How Does Live Blackjack work?
Playing blackjack at a live online casino is an exciting experience and is easy to pick up after playing just a few hands. We’ll breakdown exactly how a game of live blackjack works below so that you can approach any game table with confidence!
When you play a game, you are competing directly with the dealer who is standing behind the table. You can interact with this host via the live chat box as you play and they can help you out if you are unsure of exactly how things work. You can also chat away with other players at the table, helping to create a great interactive live casino experience.
You will be streaming your game live, so anything that happens is going on in real time. Depending on the game developer, your dealer might be running the game from a filming studio or perhaps even a real casino!
How the game works
The game’s basic idea is to beat the dealer’s hand of cards, also known as the house, without going over a total of 21 points. The number cards (2 to 10) are worth their regular values, and the picture cards are worth 10 each. The ace can be worth either 1 or 11 depending on how you play it. An ace combined with a 10 or picture card can create an instant 21, this is known as a Blackjack.
- Firstly, select the live blackjack table that you want to play at. It’s a good idea to find one with a low minimum bet if you’re new to the game. Once you have taken a virtual seat at the table, you’ll need to decide how much you want to bet on the upcoming hand. You can place a bet by clicking on the coloured chip icons at the base of the game screen.
- The exact amounts you can bet will vary depending on the table as they have different minimum and maximum amounts. You might have to wait for the previous game to finish before you can place a bet. Once it becomes possible to bet a message will appear on the screen saying something like ‘Place your bets now please’. You have a few seconds to do this, and a countdown will appear on the screen.
- Once the betting time is closed, the live dealer will deal two cards to each player, including you, and two cards to themselves. Cards dealt to players will be face up whilst the dealer will only have one of their cards revealed. You then need to decide on ‘Stand’ or ‘Hit’ to try and get your hand as close to 21 as possible.
- If you ‘stand’, then no more cards will be dealt to you and clicking on ‘hit’ will make the dealer deal another card to you. You can hit again if you still haven’t reached 21. Having a total over 21 means you have gone ‘bust’ and are out of that round.
- Once all players at your live table have stood or gone bust, the dealer will reveal their hand and will hit themselves to try for a house Blackjack if they hold less than 17 in total. If their hand is higher than any player’s hands, then the house wins, and no bets are paid out. Any player that beats the dealer’s hand will have the appropriate bets instantly paid to them. Once this is complete, it’s time for betting on the next round.
The rules of blackjack are pretty easy to follow along with, even for beginners. A game of live blackjack is played using 8 decks of cards each containing a standard 52 cards.
The suit of the cards isn’t important; it’s the numerical value of each card that matters.
Number cards are worth their face values from 2 to 10 and picture cards are with 10 points each. The ace can be played as either a 1 or an 11 depending on the situation of the hand. So, if you are holding a picture card and an ace, you’d play the ace as an 11 to create a Blackjack – a total of 21.
If the total of the cards in your hand exceeds 21, this is known as going ‘bust’, and you’re disqualified from the remainder of that round.
Once a round has finished, players will usually have around 10 seconds to place their bets for the upcoming round. A countdown timer will appear on the screen below the selection of coloured chips. Clicking on any of these chips will place that bet amount at your position on the table.
Dealers will deal the cards from the ‘shoe’ one at a time, clockwise around the sweep of players and then to themselves. Each player is dealt two cards face up, but the dealer has only their first card dealt face up with the second remaining face down on the table.
Getting dealt an ace and picture card at the start of a game round will payout instantly unless the dealer is showing an ace or 10 as their first card. In this case, you’ll need to wait and see the outcome of their cards before any payouts are made.
Seeing the Dealer’s Hand
Once all players have stood or gone bust the dealer will reveal their face down card. The dealer at any live blackjack table is required to hit if they hold less than a total of 17. If they have dealt themselves a ‘soft’ hand containing an ace and a 6, then they must always stand on it.
If you want to spice up your blackjack play, then side bets are the way to go. There are 3 main types of side bets, insurance, perfect pairs and 21+3, that you can place alongside your regular blackjack bet.
In a regular live dealer game, the best odds you could expect are 2:1 if you are dealt a Blackjack. Adding side bets into the mix can increase the odds up to a massive 5,000:1. That said, just bear in mind that side bets are based on chance rather than skill so can dramatically increase your risk of a loss at the table.
- Insurance Bet – this bet can be placed if the dealer’s visible card is an ace. You need to do this before the dealer checks the downward-facing card in their hand. If the dealer has Blackjack, the insurance bet will win and pay 2:1. This type of side bet helps to reduce the overall house edge you face as a live blackjack player.
- Perfect Pairs – this is a bet on the type of cards you’ll be dealt and applies to your cards only. A ‘mixed pair’ is a bet on getting 2 cards of different suits with the same numerical value. A ‘coloured pair’ is a bet on 2 cards of the same colour with identical values. A ‘perfect pair’ is a bet on being dealt 2 identical cards.
- 21+3 – places a bet on your own 2 cards and the dealers upturned cards. Between the 3 cards, you can bet on getting all the same suit (flush), consecutive cards (straight), 3 identical cards from different suits (3 of a kind), consecutive cards from the same suit (straight flush) or 3 identical cards (suited triple).
Odds & Payouts
Here’s a breakdown of the individual odds for each of the side bets mentioned above:
|TYPE OF BET||PAYOUT & ODDS|
|Insurance||Pays 2:1 if the dealer has Blackjack|
|Mixed Pair||Player has 2 cards of a different suit and colour. Pays 5:1.|
|Coloured Pair||Player has 2 cards of the same colour and value. Pays 12:1.|
|Perfect Pair||Player has 2 identical cards. Pays 25:1.|
|Flush||Player’s and dealer’s upturned cards are of the same suit. Pays 5:1.|
|Straight||Player’s and dealer’s upturned cards are consecutive. Pays 10:1.|
|3 of a Kind||Player’s and dealer’s upturned cards are not the same suit. Pays 30:1|
|Straight Suit||Player’s and dealer’s upturned cards are the same suit and consecutive. Pays 40:1|
|Suited Triple||Player’s and dealer’s upturned cards are identical. Pays 100:1.|
Types of Live Blackjack
Once you’ve mastered the basics of blackjack, you might be keen to expand your horizons and try a new variation of this popular table game. The good news is that live blackjack comes in many different variants, well beyond the classic version, at most reputable online casinos. Here’s a quick look at all the exciting new twists each variation provides to this centuries-old casino classic:
Live Classic Blackjack
If you prefer to stick as close to the original game as possible then playing a live dealer version of Live Classic Blackjack is the one for you. The dealer will use between 2 and 4 standard decks of playing cards and always sticks when they have a ‘soft’ 17.
Live Blackjack Party
If you want to get your groove on whilst playing a few games, then Live Blackjack Party is the atmosphere you’ve been looking for. Although there are the usual amount of people sitting at the table, players can bet from behind so there could be hundreds in any single blackjack party room. Plus the tunes and jovial hosts will ensure that the party atmosphere is ever-present.
Live VIP Blackjack
Any players looking for an exclusive experience will want to pull up a virtual seat at a Live VIP Blackjack table. These luxury red tables will offer all the classic game features with some extra bonuses to boost your play. The minimum and maximum betting limits at such tables are likely to be higher, ensuring that only serious players will be invited to join in.
How to Play Online Blackjack with a Live Dealer
If you’re keen to get started and want to take your place at a live dealer blackjack table, then we’ve got some useful pointers for you. Following the steps listed below will help you to get started with any live blackjack game.
- Choose a casino – browser our list of the finest live blackjack casinos above and select the one which appeals to you the most.
- Sign up for an account – hit the ‘Play Now’ or ‘Sign Up’ button to get started and create a new player account.
- Make a deposit – fund your new account with a real money deposit via the casino’s cashier page.
- Claim your welcome bonus – don’t miss out on an extra boost from the casino’s welcome bonus, just make sure your deposit meets the minimum requirements.
- Select a live blackjack table – sign in and navigate to the live casino section of the site. Browser the live dealer blackjack games and join one you like.
- Place a bet – take a seat at the table and click on the coloured chips to place a bet once the previous game has concluded.
- Perfect your blackjack skills – interact with the live dealer and other players to get a feel for the game and table setup. Winning bets will be paid instantly at the end of each game round.
Why Play Online Blackjack in a Live Casino
Playing blackjack at an online casino has many advantages. Here are a few solid reasons to consider joining in with a live dealer blackjack game next time you feel like some table game action.
Great table selection
Any live casino lobby worth its salt will be packed to the rafters with a host of live blackjack tables to choose from. This is usually many more than you’d find at any land-based casino. You will be able to take your pick from the many variations on offer to bring something fresh to your blackjack gaming experience.
No rigged games
With a live dealer blackjack stream, you can be certain that the games are not rigged. You’ll be able to see the cards being dealt out directly from the shoe, which is restocked and shuffled by a professional dealer before the next session begins.
Choose your preferred dealer
Having a wide selection of tables to pick from also means that you get to select a dealer who appeals to you. Although they are all highly trained professionals who will welcome you to any live blackjack table, you might have a preference in style and approach which help you find your favourite live casino dealers.
Interact with other humans
Thanks to the live chat box, you’ll have the ability to talk to both the dealer and other players who are seated at the table. This helps to bring a land-based casino experience directly onto your screen.
Ultimate gaming convenience
Let the games come to you when there’s no need to step out of your front door just to enjoy some live action. You can load up one of the many live casino streams on your desktop or mobile device and jump right into the action anytime you wish.
Land vs Online vs Live Blackjack
|ONLINE BLACKJACK||LIVE BLACKJACK|
|No waiting for the games to start or dealers to change.||Occasional delays between sessions and game rounds.|
|Playing against the computer with no interaction. Random Number Generators (RNG) determine outcomes.||Ability to chat with the online blackjack live dealers and other players. This gives the most authentic casino experience online.|
|Game can feel a bit cold, even if you have a success.||The online blackjack live dealers will congratulate you on any wins.|
|Place bets and play at your own pace.||Limited time to place bets and react to the game.|
|Play for free in demo mode to get a feel for the game.||No option to play for free, only watch without betting.|
Best Live Blackjack Software
No live dealer blackjack casino experience would be worth having if it didn’t work seamlessly in real-time on your desktop or mobile device. That’s why the below software providers are continually innovating to bring you the best live options around right now.
One of the biggest and best known live casino game providers are Evolution Gaming. These guys know how to constantly innovate to bring you the best live casino experience directly from their dedicated studios. Their mobile-optimised HD streams come in many variations including Classic Live Blackjack, Speed Blackjack, Infinite Blackjack, Free Bet Blackjack and Power Blackjack. They also host the very popular Blackjack Party for players who want to add a fun vibe to their table gameplay.
The well established live casino providers Playtech offer blackjack fans a choice of fantastic interactive streams to choose from. Their Classic Blackjack games are played with 8 decks of cards and broadcast live from their casino studios in Riga, directly to your screen. Thanks to their use of HTML5, you can choose to play via a stable HD video stream on your desktop or mobile device, ensuring you are never far from the action. Their Live Ultimate Blackjack game removes the player limit for each game, meaning that a single table can host an endless number of players, creating a true party atmosphere.
Streaming live from their state of the art studios in Bucharest, Romania Pragmatic Play have built a reputation for providing a high-quality live blackjack experience. With bet behind and side bets possible, their multi-seat tables are hosted by professional online blackjack live dealers around the clock.
Best Blackjack Bonuses
Casino welcome bonuses and special offers can give your gameplay a real boost. Many bonus offers include free spins or bonus cash that can only be used to play video slots or specially selected games.
But the good news is that as a live blackjack player, you can still benefit from bonus offers at online casinos. You’ll just need to look out for specific offers that can be used on live casino games, such as the ones below.
Cashback is a popular live casino offer at many blackjack sites who will offer you a percentage of your winnings back as real cash. You could get 5% or even 10% of your losses handed back to you when you play specially selected table games. The exact amounts, restrictions and limits will vary from one casino to the next, so make sure you thoroughly investigate the terms of any cashback offers.
Live Casino Bonus Money
It may sound crazy, but it is possible to get bonus money to play games at online casinos. Bonus cash will usually come as part of a casino’s welcome package where they will ‘match’ the amount you deposit up to a specified limit. You will often see offers such as a 100% deposit bonus up to £100 or more! These will give you an instant boost to your bankroll right from the start.
Most importantly, you should check the terms to ensure that the bonus cash awarded to you can be used to play live blackjack games. Oftentimes, casinos place restrictions on bonus money and how you can use it. As a rule, casinos don’t usually let you play live games with bonus money, but there are the odd exception which you’ll want to jump at!
Exclusive Promotions and Offers
Online casinos love to reward loyal customers, so if you are coming back time and again to play your favourite live blackjack games, then you should be getting some extra perks. Checking the promotions page of your chosen casino could be well worth your while as it’s here you’ll find time-sensitive offers to take advantage of. Also, don’t forget to sign up to their promotions list to get the latest casino bonuses directly to your inbox.
VIP and Loyalty Schemes
High rollers are always welcomed by online casino sites and can expect to receive some special treatment on their accounts. If you are playing with larger amounts, the casino will often spot this, reach out and invite you to join their dedicated VIP or rewards programme. This is when the perks will start to roll in and can come in the form of exclusive cashback offers or personalised bonuses that are tailored to the way you play.
If you’re keen to claim some of these exciting bonuses, then be sure to take a look at the list below. These casinos are hand-picked by our experts to give you the best live blackjack experience and bonuses possible.
Start playing Blackjack in the best live casinos available at JohnSlots!
Playing live dealer blackjack games online can be a truly thrilling experience, available anytime your laptop, desktop, phone or tablet. Thanks to massive advances in technology, you can feel at the centre of the action as you take a virtual seat at a professionally hosted table.
Use or expert-approved list of the best online blackjack live dealer casinos to find your next favourite place to play!
If you still have a burning question about online live dealer blackjack then take a look below. Our expert team has compiled answers to the most common live blackjack questions.
Is live dealer blackjack rigged?
No. With live dealer blackjack cards are dealt from the shoe in real-time right before your eyes. The professional game hosts will also restock and shuffle the shoe on the screen so you can be sure that there’s nothing fishy going on during any game of live blackjack. Also, by using the casinos recommended on this page, you can be certain that they are safe, secure and fully licensed.
Can you win money playing live blackjack?
Yes, you can. You’ll need to use real money to play blackjack live at an online casino, and therefore all winnings will be paid out to you in real money too. This should be easy to withdraw via the cashier page at the casino where you are playing.
Can you beat the dealer in live blackjack?
Beating the dealer, also known as the house, is the aim of the game anytime you play blackjack live. To do this, you’ll need to get close to a total of 21 with your cards without exceeding it, known as going ‘bust’. If you are dealt a 10 or picture card alongside an ace, then you’ve got a Blackjack and instantly beat the dealer.
Is live blackjack legal?
When you play at a fully licensed casino, such as the ones recommended above, then it’s totally legal to play live dealer blackjack. For example, online casinos that hold a valid Gambling Commission licence are fully legal to play at for residents of the United Kingdom.
Can I play live blackjack on my mobile device?
Software providers such as Evolution Gaming and Pragmatic play have embraced HTML5 to create a fully mobile live casino experience. You can expect to have the exact same high-quality HD streams available regardless of the device you are using to play. All the casinos in our recommended list above have been fully tested for mobile compatibility on both iOS and Android devices.
Is it possible to count cards in live blackjack?
It’s not really possible to count cards during a game of live dealer blackjack, and it isn’t advised to do so. Most live dealer blackjack tables use between 6 and 8 decks of cards in their shoes, making card counting very difficult. They also usually employ some advanced software behind the scenes that can detect card counting patterns from players. If they suspect that you have been card counting, then you could be banned from playing at that casino in the future.ur