Live BlackJack is an innovation within gaming where online players are streamed a live video of a real person dealing cards. Players can communicate with the dealer in real time using a text chat function. Bets are also placed via a console on the players computer screen. Live BlackJack gives the best of both worlds; the convenience of online gambling as well as the traditional feel of a classic game of BlackJack. Optical character recognition technology is used to translate the results of the physically dealing of cards into data so that players can interact with the game in a similar way to how they would in a virtual casino game. Typically there is a technology manager employed to ensure that the technical problems are solved quickly.
Although there is no consensus among researchers about the origins of BlackJack, the first known reference dates back to a Spanish gambler’s writings in the early 17th century. Miguel de Cervantes’ novel ‘Rinconete y Cortadillo’ told the story of a pair of cheats who attempted to beat the dealer in a game very similar to BlackJack. The objective of the game was to reach 21 points without going over, just as the rules of BlackJack are today. This game, known as Twenty-One, then spread throughout Spain, France and many other European countries.
BlackJack is the American version of this game. The name comes from a special deal offered by American casinos when the game was first introduced. Players were incentivised to play by a ten-to-one payout if their hand included an ace of spades or a black jack. The nickname stuck long after the offer had been removed.
Evolution gaming is the world leader in live dealer gaming. They provide quality live casino production studios based in Latvia and Malta. Their services are provided on a commission basis to gaming operators. There are 7 core seats available at each live table. Additional players can get involved by joining in through the ‘Bet Behind’ feature. This feature makes their Live BlackJack game highly scalable. BlackJack Party is a variant of the standard Live BlackJack offered by Evolution. In this version the game is guided by a dealer and co-hostess, who work to ensure a fun experience for the players. Pre-decision is another feature of Evolution’s Live BlackJack, where players can make their decision to Hit, Stand, Double Down or Split while they are waiting for their turn. This gives more active game time for the players as well as more games per hour for the operators.
Net Ent have been digital entertainment providers for over 20 years. NetEnt Live delivers custom solutions to gaming providers that operate on both mobile and desktop devices. They offer several variants of Live Black Jack. One of these is Live Common Draw Blackjack where an unlimited number of players can participate in the game. Another is Live Perfect Blackjack where players are dealt cards according to the perfect BlackJack strategy. This means that the house’s edge is lowered to 0.5 percent. NetEnt is the only provider in the market to offer auto play. Live Perfect Blackjack is fast, easy to use and popular amongst new users.
Black Jack is undeniably one of the most popular casino games. It is fast to learn and easy to understand. It can also be played at many different stake levels. Whilst online gaming exploded throughout the 1990’s, with BlackJack as one of the premier games offered, many people hesitated to join since the experience felt too disconnected from reality. Live BlackJack is the innovation that gives users a more personal experience without lessening the convenience of online gambling.
There is always a real human dealer in Live BlackJack. This dealer interacts with the players and facilitates the game. Players can join in on mobile or desktop devices from all over the world. They can communicate with the dealer via chat and place wagers digitally too. In the beginning Live BlackJack was criticized for its technological problems. Poor internet speed and inadequate hardware technology meant that the video often froze, disrupting the game and experience for the players. More recently however, the proliferation of high internet speed along with other technological advancements has made Live Black Jack far smoother and much more reliable. Another recent change in Live BlackJack is the ability to choose the language of your dealer. Providers offer many different languages in the hope that this will make players more comfortable and improve their experience. These improvements in the game has lead to a fast rise in its popularity. The most popular Live BlackJack providers are Evolution Gaming BlackJack, Lucky Streak Blackjack and Ezugi Blackjack.
Once players have familiarised themselves with the rules and strategies of BlackJack, the next step is to begin to play with real money. Playing Live BlackJack with real money is very similar to free versions of the game, the only difference is that players are now betting with real money. Players register with the casino, place a deposit and begin placing wages. Most providers accept credit and debit options, prepaid vouchers and electronic wallets such as PayPal.
Of course players also need to decide which variant of Live BlackJack suits them best. There are several variants of the game. Evolution, for example, offers Classic Live BlackJack and Infinite Live BlackJack.
The traditional BlackJack game that we all know and love, except live. Players try to get their hand of cards to add up closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand. Evolutions Bet Behind feature allows additional players (more than the 7 sitting at the table) to participate by betting on those sitting at the table.
Infinite BlackJack is the game which allows an infinite number of players to get involved. All players are dealt the same initial hand of two cards. From here players make their own decisions and bet as they choose. Players then end with their own unique hand of cards.
There are three ways to win Live BlackJack:
To get BlackJack, that is to get an ace and a 10 in the first two cards.
To have a final total closer to 21 than the dealer.
To have the dealer go bust, that is for the dealer’s total exceeds 21.
Whilst the first option is left up to chance, the other two are affected by game strategy. Players can follow mathematical formulas to improve their chances at beating the dealer. These strategies are dependent upon the dealers face up card, the players total and whether this total is hard or soft. A total is soft if it includes an ace and hard otherwise.
Insurance is offered by most Live BlackJack providers. It is offered when the dealer’s face up card is an ace. It is a side bet that is treated separately from the main wager. It pays 2:1 if the dealers other card has a value of 10, meaning the dealer has a Blackjack.
Doubling down is an exciting method that increases the stakes of Live BlackJack. When used correctly it can increase the probability of the player winning at higher stakes. Doubling down is best used when the player holds a hard 9 and the dealer shows a card between 2 and 7. Another good moment to double down is when the player holds a soft 16 to 18 and the dealer shows a card between 2 and 6.
Whilst Live BlackJack can vary slightly across providers, most follow the standard Las Vegas Strip rules. The aim of the player is to have a total closer to 21 than the dealer. The total refers to the sum of the cards in the hand of the player. Whilst a table usually has 7 seats, each player is competing individually against the dealer. All players and the dealer begin with a hand of 2 cards. At each round players choose one of these options:
Hit - To take another card from the dealer.
Stand - To take no more cards from the dealer.
Double Down - Increase the initial bet by up to 100%. If a player chooses to Double Down they will receive only one more card.
Split - If a player receives two cards with the same value at the beginning of the game, they may choose to split these cards into two hands. The player must place an additional bet equal to their original. The player now has two separate hands and the dealer will draw an additional card to each. There are some restrictions placed on a split hand. An ace and a 10-value card are treated as a 21 not a blackjack. A split ace will only receive one extra card, meaning a player cannot hit again.
Aces count as either 11 or 1, face cards as 10 and number cards are worth their written value. If your first two cards are an ace and a ten-value card then you have BlackJack and win 1.5 times your bet. If the total value of your cards is closer to 21 than the dealers, you win your bet amount. If the total of your cards is 21, then you ‘bust’ and of course lose your bet. If you draw with the dealer, that is your total and the total of the dealer are of the same value, then neither of you win and the bet is returned to you. This is called a ‘push’ and only occurs if the card total is higher than 17.
Live BlackJack uses 8 decks of cards. The dealer must draw on all totals of 16 or less and stand on all totals of 17 to 21. This can vary slightly depending on the providers rules regarding whether the the total must be a soft or hard 17. Doubling down is allowed on any initial pair. Doubling after a split is usually permitted and re-splitting is usually allowed as well. Cards are usually shuffled either by a machine or on a separate table. This is usually done in sight of the player. Cards are dealt from the dealers left to right.