Blackjack is a game with a rich history that in 2021 is still immensely popular, especially now that a live version also exists. In this article we will explain you everything about live blackjack: how it works, whether it is reliable, what the advantages are and much more.

What is live blackjack?

Blackjack is an ancient card game and has French origins. As far as we know, the history of the game takes us back about four hundred years. The precursor of blackjack is said to be vingt-et-un, or twenty-one. Colloquially, blackjack is still known as twenty-one.

In addition to being one of the oldest, blackjack is also one of the most popular games in the casino. This will no doubt be partly because it is an accessible game: you can master it in no time.

In the 1990s, the online casino emerged and it was also possible to play blackjack online. Over the years, technology became more and more advanced and live casinos and thus live blackjack were added.

The concept of a live casino works as follows: somewhere in the world, either in a studio or a land-based casino, there is a non-virtual gaming table and a croupier. You watch these via a live stream on your computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. This allows you to play along with the casino game in real time. In a live casino, you only play table games like blackjack.

How does live blackjack work?

The blackjack game rules of live blackjack are the same as “normal” blackjack. In this game, you play only against the dealer (also called the bank) and not against your fellow players. You win from the dealer by either getting 21 points, or by getting closest to it. If you have more than 21 points, you automatically lose.

The points are determined by your cards. Cards with pictures are worth 10 points and an ace is worth 1 or 11 points, depending on what comes closest to 21 without going over it. In addition, there are cards 2 through 10 with a ditto point value.

After placing the bet, the dealer deals two cards to everyone and one to himself. If the player does not have blackjack, play continues. Players indicate whether they want another card or to split, insure or double. These terms mean the following:

Double down. After the first two cards are dealt, there is an opportunity to double your original bet. In most blackjack games, you may only double down if you have 9, 10 or 11 points. If you decide to double, you are only dealt one card after that. With the point total of these three cards, you take on the dealer.
Split. If you are dealt two cards of the same value, you have the option of splitting. These cards then become two separate hands and you get extra cards for both. Especially if you have two aces it is always advisable to choose this option.

Insurance. If the dealer’s first card is an ace, players are given the option of insuring. You then take out insurance in case the dealer has blackjack. Taking out insurance costs you half your bet, but if the dealer has blackjack, you get paid out twice. You do lose your original bet.
Passing. This means you don’t want any more cards. You then take on the dealer with the points you currently have.
If a player exceeds 21 points, he or she loses. After all players have had their turn, the dealer opens the second card. If the two cards are less than 16 points, he or she must take an additional card. From 17 points or more, the dealer must pass.

The payout is as follows:

  • If a player has blackjack immediately (and the dealer does not) then he or she wins one and a half times the bet.
  • If the dealer has bought himself dead (has more than 21 points), you win one time the bet.
  • If the dealer has not bought himself dead, but has fewer points than you, you win one time the bet.
  • If you have the same number of points as the dealer, you win and lose nothing.
  • If you have fewer points than the dealer, you lose your bet.
  • There are several variations of blackjack, whose rules differ slightly from each other. The most well-known forms are European blackjack, Atlantic blackjack and Spanish blackjack.

Live blackjack vs playing blackjack against a computer

The casino feel is much stronger with live blackjack than with online blackjack. This is because when you play blackjack online, it is completely virtual. The dealer (banker) you are playing against is a computer. Moreover, the blackjack table is animated. With live blackjack, you watch a real croupier and blackjack table via a live stream. Here you can communicate with the croupier and your fellow players. So this feels much more “real” than online blackjack.

Moreover, live blackjack is perceived as more transparent. As long as you play at an online casino that has a valid license, you don’t have to worry about the game being fair. After all, providers are subject to strict requirements. Still, some players like the fact that with live blackjack they can see with their own eyes what is happening.

What is the advantage of playing live blackjack?

Blackjack is an exciting and interesting game

Whether you play blackjack live, online or physical, it remains an exciting and interesting game. Each game can be completely different. Moreover, it is also good for your mind. You practice – in an entertaining way – good observation, risk assessment and decision making.

You play live blackjack in a place of your choice

If you want to play blackjack in a land-based casino, you have to travel there before you can try your luck. At a live casino, your location doesn’t play a role. You play it from the comfort of your own home, as well as on a beach or on a train. As long as you have a laptop, computer, smartphone or tablet with a working Internet connection at your disposal, you play wherever you want.

You play live blackjack whenever you want

Not only do you play live blackjack wherever you want, but also whenever. At a land-based casino, you may have to deal with limited opening hours. Moreover, you might have time for a game of blackjack, but not for the trip you have to make to a casino. You don’t have this problem with live blackjack: you can play it 24/7. Since you just play it from your location on your laptop, computer, smartphone or tablet, there is no travel time involved.

One small note: not all live casinos are open 24/7. If the game is recorded in a physical casino (and not in a studio), the opening hours of that casino may apply. However, since there are plenty of live casinos that are always open, you will always find a provider that offers live blackjack at your preferred time.

There are plenty of providers and variants to choose from

Live blackjack is a newer phenomenon than online blackjack. Fortunately, that does not mean that there are not more than enough platforms on which you can play the card game live. There are a lot of providers to choose from, so you can compare and ultimately choose the live casino that suits you best. With a land-based casino, you are highly dependent on what is in your area and therefore there are fewer options. In addition, new live blackjack providers are added every day, so the selection is only growing.

Live blackjack has a social aspect

Some players play blackjack in the casino purely for the game, but many people find the social aspect at least as important. While this is lacking in the online casino, in the live casino – just like in a land-based casino – you do have the opportunity to communicate with others. You can hear the croupier talk via the live stream and then say something back via the chat. Moreover, you can communicate with your fellow players.

You spend less on extra expenses

Going to a land-based casino is a night out. While that can obviously be fun on its own time, there are costs involved. For example, you normally pay an entrance fee at a land casino. If you sign up at an online casino to play live blackjack, not only do you not have to pay anything, you usually even get a welcome bonus. Although there are often certain conditions attached to this, it is a nice bonus either way.

Besides paying an entry fee, in a land-based casino you will undoubtedly spend money on (expensive) drinks and possibly snacks. Because you can play live blackjack from a location of your choice, you are much less likely to spend a lot of money on such things while playing.

The minimum bet is lower and the maximum bet is higher

Because live casinos have lower costs a land-based casino, they usually apply a lower maximum bet and a higher maximum bet. This does depend on the provider where you play live blackjack. Therefore, it is always good to scrutinize the different live casinos before you decide to play somewhere.

You have more privacy with live blackjack

When you slide into a blackjack table at a land-based casino, you enjoy little anonymity. With live blackjack, you have much more privacy. Registration is mandatory and in the process you usually have to verify your identity. However, your fellow players won’t see any of this, as long as you don’t include your real name in your username. Providers even recommend this. To further ensure your privacy, you can create a separate e-mail address for casino games.