Where to Play Real Money Live Dealer Blackjack Online
Article Summary: Live dealer games really do make their computer-generated predecessors feel flat by comparison. Blackjack is unique in that you'll play multi-player - with up to 6 other people - making decisions on your own hand. This article shows you the setup, pros and cons and where to find the very best live dealer blackjack games for US Players (BetOnline, by a long way!) and for non-US players (888 Casino is my go-to venue).
Blackjack is one of the most popular and well known of all casino games, where the skill of the player can certainly have an effect on the chances of winning. The advent of virtual casinos in the mid 1990’s opened up the game of blackjack to a much larger audience, but these virtual games playing against a faceless dealer never quite matched up to the experience you would have at a bricks and mortar casino. However, recent years have seen the introduction of live dealer casinos, offering real life games when playing online.
How Live Dealer Blackjack Works
When you enter a live dealer casino, you’ll find that all of the action is real. You’ll find yourself facing a dealer just like in real life, the action being streamed to your device in real time. The dealers in these games are usually very friendly and attractive, making for a pleasurable gaming experience and this can be enhanced by the interaction that can occur through the chat box available at most sites. You’ll place bets in exactly the same way as you would at a virtual casino, although at a live dealer site, there is nothing virtual about the cards. When the hand finishes you’ll find that your casino account will be updated automatically, just like at a virtual table.
You’ll find that there are two types of blackjack available at live dealer casinos. Firstly, you’ll find tables where a number of players can sit down all at once and each player will be dealt their own cards. These hands will play out as normal, waiting for all players to finish before moving onto the next hand. The other types of games are where a number of players can sit down, but they will all play the same hand. In these hands, players can choose different options, but your action will be what counts. For example, you might choose to stand and another player might choose to hit, and you’ll win or lose based upon standing, while the player hitting will receive another card (you’ll see this card, but it won’t be relevant to your hand) and win or lose depending upon the additional action.
Depending on which live dealer casino site you play at, you might find a number of different tables on offer. These will usually have separate table limits or different numbers of decks when playing. 888 Casino is one such site where you’ll find a nice variety of table limits, including standard games and VIP tables. The biggest game there has minimum stakes of $1000 per hand (though you can play from just $5). 888 does not offer a one-to-many version of the game.
You might find options where you can see the view of the games inside a window above the betting layout or have the full 3D like experience, as if you are sitting exactly opposite the dealer. You’ll also find that you can alter the stream quality, the faster your internet, the higher definition the stream will be. At some sites you can play more than one game at a time, a prime example being at the US friendly BetOnline live dealer site, where the multi-gaming interface allows up to 3 games at once.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Live Dealer Blackjack
The obvious advantage of playing live dealer blackjack is the lifelike experience. Blackjack is a game where it is you against the dealer, so being able to see the dealer makes a big difference, whereas at the virtual games online you’ll simply see the cards appear. The social impact of the games is a big advantage too, as you can interact with both the dealer and the other players at the table, making the games richer and more enjoyable. I recommend you understand the basic strategy before you sit down, as indecision at key moments is likely to upset the other players. You can always 'bet behind' another player while you get used to the format.
For some players, there is an added level of trust when playing blackjack at a live dealer site. Actually seeing the real cards hit the table enables these players to know that the action is above board, where they might think that virtually generated cards might make it easier for a casino to sway the odds in their favor (this is certainly not the case, but a number of casino users won’t play virtual games on this basis).
The speed of the action is definitely slower at a live dealer casino as the betting has to be completed before each hand starts and the hand has to be played out completely before moving onto a new one. The pace of a virtual casino is decided by the players, as there is no waiting, making for a much faster game. Play at a live dealer casino will usually have higher table limits, this being the case because of the higher overheads associated by the running of the live casino. This makes virtual casinos generally more accessible to those who enjoy smaller stakes games – although the pace of play at these games might indeed mean that you’ll wager the same amount over a set period of time.
Recommended Live Dealer Blackjack Games
I'm recommending the same 2 casinos as for the the other main live dealer games... and for good reasons. 888 (for non-US players) and the rapidly growing portal BetOnline (for US players) do stand out from the crowd when it comes to these games.
Non-US Players: 888 use the excellent live dealer studio from Evolution Gaming. You'll find a ton of blackjack action at regular and VIP tables, can bet on 2 side bets per hand if you wish and also bet behind other players to up the action a little more. If you needed any more reasons (above the best live dealer games), then just check out the long list of player promotions and offers that 888 give - they certainly know how to treat all of their players like VIPs. See www.888casino.com now!
For US Based Players: BetOnline used to be just a sportsbook - though in the last couple of years has developed into to an all-round gambling portal. You'll find a casino, poker room, racebook, sportsbook, skill games and a live dealer studio with a unique twist. You can choose up to 3 different live dealer tables to play at the same time (either multiple blackjack games or a mixture of blackjack with roulette, casino holdem and / or baccarat). Generous bonuses are on offer too - check out www.betonline.ag for the latest deals.