Can You Play Blackjack in Florida?

State of Florida Flag on Left and a Blackjack Table on Right

With card rooms, poker rooms, racetracks, and tribal casinos, Florida offers many gambling opportunities. However, it also features strange gambling laws along with these opportunities.

Some games are only permitted in specific establishments. Therefore, you might wonder if and where you can play blackjack—one of the most popular casino games—in the Sunshine State.

The following post covers whether or not this game is legal here. It also discusses if you can play online blackjack within the state. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about blackjack in Florida.

Yes, You Can Legally Play Blackjack in Florida

To cut to the chase, yes, blackjack is legal in Florida. It’s available at several casinos throughout the Sunshine State.

As I’ll cover later, most Florida gambling venues can’t offer blackjack due to certain regulations. Nevertheless, you can still enjoy this game at some land-based casinos.

Here’s a list of FL gaming venues that offer blackjack games:

  • Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood – This luxurious Florida casino offers the most slot machines (3,100) along with 100 table games and 45 poker tables.
  • Seminole Hard Rock Tampa – Located just outside of Tampa, this casino offers the most table games (179) along with 3,000 slots and 46 poker tables.
  • Seminole Casino Coconut Creek – The Coconut Creek casino is home to 2,300 slots, 70 table games, and 30 poker tables.
  • Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee – Centrally located in between Fort Myers and Miami, Immokalee provides 1,300 slots, 38 table games, and 6 poker tables.
  • Seminole Classic Casino (Hollywood) – This gaming establishments offers 1,000 slot machines and 38 table games. It doesn’t have a poker room.

The Seminole Tribe also owns Casino Brighton in Okeechobee. However, Casino Brighton doesn’t offer table games. It’s also the smallest Seminole venue with just 400 slot machines and 6 poker tables.

Only Seminole Casinos Can Offer Blackjack

You may notice a pattern with the casinos listed above. The common theme is that all of these casinos are run by the Seminole Tribe.

Up until 2010, no gambling establishment could legally offer blackjack games in Florida. This situation changed in the same year, though, when the Seminoles negotiated a special compact with the state government.

Logos of Six of the Seminole Casinos in Florida With Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Background

The original compact gave the Seminole Tribe exclusive rights to slot machines and table games like blackjack. In exchange, the tribe shared, and still shares, gaming revenue with the state.

The first compact was replaced by a new deal in 2021. The latest compact allows the Seminoles to accept sports bets along with offering casino games. Assuming everything keeps going as planned; the two sides will continue their partnership.

Will Blackjack Ever Expand Beyond Seminole Casinos?

Other gaming entities in the state would like to get in on the table games action. As the Seminole casinos have proven, table games are very lucrative in Florida.

Racetracks and cardrooms have both expressed interest in being able to offer blackjack, slot machines, and sports betting.

However, the state will go with whatever deal is most lucrative. It has had a long-standing agreement with the Seminole Tribe, which owns several mega-resorts throughout the state. The new agreement is set to last all the way up until 2051.

Maybe one or both sides will sour on the agreement and want out. For now, though, the status quo looks to continue with the Seminoles exclusively providing table games.

The only way that this will change is if the compact isn’t renewed. Again, I don’t see this happening any time soon.

Online Blackjack Is Widely Available to Floridians

The good news is that multiple options exist for playing Florida live blackjack. However, you might not feel like driving to the nearest Seminole-owned casino every time you want to play.

This is especially true if none of these casinos are close to your home. Fortunately, you can always play online blackjack when you don’t wish to travel.

Many online casinos provide blackjack and other games to Florida. Some of them even feature unique variations, such as Spanish 21 or blackjack surrender.

Man Sitting at a Casino Table While Playing Online Poker

All you need is a smartphone or computer and an internet connection to play. Provided you’re like most Floridians, you’ll have one or the other and access to Wi-Fi.

You can also enjoy the best blackjack apps for much cheaper than the land-based version. Online casinos only require you to bet $1 per hand. You can even play for free after registering for an account at the relevant casino.

In contrast, most FL brick-and-mortar casinos require $25 minimum blackjack stakes. A few have a $10 minimum bet, but even this is 10 times what gaming sites require.

Can You Trust Mobile Blackjack in Florida?

Online blackjack offers multiple advantages, including convenience, low stakes, and a low house edge. Regarding the latter, many mobile blackjack games only carry a 0.5% house advantage or less.

Of course, as with any form of gaming, internet blackjack does have some downsides. Most notably, offshore casinos are the ones providing this game to Floridians.

Offshore gaming sites aren’t regulated by the Florida Gaming Control Commission. Instead, they’re based in foreign countries and serve the state without licensing.

Most of these online casinos do an admirable job of making customers happy. They realize they’re not going to draw repeat business by treating players poorly.

If something does happen, though, then the Gaming Control Commission isn’t going to step in. After all, you’re the one taking a risk by playing at an unregulated casino.

You can still trust these offshore casinos given that most are reputable operations. However, you should definitely read reviews and do your homework before depositing at Florida-facing online casinos.

Will You Get Arrested for Playing Online Blackjack in Florida?

You stand almost zero chance of being arrested for playing mobile blackjack in the Sunshine State. In fact, nobody has been busted here for online blackjack.

Florida has vague laws when it comes to internet gaming. Its state constitution fails to directly address the matter.

Section 849.08 of the penal code mentions that those who play any card game at “any place, by any device whatever, for money or other things of value” are guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor.

Woman on Laptop, Las Vegas USA Casino Bonus Poker Game on Screen, Online Banking Icon

This broad definition doesn’t mention anything about online casino games. Nevertheless, it leaves a lot open to interpretation.

You could theoretically be busted for playing online blackjack if a state prosecutor felt it was necessary. Prosecutors and law enforcement, however, are unlikely to waste their time on this matter.

They’d no doubt take offense to an unregulated online casino setting up servers within Florida territory. They’re not going to worry about busting anybody, though, for simply playing online blackjack.

Is Blackjack Available Anywhere Else in the Sunshine State?

Seminole casinos and gaming sites are currently the only ways to play blackjack in Florida. No other gambling venue, including racetracks and card rooms, are allowed to offer this game.

Internet casinos operate without permission in the Sunshine State. They feel justified in doing so given that the state constitution doesn’t address online gaming.

The Seminole Tribe has a compact with the FL government. They’re the only tribe or gambling entrepreneurs that can legally offer blackjack.

The Miccosukee Tribe also features a casino within the state. However, its Miami-based venue is only allowed to provide Class II gaming.

Class II refers to bingo, poker, and bingo-style games. The latter leaves an opening for the Miccosukee to offer slot machines with bingo-based results, but it doesn’t allow for blackjack.

As explained before, the status quo is unlikely to change in the near future. The Seminoles and Tallahassee seem fine with the current deal, which extends until 2051.

In Summary

You can play blackjack in Florida in a couple of different ways. The legal route involves visiting a Seminole-owned land-based casino.

The unregulated route includes playing at online casinos. Offshore gaming sites have been serving this state for well over two decades.

Racetracks and cardrooms would also like to provide blackjack. However, they don’t have an agreement with the Florida government to do so. They likely won’t be given such an option for decades—if not longer.

Posted in: Gambling LawsTable Games

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