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What to Consider When Choosing a Live Blackjack Site
No self-respecting card player would sit down at the first table they encountered in Vegas, and the same rule applies to the competitive online world of live blackjack.
Take a look at the key features to seek out in a live blackjack game to maximise your strategy and enable you to play to your full potential, within your financial limits and with all the excitement a stint at the blackjack table deserves.
Why Play Live Blackjack Online?
In the early days of online betting, blackjack lovers had to choose between the buzz of the blackjack table on the casino floor and the quick, convenient world of online blackjack. But the arrival of live blackjack games to online casinos has changed all that.
Blending a live video stream of a blackjack dealer with an online console that allows quick bets, delivers a statistical overview and even has a chat window, live blackjack gives gamblers the best of both worlds.
Exploring Game/Rule Variations
The are a range of variations to blackjack rules and gameplay, and each one can change a player's return – for better or worse.
- Dealer Rules | In standard US blackjack rules, the dealer will stand on a soft 17 (ie including an ace), in some games they won't. If the dealer's allowed to hit, a player's average returns fall by 0.22%.
- Surrender | This gives players the option to surrender, and forfeit half of their bet. Played correctly, this can cut down the house edge, so it's a great option to have.
- Double Limitations. | Look for as much opportunity to double as possible. Being limited to hands of 9-11 or worse can strangle a good strategy.
- Split Aces | Usually you won't be able to hit after you split aces, but if you can, your chances of winning are increased.
- 10-Card Charlie | Or, better still, six-card charlie, beats anything except blackjack. Find a game where this hand's in play, and your average win percentage is increased by up to 0.16%.
- Blackjack Payouts | When you hit blackjack, the dealer should pay out at 3/2. Any less and you need to question why you're at that table.
- Side Bets | These are additional stakes on alternative outcomes. For example, Playtech live blackjack, available at Betfred, Betfair or bet365, offers a Perfect Pairs side bet, which lets you bet on getting a pair, with a higher payout for the same colour and/or suit.
- Insurance | Like a side bet, the insurance bet allows you to claw back cash by betting on the dealer having blackjack when they're dealt an ace.
How to Support Your Strategy
As well as investigating the rule variations on offer, there are plenty of extras that the best live blackjack providers build into their gaming interface. Finding the ones that bolster your approach to the game can make a big difference to your margins, and your enjoyment.
- Bet Behind | Tired of waiting for seats? Find a table with that lets players "bet behind". You can't make the call on the cards, but you can back any player at the table while you wait your turn.
- Multi-Seat | If you're a pro and can play several hands at once, look for a live blackjack table that has multi-seat.
- Autoplay/Rebet | This is a button on the console that lets you repeat your stake, or set it for a fixed number of hands – great for speed and consistency.
- History and Stats | Players who believe in hot/cold dealers and patterns in the cards should choose a table that tracks dealer and table history. It can also be useful for assessing what kind of people frequent a table.
- Timer | Vital for calculating your winnings/losses per hour, and ensuring you stick to your limits or hit your targets.
As live casino sites improve, and become ever more competitive, players are given a wider range of customisable options, including:
- Camera angles
- Chat windows
- Music, sound and volume
- Statistical displays
- Betting and rebet options
- Auto logouts to ensure players don't lose track of time.
Any and all of these can have a surprising influence on how much enjoyment you get from your live blackjack experience, and how well you can deploy your blackjack strategy.