What is Blackjack?
Blackjack is a classic casino game that is played between the player and the house. It’s easy to learn and quick to play. In a game of blackjack, you and the dealer are dealt two cards. The goals is to draw more cards to get as close as possible to a total of 21. You win by beating the dealer’s total without going over 21. Blackjack is now available at all land-based casinos in NY. Play for small stakes or hit the VIP room and play for hundreds of dollars. You can even try unique blackjack variants with side bets like Perfect Pairs. Ready to learn more? Check out our top guide to blackjack.
Is Blackjack Online Legal in New York?
No, blackjack is not legal to play online in New York. Despite the state legalizing commercial casinos in the state, online blackjack is not legal in NY. However, there are moves to regulate online and mobile sports betting in the state. Casino fans will be hoping that the Empire State finally lets residents and visitors gamble on blackjack without having to travel to a land-based casino.
While online blackjack NY isn’t available for real cash, players can still enjoy table games at New York casinos. There are more than 30 brick-and-mortar casinos in the state, all offering table games such as blackjack and roulette. Gamblers must be 21 and older to play at New York casinos.
Tribal casinos are shared among three tribes who operate legal gambling properties: the Seneca Nation of Indians, the St. Regis Mohawks and the Oneida Indian Nation of New York. The state also has a small selection of commercial casinos and racinos that offer live blackjack. Casinos and racinos provide a general mix of dealer-dealt blackjack tables and automated blackjack games.
Commercial casinos with blackjack
- Del Lago Resort and Casino
- Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino
- Resorts World Catskills
- Rivers Casino & Resort
- Tioga Downs & Casino
- Batavia Downs Casino
- Empire City Casino
- The Fairgrounds
- Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack
- Monticello Gaming & Raceway
- Resorts World New York City
- Saratoga Casino & Raceway
- Vernon Downs & Casino
Does New York Have Any Plans to Legalize Online Blackjack?
While neighboring New Jersey has gone full steam ahead with legalized gambling online, NY has lagged way behind. In 2021, it’s still illegal to play online blackjack in NY for real money. In fact, only now is the state considering even legalizing online sports betting. The first mobile sportsbooks could appear in NY later in 2021. It’s not all bad news for the state's blackjack players. They can play blackjack table games at over 30 tribal and commercial casinos in the state. Plus, online sweepstakes casinos and social casinos accept players based in the Empire State.
Can I Use Online Casinos in NJ to Play Blackjack in New York?
New Jersey legalized online casino games such as blackjack and roulette back in 2012. And in 2013, New Jersey became the first US state to enjoy a full-legal internet casino. The Garden State boasts some of the most successful online blackjack casinos in the country, many featuring live dealer blackjack in which a player at home faces a real dealer via video stream.
You can register your NJ casino account from anywhere in the US, even in NY. However, to play a real-money blackjack game, you will have to drive into New Jersey before logging into your account and playing. It’s a method used by thousands of New Yorkers and could speed up online casino legislation back in the Empire State.
What Benefits Come from Playing Blackjack Online vs In- Person?
Is online blackjack legal in NY? Not yet, but when the first casino games appear, they will offer plenty of benefits over playing in-person, live blackjack at a land-based casino:
- Lower minimum stakes
- A bonus when you sign up, often including a first-deposit match (be sure to check EmpireStakes for the applicable bonus code to claim!)
- Free-play games that let you learn the rules
- Exciting blackjack variants like Spanish 21 and Perfect Pairs
- Eligible toward an online casino loyalty program
Why are Some Sites Offering Online Blackjack in New York?
You won’t find legal online blackjack games for real money in NY, and we strongly recommend against signing up with an illegal, offshore site. These online casinos aren’t regulated in the United States and should be avoided. There is no guarantee you will receive your winnings or get an accurate payout when you make a withdrawal. Some offshore casinos will delay honoring bonuses and promotions, too.
Our best advice is to try free-play blackjack online at social casinos run by NY casinos. Alternatively, travel to your nearest New York casino to play your favorite casino game there or sign up for a NJ online casino and travel across the border to play.
Why Not Play NY Blackjack at an Offshore Casino
Online blackjack games in New York are still illegal. And while you have the option to play at offshore casinos that accept US gamblers, here’s why we don’t recommend it:
High Playthrough Requirements: Always be wary of bonuses that are too good to be true. An offshore casino might offer a deposit match worth 200% up to $2,000. However, if the playthrough requirement is 50-60x, you’ll struggle to clear the bonus funds.
Hidden Terms and Conditions: Offshore casinos may hide away their terms and conditions. Look out for impossible bonus terms where you’ll be at risk of losing all your bonus funds. Poor online casinos may bring up unfounded accusations of bonus abuse, with little opportunity to complain.
Lengthy Withdrawal Times: Ready to cash out? Offshore casinos have no obligation to process cash outs in a timely fashion. You may be waiting weeks or months for your money to arrive.
Lack of an Operator License: Some offshore casinos do carry gaming licenses. However, they will be in jurisdictions that cater illegally to US-based players. Licenses may be issued without the proper checks on the company.
Poor or Non-Existent Customer Support: Offshore casinos may not offer a phone service or live chat if anything goes wrong. Disputes may not be handled in a timely fashion.
Hidden Fees for Withdrawing Your Money: Cash outs should be free wherever possible. Unscrupulous online casinos based overseas may issue charges whenever you make a withdrawal.
Rigged Games: The worst problem of an offshore casino is that you can’t be sure the blackjack games are legit. The random number generators (RNGs) might not be properly audited to ensure a fair shuffle and deal every time.
So, How Can I Play Blackjack in New York?
You can still play online blackjack in NY and win real money by joining a sweepstakes casino. Sweepstakes casinos are a recent phenomenon in US online casino gambling. Sites like Chumba Casino run special blackjack games that award you with “Sweeps Coins” when you win a hand. You can then use your Sweeps Coins to enter contests where real prizes, sometimes including cash, are awarded.
Whether you’re playing at a free-play blackjack online casino in NY or taking part in sweepstakes casino games, there’s something for you.
The hope is state legislators see the tax revenue boon for New Jersey and Pennsylvania and legalize online casinos and blackjack sooner rather than later. If NY wants to stop gamblers traveling across the border to New Jersey to bet, they will have to regulate soon. Bookmark this page for the latest updates as and when the legal landscape changes.
Meet a NY Blackjack Player Who Changed the Game
Ken Uston is a genuine legend in the world of blackjack. The New Yorker developed new card counting techniques and won millions at casinos in New Jersey. He was later inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. A Yale and Harvard graduate, Uston spent his free weekends during the 1970s and 1980s playing blackjack. He was later brought into a blackjack team headed by Al Francesco. The strategy used was known as "Big Player." The idea was that players would work in teams to find tables that had favorable decks. Players would bet high at tables with high counts to maximize their returns.
After winning hundreds of thousands of dollars, Uston wrote “The Big Player: How a Team of Blackjack Players Made a Million Dollars.” The book drew huge attention, mainly from fellow card counters who were furious about Uston revealing their secrets. Uston would go on to form his own card-counting teams, even developing a unique mini-computer to use on casino floors. He died in 1987, but his place in blackjack lore was secure.
What Forms Of Online Gambling Are Legal in New York?
New York has been slow in legalizing gambling online compared to its neighbors. However, mobile sports betting was legalized in 2021. The first mobile sports betting apps should launch in late 2021 or early 2022. Regulators are working on the finite details and releasing answers to some of the popular sports betting questions New Yorkers have. Land-based casinos are already up and running in the Empire State. However, regulated online casinos and poker sites may still be a few years away. You can also bet on horse racing through several online platforms in the state. The NY Lottery does not sell l individual Lottery tickets online but has subscriptions available online for LOTTO, Mega Millions, and Cash4Life.
The Future of NY Online Blackjack
Blackjack in NY is legal as long as it’s played in brick ‘n mortar casinos or a sweepstake casino. However, with mobile sports betting now legalized, it may be only a matter of time before online casino games in New York follow. With many New Yorkers traveling over the border to Pennsylvania and New Jersey to play blackjack online, the Empire State is missing out on valuable tax revenues. There could well be a push toward regulated online casino gambling in NY within the next few years.
NY Blackjack FAQ
No. Online casino games in New York, including blackjack, are not legal. However, you can play sweepstakes blackjack legally in NY.
NY legalized online and mobile sports betting in 2021. The first regulated sports betting apps should launch in later in the year or by early 2022.
No, you can't. While you can register for an online casino account in another state, you must be in that state to log on and play for real cash.
Online sports betting is now legal in NY. Online casino and poker legislation could follow within a few years judging by the success of similar laws in NJ and PA.
No. Offshore blackjack casinos are not properly licensed or governed. We would never recommend you sign up and trust your money with an offshore online casino.
Jon Young is a writer and magazine editor with over 12 years' experience in the gaming sector. He has written on everything from poker and slots to casino, sports betting and mobile gambling. When not trying to take down the Mega Moolah jackpot he can be found playing poker tournaments in casinos.