Live casino allows you to compete against a real croupier and other players, making the games much more exciting and realistic. Live Blackjack is one such game which has gained popularity amongst many players. Although it boasts simple rules, it still requires players to develop certain skills. What are the basic rules of the game? How do you play Blackjack against real croupiers at a live casino?
How to play Blackjack: Basic rules of the game
Online Blackjack is a simple card game which owes its origins to the game 'Twenty-One'. Despite its straightforward rules, it still requires the right skills and excellent knowledge of the game, if it is to be played well. Your primary task is to build a hand value equal to or as close to 21 points as possible. However, you must not exceed 21 points, or you lose instantly. To play Live Blackjack, you first have to understand how to calculate your hand’s value:
- The value of numbered cards corresponds to the number on the card. Thus, 2 is two points, 7 is seven points, and 10 is ten points.
- Face cards, such as the Jack, Queen and King, are worth 10 points.
- Ace can adopt the value of either 1 or 11 depending on whether you have a soft or hard hand.
At the beginning of each game, the croupier deals two cards to himself and the player. Both the player's cards are exposed, but one card of the croupier is dealt face-down. The player may take various actions in an attempt to build the strongest hand equal to or close to 21 points. When the player decides to stand, the croupier must draw new cards or stand, depending on what the casino’s rules compel him to do. If the croupier fails to obtain a hand with a higher value, the player’s win is equal to the bet amount. If the first two cards in your hand are an Ace and a face card or a 10, you have a classic blackjack and win 3 to 2 (e.g. you win 150 chips if you place 100 chips in the bet).
What actions can you take in Live Blackjack?
When the croupier deals your cards, you can choose from a variety of actions to create a hand with the most profitable hand value. Thus, Blackjack is not only a game of luck but one which requires experience, skills and a good knowledge of the rules. Here's an overview of all the possible actions in Blackjack:
- Hit (you draw a card) – If the value of the first two cards is equal to or lower than 10 points, you can draw another card without any risks. However, if your hand exceeds 10 points, another card may put your score over 21 points, leading to an instant loss.
- Stand (you don't draw any cards) – If you're satisfied with your hand value, you can choose to stand and refrain from drawing any more cards. In this case, the croupier takes the necessary actions based on the casino’s rules.
- Double Down – After receiving the first two cards, you may choose to double your bet if you think your hand is strong enough.
- Split – This technique can be used when you have an identical pair of cards, and it allows you to divide your hand in two and place a second bet equal to the first one. The croupier will then add another card to the split pair.
- Insurance – If the croupier's first card is an Ace, you can buy insurance by placing a bet on the possibility that his second card is a face card or a 10. This occurrence is called a classic blackjack, and you win double your insurance bet. If you lose the round, you still lose your original bet.
- Surrender – This is a rarely-used and unprofitable step which ends the game instantly. You can only surrender at the beginning of the game, and if you do, you receive 50% of your bet back. You cannot take this action when it’s the croupier's turn.
Although the rules of online Blackjack are simple, the steps described above demonstrate that there are several ways the game can take its course. In practice, the game requires experience and good strategic knowledge based on the theory of probability. In Blackjack, the casino has a slightly higher advantage over the player, but the right actions may reduce this edge and tip the scales in your favour.
What actions can a live Blackjack dealer take?
The croupier is always in a more privileged position than the player because he knows your hand value from the beginning of the game. It may seem that the croupier's task is to simply draw further cards until he defeats the player or exceeds 21 points. It is, however, not as simple as it sounds because he must comply with specific casino rules:
1. If the croupier's first card is an Ace, he must ask the player whether he wants to buy insurance on the probability that his hand has a total value of 21 (i.e. a classic blackjack). It rarely happens that both the player and the croupier have a classic blackjack. If it does have a value of 21 and the player would have bought the insurance, most casinos acknowledge it as a win on the part of the player, but such a situation can be considered as a tie because you win the insurance bet, but lose your initial bet.
2. If the croupier's hand has a value of 16 points or less, he must draw a card, even when its current value is higher than that of the player's.
3. If the value of the croupier's hand is 17 points or more, he cannot draw another card, even if his current hand value is lower than that of the player's.
Therefore, the casino rules which the croupier must adhere to may make the casino's advantage not as considerable as you may initially think. Depending on the table's value, it’s estimated that the casino's advantage ranges from 0.5 to 5.48%. By choosing the optimal actions, you can minimise the edge considerably and increase your winning chances.
What does Live Blackjack entail?
The live casino section is dedicated to players who feel confident and skilled enough to compete live. You must remember that Live Blackjack can be stressful, and therefore, the decisions you take under stress may not always be correct. Live casino provides you with several tables which may differ in terms of the betting limits and game rules (e.g. how to settle a tie). Here are some basic rules which are applicable to Live Blackjack:
- The game takes place at an interactive table with large cards to guarantee excellent visibility. A few players can play at the same table simultaneously and compete against a real croupier.
- All participating players are required to place a bet for the game to start. To do so, you use virtual chips with an assigned nominal value.
- Live Blackjack uses several card packs. The cards used in past rounds are put aside, and after a specific number of rounds, the used cards are replaced.
- At some tables, the pack may include jokers, which take the most profitable value from the player's point of view, and may also offer a bonus due to their higher multipliers.
- Some tables apply additional rules, e.g. a bonus is offered when you have an identical pair of cards. These bonuses can help you obtain a higher win multiplier, as long as you defeat the croupier.
Before you start gambling, it's best to familiarise yourself with the specific rules at any live Blackjack table, as there are subtle differences which may award bonuses. The player may be able to make so-called side bets at the beginning of each round to gain additional rewards.
What elements influence the course of Live Blackjack?
Blackjack is not perceived as a purely-random game. However, luck plays a significant role because it determines the strength of your initial hand's value. You have to take into account that luck is a major determining factor from the croupier's point of view as well. Here are some factors which can help you obtain a higher edge in the game:
- Blackjack Strategy chart – This is an extensive table which suggests the best action you can take based on the initial hand value. It relies on the theory of probability and always recommends the best move you can make.
- Avoiding insurance – Basic strategy charts don't illustrate any situations in which buying insurance is advisable. The casino is at a higher advantage, and, in the long term, this action will lead to inevitable losses.
- Surrender doesn't pay off – Basic strategy charts don't portray surrender as one of the advisable actions. Regardless of the casino's advantage, you should always continue the game because the chances of building a good hand are still high.
- Bankroll management – Many players who end up going over their budget are the ones who frequently resort to side bets. The chances of winning a side bet are not so good in Blackjack, and you have to win the round to be awarded any possible wins from side bets. For this reason, you should only make side bets if you're in it for the extra fun. If your primary goal is to make some profit, steer away from these bets.
- Experience – If you're new to Live Blackjack, start with low bets. Keep in mind that LV BET casino offers a free demo mode which can be a fantastic testing ground for new players to prepare themselves for the Live Blackjack experience.
Basic Blackjack Strategy
As already mentioned, luck has got a lot to do with whether you win or not when playing online Blackjack. However, a basic strategy chart based on the theory of probability has been developed to help players. It's a table which presents the best actions you can take in relation to specific scenarios in the game and which considers both the croupier's and the player's hand values. In Live Blackjack, you can consult with the table to choose the best possible action. Strategy and knowledge may help you raise your chances of achieving a win at this game.
Live Blackjack at LV BET
As already mentioned above, Blackjack is a relatively simple card game which has exploded in popularity. However, you'll need experience, skills and strategy knowledge to increase your chances of winning.
LV BET online casino offers several Blackjack variants with side bets, which can award you with higher wins when your hand is of a specific value. You can gain valuable experience by playing the free demo Blackjack in the table games section, and when you decide to start playing for real money, join the live casino.
Live Blackjack Bonuses and special offers
✅What is the bet to win ratio?
If you win a Blackjack round, your win corresponds to your bet amount. Classic Blackjack is paid 3 to 2 and insurance pays 2 to 1.
✅What bonuses can Blackjack offer?
In some Blackjack variants, the player may, for instance, place a side bet on the possibility that he will receive two identical cards. If it does occur, the possible win can be multiplied by up to x100.
✅What happens in the case of a tie?
In most Blackjack variants, a tie means the return of the original bet to the player, but in other variants, a tie may be considered in the player's favour.
✅How can you prepare for live gambling?
If you're still inexperienced at Live Blackjack, we suggest that you visit the table games section and play against a computer algorithm.
In the beginning, choose a table which allows small bets if you want to develop your skills gradually. Do visit the LV BET promotions section when playing at the live casino section, as you may get your hands on exciting offers which can make the game more attractive. One of the promotions you can benefit from is a cashback bonus which you can receive when playing in the live section.