Live blackjack

Looking for the real thing? Play blackjack online with live dealers!

Thanks to developments in casino technology, internet gamblers can now access authentic, live dealer blackjack from a variety of devices. This page will introduce you to live blackjack and demonstrate how engaging with real dealers via live video uplink can create a genuine casino experience in the comfort of your own home.

More and more gamblers are leaning towards live blackjack, preferring to see the cards dealt right in front of them, instead of relying upon the random number generators of computer software.

What is live blackjack?

While virtual blackjack has been popular since the origins of online gambling, some players are sceptical about the idea of entrusting their bankrolls to invisible gaming software.

Live blackjack guarantees legitimacy, with an actual human being shown handling cards in real time. On top of that, many players enjoy the communal element of live play, where chat functions allow interaction with the dealer and other punters at the table.

  • Live blackjack online

    Live blackjack is played in exactly the same way as in land-based casinos. A real dealer takes responsibility for the cards, while visual recognition software allocates virtual currency to winners.

  • Live blackjack mobile

    Improvements in wireless technology have made it possible to bring live blackjack play to a variety of mobile devices and tablets.

  • Meet the dealers!

    Many casino brands provide dealer galleries that allow punters to get a glance at their hosts before hitting the tables. VIPs can even request for their favourite dealers to take care of their games! Click on any of the casinos below to explore some dealer galleries.

    If you like your dealers to be provided with a definite slice of glamour, then check out a site like 32Red that provides access to one of Microgaming's Playboy Live Casinos, where the dealers are dressed in the iconic 'play bunny' uniforms.

How live blackjack works

When you log on to play live blackjack, you will usually be taken through to a video feed of a game that's already in action that has a seat available. Most live blackjack tables have seating for up to seven players.

The dealer will be advised of your arrival as a player and usually will say a quick friendly hello to you. You will be offered a seat, so if you want to play, you will need to sit down.

The action at a live blackjack table takes place via a video feed of the table overlaid by your player interface. The type of interface will be familiar to you if you've ever played online blackjack before. The only difference will be that you will be sharing the table with a number of other players.

Once you're seated, you'll be given a time limit in which to place a bet. You do this usually by moving virtual chips from your stack and placing them at your position in front of you. The computer will note your wager and the dealer will be informed via a monitor at their end that you are to be included within the deal.

Note, if you fail to wager for a successive number of hands you are likely to be kicked from the table. This will happen even quicker if there are players in the table queue waiting for a seat to become vacant.

Once the time limit is up and all players who are playing have made a bet, the deal will commence. The cards are dealt from a shoe as at a real casino. Usually, the first card is dealt unseen and discarded. This is to prevent card-counting, which of course is much harder to detect at a online 'live' casino than in the real world.

Each player is dealt one card face up, and the dealer one card, also face up. All players are then dealt a second card face up, and the dealer a face down card. The order of the dealing of the face up and face down card may be reversed at some casinos.

As they are dealt, all the cards are passed over an optical card reader. This means the cards are fed into the computer software, and they will appear on the player interface as well as 'live' at the table. The computer will then know if you have won or lost the hand and adjust your bankroll accordingly.

If the dealer is dealt an ace as their face up card, you may be offered insurance against the dealer having blackjack. This will be offered to all players in turn, but unlike online blackjack, if the dealer does have blackjack this is not revealed until all players who did not accept insurance have played out their hands.

Play then commences from the right-hand side of the table, and moves around the table in turn.

When it is your turn to act the dealer will point to your cards and await your action. You will only have a limited time limit in which to act. You can use the controls to hit, stand or perform any other available action that you can. If you stand the dealer will move on to the player to your left. If you hit they will deal you another card. This continues until you stand or bust.

Once you have completed your action, play moves on to the player seated to your left.

Once all players have completed their action, the dealer will then reveal their cards and play their hand out as per the rules of the casino. The computer automatically follows happenings and will settle all wagers, updating the bankroll on your display.

The cards will be gathered in and discarded, and the next round begins.

The dealer shoes are changed on a regular basis – again to prevent card counting – and dealer shifts last for about one hour. Most online casinos are available 24/7. All dealers are very highly trained to prevent mistakes.

You will be able to chat with your dealer. They will speak to you over audio, and you will be able to communicate with them via a chat box that's provided with the interface software.

In some live dealer casinos you'll also be able to exchange messages with the people seated at the table with you, just as you would at a bricks and mortar casino. Abuse of any kind is not tolerated, and if you indulge in abusive behaviour you are likely to be kicked out of your chair.

Abusing or being disrespectful towards the dealer is a big taboo, and if you do behave in such a manner, you will be kicked from the table and possibly banned altogether from playing at the live casino via any casino portal where you'd normally be able to access it.

Types of blackjack offered

Live dealer blackjack is usually only run to a very basic template known as 'Las Vegas Strip Rules' in order to speed up play and minimise waiting times for the players playing at the casino. The rules usually have a few extra 'bonus' rules, as follows:

  • players are not allowed to split a split hand
  • once aces are split, only one card is then dealt to each ace
  • players may double down split cards
  • dealers will never check for blackjack

Before you start play at a 'live' blackjack table at an online casino it's always best to check that you understand all the options available with regards to blackjack aspects such as surrendering, doubling down, splitting and insurance.

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