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Live Dealer Blackjack

live dealer blackjack

The Impact of These Differences

The House Rules are EVERYTHING when it comes to Blackjack. Every Blackjack game is not the same. Understanding the differences will save you money, it will increase your enjoyment and give you a better chance of beating the casino.

Features like the number of decks in play (6 or 8). Vegas or European Rules, Restrictions on Doubling and Splitting all contribute to the house edge. Make sure you understand them all and why they are important.

My perfect game online is 8 deck, played to Vegas Rules, with no restrictions on Doubles, the Dealer peeks for Blackjack and Splits are allowed.  I’d like to double on splits but I can’t play Ezugi Blackjack due to country restrictions. So I play at Evolution & Playtech Live Casinos.

How To Play Blackjack

Once you’ve learned the basics Blackjack is a great card game. It’s the only card game at Live Casinos where you are in control of the decision making process to play your hand. My playing guide will have you up and running in no time.

How to play live dealer blackjack

Blackjack Basic Strategy

One of the most important skills to learn when playing live Blackjack is Basic Playing Strategy. It will help you extend the life of your bankroll and teach you decision making based on the cards you’ve been dealt. I explain how and provide some cheat sheets.

a guide to basic blackjack strategy

Best Blackjack Casinos

What constitutes The Best Blackjack Casinos will vary depending on your playing preferences. I believe the 6 casinos I’ve listed are the best in terms of game choice, reliability, fast withdrawals and the range of on table promotions.

best live dealer blackjack casinos

Blackjack Features

Blackjack is not the same across every live casino software provider.
Check out my comparison of game features by software type and a choice of casinos where you can play.

Features of Live Blackjack

ABOUT LIVE CASINO COMPARER

Live Casino Comparer started as a labour of love and has now become the No 1 Resource for information about Live Dealer Casinos.

You’ll find lots of useful information, written in an honest and open way. You’ll know if a games no good and you’ll be pointed towards a good alternative. My Videos reveal the truth. It’s difficult to hide.

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Where You Should Play

Everyone is different in what they like. I have the perfect game for me and It’s at Royal Panda.

I’ve compiled a list of my favourite live dealer blackjack casinos for each of the software suppliers, with their major game rules listed.

You can compare live casinos and choose what’s best for you.

Casino Dedicated
Tables
Decks Side
Bets
Euro
Vegas
Dealer
Peak
BJ
Surrender Double
Back if
Dealer BJ
Split a
Split
Double
a Split
Even Money
Dealer BJ
Player BJ
Multi
Hand
Splits back
if Dealer BJ
Play

Evolution
Yes 8 BB/21+3/PP Vegas Yes No No No No No Yes No Goto Casino
Energy
Extreme
No 8 BB/21+3/PP Vegas Yes No No No No No Yes No Goto Casino

Ezugi
No 8 BB/21+3/PP Vegas Yes No No No Yes No Yes Yes Goto Casino
Mr Green
NetEnt
Yes 6 21+3 / PP Euro No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Goto Casino
Bet365
Playtech
Yes 8 BB/21+3/PP Both On Vegas No Yes No Yes No Yes No Goto Casino

General Information on Live Blackjack

As I’ve mentioned above not all live blackjack games are the same.

There are some common elements. All online live dealer Blackjacks pays 3:2 for a BJ and Insurance pays 2:1.

That’s pretty much where the common elements end as each of the Live Casino platforms providers has developed their own playing rules.

There’s a full rundown and comparison of each of the rules on my Blackjack Features page. It also contains a complete list of the casinos where you can play that particular software.

The Games in More Detail

There are generally two versions of live dealer blackjack.

7 Seat Blackjack

This is the more traditional game where there are 7 playing positions on a table. You play with other people and it’s essentially the same game you’ll find in land based casinos.

You place your initial bet and the live dealer deals everyone two cards. Depending on the rules (European or Vegas), the dealer will take one or two cards.

Each player takes it in turn to play their hand, until they either stand or bust out.

The dealer is the last to play his hand. When his hand is completed it’s compared to all the players hands and those beating him will be paid out.

Blackjack Platinum VIP

4 Things to know about 7 Seat Blackjack

There are some obvious issues with 7 seat Blackjack, especially when you’re offering it to an almost unlimited number of players over the internet.

The 7 seats fill up quickly, so the live casino operators have four options at their disposal to enable players to play:

  • They put on more tables – this becomes expensive as the tables need space and more dealers. Some of the solution providers like Evolution have 100’s of tables across a number of studios to meet the player demand. These tables are shared between casinos so are often very busy during the evenings.
  • They get the online casino to purchase dedicated tables for their players. The environments are branded for the casino and only their players can use the tables. This is very effective from a players point of view as you can normally get a seat at one of these tables. Obviously, it’s more costly for the casino.
  • The Bet Behind functionality allows players without a seat the opportunity to place a bet behind one of the seat positions on the table. The hand is played by the seated player. You take no part in the playing of the hand. It’s a risky thing to do so if you’re tempted to play this you should pick a player that seems to be having luck and is using standard basic strategy. (Some suppliers have added a number next to the player to show the number of consecutive winning hands to help you decide who to bet behind).
  • Have another game of Blackjack that solves the problem of volume – meet Unlimited or Common Draw Blackjack.

Unlimited Blackjack, Ultimate Blackjack or Common Draw Blackjack

This is a game where only one player hand is dealt. This allows the casino to offer blackjack to an unlimited number of players. Each player plays the hand as if it was his own. When all players have completed their hand the dealer will complete his and payout those players that beat him. There are a few differences with this version over 7 Seat Blackjack:

  • When a split occurs you’ll be given two options.
    • To split the hand – doubles the bet and you play two hands.
    • If you don’t want to Split then you must Fold the hand – with this option you’ll get a portion of your original stake back.
  • The Dealer does not check for Blackjack.
  • They may be one or more player positions – an unlimited number of players can play each position.

Playtech calls their version Unlimited Blackjack, Netent calls theirs Common Draw and Evolution has Ultimate Blackjack (with 5 Side bets).

Unlimited Blackjack with Auto Splits

Free Bet Blackjack

It’s always nice to get something for nothing and with Free Bet Blackjack you get Free Doubles and Splits.

Nothing is ever free though, you pay for these with a rule change for this game. When the dealer Busts on 22 all winning player bets are “pushed” and not paid as wins.

This reduces the overall RTP for the game to 98.45%, whereas normal Blackjack pays 99.28%.

Free bet Blackjack has been created as a one to many game and is only available at Evolution Live Dealer Casinos.

winning at freebet blackjack

On Table Options

Multi-Seat Blackjack

This is where you’re allowed to play multiple seats/hands on the same 7 seat table. You’re often restricted to the number of hands you can play. At busy times the casinos will switch off this function.

Multi Table Blackjack

You’re able to play multiple tables at the same casino at the same time.

A number of the game interfaces have a multi-table capability where you can display up to 4 tables at one time on your screen.

Playing at multiple tables can be an acquired taste so I suggest you try using the layout before committing yourself. I find it too stressful and only play one table at a time.

Special Bets or Side Bets

Special side bets can be played alongside the main hand and are offered by most, if not all the software providers. The reason not everyone has them is down to licensing. It’s costly for the casinos to have them.

  • The most prevalent side bet is Bet Behind, where you can place a bet behind another players cards. He plays the hand and you are betting that he will beat the dealer. This is quite popular if you’re either waiting for a seat at a table or there is a player on a hot streak that you want to benefit from.
  • Then there are Perfect Pairs where you place a bet that either your hand or the dealer’s hand will be a pair. I’ve seen this executed brilliantly at the Empire Casino in Leicester Square, London. The lady sitting next to me must have drawn 4 sets of pairs on the bounce. Guess what? I was the only one on the table not betting on her hands, Doh!!!
  • 21+3 or Rummy side bet. You bet on your first 2 cards and the dealers up card being a poker hand, such as a flush, 3 of a kind or a straight etc.

Watch out for the payouts as they are different at some of the live casinos. Most notably Visionary iGaming casinos pay a blanket 9:1 on the 21+3 side bet, regardless of the winning hand you have.

Other suppliers will pay up to 100:1 depending on the hand you get, so make sure you know where to get the best side bet odds.

Live Dealer Blackjack RTP (Return to Player)

The RTP for standard Live Blackjack is 99.5%. As games go this has the best RTP of any casino game out there.

Remember though that this figure relates to games played from over 100,000 hands. You should not use this as an indicator that if you have £100 and play 10 hands at £10 you’ll end up with £99.50 after those 10 hands. It just doesn’t work like that.

Live Blackjack Dealers

One of the great things about playing live dealer blackjack and what makes the difference between an average playing session and a good one is the Dealer. You can choose to play at casinos that have:

  • European Live Dealers – Who speak in English or their native language can be found at Evolution, Extreme Live Gaming, NetEnt, Media Live, Lucky Streak, Playtech and Ezugi Casinos.
  • Latin Live Dealers – Who speak in Spanish and English can be found at Ezugi, Global Gaming Labs, Vivo Gaming, Xpro Graming and Visionary iGaming Casinos.
  • Asian Live Dealers – who speak in English and Chinese can mainly be found at Playtech casinos.

You can’t underestimate the dealer’s role in providing a great playing experience.

I’ve spoken to a number that works at live casinos. (check out my Inside Live Casinos section for my interviews with live dealers). All of them mention the players and the on-screen relationships they build with people, many of them refer to players as their “friends”.

Summary

I love live dealer blackjack it’s my favourite table game. I’ve learnt through trial and error that there are many different things that make up a great game.

  • The software.
  • The game rules.
  • The dealer.
  • The casino that hosts the games.

I’ve also learnt that I like to change where I play dependent on my mood.

I’ve collected a lot of information which you can use to make an informed choice of where to play.

If you don’t want to play then hopefully you’ve learnt something that you didn’t already know.

You can check out my live casino reviews or my individual Blackjack reviews for Playtech, EvolutionNetEnt for more information.

If this is all too much and you just want to play at a great live casino then Leo Vegas and Royal Panda are my picks.

You can also play live blackjack for free to practice your skills.