Live Dealer Blackjack
It is a blackjack variant where two hands, rather than one, are dealt to each playing position. Online blackjack lacked certain charms of the live dealer experience, because they required a random number generator RNG and virtual simulations of the real life game. Currently available peak times GMT only. All presented in widescreen, HD format. For instance, holding 11 against a dealer 10, the correct strategy is to double in a hole card game where the player knows the dealer's second card is not an ace , but to hit in a no hole card game. Hole card games are sometimes played on tables with a small mirror or electronic sensor that is used to peek securely at the hole card. Single cards are dealt to each wagered-on position clockwise from the dealer's left, followed by a single card to the dealer, followed by an additional card to each of the positions in play.
What is Counting Cards?
Players with a blackjack may also take insurance, and in taking maximum insurance they commit themselves to winning an amount exactly equal to their main wager, regardless of the dealer's outcome. Fully insuring a blackjack against blackjack is thus referred to as "taking even money", and paid out immediately, before the dealer's hand is resolved; the players do not need to place more chips for the insurance wager.
Insurance bets are expected to lose money in the long run, because the dealer is likely to have blackjack less than one-third of the time.
However the insurance outcome is strongly anti-correlated with that of the main wager, and if the player's priority is to reduce variation , they might choose to pay for this.
Furthermore, the insurance bet is susceptible to advantage play. It is advantageous to make an insurance bet whenever the hole card has more than a chance of one in three of being a ten. Advantage play techniques can sometimes identify such situations. In a multi-hand, face-up, single deck game, it is possible to establish whether insurance is a good bet simply by observing the other cards on the table after the deal; even if there are just 2 player hands exposed, and neither of their two initial cards is a ten, then 16 in 47 of the remaining cards are tens, which is larger than 1 in 3, so insurance is a good bet.
This is an elementary example of the family of advantage play techniques known as card counting. Bets to insure against blackjack are slightly less likely to be advantageous than insurance bets in general, since the ten in the player's blackjack makes it less likely that the dealer has blackjack too. The rules of casino blackjack are generally determined by law or regulation, which establishes certain rule variations allowed at the discretion of the casino. The rules of any particular game are generally posted on or near the table, failing which there is an expectation that casino staff will provide them on request.
Over variations of blackjack have been documented. As with all casino games, blackjack incorporates a "house edge", a statistical advantage for the casino that is built into the game. The advantage of the dealer's position in blackjack relative to the player comes from the fact that if the player busts, the player loses, regardless of whether the dealer subsequently busts.
The loss rate of players who deviate from basic strategy through ignorance is generally expected to be greater. Surrender, for those games that allow it, is usually not permitted against a dealer blackjack; if the dealer's first card is an ace or ten, the hole card is checked to make sure there is no blackjack before surrender is offered.
This rule protocol is consequently known as "late" surrender. The alternative, "early" surrender, gives player the option to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack, or in a no-hole-card game. Early surrender is much more favorable to the player than late surrender. Most medium-strength hands should be surrendered against a dealer Ace if the hole card has not been checked. For late surrender, however, while it is tempting to opt for surrender on any hand which will probably lose, the correct strategy is to only surrender on the very worst hands, because having even a one in four chance of winning the full bet is better than losing half the bet and pushing the other half, as entailed by surrendering.
With no hole card, it is almost never correct basic strategy to double or split against a dealer ten or ace, since a dealer blackjack will result in the loss of the split and double bets; the only exception is with a pair of A's against a dealer 10, where it is still correct to split. In all other cases, a stand, hit or surrender is called for. For instance, holding 11 against a dealer 10, the correct strategy is to double in a hole card game where the player knows the dealer's second card is not an ace , but to hit in a no hole card game.
The no hole card rule adds approximately 0. The "original bets only" rule variation appearing in certain no hole card games states that if the player's hand loses to a dealer blackjack, only the mandatory initial bet "original" is forfeited, and all optional bets, meaning doubles and splits, are pushed.
Each blackjack game has a basic strategy , which is playing a hand of any total value against any dealer's up-card, which loses the least money to the house in the long term. An example of basic strategy is shown in the table below, and includes the following parameters: The bulk of basic strategy is common to all blackjack games, with most rule variations calling for changes in only a few situations.
For example, if the above game used the hit on soft 17 rule, common in Las Vegas Strip casinos, only 6 cells of the table would need to be changed: A, surrender 15 or 17 vs. A, double on A,7 vs. Also when playing basic strategy never take insurance or "even money. Estimates of the house edge for blackjack games quoted by casinos and gaming regulators are generally based on the assumption that the players follow basic strategy and do not systematically change their bet size.
Most blackjack games have a house edge of between 0. Casino promotions such as complimentary matchplay vouchers or 2: Basic strategy is based upon a player's point total and the dealer's visible card. Players may be able to improve on this decision by considering the precise composition of their hand, not just the point total.
For example, players should ordinarily stand when holding 12 against a dealer 4. However, in a single deck game, players should hit if their 12 consists of a 10 and a 2. The presence of a 10 in the player's hand has two consequences: However, even when basic and composition-dependent strategy lead to different actions, the difference in expected reward is small, and it becomes even smaller with more decks.
Using a composition-dependent strategy rather than basic strategy in a single deck game reduces the house edge by 4 in 10,, which falls to 3 in , for a six-deck game. Blackjack has been a high-profile target for advantage players since the s. Advantage play is the attempt to win more using skills such as memory, computation, and observation.
These techniques, while generally legal, can be powerful enough to give the player a long-term edge in the game, making them an undesirable customer for the casino and potentially leading to ejection or blacklisting if they are detected. The main techniques of advantage play in blackjack are as follows:. During the course of a blackjack shoe, the dealer exposes the dealt cards. Careful accounting of the exposed cards allows a player to make inferences about the cards which remain to be dealt.
These inferences can be used in the following ways:. A card counting system assigns a point score to each rank of card e. When a card is exposed, a counter adds the score of that card to a running total, the 'count'. A card counter uses this count to make betting and playing decisions according to a table which they have learned.
The count starts at 0 for a freshly shuffled deck for "balanced" counting systems. Unbalanced counts are often started at a value which depends on the number of decks used in the game.
Blackjack's house edge is usually between 0. Card counting is most rewarding near the end of a complete shoe when as few as possible cards remain. Single-deck games are therefore particularly susceptible to card counting.
As a result, casinos are more likely to insist that players do not reveal their cards to one another in single-deck games. In games with more decks of cards, casinos limit penetration by ending the shoe and reshuffling when one or more decks remain undealt.
Casinos also sometimes use a shuffling machine to reintroduce the exhausted cards every time a deck has been played. Card counting is legal and is not considered cheating as long as the counter isn't using an external device, : Sometimes a casino might ban a card counter from the property. The use of external devices to help counting cards is illegal in all US states that license blackjack card games. Techniques other than card counting can swing the advantage of casino blackjack toward the player.
All such techniques are based on the value of the cards to the player and the casino as originally conceived by Edward O. Shuffle tracking requires excellent eyesight and powers of visual estimation but is more difficult to detect since the player's actions are largely unrelated to the composition of the cards in the shoe. Arnold Snyder's articles in Blackjack Forum magazine brought shuffle tracking to the general public.
His book, The Shuffle Tracker's Cookbook, mathematically analyzed the player edge available from shuffle tracking based on the actual size of the tracked slug. Patterson also developed and published a shuffle-tracking method for tracking favorable clumps of cards and cutting them into play and tracking unfavorable clumps of cards and cutting them out of play.
The player can also gain an advantage by identifying cards from distinctive wear markings on their backs, or by hole carding observing during the dealing process the front of a card dealt face down. These methods are generally legal although their status in particular jurisdictions may vary.
Many blackjack tables offer a side bet on various outcomes including: The side wager is typically placed in a designated area next to the box for the main wager. A player wishing to wager on a side bet is usually required to place a wager on blackjack. Some games require that the blackjack wager should equal or exceed any side bet wager. A non-controlling player of a blackjack hand is usually permitted to place a side bet regardless of whether the controlling player does so. The house edge for side bets is generally far higher than for the blackjack game itself.
Nonetheless side bets can be susceptible to card counting. A side count, designed specifically for a particular side bet, can improve the player edge. Only a few side bets, like "Lucky Ladies", offer a sufficient win rate to justify the effort of advantage play. In team play it is common for team members to be dedicated toward counting only a sidebet using a specialized count. Blackjack can be played in tournament form.
Players start with an equal numbers of chips; the goal is to finish among the top chip-holders. Depending on the number of competitors, tournaments may be held over several rounds, with one or two players qualifying from each table after a set number of deals to meet the qualifiers from the other tables in the next round.
Another tournament format, Elimination Blackjack , drops the lowest-stacked player from the table at pre-determined points in the tournament. Good strategy for blackjack tournaments can differ from non-tournament strategy because of the added dimension of choosing the amount to be wagered. As in poker tournaments, players pay the casino an initial entry fee to participate in a tournament, and re-buys are sometimes permitted. Some casinos, as well as general betting outlets, provide blackjack among a selection of casino-style games at electronic consoles.
Video blackjack game rules are generally more favorable to the house; e. Video and online blackjack games deal each coup from a fresh shoe, rendering card counting much less effective. Blackjack is a member of a large family of traditional card games played recreationally all around the world. Most of these games have not been adapted for casino play. Furthermore, the casino game development industry is very active in producing blackjack variants, most of which are ultimately not adopted for widespread use in casinos.
The following are the prominent twenty-one themed comparing card games which have been adapted or invented for use in casinos and have become established in the gambling industry. Twenty-one or "Siebzehn und Vier" German: An ace can only count as eleven, but two aces count as a blackjack. It is mostly played in private circles and barracks. A British variation is called "Pontoon", the name being probably a corruption of "Vingt-et-un". Blackjack is also featured in various television shows.
Here are a few shows inspired by the game. In , professional gamblers around the world were invited to nominate great blackjack players for admission into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. Seven members were inducted in , with new people inducted every year after. Members include Edward O. Thorp , author of the s book Beat the Dealer which proved that the game could be beaten with a combination of basic strategy and card counting ; Ken Uston , who popularized the concept of team play; Arnold Snyder , author and editor of the Blackjack Forum trade journal; Stanford Wong , author and popularizer of the "Wonging" technique of only playing at a positive count, and several others.
Live dealer blackjack is the best way to play 21 online, and get the real casino experience. This tutorial provides a detailed guide for Live Dealer Blackjack. Playing in a live casino blackjack is different than gambling through a software platform.
The technology is different, but the method for playing is common between the various providers. Below, we provide a step-by-step guide to playing live dealer casino blackjack. Register an account at the online casino. This includes a name, address, email address, and basic information.
Many sites offer a signup bonus but sometimes require a promo code. Some live casinos allow free play, while others require real money play to access the live blackjack interface. Those who want to play for real money need to fund their account. Use a credit card, debit card, prepaid card, e-wallet, e-vouchers, bank transfer, or bitcoin service to make a casino deposit. Find the link to the live casino page, which can be found easily.
Many mobile casinos also have a live option, though this is not universal. Choose from Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, and other live dealer games. Some live casinos use multiple software providers, so the casino may offer two or more versions of live dealer blackjack. The betting limits will be much higher for these tables. The HD video stream takes up the majority of the screen. Chip denominations and side bets can be made at the bottom of the screen.
Type in a chat box to converse with the dealer. Use the audio to listen to what the dealer says. Customers can chat with other players at the table. Live studios offer 6 or 7-player tables. Good live blackjack online games have options to Hit, Stand, Double, Split, or where offered Surrender.
Learn the rules for each before playing. The dealer may prompt you if you take too long. Make sure to withdraw your winnings after a good gaming session, or leave some in your account for the next time you play. Just like there are many different varieties of casino blackjack, there are also different types of live dealer blackjack games.
The casinos listed have all been proven to be trustworthy and offer the best live casino experience players could want — These are our OUSC recommendations. Some of the live casinos accept USA players, while others cater to international gamblers. Be sure to read the reviews and make sure they offer what you want. Proceed with caution if you decide to play at any of the casinos not reviewed.
Live dealer casinos are often operated by a different provider than your main online casino, so when you select these games you will usually be taken to a separate area of the lobby.
Here you can find a full list of the games provided, and by clicking on the live blackjack dealer games you will open up a list of different tables, with the payouts and betting limits for each.
Some casinos will show you a picture of the dealers currently live at the blackjack tables. Many live dealer games are played one-to-many, where a single hand is dealt and bet on by many individuals through their computers.
This can affect the result of the hand, making the one-to-many system not effective for players that would have made a different decision. There are differences in the details of the video and betting interface between the different casinos, though in general these appear similar. The main part of the screen is taken up by an HD video stream of the live dealer and blackjack cards, which are often extra-large to be easily seen by the players. If side bets are offered then you can add chips to those squares separately.
There is a text chat box if you wish to interact with the dealer or other players, although this is in no way required. The dealer will reply out loud while players use the text chat feature. Behind the dealer, you can usually see other tables streaming different games, laid out to replicate an actual casino. Decks are regularly shuffled in full view, and the cards are large to make it easy to see them on different screen sizes.
The dealer will remind you to act. Once the hand is completed, bets are settled automatically by the software and the next hand will begin. Online casinos support mobile live dealer blackjack. Video graphics keep track of your hand total and bet size, but otherwise remain unobtrusive. Everything appears on your screen in real time, so you can give live feedback to the dealer, hostess, and pit boss. Basic strategy alone will not make you a winning player, but it does make you an optimal player.
This means you play longer, save more of your bankroll, and enjoy playing the game. The rules of the game change the basic strategy that is used. Players should find a color-coded basic strategy chart online and print it for study. Once you have a basic strategy chart, you should keep it near you while you play live dealer blackjack online. The great thing about playing at home is you can refer to the table while you gamble.
Please remember that this is not a comprehensive best strategy, or even the best strategy for any single version of blackjack. Those who want a more rigorous option should learn one basic strategy chart well. This blackjack strategy chart works well with the most popular game variations found in most online casinos. The cost in errors is higher for that strategy than it is for those in which the dealer stands. Again, a combination of card counting and basic strategy turns blackjack into a positive expectation game.
This is a survey of live dealer blackjack, so the details of complicated card counting strategies is well beyond our scope here. Even our advice on basic strategy is rudimentary and should be supplemented with further study. Of all strategies to beat Blackjack, card counting is the most widely known. At a basic level, this means tracking the high and low cards, then increasing your bets when the deck is in your favor.
In a live dealer online blackjack game, counting is almost impossible. For a start, there are decks in play, which are shuffled and exchanged too frequently to get a true count. In addition, sudden increases in your stakes will be very obvious, and team-play easy to track.
Instead of worrying about card counting and similar tricks, you will do far better by finding a casino with a generous welcome bonus and ongoing promotions or rewards. Many live dealer Blackjack games offer side bets, for example, Perfect Pairs.
While these can add some extra interest to the deal, and potentially get you a big payout, you should be aware that the house has a large edge in these side-games. Even better, Live Dealer games powered by Evolution gaming offer dedicated live studio support. The standard blackjack game operated by Evolution Gaming allows for seven players at the main table , and includes the following base rules, house edge, and other specifications: Decks in Play 8 Decks.
Blackjack Pays 3 to 2. Dealer Stands on All 17s Yes. Evolution Gaming offers just the standard blackjack game but mixes things up through the inclusion of several optional wagers and other features. Allows players to bet along with the seven primary seats at any table. In essence, Bet Behind simply expands a table from seven players to an endless amount, which nullifies wait lists and other inconveniences. When betting behind, players simply place wagers on any seat in the game, and when that player turns a winner, you do as well.
Players can place side wagers on whether or not their first two cards will form various pairs. Pre-Decision speeds up the game immensely. Today, Playtech hosts Live Dealer streaming sessions from a studio in Riga, Latvia, which opened in , along with their original Manila, the Philippines which debuted in The Latvian-based studio caters to European facing customers while the Manila-based studio serves Asian players.
The standard blackjack game operated by Playtech allows for seven players at the main table, and includes the following base rules, house edge, and other specifications:. The Perfect Pairs side bet is available, and players can bet behind.
Also known as Ultimate Blackjack, this Playtech product simply allows for an unlimited number of players to bet on a single deal. Other software providers have their live dealers manually shuffle the cards, which can slow the game down somewhat. The standard blackjack game operated by NetEnt allows for seven players at the main table, and includes the following base rules, house edge, and other specifications: Decks in Play 6 Decks with Shuffling Machine.
Blackjack, and Common Deal Blackjack. The first game is standard issue blackjack using the rules described above while the second simply adds the unlimited bet behind option to allow for multiple players using the same deal. The standard blackjack game operated by Microgaming allows for seven players at the main table, and includes the following base rules, house edge, and other specifications: Doubles only on 9, 10, and The only difference between the two games is that Playboy Blackjack uses the Playboy bunny dealers.
In both games, players can bet behind, but no side bets are offered.