Of all the card games available in casinos in Detroit, Grand Rapids and online – there is no game more popular than blackjack. Straightforward gameplay, big money side bets and a strategy element have kept generations of blackjack players entertained.
You will find a complete guide to blackjack in Michigan on this page. For beginners, there is a playing guide. For more experienced players there is a comparison of the games, rule variations and big money side bets available in the Great Lake State.
Online blackjack now has multiple options. You can stick to the regular game, try one of many entertaining variants, or head to a live dealer online casino. These are covered below, along with some of the casino bonuses waiting for blackjack fans.
Casino gambling, including blackjack and other table games, was approved in a 1996 statewide referendum. It was signed into law the following year as the ‘Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act’. This allowed for three commercial casinos in Detroit — along with the expansion of tribal casinos across the state.
It was more than 20 years later that legislation would allow online blackjack games. Three bills were passed in 2019 with one expanding casino gambling to cover websites and casino apps, and separate bills for sports betting and lottery games. Bill HB4311 set up licensing, taxation, and regulations for online casinos.
Blackjack is now legal inside state lines at online casinos and the first online blackjack games could go live in 2020.
When you strip away the different betting options, side bets and variations – blackjack is a simple game. Your aim is to beat the dealer in every hand you play. There are two ways you can do this:
There is a basic strategy you can learn to avoid making mistakes in blackjack games. This will show you the optimal play for your two cards and the dealer’s up-card. Once you know when to hit, stand, double, or split for each combination — you can make small adjustments based on the specific details of the rules in use at each casino.
Before any cards are dealt, each player will place a bet. The dealer then gives each player two cards, face up. The dealer gets one card face up and one face down. If that face-up card (called the upcard) is a 10, face card or ace, the dealer will ‘peek’ at the hidden card.
If this completes a blackjack (ace and a 10-value card) then the hand ends there. All non-blackjack hands for players lose, and any blackjacks get their bet back (known as a ‘push’). Insurance will be offered to players if the upcard is an ace before the dealer peeks.
Players act in turn. Based on their total, the dealer upcard and the specific rules in the casino, the following options are available:
Players can make multiple decisions on the same hand, for example hitting more than once or hitting/doubling (if allowed) after a split. Aces can count as either one or 11 for a blackjack hand. Face cards count as 10 and other cards at their number value. If you go over 21, then the dealer will immediately remove your hand and your bet.
When all players have completed their hands, the dealer will reveal the down card. The rules for how the dealer acts are part of the rules. There are two main variations: stand on any 17, or hit on soft 17. If the dealer busts by going over 21, all players with live hands will win. If not, then the dealer’s total is compared to each player’s total to assess who wins, loses or pushes.
Side bets are handled separately to the main game, these are covered in more detail below.
Online casino gaming in Michigan gives you two new ways to access blackjack games. You can play through the browser of your computer — or install a mobile phone app and enjoy blackjack on the move.
Online blackjack allows you to play for much smaller stakes than you will find in the casinos across the state. You can play for 50 cents per hand and up at some casinos. High rollers can enjoy blackjack for $100+ per hand online. There are plenty of blackjack variations available, plus many different side-bets.
You will be able to enjoy online blackjack with real dealers. This will be available via selected online casinos using a studio located inside live casinos to stream games in real-time. Live-dealer blackjack has a social element (you can chat via text with the dealers and other players). You will sit at a seven-seat table, making decisions on hands just like you would in a real casino.
Most of the online casinos in Michigan will let you try their blackjack games for free. This applies to the software-based games, not the live dealer ones. Learning the game on a free blackjack app is the perfect way to get the basic strategy memorized. Since making mistakes (hitting when you should be standing and so on) costs money in the long run, it makes sense to make these mistakes with nothing at risk.
If you are training for a trip to a live casino, remember to make sure the free blackjack variation you are playing matches the local rules. This should be ‘American’ blackjack, with the dealer hitting on soft 17 and regular (any two) double-down rules.
Real money blackjack comes with many entertaining variations. Trying these out for free will give you a chance to find your favorites without risking any money.
Blackjack comes in many variations online. There is a choice of side bets, often with big prizes. There are minor rules variations, plus fresh new games based on the blackjack concept.
Online casinos offer bonuses for new players. They include no-deposit bonuses, matched deals based on the amount of your first deposit and rebates on losses.
If you play at any online casino, it is always worth taking advantage of the latest casino bonus codes. Keep in mind that the way different online casino brands treat blackjack for bonus clearing will have significant differences.
Most casinos will ‘weight’ table games for bonus clearance. This means they only use a part of your stake for each bet as a contribution to your playthrough. The reason is blackjack (at least when played correctly) has a low house edge compared to other casino games.
It can pay to compare these weightings and make sure you are getting the best deal for clearing your bonus. Some casinos exclude blackjack completely, others count this at between 10% and 25% of your stake money.
Promotions and loyalty rewards for blackjack players at each online casino can also be compared before you choose which operator to play with.
Blackjack rules are player-friendly in Michigan. Most casinos have a wide range of table stakes. Some smaller tribal casinos in northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula have $2 and $3 minimums, with bigger Detroit and Grand Rapids casinos starting at $5. With 3:2 payouts for blackjack, the house edge is better than the type of games you can find in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
Most Michigan blackjack games follow these rules:
Side bets for blackjack games include the ‘Super 4 Progressives,’ which pays based on your own two cards and the dealer’s first two cards. This optional bet pays a jackpot for a four-card Royal Flush in diamonds, with big prizes for other high hands. You get paid if the dealer gets blackjack too — making it similar to insurance-type bets.
Other popular side bets in Michigan include 21+3, Perfect Pairs and Blazing 777.
A big reason for the popularity of blackjack is the low house edge. What you will find is the specifics of the rules make a big difference to your returns. Here are some key things to look out for:
Side bets have big win potential, they also have a far worse house edge than the main game. Many gamblers know this and still choose to enjoy these bets. The chance of a jackpot or big windfall adds enough excitement to their blackjack session to be worth the house edge ‘rake.’
The following outlines the various blackjack games you can find throughout Michigan, including progressives.
The largest casino resort in Detroit also has the biggest blackjack side bet. Super 4 Progressive Blackjack is an optional wager that uses your cards and the dealer’s cards — and can pay big jackpots. You will find regular blackjack games at different stakes, free bet blackjack, perfect pairs side bets, high tie blackjack, tri-lux blackjack and Spanish 21.
There are 59 table games on offer in the historic building of the MotorCity Casino that include several blackjack variations. This casino also offers the Super 4 Progressive side bet, along with Spanish 21, Tri Lux blackjack, house money blackjack and a game called buster blackjack, which allows you to win a side bet that pays more based on the number of cards in the dealer’s busted hand.
The third downtown Detroit casino is based in the famous Greektown district. This big casino offers blackjack with multiple side-bet options. You will find double-deck blackjack on offer as well. Variations include Perfect Pairs, Tri Lux blackjack (with Lucky George dealer envy), and 21+3 (also with dealer envy). This casino has a wide game selection that includes Face Up Pai Gow, Mississippi Stud Poker and craps.
There are three Four Winds Casinos in Michigan, run by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. The biggest is the New Buffalo casino, which features 3,000 slots and 60 table games. These include popular blackjack variations and side bets, plus free bet blackjack. You can join the W Club, using a card that tracks your play for rewards. You will also find a fourth Four Winds Casino in South Bend, Indiana.
The 76 table games at Firekeepers include multiple blackjack games. This casino uses the Super 4 progressive side bet that you find in the Detroit casinos. This combines four cards (your two and the dealer’s two) with a progressive for each suit and a ‘star’ one. This casino does not have a wide selection of blackjack variations. Other table games include Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Let It Ride and baccarat.
There are only 12 table games total at this smaller tribal casino. Two blackjack variations are spread. One uses just two decks, with the lower stakes game using six decks. Players can play up to two hands per game if seats are open. Other table games at Bay Mills Casino include Ultimate Texas Hold’em, roulette and Three-Card Poker.
This is a larger casino located in West Michigan, with 46 table games and 2,200 slots. Blackjack comes with different rules as your bet sizes go up. There are progressive side bets for blackjack and other table games including Mississippi Stud and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. There is also a non-smoking, 14-seat poker room at Gun Lake, plus a buffet and 24-hour dining options.
This venue spreads blackjack games at a wide variety of table limits. You can bet anything from $5 to $500 on their tables, though higher stakes are available on request. The only blackjack variant listed is Spanish 21, which uses a cut deck with the 10s removed. Roulette and casino poker variations, along with craps complete the table games list. This resort has clubs, restaurants, bars, and a golf course.
There are five Michigan casinos run by the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. They are located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. These are smaller casinos compared to many listed here, with limited table game options. Blackjack is available at all five locations. You will find dining options, accommodation (including RV parks) and facilities for groups and conventions at the Kewadin Casinos.
This smaller northern Michigan casino only has table games running Thursday through Sunday, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Blackjack has limits from $5 to $200 at the regular tables, with higher limits available on request. Leelanau casino also spreads three-card poker, roulette, craps, Mississippi Stud Poker, Texas Hold’em and has around 350 slots.
This mid-sized casino is located in Manistee. They have 1,500 slots and a small selection of the most popular table games. Table limits are bigger than at many casinos, with games up to $5,000 per hand available. This casino has a hotel, bistro, buffet, and a sports bar.
You can play golf and stay in the hotel at this casino resort. Table games have limited hours, open 3 p.m. to midnight most days. Blackjack options include a two-deck game and a six-deck game. Minimum bets are lower than at many casinos, starting at just $2 per hand and going up to $100. You will also find a selection of popular slot machines, electronic table games and bingo.
This tribal casino has a unique building structure. They host 1,000+ slots, multiple table games and a poker room. Blackjack options include single-deck games, double-deck blackjack and bonus spin blackjack. You will also be able to play roulette, craps, and popular casino poker variations. This casino has bars and clubs, dining options an event center and a hotel.
There are two smaller Ojibwa casinos in Michigan. One is in Baraga, the other near Marquette. Like many smaller tribal casinos, table games are open for a limited period from 4 p.m. until midnight weekdays and until 2 a.m. on weekends. Blackjack includes a two-deck game and six-deck version with limits starting at $5 and going up to $300. You will also find Let it Ride and roulette.
This tribal casino only has electronic ‘virtual’ blackjack games, along with a selection of slots. It is owned by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council, who also owns the Soaring Eagle Casino (see below).
You can play up to three blackjack hands against the dealer at Soaring Eagle (as long as there is space at the table). Favorable rules include late surrender and three resplits. This casino also features multi-game progressive jackpot side bets. Other games include three-card poker, Criss Cross Poker, Chase the Flush, roulette, and slots.
This mid-sized casino has some interesting features including a room dedicated to Lightning Link slots. They spread blackjack with a range of minimum and maximum bets starting at $5. There are many other table games, though no blackjack variants. Games spread includes the main casino poker variations, roulette, and craps. You will find a hotel and multiple dining options.