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Which Is Better – Blackjack or Roulette?

It’s pretty likely that if you’re new to live dealer games, you may only have experience playing some of the entertainment-style titles like Evolution’s Crazy Time, Monopoly Live, or Playtech’s Adventures Beyond Wonderland. However, if, like me, you tire of playing these games and want to shift towards serious casino games, you may feel stumped on what to play.

Knowing which games and variations you can play take time with many live dealer games.

Ideally, it helps if you look for games offering good odds, high RTPs, and generous returns.

This page will show you two games I highly recommend for beginners. They both have advantages and are generally easy to play, offer great payouts, and are widely available.

What’s more, you can play them both in land-based casinos, which gives you an option for a good night out.

blackjack or roulette?

Which Game Should You Play – Blackjack or Roulette?

On this page, I will cover two games; Blackjack and Roulette.

Both games are well-suited for beginners. In terms of which of these two games you should play, there are a few factors to consider.

Blackjack is the clear winner if you’re purely interested in the best payouts. It offers some of the highest payout rates in the industry, and the RTP can be as high as 99%.

However, Blackjack has a learning curve, which can take some time.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a game that requires zero interaction, Roulette’s a great shout. Place your bets, and watch the wheel spin. You don’t need to make any decisions.

Below, I cover both games in depth and walk you through their pros and cons.

Should You Play Roulette?

Roulette offers a range of benefits to beginners, as I’ll outline below:

  • Simplicity: Roulette is a simple game to understand. The betting options are clear, and it has a short learning curve.
  • Limited Player Decisions: When you play Roulette, your sole decisions are placing bets and watching the ball spin. Unlike Blackjack, you do not need to worry about making the wrong decision, and there’s no strategy involved.
  • Faster-Paced: Roulette rounds are much faster than Blackjack rounds. If, like me, you want a lot of action; Roulette will allow you to play many games per hour.

Should You Play Blackjack?

Blackjack is also a suitable game for beginners, although a learning curve is involved. Here are some of the benefits of playing Blackjack online:

  • More Control Over The Outcome: When you play Blackjack, you have some degree of control over the outcome of the round. You can make decisions – drawing more cards, for example – and some beginner players may find this more satisfying than simply placing bets on a Roulette table and hoping for the best.
  • More Considerable Payout Potential: Here, I’m not talking about individual bet payouts; Roulette almost always offers considerable payout potential on a per-round basis. However, thanks to Blackjack’s high RTP, you can expect a more profitable gambling experience playing Blackjack over Roulette in the long run.
  • More Game Variations: Roulette has a limited number of variations, although some game developers are trying to change this. On the other hand, Blackjack is available in tens of variations, and many game versions offer a different side bet option.

Option #1: Blackjack – The Best Returns and Highest RTPs

Blackjack is one of the oldest casino games in the world. Historians believe its origins stem back as far as the 1700s.

Undoubtedly, it’s one of the most popular casino games in the world, and it’s the game I’d recommend playing, down to its high RTP and generous returns.

Below, I cover basic information about Blackjack, including how to play, odds and payouts, and side bets. I’ll also discuss the best three live Blackjack games for you to try.

An Introduction To Playing Blackjack

Blackjack is an easy game to play, although I’d be lying if I didn’t point out that you need to make decisions and have some idea about the rules and strategies.

Blackjack involves placing a bet, and the dealer will then deal you two cards. The game aims to form a hand totalling as close to 21 as possible. If your hand total goes over 21, you go “bust” and lose the hand.

Once the action has concluded, the dealer will evaluate your hand. If yours is the highest, you win. If the dealer is the highest, you lose. If you both hold the same hand value, the round is a “push”, and your bet is returned. If you get a picture card and an ace, you have “Blackjack”. You win, provided the dealer doesn’t have Blackjack.

Once you’ve been dealt your cards, you have two main options; hit, or stand. You can “hit” and draw one or more additional cards if you have a low-hand total. If you have a high hand total, you can “stand”, which means you’d like to stick with your current hand-holding.

Splitting, Doubling Down and Taking Insurance

There are three additional options available in most variations of Blackjack; splitting, doubling down and taking insurance. I’ll cover how these work below:

  • Splitting: If you receive a pair of cards – for example, two 5s – you can split them. To do so, you must place an additional bet equal to your primary wager. You will then be playing two independent hands.
  • Doubling Down: If your first two cards total 9, 10, or 11, you may have the option to double down. This allows you to double your initial bet for one additional card.
  • Insurance is available if the dealer’s first card is an ace. This will enable you to pay 50% of your main bet, and if the dealer does get Blackjack, you’ll win 2:1, essentially clawing back your primary bet loss.

Side Bets

I rarely see Blackjack tables without side bets – and these bets are optional wagers that allow you to bet on specific outcomes in an attempt to win more money. There are many different side bets available, and I will show you the two most common ones below.

  • Perfect Pairs: The Perfect Pairs side bet allows you to bet on your first two cards being identical. For example, if you receive two 6s, this bet would be a winner. The highest payout for this side bet occurs if two identical cards make their way to you – for example, two 6s, both diamonds.
  • 21+3: Another very popular side bet is 21+3. This is a poker-themed bet that uses your first two cards and the dealer’s first card. The dealer looks at the three cards; if they form a winning poker hand, you can win up to 100:1.

Blackjack Payouts

The high RTP is one of the main reasons I recommend playing Blackjack over Roulette.

While the payouts don’t look great on paper, you can expect to win more money in the long run than if you were playing Roulette. In this section, I’ll outline some of the critical payouts in Blackjack.

  • Winning a Hand: If you win against the dealer, your main bet pays even money. For example, if you place a £10 bet and win, you will win £10. You also get your initial stake back, so your total return would be £20.
  • Landing a Blackjack: If you are lucky enough to land a Blackjack – an ace and a picture card – you will receive an increased payout. Most Blackjack games pay Blackjack at 3:2. I’ve seen some games pay it out at 6:5, mostly in land-based casinos, avoid games with this payout if you can.

Top 3 Live Blackjack Games To Play

Enter a live casino lobby, and you’ll feel slightly overwhelmed with the amount of choice on offer.

Some Blackjack games are much better than others, so you must choose the right ones. Below, I cover my three favourite Blackjack games, all of which offer high payouts and the best rules.

Evolution Blackjack (With Cashout) – Evolution

Evolution is the biggest name in the live dealer casino industry, and their games are superior to pretty much anything else out there.

Their standard “Evolution Blackjack” is probably the best game you can play. Play their Classic or Speed Blackjack tables, as these offer the “Cash Out” option.

Their standard 7-seat table is my favourite game, and they offer a vast selection of tables with different bet limits. Two side bets are available – 21+3 and Perfect Pairs – and insurance, doubling down, and splits are available. The RTP of the game developer’s standard Blackjack game is 99.47%, which is very good.

Ezugi Live Blackjack – Ezugi

Ezugi Live Blackjack is a slight variation of traditional Blackjack, and the table has seven seats and uses eight decks. Four side bets are available; Perfect Pairs, 21+3, Perfect 11, and Ten20. Interestingly, Ezugi is the only live casino game developer to allow you to double on split hands, which is a nice touch.

The RTP of Ezugi’s Live Blackjack is a healthy 99.50% on all the tables, and you’ll struggle to find a better live Blackjack game to play. The game offers a great RTP, and the quality of the game is high, so I’d strongly recommend it if you’re a beginner!

Playtech Live Blackjack (Vegas Rules) – Playtech

Playtech Live Blackjack has six variations. I recommend playing their Vegas Rules version. The core rules remain consistent regardless of which version you play.

Their games use eight decks from a manual dealing shoe. The shoe changes after four decks. You can split pairs, and Playtech allows you to double after splitting. You can also double on any hand.

An interesting rule is that if you double when the dealer shows a ten and lose your hand to a Blackjack, you’ll receive half your stake back.

I like how you can chat with the dealer in real time, and there are also plenty of adjustable options, allowing you to customise your playing experience.

Blackjack Strategies For Beginners

Today, you’ll find Blackjack offered in a live format at virtually every online casino in the UK.

There are several strategies beginners can use to improve their chances of winning, and I’ll show you a few of the most important ones below.

Follow Basic Strategy

It’s essential to follow Blackjack Basic Strategy when you play Blackjack. A basic strategy is a set of guidelines that tells you exactly when to hit, stand, double, or split, depending on the two cards you hold and the one card the dealer has.

By following the basic strategy, you’ll be able to reduce the house edge and increase your chances of winning. I consistently use basic strategy when I play Blackjack.

Manage Your Bankroll

One thing I notice some beginners need help with is managing their bankroll. Setting a budget and sticking to it when playing Blackjack is essential.

I also strongly recommend against betting more than you can afford to lose. This will ensure you don’t lose more money than you expect and prevent you from financial difficulties due to gambling.

Avoid Taking Insurance

While there are a couple of instances where taking insurance can be suitable, as a general rule of thumb, it’s a losing play in the long run.

While taking insurance can often be tempting, the bet has a high house edge and is a poor long-term strategy.

Keep Track Of Time

It’s also essential to keep track of time when playing Blackjack. I’ve found it easy to lose track of time when playing online.

What was meant to be a one-hour session can quickly turn into a four or five-hour stint if you’re not careful. Always be aware of how much time has passed, and take regular breaks when playing.

Pros and Cons of Playing Blackjack

Playing live Blackjack online allows players to experience the excitement of a real casino from the comfort of their homes. However, there are pros and cons when deciding whether to play live Blackjack online.

One of the biggest benefits Blackjack offers beginners is that the quality of live casino technology is so good the experience surpasses anything you’d have gotten four or five years ago.

In addition, playing online removes the worry about interacting with other players at the table or being mocked for making mistakes.

Online Blackjack also allows you to play at any stake you want. There are tables with minimum bets for as little as £0.50, and you’d rarely find this in a land-based casino.

However, the game isn’t without its downsides, either.

Unless you know which game to play, some live online Blackjack games contain various gimmicks, like multiplier blackjack, that lower the house edge and affect the RTP.

If you’re a social butterfly, you may also miss the interactive element of playing online. Although most live gaming providers have chat functions built in, so you can interact with the dealer and other players.

Option #2: Roulette – Riskier, But Easier To Play

Roulette is the most iconic casino game in the world.

It’s heavily featured in Hollywood movies and is often associated with glamour and luxury.

The game is straightforward to play and offers higher win potential than Blackjack, although the RTP can be a lot worse, depending on the bets you place.

If you’re looking for bigger wins and don’t care about the RTP as much, Roulette is an excellent choice for beginners.

Below, I walk you through some basic information about Roulette, how to play, what bets you can place, and the three best live versions to try out.

An Introduction To Playing Roulette

I find Roulette a straightforward game to play. Unlike Blackjack, you don’t need to make any decisions aside from placing your chips. When you load up a Roulette game, you’ll see a betting board with several options available. I’ll go through some of the most common ones in just a moment.

You place chips on the numbers or bets you’d like to cover, and the dealer will then drop the ball into the wheel. When the ball finishes spinning, it will land in one number segment. This number determines the game’s outcome, which bets win.

Different Roulette Bets

Depending on your game version, there can be many different Roulette bets. I’d recommend sticking to even-money bets for beginners, as they offer the highest RTPs. They’re also easy to place. Below, I cover some of the common beginner bets and briefly cover some of the more advanced betting options.

Straight-Up Number Betting

Straight-Up number betting involves placing a chip on a specific number. If the ball lands on your chosen number, you win – and are usually paid at 35:1. There is no limit on the number of straight-up number bets you can place. Most players choose to cover around ten numbers. To make this bet, select the chip denomination you want and click the number you’d like to bet on.

Red/Black Betting

Betting on red or black is probably the most straightforward bet at the Roulette table. It’s an even-money bet which means it pays out at 1:1.

You place a bet on whether you believe the ball will land on a red or black number. If you guess correctly, your bet wins. You will lose your bet if zero lands unless you play French Roulette. More on that later.

Odds/Even Betting

The odds/evens bet in Roulette is a type of outside bet that allows players to bet on whether the outcome of the next spin will be an odd or even number.

In most roulette games, the odds of hitting an odd number are the same as the odds of hitting an even number, so the odds/evens bet has a payout of 1:1, meaning that if you bet £1 and win, you will get £1 in profit.

Essentially, this bet is the same as betting on red or black, and it’s considered a low-risk, low-reward bet. It carries a house edge of 2.7%, which I find decent for a Roulette bet. You will lose your bet if zero lands unless you play French Roulette.

High/Low Betting

The High/Low Roulette bet is another outside bet that pays out at even money. When you place this bet, you’re gambling on whether the following number will be high or low.

The high numbers are 19 through 36, while the low numbers are 1 through 18. Similar to the even-money bets we’ve already covered, if zero lands, your bet loses.

Column Betting

A column bet is not an even-money bet, so it offers slightly more winning potential than the bets we’ve already covered. This bet lets you bet on one of the three columns of numbers.

When you load up Roulette, you will see these columns marked.

Every column has 12 numbers; if you want to place this bet, you put your chips in the betting area directly below the column. This pay pays out at 2:1, meaning a winning £1 bet would return £3, including your stake.

Dozen Bets

The Dozen bets are similar to column bets, allowing you to bet on 12 numbers simultaneously. All the numbers on the Roulette table fit into the following groups; 1-12, 13-24, and 25-36. You choose which group of numbers you want to cover, and if your bet wins, it’s paid at 2:1.

More Complex Bets

While I recommend avoiding more complex bets if you’re a Roulette beginner, I discuss a few more advanced betting options below.

  • The French Bet: Three so-called French bets cover a different wheel section. The first is Voisins du Zero – and this covers the 17 numbers that lie on the wheel on either side of the zero. The second bet is Tiers du Cylindre, covering roughly one-third of the wheel. Finally, there’s the Orphelins bet, which covers all the remaining numbers not covered by the two previous bets.
  • Neighbours Bet: A Neighbours bet is something you’ll often see high-rollers take advantage of in land-based casinos. It allows you to bet on one specific number, along with the four numbers directly adjacent to it, on either side.
  • Snake Bet: This is one of the least-common bets, and I rarely see it played. This unique bet covers specific numbers: 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34. The payout is the same as the dozen bet; to place this bet, you must put a chip on the lower corner of the number 34.

Roulette Variations

Aside from some gimmicky variations like Mini-Ball Roulette and Multi-Ball Roulette, you’ll find three standard formats at online and live casinos.

The region you’re in often impacts which game you can play. For example, American Roulette tables are standard in the USA, while they’re seldom seen in Europe.

Below, I’ll walk you through the three main Roulette variations and discuss their RTPs.

French Roulette

While hard to find, French Roulette is the best variation of Roulette you can play.

It has the lowest house edge of any Roulette game – just 1.32% – which is why it’s a popular choice with serious players. Unfortunately, it’s rarely profitable enough for land-based casinos to offer it, although online, it’s much easier to find.

French Roulette is almost identical to European Roulette; there are 36 numbers plus zero, and the betting options and payouts are similar. However, there is one core difference; if you place an outside even-money bet and the ball lands on zero, half of your stake is returned.

American Roulette

American Roulette is the worst variation of the game you can play, and it has the highest house edge – a whopping 5.26%.

The reason for this is there are two zero segments on the wheel. You have the regular zero and also a double zero. This means there’s an increased chance of the ball landing in one of these segments, which hugely impacts the odds of placing outside even-money bets.

European Roulette

European Roulette is widely seen as the gold standard in the Roulette world, and you will find it offered at almost every online casino.

There are 37 numbers in total, and many betting options are available. The house edge can vary slightly, depending on table-specific rules and betting options, but the average is 2.63%, which is still good.

Top 3 Live Roulette Games To Play

Whenever I enter a live dealer casino, I’m faced with tens of different Roulette games to try. I understand how this could be overwhelming to players. Thankfully, looking at the maths behind the games, it’s easy to see which is best to play. I’ll break this down for you below.

Lightning Roulette – Evolution

Lightning Roulette is a unique version of Roulette from industry-leader, Evolution. On paper, the game is the same as standard European Roulette. There are 37 numbers, and betting options are also identical. What makes Lightning Roulette unique, however, is that there are special multipliers available.

Once the betting round has finished, up to five numbers are randomly assigned multiplier values. These multipliers can be 50X, 100X, 200X, 300X, 400X, or 500X. If you’ve placed a bet on a number with a multiplier and that number wins, the multiplier boosts your payout.

To compensate for these higher multiplier payouts, straight-up number bets pay at 29:1.

Mega Fire Blaze Roulette – Playtech

Mega Fire Blaze Roulette is a fantastic live Roulette game from Playtech. It was initially a well-known RNG game, but the developer decided to port it over to a live game a few years ago. The game follows European Roulette rules, and a particular bonus round is triggered when the ball lands on a “fire” number.

You can win up to 10,000 times your bet during the bonus round. But, again, there’s a small sacrifice needed to make up for the higher payout potential. For example, straight-up number bets pay 29:1, while split bets pay 9:1 as opposed to the standard 14:1. Still, it’s a great game, and I recommend checking it out if you want a fast-paced, action-packed Roulette experience!

Immersive Roulette – Evolution

Immersive Roulette, from Evolution, is one of the world’s most popular live dealer games, and I can see why. It’s a standard European Roulette game, but its presentation attracts players.

There’s an HD camera that shows multiple angles at 200 frames per second, along with close-ups of the presenter. You can zoom in to see the ball spinning around the wheel, and the presenters are always incredibly friendly and engaging.

Immersive Roulette follows a single-zero European Roulette format, so the house edge is 2.70%. This equates to an RTP of 97.30%, making it an excellent game for beginners.

Roulette Strategies For Beginners

With so many live Roulette games available, there are lots to think about before playing! Below, I will tell you three essential strategies to consider before playing.

Start With Outside Bets

Outside bets, such as red or black, or odd/even, have a low house edge, are easy to place, and despite not offering the best payouts, are decent bets, in my opinion. They’re good bets for beginners to help them get a feel for the game.

Double-Check Your Chip Values

Beginners and expert players should always double-check the value of the chips they’re betting on before placing them on the table. You don’t want to put bigger chips than you meant to accidentally.

Avoid American Roulette

Where possible, avoid American Roulette. The house edge is far too high, and the addition of the second zero significantly decreases your chances of winning.

Thankfully, it’s easy to find European or French Roulette tables at online casinos.

Pros and Cons of Playing Roulette

The most significant benefit of Roulette over Blackjack is that there’s no decision-making involved.

Choose the bet you want to place, and hit the spin button. It’s easy, straightforward, and simple. It’s a complete game of chance, so there’s no complex decision-making. The game is also fast-paced, so that it may be a viable option for those wanting quicker gambling action.

On the flip side, even-money bets only pay 1:1, and some players may want more considerable payout potential. Those players would then move towards straight-up number betting.

Here, the payouts are much more significant – but they carry a higher degree of risk.

My Final Thoughts on Blackjack or Roulette

Blackjack and Roulette are great games. I love playing them, and they offer unique, differing experiences.

On the face of it, Blackjack provides better odds, so if you’re looking for higher RTPs and long-term payouts, Blackjack is the game you should be going for.

However, placing bets on the Roulette table is more accessible, and there are also many more betting options. You also have a better chance of winning more, especially if you place straight-up number bets.

I suggest playing both games in demo (free-to-play) mode to get a feel for them. This will allow you to see how they operate and give you a good indication of which game is better for you!

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About Neil’s Casino Comparer Reviews

I have tried to be objective and consistent with all my live casino reviews. Hopefully, they will strike a chord with you, but I thought it might be helpful to explain the criteria I use to mark each of the casinos. Hopefully, the categories and explanations make sense.

Playability – What is the overall impression of the casino? Did I have a good time? are the dealers nice and chatty and is everything easy to understand? Does it have a good set of games and is there a comprehensive set of betting options? Are high stakes players taken care of?

Software – What is the software like to use and does it integrate well with the rest of the casino?. Are the images clear and is the video streaming fast? Have they taken more than the default shared tables? Is it available on mobile?

Payment Options – Does the casino have a good variety of payment options? Do they payout quickly and on time?

Security – How good is the reputation of the casino amongst other players? Do they hold a valid gaming license? Are they transparent about the security measures they have in place? Are they regularly audited? Do they publish this information?

Support – Do they have multiple methods for communication with me? Is support available 24×7? Do they have instant chat and are they quick to respond? Are they able to help me immediately? Do they have an online FAQ and self-help library? Are the support people knowledgeable about the product I’m playing?

Bonuses – Do they have bonuses?. How strict are the wagering requirements? Do they offer repeat bonuses?. Do they offer loyalty points and can they be redeemed for cash or playing credits?

After all that, would I play there regularly?

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