Live dealer blackjack tables online are some of the most popular available in the live dealer sector. They bring together a combination of luck, skill and social interaction that you can’t find hardly anywhere else. As a result, it’s no surprise that so many styles and variations of this game exist.
Casinos with Live Blackjack
An Introduction to Live Blackjack
A whole lot of different card-based games exist that people gamble on. Even within the casino context in particular, tons of card-based games can be found. Be that as it may, the undisputed king of all of them is blackjack, and few people will argue.
The popularity of blackjack started in the brick and mortar setting. Because of that, it’s not surprising that live dealer blackjack has such an overwhelming following.
As most players are aware, several styles of blackjack exist due to rule variations and other features. This is just as much the case in the live dealer setting. With that said, one of the main draws is the fact that you can chat it up with other players at the table. You can even talk with your dealer, tip like you would in a brick and mortar casino and so on.
In what follows, we’re going to break down what you need to know about playing live dealer blackjack online. It’s a lot of fun no matter if you’re a serious player who focuses on strategy or a recreational player who just wants to have a good time and chat it up with other players from across the globe.
The Basic Rules and Gameplay
While so many variations of live online blackjack exist, there are still a few things that they all share. These commonalities are the core of the game, and they follow certain ideas and guidelines that virtually all styles of the game have. Here we’ll give the basic gameplay and some things that you need to know before playing.
From there, you can find variations and styles of blackjack that fit what you prefer personally.
The procedure for playing a single hand is as follows. Keep in mind that some variations exist, but this is the core of what you can expect.
- Players place a bet. The betting ranges for live dealer blackjack games are usually pretty wide. This means both small stakes and high stakes players are welcome.
- Two cards are dealt face-up to the player, and two are dealt to the dealer with one face-down.
- Cards are assigned points. Tens and face cards are worth ten, and 2-9 are worth their face value. Aces can be worth 1 or 11 at the player’s discretion, and this can switch from one to the other.
- You have a few strategic options to choose from. Some of them can add cards or increase your bet size. We’ll cover the specifics of those below.
- If your total gets to 22 or higher, you immediately lose the hand. This is called busting out.
- Once your turn is over, the dealer will turn over the face-down card. The dealer typically hits until they have a total of 17 or more.
- If you didn’t bust out, but the dealer did, then you win.
- If neither you nor the dealer bust out, the highest point total wins. A tie is a push.
One exception to this occurs if your first two cards give you a total of 21. This is called a blackjack, and it’s typically an instant win as long as the dealer doesn’t also have blackjack. Most of the time, a blackjack pays better than a regular win, which is typically at even money. A blackjack will commonly pay 6:5, 3:2 or 2:1.
Aside from that one exception, the above covers the core aspects of the game on a per-hand basis.
Available Strategic Options
Some strategic options during your turn are always available during the game. Some are only available in certain situations. Others may not be available in some live dealer blackjack games at all.
Here we’ll take a look at the core strategic options that are always available in every game:
- Hit – This allows you to receive an additional card.
- Stand – This ends your turn with no more cards coming your way.
- Double – You’ll be given exactly one additional card, and you get to add more money to your bet to double it. However, this also ends your turn after your extra card is given. In most games, this can only be done with two cards in your hand. Additionally, you can usually only double once per hand.
- Split – When you have two starting cards of the same rank, you can break them up to form two new hands. You’ll add an additional wager the same size as your original for the extra hand.
Aside from these most basic options, other options may or may not be available.
Other Strategic Options
This just depends on the game that you’re playing and the rules particular to it.
- Surrender – This splits your wager so that the house gets half, and you get half. However, you give up any chances to win the hand. Being able to do this with three or more cards is called a late surrender.
- Insurance – As an added protection against a dealer blackjack, you can be given the insurance option. It’s essentially a bet that pays when the dealer hits a blackjack. The particulars of the payout depend on the game in question.
- Switch – Some games allow you to play two hands at a time. In some of those games, you can have an option to switch two of your cards between your hands. This forms two new hands that you’ll then play normally.
A lot of what different players find they prefer in blackjack games really centers around which options are available. For example, some games may or may not allow you to double after splitting. On the other hand, some will let you double multiple times for the same hand. It really just depends on the game itself.
Interface Options and Variations
One of the best things about live blackjack games online is that the interfaces can vary so much. You can get something that really fits what you’re looking for, and that allows a certain level of customization of your experience into something that’s perfect for you as an individual.
In the following, we’re going to look at some of the interface options and variations you may see. This will help you to find the style of blackjack live dealer tables that will fit you the best.
Chatting and Social Interaction
For some players, being able to chat with others is a key part of the experience. For others, it’s not important at all. Luckily for both, most live dealer tables for blackjack have options to turn chat on or off.
While this allows you to talk with other people from across the globe while you play, it does more than that. It allows you to celebrate wins and moan about losses together, which is a lot of the fun for many.
On the other hand, if that’s not what you’re looking for, you’re in luck. You’ll typically find options at the tables to turn the chat options off completely. This means that you won’t even have to see the chat section scroll as you play.
Along with all of that, interaction with your dealer is also common. They even allow tips to be given to the dealer for players who want to thank the dealer after a session or a big win, which is just like what you could do in a live brick and mortar scenario.
Game Speed and Format
One of the concerns that players may have about the live dealer format is the speed of play. With traditional online games, you can play at your own pace. However, in a live dealer scenario, you can end up waiting a while on other players to make their decisions.
Players who like to socialize while they play don’t always mind this. You’ll be able to really lean into this style at tables where you have to occupy an actual virtual seat. From there, you’ll have to wait for each player to play his or her hand. While a timer is put on each player, those individual timers can add up. This means it can take a minute or two between each hand you actually play.
If this is too slow for you, you’re still in luck because options have been created to get around this. Instead of having a time limitation based on a lot of players playing different hands, a different format is used. This has everyone playing the exact same cards, but they’re dealt out in a way so that you’re paid based on the result of your own choices instead of that of the majority, which keeps things fair. Since you only have to wait on players to make decisions on one set of cards, the game moves much faster.
How to Win at Live Blackjack
Live blackjack is a game that involves some degree of luck, but a whole lot of strategy is used as well. In fact, this is the main appeal for a lot of players.
Two aspects of strategy are involved in live games. First, you have to learn the basic strategy of when to hit, stand, double and so on. General principles for this exist, but specific strategies can vary a bit for different styles of play and rule variations. Second, you have to learn how to count cards. While traditional online blackjack tables are not vulnerable to this, live dealer games with a shoe typically are.
Learning to count cards takes some practice and a lot of focus, but it’s worth it once you get the hang of it. It can essentially lower the house advantage down to a faction of what it would be otherwise once you’re skilled at it.
Lots of different types of live dealer blackjack games can be had. These come from different providers, but you can also find multiple styles from the same provider. As a result, you can find something that really fits what you’re looking for as an individual.
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