listed separately. When you get to one of the big Microgaming casinos, look for the 1-deck version under its own listing. Not all of these sites are going to offer this option, since the house edge is smaller on single-deck blackjack, all other things being equal. Microgaming is found on over 250 gambling websites worldwide (including over 100 casinos), so this is a widespread platform. Several of the biggest names in European casinos use Microgaming, though no site which uses the product accept US players.
Vegas Single Deck Blackjack
Another game to look for when on a Microgaming site is what's labeled "Vegas single deck blackjack". This game offers 3:2 on a natural twenty-one and 1:1 on insurance (which shouldn't be taken). All hands can be split once and once only. Aces which are split only receive on more card. The dealer hits with a soft 17. Doubling is only allowed on a 9, 10, or 11. Several of those rules hurt your chances, but the overall game is still an advantageous one to you.
Rival Gaming Casinos
Rival Gaming is an online casino software development company based in Nicosia, Cyprus. Rival Gaming offers single-deck blackjack as part of its software package, so a good place to search for single-deck games is in the RivalGaming casinos. This is good news for players from the United Kingdom and Europe, but less interesting to American real money gamblers. Rival Gaming powers 89 different only gambling sites around the world. Most of these websites accept players from the UK, but Rival Gaming supports only a couple of sites which accept American players.
RealTime Gaming Blackjack
All this information might make the United States blackjack players wonder where they might enjoy single-deck blackjack online. I have written about a lot RTG casinos over the years and I haven't found too many of them with 1-deck blackjack. The default setting on the RTG software is for 2-deck blackjack, though. Real Time Gaming allows the operators who license their software a lot of freedom in setting policies, so it's thought in the blackjack community that most RTG sites set the deck level higher, possibly at 4 decks. The fact is, you'll find a wide variety of deck sizes, though two deck blackjack is a possibility.
The standard rules on a game of RTG blackjack allows the dealer to hit on a soft 17. The player can double on the first two cards, as well as double after a split. When the player wants, he or she can split up to a maximum of twice, so you can have up to three hands. Late surrender can be configured in the software, but most RTG casinos don't have late surrender (the most famous RTG site does). When the dealer has a blackjack (natural 21), the player only loses their original wager. Once again, this game is likely to have 4 decks, but might have 2.
How to Spot Single Deck Blackjack
Most of the time, you'll find the game marked as single-deck blackjack. If you don't happen to notice this distinction, then look to see if the cards are dealt from a shoe or from the dealer's hand (or equivalently online, from a deck). If the simulation software is right, multi-deck games are dealt from a shoe, while the one-deck games are dealt by the dealer from his hand, like you would in a home game of blackjack. Since online casino simulations don't have to be correct, this might not always be the case on the Internet. In a land-based casino setting, you can use this method to spot single-deck blackjack, though this fact is usually advertised.
Beware 6:5 Blackjack
One way casino managers offset the loss in profits from offering single-deck blackjack is to make up the difference through other rules modifications. A common way to change the house edge in the casino's favor is to advertise games of 6:5 blackjack with a single-deck. In this rule variation, the natural-21 pays at 6-to-5 odds instead of the traditional 3-to-2. This is a huge disadvantage to you (more than 1% negative variation), so gamblers should never sit down at a 6:5 table. The same goes for online blackjack: never play 6:5 single-deck blackjack online.