Blackjack started its road to iconic status centuries ago under the name of twenty-one. By the year 1600, the game was already famous in betting establishments in Spain and other parts of Europe. When the card game finally made it to the United States, operators added some extra features to get players interested in the action. One of these features introduced the name blackjack by offering a big payout for a starting hand of 21 made with black cards, one of which had to be a Jack.
The blackjack name caught on well, and it outlived the bonus payout, which was removed since it was not profitable for casinos. Today, a blackjack hand is any combination of two cards that have a total value of 21. It pays more than a regular win, usually 3:2.
Given its substantial popularity, blackjack was among the first casino games to be available online. The internet versions followed the same rules while providing detailed animations to create a more realistic gaming experience.
In the early 2000's, Live Blackjack was introduced on the premium sites, and everything changed. The new games used actual video of the tables, the dealers, and the cards streamed live to players around the world. This way, you could see the cards being dealt and get an authentic playing experience that matches the one in a big, luxurious casino. All fans of the card game are now sure to enjoy Live Blackjack thanks to further improvements to the interface and the technology.
Live Blackjack is perfect for all bettors since it brings the best elements from a brick and mortar casino and combines them with the easy access and conveniences that are offered when playing online. It is very entertaining and is one of the few online games that have a real social aspect for participants to enjoy. The gorgeous dealers are usually very friendly and will make small talk with the players at the tables.
In addition to the better visuals, the live version of blackjack can also be more rewarding for experienced players. Multiple hands are being played at the same time, and all of the user cards are visible. You can use the extra information to make a better decision and slightly improve the odds.
For frequent casino players, the live games offer a similar experience without the hassle of going to a local establishment and having to navigate the crowds during busy hours. You can play Live Blackjack at home and from your mobile device. It only takes a few seconds to connect and take a seat.
One of the drawbacks is that live games are played in a certain rhythm. There is a limited period in which you can place your bets before the cards are dealt. If you prefer playing at a different pace, the classic online blackjack games can be a better fit.
Most online casinos nowadays have a selection of live games, with blackjack being the primary title. The software providers behind the tables can make a big difference. Each studio adds its own unique style to the experience, and there are also differences in the betting interface. Selecting the right developer can play a prominent role, and we present the pros and cons of three of the biggest brands:
NetEnt Live Blackjack
NetEnt is a provider that has some of the hottest online slots. Its catalogue also includes live games of high quality with an innovative interface. Live Blackjack comes with crisp video quality and interaction without delay. Table stats are included in the interface to see the previous ten hands played by the dealer.
Playtech Live Blackjack
There aren’t many casino developers that can match Playtech when it comes to reliability, functionality and style. The provider is known for powering some of the biggest casinos in the industry on its own with a complete gaming platform. Live Blackjack is of course featured with multiple tables that run 24/7.
Evolution Gaming Live Blackjack
Probably the best developer of live games, Evolution Gaming is widely spread among online casinos. You can easily find a top gaming site that has games from this provider. The high quality and the dedicated lobby with a lot of Live Blackjack tables are sure to please players.
You need a few things to play Live Blackjack. The first is an online casino that offers the game. Most of the top casinos have sections for live tables and blackjack is very likely included here. You will also need to deposit since you can only play Live Blackjack for real money. The limits, in general, are pretty good as multiple tables are running at the same time. Once you find a table you like, you can quickly join and occupy one of the available seats.
Now, you need to place your bets. This is done on the online interface, and you need only set the chips on the table in the designated period. Once the betting period is up, the dealer will deal the cards to each participating player. You can see your cards and the ones for the other players seated at the same table. You will also see one of the cards held by the dealer.
Players are required to act one after the other, starting from the dealer's left and moving to the right. When it is your turn, you have an option to Hit or Stand in most cases, and Double Down, Split, or Buy Insurance in particular situations. Your goal is to get a hand where the cards add up to a more significant total than the dealer's hand but at the same time not exceed 21. Keep in mind also that you are only playing against the dealer and not against the other players at the table.
Some unique features can be available in the live versions. There is a chat window where participants can talk with each other and with the dealer. Also, most games present stats so that you can keep track of recent results.
If you understand the rules and the options available, it is easy to play Live Blackjack and enjoy good results. A little practice is recommended before betting real cash, and this is best done with an online blackjack game in demo mode. This way, you can get used to a similar interface and the betting options. Our experts have prepared some tips to help you win more.
You should always avoid side bets in blackjack, like getting a pair, since the payout rates don’t match the odds and you stand to lose a lot more in the long run. Also, don’t buy insurance.
Most decisions in blackjack are pretty obvious. For example, it is understood that you shouldn’t hit on a hand of 17 or more points since you will likely go over 21 with another card. However, if you have 16, the decision is a bit more complicated, and basic blackjack strategy recommends that you stand when the dealer has 6 or lower and hit for something else. Most players hit on 13, but again, the same rules apply as on 16 since it is not worth the risk of asking for another card if the dealer is more likely to bust.
Arguably the trickiest hand to play is of 12 points from the first two cards. Based on the numbers, the optimal play in this situation is to stand when the dealer has 6, 5, or 4 and hit otherwise.
Another small trick that often gets ignored is splitting two cards worth 10 points each (10, J, Q, or K). You should never do this. Just stand and play the hand of 20 instead of risking another bet for nothing.
Playing usually comes with a house edge of around 1%. However, if you use these tips and perfect your strategy, you will enjoy an even smaller casino advantage.
In just a few words, Live Blackjack is the most entertaining version of the card game. We may even argue that it is better than playing in a real casino since it eliminates the hassle of getting there. It keeps the same mechanics so the return to player rate is very high for a gambling game and skilled players can further improve their odds of winning through proven strategies.
The downside is that blackjack is a pretty challenging game to learn and master as a new player. It requires more than just placing a bet. You have to think about the possible outcomes and make the right decisions to win more. We believe that you can quickly learn the ropes and start winning hand after hand if you follow our professional tips. Check out one of the premium Live Blackjack games today from top studios, like Evolution Gaming and NetEnt!