If you think you’ve got what it takes to beat the dealer to 21, have a go at blackjack. This classic card game is one of the most widely played casino games of all time. Not only is it easy to understand, but it’s also good fun to play and can be quite lucrative if you’re lucky enough. It’s not just about luck, though, as you have to make some decisions that can affect the game’s outcome. When it comes to playing blackjack at online casinos, there are two main versions of the game you can play: there are computer-generated games, which are the most common, then there are live games. With live blackjack, you get an exciting, interactive gaming experience that bridges the gap between playing online and taking part in a real-life casino game.
What is Live, Blackjack?
So what exactly is live blackjack? It’s a real-world game of blackjack overseen by a real dealer that you can take part in so long as you’re logged into your casino account. Most computers and mobile devices should be able to run live blackjack games and other live dealer games, so long as the device has a steady internet connection, of course, and is capable of live streaming.
Live blackjack games are played out just like blackjack games in a typical land-based casino. The only significant difference is that the players aren’t physically present at the gaming table. Instead, they’re watching the action in real-time from wherever they’re based.
How Do You Play Live Blackjack?
Like other casino games, blackjack has lots of different versions. For example, there are games played with varying numbers of decks. What the many versions of the game have in common is a core set of rules that make the games blackjack games. With blackjack, you’re playing against the dealer, and you aim to have a hand that’s closer in value to 21 to the dealer’s. However, if your hand goes over 21, you’re out of the game.
When you play live blackjack, you’re playing against the dealer, not the other players. Once you’ve placed your bet, the game will soon start, and you’ll receive two cards. According to standard blackjack rules, all number cards (2-10) are worth their face value. Face cards (jack, queen and king) are all worth 10. Then there’s the ace, which is usually worth 11. However, its value can be changed to 1 to prevent you from going bust. For example, let’s say you have a 6 and an ace, the value of your hand will be 17. You receive a third card, which is an 8. This puts the value of your hand at 25. However, you switch the value of your ace to 1, giving your hand a new value of 15.
The dealer also receives two cards; one of these is face-up so you can see what it is. If either you or the dealer has blackjack (a hand that equals 21) and the other doesn’t, whoever has blackjack will win. If neither you nor the dealer has blackjack, it’s your turn to act. You have several options available:
– Hit. If you hit, you’ll receive an extra card. You can do this as many times as you like, so long as the value of your hand doesn’t go over 21; if it does, you’re out.
– Stand. Should you decide to stand, you’re keeping your hand as it is and accepting no additional cards.
– Split. If you have a pair of cards, e.g. two 3s, you can double your bet and split your hand into two separate hands. You’ll receive an extra card for each hand, and this gives you two chances of winning.
– Double down. For this option, you agree to double your bet, receive one more card then stand.
– Insurance. This option is only available in some live blackjack games. If the dealer’s upturned card is an ace, you can place an insurance bet. This bet pays out if the dealer’s second card is worth 10, giving them a blackjack.
You keep on making decisions about what to do with your hand until you bust (go over 21) or you decide to stand and keep your hand as it is. Once all players have made their decisions, the dealer turns their face-down card over to reveal what it is. The dealer isn’t free to decide what to do with their hand; instead, they have to stick to specific rules. Most of the time, the dealer has to keep hitting until their hand is worth 17 or more. If the dealer doesn’t bust, you win if your hand is worth more. You’ll also win if you don’t bust and the dealer does.
One of the aspects of live blackjack that sets it apart from computer-generated blackjack games is the sociability. Live dealer games come with a live chat feature that lets you communicate with the other players and the dealer themselves using a text-based messaging system. Being able to interact with others gives the game much more of an atmosphere; some of the dealers are very good at encouraging players to get excited about the game and making sure everyone who’s taking part has an enjoyable gaming experience, whether they win or lose.
If you like the sound of live blackjack, you’ll be pleased to know that you can play the game on your smartphone or tablet. Most online casinos offer live blackjack, and a lot of them will offer mobile-friendly live blackjack as well. Many of the best live blackjack online casinos will provide plenty of other great live games for you to try out as well.