Do you like playing blackjack online? You may have noticed that many casinos are now offering live online blackjack with an actual blackjack dealer. In this exciting version of the game you get to observe the dealer in action on a video stream. There is no more realistic way to play blackjack online than with a live dealer.
Before you jump into live online blackjack, here’s a basic introduction to the game. We are going to cover all the basics of this variety of the game, how it is played, and the strategy that you can use. We will even throw in a live online blackjack FAQ at the end and you can also check out our other regular blackjack faq page. Learn before you play, and your chances to win will be increased.
About Live Dealer Blackjack
Blackjack has been a part of most online casinos for a very long time. It is arguably the most popular casino card game today. Blackjack first appeared online as a virtual game. In the virtual game there is no actual dealer. The player is just dealt cards at a virtual table.
Live dealer blackjack is a version of the game that is conducted in real time. The online casino opens up a table to players, just like a real casino. Each blackjack table can seat six to nine players. Each player joins the live game remotely as it is being broadcast from a studio.
The video feed from the studio captures an actual dealer as they are dealing the game. The video feed and the player interfaces are linked. This allows players to complete actions like hitting, standing, and doubling down in accordance with the game as it is being dealt. There is a chat box that lets players communicate with the dealer and with one another.
Live Blackjack Online
Live online blackjack is only different from other online blackjack games because it uses a live dealer. The rest of the game is exactly the same. Players are trying to make a total of 21 without going over, and their total must beat the total that is held by the dealer.
In live online blackjack a shoe is used to hold anywhere from 4-6 decks of cards, just like it is in a real casino. There are some online casinos which use fewer decks to try and prevent any card counters from establishing a count into the deck. The dealer’s actions are all visible to the player’s eye.
The game is conducted in a studio that is owned by the software provider who partners with the live casino. In many cases, the location of the live studio is kept a secret. This is done for security purposes, and to make sure that no one can influence the outcome of the games.
Ask any serious blackjack player and they will tell you why they think this type of online blackjack is best. Here are our thoughts on why a live blackjack game may be a better choice.
Why Play Live Blackjack Online?
Each player has their own reasons for wanting to play blackjack online. Some players may prefer a virtual game. This is especially true for the beginning player who has limited experience. The experienced player should consider live dealer blackjack for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, live blackjack online offers transparency. Some players feel more comfortable playing the game when they can watch what is happening with the dealer. There is often suspicion when a virtual blackjack game is played. How can you know that the casino is not cheating?
It’s not really possible for the online casino to cheat when players see the cards that are coming out of the shoe. After all, online cheating in blackjack would only be possible if the cards being dealt to players were not random. When they are dealt from a shoe, by hand, after being shuffled in full view, players can see that the game is fair.
Another reason to consider playing live online blackjack is the possibility of card counting. It is true that some online casinos are now shuffling in live blackjack more often, and some are even using an automatic shuffler. Those that are not may open the door for the card counter. The key is to get deck penetration.
A final reason for some players is that they love the social aspects of live online blackjack. Players want to be able to chat and interact with other players and the dealer, just like they can in a live casino. This is popular with a live version of the game.
How to Play Live Dealer Blackjack
Those who want to learn how to play online live blackjack will realize that they already have everything they need in terms of knowledge if they have already played virtual blackjack. There is no difference at all in the basic rules of the game, so our discussion will focus on technical requirements.
To play live dealer blackjack you are going to need an Internet connection that is fast enough to stream media. Any buffering will likely boot you from a hand, and it could even cause you to lose money when you are not able to make the proper decision for your hand. Make sure that you test things out before you commit a lot of money.
Some virtual online blackjack games can be played with a mobile device. This is probably not going to be the case with a live dealer blackjack game. Most live games will require you to have a desktop or a laptop computer to stream the game. At the time of this review there were a very few online casinos which were starting to test mobile live blackjack games.
Another requirement that you are going to encounter is a larger bankroll. Live blackjack online will cost more than the table minimums for the virtual games. There is a very basic reason for this. The online casino now has to pay a dealer. It also now has to limit the number of players that can be seated at the table. These considerations mean that the online casino has to raise the minimum bet to guarantee the profit that they expect.
Live Online Blackjack Strategy
It is good to know that the strategy you will use for live online blackjack is not really that different from that used when playing virtual games. The same basic blackjack strategy that serves you well at a live casino or in any other basic blackjack game will work when you play live online.
With that being said we can offer a few simple caveats that are useful. The first of these is to limit your play to just one hand. Some players like to play two or three virtual blackjack hands at the same time. The live blackjack game at an online casino is not as slow paced. You will be expected to act on your hands in a timely manner. In fact, you may be given a certain amount of time to make your hand choices.
Playing one hand at a time will allow you to focus on your hand and make the best decisions. You will also need to perfect your money management strategy more than you would if playing regular online blackjack games. The reason for this is that you are spending more money per hand.
Most players will want to stick with the bankroll rule that we have recommended at Counting Edge. We suggest that players have at least 50X the table minimum. A $5 live online blackjack table would require a bankroll of $250 to start. This will give you the best chance of winning.
Live Online Blackjack FAQ
We have put together a list of live online blackjack questions that are often asked by our Counting Edge readers. If you don’t see your question listed here, check back from time to time. We will add more questions as they are asked.
What is live dealer blackjack?
Live dealer blackjack is an online version of the game that is played with an actual dealer. Players are able to observe the dealer as they deal the game on a live video stream. The game is conducted in real time, and it can be played by six to nine players at a single time. The stream may also be broadcast to multiple tables in some cases.
Are live online blackjack and live dealer blackjack the same thing?
Yes. Live online blackjack and live dealer blackjack are the same thing. Some casinos refer to them differently.
Do all online casinos offer live blackjack?
At the present time live dealer blackjack is not found in all online casinos. It is growing in popularity, and is being added to many online casinos all the time.
Can I play live online blackjack on my phone?
The complexities of live online blackjack make it a game that is difficult to play on a small phone or a tablet. As a rule, most live dealer online blackjack games are played on a desktop or a laptop computer.
Is live online blackjack strategy the same?
You can use the exact same strategy to play live online blackjack as you can on a virtual game. You can also use the same strategy that you may be accustomed to using in an actual physical casino.
Is online live blackjack legal in the US?
Online gambling is illegal in many US states, but that does not prevent some offshore online casinos from welcoming US players. We have provided reviews of many offshore online casinos that accept US players, and some of those have live online blackjack.
Can I count cards in live dealer blackjack?
It depends on the online casino that you have chosen. Some online casinos shuffle the deck after each hand of live dealer blackjack. This makes card counting a practical impossibility. In order to count cards the game must be dealing from a shoe and using 4-6 decks. This would allow the player to establish some type of deck penetration required for card counting.
Is live dealer online blackjack fair?
There are many players who feel that live online blackjack is the most fair version of the game. Instead of a random number generator, the cards are shuffled and randomly dealt in full view of all the players. There is no conceivable way for the online casino to cheat in a live dealer game. The casino doesn’t need to cheat. It has a built-in house edge.
What is the minimum bet in live online blackjack?
At most online casinos there is a $5 minimum bet at live online blackjack. This is higher than the $1 minimum that it found at many virtual blackjack games online. The reason for higher table minimums in live dealer games is that these games are more expensive for the casino to operate.
Where is the dealer located in online live blackjack?
In live online blackjack the dealer is located in a studio that belongs to the online casino gaming provider. For example, Real Time Gaming streams some of its live online blackjack games from a state-of-the-art studio in Riga, Italy.
Before you venture of to play live blackjack online, we recommend you do a few things such as make sure you are familiar with the blackjack rules, the blackjack card values, explore the card counting methods listed, and here we also created a guide on how to play blackjack at home with friends. Any practice play you can do before actually playing for real money will be to your benefit.