The Hottest Online Blackjack Trends for 2020
If 2019 was anything to go by, then this year is set to be a huge one for online blackjack.
From increased investment in technology to speculations on new game-winning tactics, we’ve taken a look at the hottest online blackjack trends for 2020: what we expect to see, and what players demand is changed.
Increased live blackjack tables
Live blackjack is by far the hottest trend over the past few years, and that’s not changing in 2020. Players love live blackjack: the entertaining chats with dealers, the true-to-life atmosphere, playing with other people – it ticks so many boxes.
Just as importantly, it feels more human than RNG blackjack. You’re more connected to others and the stakes always feel higher at live tables.
We fully expect casinos to ramp up their live offerings this year. Not just the raw number of tables, but also the quality of production, game variety, and interaction options. Innovations like Blackjack Party and Infinite Blackjack have taken the industry by storm – what can we expect to see next?
More game variations
The past few years have seen a number of new blackjack variants pop up online. Ranging from the intriguing to the bizarre, games like Double Attack Blackjack, Zombie Blackjack, Easy Jack, and 21 Duel have all been smash hits among players.
So the big question is: what do developers have in store for us this year? We’re predicting some seriously out-the-box thinking as providers try to capture our interest with one new, groundbreaking variant. Unfortunately for the blackjack purists, these will also push further away from “classic” blackjack.
One area likely to be exploited is the development of side bets and progressive blackjack. Low win potential is probably the biggest problem with blackjack, which is why the progressive games are so enticing. And while side bets currently offer some excitement, the increase in house edge makes players hesitant to use them. Perhaps we’ll see more advantageous side bets, or something new we haven’t even thought of yet.
Live virtual reality blackjack
In 2019, virtual reality headsets went from “kind of interesting” to “incredibly immersive and realistic.” Right now the casino-related technology is still in its infancy; we know that. But in the quest for the most immersive and realistic online gaming experience possible, VR and AR present an incredible opportunity.
Imagine instead of clicking chips and a “deal” button, we start picking up our own chips and carrying the cards in our ‘hands’. The dealer might be replaced by an avatar, or perhaps augmented reality tech will be invented which puts a real dealer at the player’s virtual table.
That might be asking too much of 2020, but we fully expect to see developers experimenting and, if nothing else, giving players a taste of VR blackjack. Since rudimentary VR headsets can be made with smartphones and cardboard, it might not even be cost-prohibitive for players.
Online blackjack using cryptocurrency
Some online casinos and developers like cryptocurrency; others don’t. There are even full “Bitcoin Casinos” where all players can wager is crypto. While the mass hype around cryptocurrency has abated, more and more ‘traditional’ online casinos are accepting currencies like Bitcoin and Litecoins.
Whether or not this can really take off depends on much larger market forces. If cryptocurrency becomes more widely adopted in other industries, we’re very confident it’ll spread towards the blackjack tables as well.
Continued emphasis on mobile gameplay and UX
In almost every respect, we are relying more on smartphones and less on desktop PCs or laptops. This is especially true for online gaming and blackjack. Part of that is flexibility (i.e. you don’t need to be at home to play) but also the simple fact that we love using our phones.
2019 saw the biggest surges yet towards mobile-dominant play, and we think this will continue in 2020. Downloadable casino apps will become even less popular. The big focus for developers will be on in-game experience for mobile browsers.
More intuitive controls, reliable navigation + search, sharper graphics, higher stakes, more diverse gameplay – there’s a lot for developers to work on, and we’re confident that by the end of 2020, mobile blackjack will be an incredible experience. Naturally we expect this for both RNG and live dealer formats.
Increased popularity of card counting – and measures against it
There’s been a powerful rise in the number of live dealer blackjack tables at online casinos. With crazy rule adjustments like 6:5 blackjack coming into place, we could well see an increase in live players, at 3:2 tables, attempting to count cards and claw that house edge back around zero.
Casinos are largely safe from card counters: it requires incredible discipline and skill, and RNG games (which is the majority of online blackjack) shuffle between hands. However, players can now use software to employ basic strategy in real-time: is a card counting software the next big breakthrough?
And if the casinos catch a whiff, what will that mean for anti-counting measures? More shuffling, larger decks, crazier rules?
Continued expansion and changes of rules
Classic 3:2 blackjack is still available at the vast majority of casinos – along with up to dozens of unusual variations. From subtle rule variations (like the evolution of 3:2 to 6:5) to total game overhauls (like ‘player’s choice’) and regional differences, blackjack’s rules are always changing.
Many players don’t know or care about the differences; they’re not meticulously applying basic strategy to eke out every advantage. They want fun, and these game expansions and variations can provide exactly that.
As casinos and developers attempt to reel in more players and increase interest in the game over 2020, we can expect rule changes and adjustments to form part of those attempts.
Some of our predictions are obvious (like investment in mobile play) and others are a bit more speculative. What we know for sure is that online blackjack is going to keep growing this year, reaching more players and delivering an even more incredible experience. We can’t wait.