Live Blackjack is a very popular card game at online casinos. Blackjack is one of the oldest casino games, like roulette and poker. Live casino players love blackjack games because they’re the closest you’ll get to land-based casino games. Live dealers deal the cards to all players at the table and you bet on the live-action. If you’re an advanced blackjack player, then you might even be able to count cards, which is not possible with automated online games.
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How to Play Live Blackjack
The main goal in Live Blackjack is to create a hand whose points amount is as near as possible to 21 than the banker’s hand without going over. The common version involves 6 card decks, which amounts to a total of 312 cards. An Ace is worth either 1 or 11 depending on your other card. Face cards are worth 10.
Firstly, the player places his bets. When this is complete, the Live Blackjack dealer hands out one card face up to the player and another one to himself. Another round of cards is then dealt to the player in a face-up manner. However, the dealer takes his second card face down.
If your initial 2 cards are an ace and a 10, it gives you a total of 21 (natural or blackjack). You automatically win unless the dealer has the same score.
The Player’s Hand
The possible actions you can take include:
The Dealer’s Hand
Once both you and the dealer have played your hands, the winner of the game is automatically determined and declared based on the following factors:
– You have a blackjack and the dealer does not – You Win
– Your hand goes bust – You Lose
– You stand and the dealer busts or has a lower value – You Win
– You stand but the dealer has a higher hand than you – You Lose
– Dealer has the same card value as your hand – Push
Live Blackjack Basic Strategy
Many books have been written in our lifetime about blackjack. Blackjack is a casino game where the house has the least amount of edge over players. Luck plays a big part in the outcome, but there is also a lot of skill involved. So, a basic blackjack strategy was formulated into a chart, which is followed religiously by online casino gamblers around the world.
Basic strategy charts are best used on Live Blackjack. If you follow the chart 1 to 1, then you should start winning more in your blackjack sessions. Learning when to hit, stand, double down, and split are the most fundamental skills needed to succeed. Let’s look at the chart below and see how to play each hand.
Players hit the table to improve it. However, it’s best advised not to do this if you think you may go over 21 (your winning hand needs to be in the ballpark of 18). Taking this into consideration, you should be looking at 19 to get the best results. Many strategies talk about Standing on totals of 17 or more.
Many experts also advise you to assume that dealers have 10 in the hole since there are multiple 10-value cards in the deck. This can be a productive assumption.
On the other hand, players should consider Standing if they are sure their hand is going to beat the dealer’s hand, or if they think the dealer will bust. Live Blackjack is a mathematical game based on odds and probabilities that cannot change under any circumstances. You should act accordingly.
Live Blackjack players often opt to make the Double Down move. As the name suggests, this gives them the opportunity to double their profits. A Double Down essentially means doubling the original bet in exchange for a single card. Dealers often refer to this move as “Reaching Deep”.
Splitting can be explained as the act of actually dividing a hand into two separate ones, upon being dealt a matching pair at the blackjack table.
You can only split a hand if you have been dealt two cards of the same value. You must also place a bet that is equal to the original bet to cover the second hand while splitting a hand. Once done, your matching cards will be separated into two hands. Now the dealer deals one extra card per hand.
If you split a pair of Aces, you will only be dealt one extra card and won’t have the option to hit or double down. Some online casinos will allow you to split Aces again if another Ace is dealt.
Holding a Blackjack
Holding a Blackjack is when you take insurance when you have a blackjack on your hand and the dealer is showing an Ace, it results in a gain of one bet. At some casinos, they can allow you to be paid without actually placing the insurance bet. This is called “taking even money”.
Side Bets & Jackpots
There is also the option to adopt more advanced strategies. One such tactic is Card Counting, which allows you to keep track of the high and low cards in the deck. If you possess the ability to gauge the count, you can potentially determine the optimal time to increase your bets and increase your earnings.
Different Versions of Live Blackjack
Live Casinos feature different types of Blackjack variations which offer a few twists to make the game more interesting. Below, we detail some of the common Blackjack variations that Indian players enjoy.
Lightning Blackjack is a version of blackjack from Evolution Gaming. When Evolution adds the “lightning” to a game it means that win multipliers are now part of the gameplay this, of course, affects the possible payouts. In the normal version of blackjack, you have the maximum payout for blackjack at 3:2. But in Lightning Blackjack, it is possible to get a payout of up to 25x on a winning hand.
Due to the possibility of such high payouts a lightning fee is mandatory for each round, that fee is 100% of your bet. In a way, you can look at it as a side bet for the chance of a multiplier. The multiplier is assigned on your winning first hand and the payout you get on a successive winning hand.
Other than the addition of the multipliers and the lightning fee Lightning Blackjack plays the same as regular blackjack. So there are no odd rules that you need to learn before you play it.
We have a full review of this title here: Lightning Blackjack
Video Blackjack, released by Ezugi in 2023. In this Blackjack title, the player must exchange audio and video from their device in order to join a game. Video Blackjack does not permit any spectators and this is due to privacy, as you are sharing video and sound, from unauthorised users.
You can look at it like a private party, especially if you are some friends playing a private live casino experience. The rules are based on regular European Blackjack rules. With the addition of a couple of side bets for those high-risk, high-reward games. There are side bets such as Perfect Pairs and 21+3 available for those that enjoy some side-bet action in addition to the main bet.
For now, this is probably the closest you get to the experience of visiting a physical casino, but from the comfort of your sofa.
Single Deck Blackjack
Single Deck Live Blackjack is becoming a thing of the past because it arguably gives the players the best chance to win. The house edge is just 0.15% and card count counter waits are shorter. This obviously still requires the player to show a good understanding of the game and make the right moves.
You will need to read the fine print before engaging in a Single Deck Blackjack game because more and more casinos are now offering unfavourable rules.
Switch – Also known as Blackjack Exchange in select markets, Blackjack Switch is a blackjack variant that allows the player to trade cards between two hands (considered a cheating manoeuvre otherwise). The player must make two bets of equal size and is allowed to switch the second card dealt to each hand.
Of course, this is a double-edged sword. In this case, a dealer getting 22 results in a push against all non-busted hands and blackjacks pay even money.
Surrender – The player gets the option to give back the first two cards and get half of their initial bet back, this is not a very common rule. You might want to use this if you get 16 and the dealer shows 10, as that is such a bad hand that it is worth more to get half the bet back instead of playing it.
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