Even in the years after both the federal government and a handful of state law enforcement agencies began limiting American citizens’ access to Internet wagering, online casino gambling is big business in the United States. The American Gaming Association’s most recent data indicates that US gamblers wager about $9 billion a year over the Internet, placing bets on everything from bingo and state lottery games to poker tournaments and casino table action like blackjack.

Americans can now play games of chance and skill for real cash prizes on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and some games on popular social media sites are already paying out prizes and (in some cases) actual US dollars. Blackjack, a popular casino game since the early 18th century, is available to USA players who want to lay real-money bets, provided those gamblers don’t live in one of eight states that have outlawed Internet wagering.

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United States Online Blackjack Games & US Law

Three sets of laws apply to casino gambling over the Internet in the United States: federal gambling law, state gambling statutes, and financial restrictions imposed by the federal government. Blackjack players have nothing to fear in terms of federal law. The US Justice Department recently clarified the Wire Act of 1961, often interpreted as a law banning all types of online gambling, to apply only to sports wagers. As for state law, only citizens of Illinois, Indiana, LouisianaMontana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin are restricted from placing bets online due to language in those state’s penal codes. It’s important to point out that no online gamblers have been arrested or charged under any of those state laws, and that attitudes towards online betting in America are changing as states look for new sources of tax revenue.

The last category of American law that impacts online casino gamblers is a set of banking regulations designed to prevent Internet betting. Specifically, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, known as the UIGEA bill. An attempt on the part of a few Congressmen to stop online wagering of all forms in America, the UIGEA placed restrictions on the way banks and other financial institutions in America do business with known gambling sites. It’s because of the UIGEA that most Americans can’t deposit funds to their online gambling accounts with a credit or debit card, the simplest way of doing so. Adding funds and retrieving money from your Internet bankroll is a bit of a headache if you’re a US citizen, but legal loopholes exist that allow wannabe casino customers to make deposits to sites that accept real-money wagers.

How to Fund a US Blackjack Casino Account

If you want to play blackjack over the Internet and you live in the United States, you probably won’t be able to deposit money to bet with by plugging in your credit card number or sending a deposit from your checking account electronically. Some American gamblers report success using MasterCard and VISA-branded credit and debit cards to make deposits, but the vast majority of these deposits are blocked by the UIGEA bill or the casino site itself, in order to follow US law.

One way to fund your account from the US is to purchase a prepaid credit/debit card product. Available from all the major credit card brands, prepaid cards are either actual physical cards loaded with a set amount of cash (and requiring a small activation fee before you use them) or online-only accounts used for any kind of Internet purchase, including deposits to some betting sites. Most of the time, deposits to your online gambling account using these cards is the easiest way around the restrictions on USA deposits.

If the casino you choose to play your blackjack game at doesn’t accept these prepaid cards as valid deposit methods, they probably have their own preferred deposit method for their American customers. Some sites let you send funds via wire transfer services, others work with third-party funds transfer methods, like eWallets. Using these services, you can transfer money from your traditional credit or debit card to a sort of financial middle man, and then transfer it to your player account using the site’s cashier service. Both of these methods have fees associated with them, so look into all your options and talk to your casino’s customer service department before you choose a method for adding money to your gambling bankroll.

Blackjack Game Varieties at USA Accepted Online Casinos

One of the benefits of playing blackjack and other classic table games on the Internet is the variety in which these games appear at online casinos. If you walk into a casino in Vegas or a tribal gaming property anywhere in the US, you may only have one or two different versions of 21 to choose from, and you’re likely to see just one version of the game, following standard American rules.

Online casino software competition has created a series of new versions of blackjack not normally found in traditional American casinos. It’s common to have a choice of between two and twelve variations on the game, each of which has a slightly different set of rules. European-rules games are common at US-facing gambling sites; also known as no-peek blackjack, this is blackjack as it’s played throughout Europe, in which the dealer doesn’t check for blackjack before the player makes his first in-game decisions.

Other variants of blackjack available to US players at Internet casinos include a miniature version of the game (which lets you play other games, check your email, or just play in a smaller-sized window), variants that include side wagers that pay out for specific hand combinations, and even live dealer games in which webcams are used to allow players to interact with a casino dealer in real-time. Variety in game rules is a big draw for American casino gamblers who turn to the Internet for their casino action.