✔️ USA Players Welcome
✔️ USA Players Welcome

Did you know that blackjack is played differently in many parts of the world? This popular gambling game has many variations. Some blackjack variations are geographical in nature. California blackjack would fall into that category.

Just like Atlantic City blackjack and European blackjack, California blackjack has some adjustments that make it unique. You might find that some of these rule changes are beneficial to the player. Here is a closer look at the game of blackjack as it is played in some California card rooms. Here we don’t list where to play blackjack IN California, but you can pick one of the recommended online casinos to play blackjack online FROM California.

About California Blackjack

In California casino gambling is not permitted, with some exceptions. One of these exceptions is the card room. These card rooms are often called casinos, but they are only allowed to offer specific games to the local population. Most card rooms are reserved for Texas Hold ‘Em poker, but some have also been licensed to offer California blackjack.

There are two basic types of California blackjack. The first is blackjack offered in tribal casinos. This version of the game is the same as you would find in any offline or online casino. However, the current laws regarding tribal blackjack in California are still in a sort of murky area. The more common variety of California blackjack is that found in poker card rooms.

Blackjack offered by a card room in California is unique to say the least. The big difference is that card rooms are not allowed to “bank” or spread a blackjack game. What this means is that the card room cannot act as the bank the way the casino does. What the card room can do is spread a blackjack game and take a percentage like they do in a poker game. The players then play among themselves.

Casinos are usually good at finding ways to skirt the rules. In California blackjack the card rooms have found a way around the banker issue. They hire third parties who are willing to serve as the banker for the game. These third parties play the role of house and bankroll the game. If they lose money, the casino does not bear the loss. If they win, the casino still reaps its portion or percentage of he money being wagered.

How to Play California Blackjack

You might be thinking that this style of blackjack would affect the general manner in which California blackjack is played. In truth, the game is played like any other type of blackjack. Players are still trying to make a total of 21 without going over, and they must be closer to the total of 21 than the dealer.

The third party dealer isn’t something that comes into play when the player is betting on live California blackjack hands. Most players just act as though they are playing against the house. There is still a need for skill and the use of blackjack basic strategy if you want to win in this game.  

California Blackjack Rule Variations

In California blackjack house rules are the name of the game. This means that each card room has a little bit of liberty when creating their own blackjack rule variations. While some of the card rooms prefer to stick to a general version of the game that does not vary from blackjack online or in Las Vegas, others have gone so far as to use jokers in the game.

A joker may be given a value of 2 or 12, or it may be valued as a 1 or 11 like the aces in the deck. Some card rooms regard the joker as a true wildcard. In some other cases the payout for a blackjack can differ if you are dealt a joker to begin the hand of California blackjack.

There is also the matter of taking turns as a the “dealer” of the game. This can happen even when the third party is tasked with dealing the game. The player has a house edge when serving their turn as the dealer, but they must also pay off other players who win while they are taking their turn at dealing the game.

Blackjack Strategy for California Games

The basic blackjack strategy that applies to blackjack games throughout the world is also valid when playing California blackjack. When the player is serving as the dealer there is no strategy to be used. The dealer is still bound by specific rules such as standing on 17 and hitting on 16.

The player who is not dealing the game should stick to the basic blackjack strategy that is accepted by all players as vital to winning. Yes, there are some variations to basic strategy as described by some famous blackjack authors. However, the essence of the strategy is the same.

Playing Blackjack in Live Card Rooms Vs. Online

Some blackjack players still find it hard to wrap their heads around California blackjack. For these players, online blackjack might be a better solution. The blackjack games that you will find at online casinos are more like the games that are played in actual live casinos.

Other players do not like the idea of having to serve as the banker in a blackjack game. Even though this has an advantage for the player in the long term, it can also be devastating in single hands. The player can easily face a run in California blackjack where he or she busts every time when serving as the dealer. This means that the player is responsible for the payouts. In online blackjack there is no such situation. The player will always be competing against the house.

Of course, you can play online blackjack from the comfort of home. You can only play California blackjack at one of the state’s live card rooms. It is simply more convenient  for many players to enjoy blackjack online. You can read the Casino Max review, Miami Club casino review , High Country casino review, Lucky Hippo Casino review, or Roaring 21 review to name a few.


  1. How do the Joker cards function in California Blackjack?
    • Jokers act as wild cards and can be assigned any point value that helps achieve a total of 21. In some versions of the game, Jokers may be worth either 2 or 12 points​.
  2. Where can California Blackjack be played?
    • California Blackjack is typically played in physical card rooms in California due to the state’s laws prohibiting house-banked games. However, it is not available online as of the information available​.

Related Topics:

Leave A Comment

Please enter your name. Please enter an valid email address. Please enter message.
error: Content is protected !!