Blackjack has been a gambling favourite for hundreds of years. The first written reference dates back to the beginning of the 17th century, when Miguel de Cervantes – author of Don Quixote and a noted gambler – spun a tale of two Blackjack cheats chancing their arms in the streets of Seville. Nowadays, Blackjack is the most widely played casino banking game in the world, and its enduring simplicity and inherent excitement have seen it stay relevant while other card games have fallen by the wayside. It is this simplicity and excitement that makes Blackjack a natural fit for the online gaming scene – Live Blackjack is one of the most popular card games on the Internet.
No longer restricted to the limitations of the physical casino, Live Blackjack presents a new way to enjoy the old favourite, where veterans and novices alike can battle it out with the dealer in the ancient game of chance and nerve. That’s not to say that the 'Live' variant requires any less skill or discipline than the real thing, or that the game lacks any of the tension of a physical deal: Blackjack is Blackjack, no matter how you play it. But how is this new variant different from the old classic, what are the advantages to playing online, and how can gamers get involved in this thriving online scene?
Live Blackjack brings the excitement of the real thing into your home, and the best sites maintain much of the realism and tension. Most on-screen experiences see a human dealer run the game in real-time from a casino gaming table, which players observe via a live streaming video link. Players can make betting decisions via the interface on their screen, and any issues or calls can be communicated with the dealer via a live text chat function or sometimes even an audio link.
One concern that many players have when starting out in the live-games scene is the reliability and fairness of hands dealt. All decent online sites are licensed and regulated by noted gaming authorities and undergo frequent tests and checks to ensure fairness and unpredictability of deals, meaning newcomers need not worry that the cards are stacked against them. To ensure this realistic and fair level of randomness, the order of cards dealt is dependent on the data produced by a pseudorandom number generator (PRNG) decided by a complex algorithm. This system provides results that satisfy all but the most stringent requirements for true randomness.
The hands of the deal are converted to communicable data via optical character recognition (OCR) technology and transferred to the player via a live link. This enables the player to interact with the game in much the same way as they would with a virtual casino game, and lends the entire experience a greater level of immersion and realism.
Naturally, Live Blackjack brings with it all the benefits of the Internet age: portability, speed and reach. Whereas before, anyone wanting to play the card game would have had to seek out a traditional casino, players can now connect with ease from anywhere in the world. This has allowed Blackjack to extend its arm to an entirely new group of gamers, with newcomers able to quickly dip their toes in the online version without feeling like they’ve been thrown in the deep end. The online experience is often a much cheaper one than its real-world precursor, with more customisation over wager amounts and a less pressure-filled environment.
Another distinct advantage of the 'Live' variant is the ability to quickly find and enter a game: in a real-life casino, gamblers would have to wait for a slot at an appropriate table to open up. The Internet version has no such limitations, and players can drop in and out almost immediately. Moreover, Live Blackjack also caters for casual gamers who don’t want to put their money on the line. Unlike a real-life casino, players can try their hand at Blackjack simply for the love of the gaming, with imaginary stakes and no concerns about breaking the bank.
Live Blackjack is undergoing a real boom in popularity at the moment, and gamers are spoilt for choice by the sheer number and quality of platforms out there. Almost all of the top casino and gaming brands offer some variation on Live Blackjack, and these jostle for gamer attention alongside specialist houses and niche sites. To get playing today, check out our list of top-rated sites.