Live Dealer Blackjack

Live Dealer Blackjack is online blackjack played with real dealers and cards. Players can learn how to enjoy live blackjack online by using their computer to play real card games without the need of simulations or random number generators. Our guide gives players the best online casinos where they can play live dealer blackjack for real money. This page also provides tips and strategies to help you make better bets.

When you play live blackjack online, HD video is streamed from a live casino studio full of dealers trained for this popular card game. The games occur in real time on the screen of your desktop PC or Mac, or even from your mobile device. Live dealer blackjack is the best way to play 21 online, and get the real casino experience. So, read this in-depth guide to real dealer blackjack and start playing twenty-one live online.

Best Live Dealer Blackjack Casinos

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Compatibility:

Adding a Live Dealer to Blackjack

This tutorial provides a detailed guide for Live Dealer Blackjack. All the key aspects are covered, including how a hand is played, which strategies boost your odds, the best live online blackjack casinos where you’ll play, and the software providers who support those casinos. Once finished, you’ll have a complete guide to Live Dealer Blackjack; which is very similar to regular online blackjack, but giving you a better gaming experience.

Guide to Playing Live Dealer Blackjack

Playing in a live casino blackjack is different than gambling through a software platform. The technology is different, but the method for playing is common between the various providers.

Before you can start to play blackjack with a live dealer, you’ll need to follow several steps. Below, we provide a step-by-step guide to playing live dealer casino blackjack. Many gamblers reading this already have completed certain prerequisites, so skip down the list until you reach the step you haven’t completed.

#1

Sign-Up at an Online Casino

Register an account at the online casino. This includes a name, address, email address, and basic information. Many sites offer a signup bonus, but sometimes require a promo code. You can find a selection of casinos offering live dealer blackjack below this section, or check out our online casino reviews for more general information.

#2

Practice for Free

Some live casinos allow free play, while others require real money play to access the live blackjack interface.

#3

Fund Your Account

Those who want to play for real money need to fund their account. Use a credit card, debit card, prepaid card, e-wallet, e-vouchers, bank transfer, or bitcoin service to make a casino deposit.

#4

Locate the Live Casino Page

Find the link to the live casino page, which can be found easily. Many mobile casinos also have a live option, though this is not universal.

#5

Click on Live Dealer Blackjack

Choose from Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, and other live dealer games. Some live casinos use multiple software providers, so the casino may offer two or more versions of live dealer blackjack.

#6

Choose Bet Limits

Casinos sometimes offer “Elite”, “VIP”, or “Gold Series” live dealer blackjack, which means high roller gambling. The betting limits will be much higher for these tables.

#7

Choose Language Preferences

Some sites offer multiple rooms, which cater to different language-users.

#8

Learn the Interface

The HD video stream takes up the majority of the screen. Chip denominations and side bets can be made at the bottom of the screen. While different providers offer different options, “Bet History” and various video / audio options should be available at the bottom of the screen, too.

#9

Talk to the Dealer

Type in a chat box to converse with the dealer. Use the audio to listen to what the dealer says. Customers can chat with other players at the table. Live studios offer 6 or 7-player tables.

#10

Enjoy Playing

The cards used are big and they’re shuffled in full view of the camera. Good live blackjack online games have options to Hit, Stand, Double, Split, or (where offered) Surrender. Learn the rules for each before playing.

#11

Play Quickly

Unlike regular online blackjack, time considerations apply when playing with live dealers and other players. The dealer may prompt you if you take too long.

#12

Withdraw Your Winnings

Make sure to withdraw your winnings after a good gaming session, or leave some in your account for the next time you play.

Other Live Dealer Blackjack Games

Just like there are many different varieties of casino blackjack, there are also different types of live dealer blackjack games. These are some of the other games that you can find and enjoy at online casinos:

Play Online Blackjack with a Live Dealer

Live Dealer Blackjack Video

 

Where to Play Live Dealer Blackjack

After reading this live dealer blackjack guide, you might be looking for recommendations of casinos to play at. The following list of the best live dealer blackjack casinos includes sites for the United States gambling market, as well as for international live dealer players. The casinos listed have all been proven to be trustworthy and offer the best live casino experience players could want.

Casino
Features
Rank
Bonus
Limits
Play Now
Play at any of the dozens of online blackjack tables that the Betway live casino offers.
gold casinointernational
£1,000
Min: $5
Max: $5,000
Players can take their time playing blackjack at tables that cater to a wide range of betting limits.
gold casinous allowed
$1,000
Min: $10
Max: $500
Choose from over 10 different live dealer blackjack games offered by 888 Casino.
gold casinointernational
$200
Min: $5
Max: $3,000
Play American or European live dealer blackjack, with multi-seat and bet behind features.
gold casinointernational
$1,000
Min: $10
Max: $200

Other Casinos That Offer Live Dealer Blackjack

Below are other casinos that offer live blackjack online. Some of these casinos accept US players, while others cater to international players. Be sure to read the reviews for the casinos. For those casinos that do not have a review, we have not verified their legitimacy. Proceed with caution if you decide to play at any of the casinos not reviewed.

  • 32Red Casino
  • Betfair
  • Betsson
  • Betvictor
  • Black Diamond
  • Bodog Asia Live
  • Box24 Casino
  • Bwin
  • Casumo
  • Cloudbet
  • EuroGrand
  • Gala Casino
  • Genting
  • GUTS Casino
  • Ladbrokes
  • Leo Vegas
  • Maria Casino
  • Mr Green
  • MyBahis
  • PaddyPower
  • PartyCasino

How Live Dealer Blackjack Works

Live Dealer Blackjack table layoutLive dealer casinos are often operated by a different provider than your main online casino, so when you select these games you will usually be taken to a separate area of the lobby. Here you can find a full list of the games provided, and by clicking on the live blackjack dealer games you will open up a list of different tables, with the payouts and betting limits for each. Some casinos will show you a picture of the dealers currently live at the blackjack tables.

Many live dealer games are played one-to-many, where a single hand is dealt and bet on by many individuals through their computers. Blackjack can be played this way – though usually works differently – but the decisions on whether to hit or stand are made by an individual player. This can affect the result of the hand, making the one-to-many system not effective for players that would have made a different decision.

Instead, live blackjack dealer tables are operated with seven spots, each are taken by a different player (or 2 spots per player at some casinos). Stakes typically start at $5 per hand, while high-rollers can find live dealer blackjack games with stakes in the $1000’s.

Video Quality and Player Options

There are differences in the details of the video and betting interface between the different casinos, though in general these appear similar. The main part of the screen is taken up by an HD video stream of the live dealer and blackjack cards, which are often extra-large to be easily seen by the players. You’ll bet by clicking on chip denominations at the bottom of the screen, and then on your betting square on the screen. If side bets are offered then you can add chips to those squares separately.

Talking to the Dealer

Chatting iconThere is a text chat box if you wish to interact with the dealer or other players, although this is in no way required. The dealer will reply out loud while players use the text chat feature. Behind the dealer, you can usually see other tables streaming different games, laid out to replicate an actual casino. Decks are regularly shuffled in full view, and the cards are large to make it easy to see them on different screen sizes. Other options on the screen include a history of your bets and sound / video quality options.

Actively Play

To keep the game flowing, you’ll need to act quickly when the action reaches you. The dealer will remind you to act. You will see buttons for Hit, Stand, Double, Split, or (where offered) Surrender on the screen. Once the hand is completed, bets are settled automatically by the software and the next hand will begin.

Mobile Live Dealer Blackjack

Mobile live dealer blackjackOnline casinos support mobile live dealer blackjack. Since it is played on a HTML5 platform, the streaming technology was designed to support desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets. To access Live Blackjack using your Android smartphone, iPhone, or iPad, you’ll need to go to the Live Casino section of the online casino.

Live blackjack online for Android and iOS smartphones have a few drawbacks that devices with bigger screens don’t have. Live casinos have the dealers use large cards to make it easier to see on a smaller screen. Video graphics keep track of your hand total and bet size, but otherwise remain unobtrusive. Everything appears on your screen in real time, so you can give live feedback to the dealer, hostess, and pit boss.

Strategy and Reducing the House Edge

blackjack cards and chipsBasic Strategy” is the key to improving at blackjack. Basic strategy alone will not make you a winning player, but it does make you an optimal player. This means you play longer, save more of your bankroll, and enjoy playing the game.

The rules of the game change the basic strategy that is used. Deck size, dealer stand/hit rules, peak rules, surrender rules, and a host of other factors have an effect on the strategy employed. Players should find a color-coded basic strategy chart online and print it for study. Free printable blackjack strategy charts can be found for any variation of the game invented, but you must match the chart you use to the rules used in the live casino.

Once you have a basic strategy chart, you should keep it near you while you play live dealer blackjack online. The great thing about playing at home is you can refer to the table while you gamble. A few basic concepts apply to every version of blackjack, so I’ll discuss those below.

Simple Basic Blackjack Strategy

If you don’t like charts, read through this simplified basic blackjack strategy. Please remember that this is not a comprehensive best strategy, or even the best strategy for any single version of blackjack. This simple chart is a short version of good, but not the best, player decisions.

Basic Player Decisions Based on Your Hand & Dealer Card
#1 Double down when you have a 10 or 11 and the dealer’s up card is 9 or less.
#2 Double down when you have a 9 and the dealer is showing a 3, 4, 5, or 6.
#3 In the two scenarios above, if you cannot double down, at least hit. With hands of 11 or less, hit.
#4 With hard hands between 17 and 21, always stand.
#5 With hard hands between 12 and 16, stand is the dealer holds a 6 or less. If the dealer holds a 7 or higher, hit.
#6 With soft hands of 19 or higher, always stand.
#7 With soft hands of 15 or lower, always hit.
#8 With a soft hand between 16 and 18, things are more complicated. Hit against a 7 or higher. Double down (and hit) if the dealer shows a 6 or lower.
#9 Always split aces and eights, if allowed.
#10 Never split fours, fives, or tens.
#11 When the dealer is holding a 6 or less, split when receiving other pairs: twos, threes, sixes, sevens, or nines.
#12 Never take insurance. This is a sucker bet for everyone but card counters in rare instances.

Strategy Chart

Those who want a more rigorous option should learn one basic strategy chart well. This blackjack strategy chart works well with the most popular game variations found in most online casinos. If you only learn one basic strategy chart for high-deck games, memorize the “dealer hits on soft 17” chart. The cost in errors is higher for that strategy than it is for those in which the dealer stands.
Basic Blackjack Strategy table 3D
Again, a combination of card counting and basic strategy turns blackjack into a positive expectation game. This is a survey of live dealer blackjack, so the details of complicated card counting strategies is well beyond our scope here. Even our advice on basic strategy is rudimentary and should be supplemented with further study. Our dedicated blackjack strategy page would be a good place to learn more about this subject.

Card Counting

Of all strategies to beat Blackjack, card counting is the most widely known. At a basic level, this means tracking the high and low cards, then increasing your bets when the deck is in your favor. In a live dealer online blackjack game, counting is almost impossible. For a start, there are 6-8 decks in play, which are shuffled and exchanged too frequently to get a true count. In addition, sudden increases in your stakes will be very obvious, and team-play easy to track.

Instead of worrying about card counting and similar tricks, you will do far better by finding a casino with a generous welcome bonus and ongoing promotions or rewards. This way every time you place a bet, you will be gaining value towards clearing the bonus funds, and by playing solid blackjack strategy, you are able to reduce the house edge to a minimum.

Many live dealer Blackjack games offer side bets, for example, Perfect Pairs. While these can add some extra interest to the deal, and potentially get you a big payout, you should be aware that the house has a large edge in these side-games.

Live Dealer Blackjack Software Providers

Evolution Gaming

Evolution Gaming logoBilling itself as the “leading provider of Live Casino solutions,” Evolution Gaming was launched in 2006. The following year, Evolution Gaming signed on to provide Live Dealer gaming for a number of European online casino platforms, including Gala Coral, PartyGaming, William Hill, Blue Square, Gaming VC, Expekt, and VC Bet.

Over the years, Evolution Gaming has developed a sterling reputation within the industry, due in large part to the company’s technological prowess. Players on the company’s Live Dealer blackjack tables can enjoy a genuine casino style studio ambiance, television quality video streaming, browser-based games, and full disclosure of house rules and return to player percentages. Even better, Live Dealer games powered by Evolution gaming offer dedicated live studio support.

The standard blackjack game operated by Evolution Gaming allows for seven players at the main table, and includes the following base rules, house edge, and other specifications:

Land Based Casino icon

House Edge

0.486 Percent.

Blackjack Shoe icon

Decks in Play

8 Decks.

Double down icon

Player May Double After Split

Yes.

Pair of Aces icon

Player May Hit After Splitting Aces

No.

Surrender icon

Surrender Offered

No.

Blackjack pays icon

Blackjack Pays

3 to 2.

Soft 17 icon

Dealer Stands on All 17s

Yes.

Double down icon

Player May Double Any Two Cards

Yes.

Split icon

Player May Re-split After Split

No.

Insurance icon

Insurance Offered

Yes.


Evolution Gaming offers just the standard blackjack game but mixes things up through the inclusion of several optional wagers and other features. In addition, you’ll find VIP tables for higher limits, and Diamond VIP tables for the highest limits. A list of in-game features available on Evolution Gaming’s blackjack tables has been compiled below:

Blackjack side bet Bet Behind Evo Gaming

Bet Behind

Allows players to bet along with the seven primary seats at any table. In essence, Bet Behind simply expands a table from seven players to an endless amount, which nullifies wait lists and other inconveniences. When betting behind, players simply place wagers on any seat in the game, and when that player turns a winner, you do as well.

Blackjack Party side bet Evo Gaming

Blackjack Party

Special party-themed version of the standard game, complete with background music and a party host who communicates with players along with the dealer.

Online Perfect Pairs

Perfect Pairs Side Bet

Players can place side wagers on whether or not their first two cards will form various pairs. Payouts escalate in line with difficulty, and Perfect Pairs pays out when you’re dealt two identical cards (same rank and suit), colored pairs (same rank and color), or mixed pairs (same rank and different colors).

Online 21+3 Blackjack

21+3 Side Bet

Players can place side wagers on whether or not their first two cards will combine with the dealer’s up card to form three-card poker hands.

Blackjack side bet Pre-Decision Evo Gaming

Pre-Decision

Allows players to input their action at any point after receiving a hand, even if other players haven’t acted yet. Pre-Decision speeds up the game immensely.

Playtech

Playtech logo lgSince the company was founded in 1999, Playtech has become a major player within the online casino software industry, and for good reason.

Playtech was listed on the London AIM Stock Exchange in 2006 with a £550 million valuation, but three years before that, the company changed the world of online casino gaming by introducing the world’s first Live Dealer platform.

Today, Playtech hosts Live Dealer streaming sessions from a studio in Riga, Latvia, which opened in 2009, along with their original Manila, the Philippines which debuted in 2003. The Latvian-based studio caters to European facing customers while the Manila-based studio serves Asian players.

The standard blackjack game operated by Playtech allows for seven players at the main table, and includes the following base rules, house edge, and other specifications:

Land Based Casino icon

House Edge

0.486 Percent.

Blackjack Shoe icon

Decks in Play

8 Decks.

Double down icon

Player May Double After Split

Yes.

Pair of Aces icon

Player May Hit After Splitting Aces

No.

Surrender icon

Surrender Offered

No.

Blackjack pays icon

Blackjack Pays

3 to 2.

Soft 17 icon

Dealer Stands on All 17s

Yes.

Double down icon

Player May Double Any Two Cards

Yes.

Split icon

Player May Re-split After Split

No.

Insurance icon

Insurance Offered

Yes.


Among the Live Dealer blackjack games which you can expect to find on Playtech’s menu:

Live Dealer Blackjack Playtech

Blackjack

A low limit game streamed from Playtech’s Latvian studio. The Perfect Pairs side bet is available, and players can bet behind.

Live Dealer Blackjack Blue Playtech

Blackjack Blue

A higher limit game streamed from Playtech’s Latvian studio. No side bets available, and players can’t bet behind.

Live Dealer Blackjack VIP Playtech

Blackjack VIP

The highest limit game streamed from Playtech’s Latvian studio. No side bets available, and players can’t bet behind.

Live Dealer Blackjack Asia Playtech

Blackjack Asia

A low to high limit game streamed from Playtech’s Manila studio. The Perfect Pairs side bet is available, but players can’t bet behind.

Live Dealer Ultimate Blackjack Playtech

Unlimited Blackjack

Also known as Ultimate Blackjack, this Playtech product simply allows for an unlimited number of players to bet on a single deal.

NetEnt

NetEnt logoThe Swedish company known as Net Entertainment, or NetEnt, was founded in 1996.

The company’s Live Dealer platform was launched in early 2013, and over the next few years, NetEnt has made inroads into the online casino industry’s fastest growing niche.

What makes NetEnt’s Live Dealer blackjack offering unique is the use of a shuffling machine. Other software providers have their live dealers manually shuffle the cards, which can slow the game down somewhat. Players prefer the hand shuffle, however, as it adds to the game’s transparency and offers a more realistic experience.

The standard blackjack game operated by NetEnt allows for seven players at the main table, and includes the following base rules, house edge, and other specifications:

Land Based Casino icon

House Edge

0.50 Percent.

Blackjack Shoe icon

Decks in Play

6 Decks with Shuffling Machine.

Double down icon

Player May Double After Split

Yes.

Pair of Aces icon

Player May Hit After Splitting Aces

No.

Surrender icon

Surrender Offered

No.

Blackjack pays icon

Blackjack Pays

3 to 2.

Soft 17 icon

Dealer Stands on All 17s

Yes.

Double down icon

Player May Double Any Two Cards

Yes.

Split icon

Player May Re-split After Split

No.

Insurance icon

Insurance Offered

Yes.


When playing Live Dealer blackjack on a NetEnt powered online casino, you’ll only have two game options available: Blackjack, and Common Deal Blackjack. The first game is standard issue blackjack using the rules described above while the second simply adds the unlimited bet behind option to allow for multiple players using the same deal.

Microgaming

Microgaming logo lgFounded in the British territory of the Isle of Man in 1994, Microgaming is perhaps the world’s most well-known online casino software provider.

Microgaming made headlines in 1998 by launching the first online wide area progressive jackpot game, and they eventually paid out the first online casino jackpot worth more than $1 million. The company powers more than 800 unique casino games today, including a Live Dealer component which debuted in 2006.

Microgaming’s Live Dealer blackjack tables were the first to associate themselves with a premier brand, and the Playboy Live Dealer games feature dealers dressed in the signature Playboy bunny garb.

The standard blackjack game operated by Microgaming allows for seven players at the main table, and includes the following base rules, house edge, and other specifications:

Land Based Casino icon

House Edge

0.512 Percent.

Blackjack Shoe icon

Decks in Play

6 Decks with Shuffling Machine.

Double down icon

Player May Double After Split

No.

Pair of Aces icon

Player May Hit After Splitting Aces

Yes.

Surrender icon

Surrender Offered

No.

Blackjack pays icon

Blackjack Pays

3 to 2.

Soft 17 icon

Dealer Stands on All 17s

Yes.

Double down icon

Player May Double Any Two Cards

No. Doubles only on 9, 10, and 11.

Split icon

Player May Re-split After Split

No.

Insurance icon

Insurance Offered

Yes.


You’ll find two versions of the game on Microgaming sites, but both Blackjack and Playboy Blackjack use the same rules as described above. The only difference between the two games is that Playboy Blackjack uses the Playboy bunny dealers. In both games, players can bet behind, but no side bets are offered.

Blackjack 101

blackjack imageNow that you know how to play live dealer blackjack, let’s quickly discuss the basic concepts of the game. In blackjack, the player receives two cards deal face-down, so none of the other players at the table can see them. The dealer is dealt one card face-up (the face card) and one card face-down (the hole card). Players must make a decision before the dealer, which provides the casino a house edge. Players might bust out before the casino ever makes a decision.

Blackjack strategy comes in with the decisions of whether to hit, stand, double, or split the two cards dealt. Luckily, gamblers have decades of research on the best plays for each card combination, according to each set of rules. The research has been done by running computer simulations of millions upon millions of hands, to see which decisions are best for each card combination.

This research is printed out on easy-to-read basic strategy charts for each blackjack variant. A good blackjack player is going to memorize a basic strategy chart for Classic Blackjack. In almost any case, basic strategy does not beat the house edge, but it lowers the house edge using optimal play.

What Is the House Edge?

blackjack-house-edge-deck-size-chartReaders might be wondering what the house edge is. The Wizard of Odds defines the house edge as “the ratio of the average loss to the initial bet“. It is not the amount of money lost compared to total wagers. It is not the amount of money lost to the ending wager. Here’s why.

After the initial bet, players might make wagers when the odds dictate they do so. These additional wagers are variable for each new hand. The house edge is meant to determine how much a player will lose, so it is more accurate to base this calculation off the original bet.

Casino House Edge

It should be noted that the house edge is assumed in most casino games. Players should view gambling as a form of entertainment and the house edge as the price of admission for that entertainment. The house edge doesn’t mean you’ll lose, but it does mean you’re likelier to lose than you are to win.

Because of the house edge, the longer the game continues, the more likely the casino is to win. The house edge is based on probability, but it is reliable enough that land-based casino companies invest billions into building new casinos with fancy hotels and showy attractions.

Of all casino games, though, blackjack has the lowest house edge. This low house edge has one major caveat: you have to learn strategy and make good decisions to maintain those nice odds. Also, the rules matter in blackjack, none more so than the deck size.

Deck Sizes and the House Edge

Many blackjack rules affect the house edge of a game. Of all factors, the deck size affects the odds most. This is true for card counters, but also other blackjack players. Blackjack Hall of Fame inductee Arnold Snyder wrote,

The more decks being used, the less profitable the game becomes, not only for card counters, but for basic strategy players as well.”

Snyder’s statement was made in a discussion of the effect “deck penetration” has on blackjack odds. Deck penetration refers to the percentage of the cards used before a reshuffle occurs. If half the cards are used, then the deck penetration would be 50%. This is why single-deck blackjack is best, all other rules being equal. The cards already played have a greater effect on future hands, but players can predict that effect better with a smaller deck.

Live Dealer Blackjack Card Counting Much Harder To Do

Deck penetration is why online blackjack ruins card counting, because the deck is reshuffled on each new hand. It’s also why live dealer blackjack is a much better experience, because it restores many of the advantages that players in brick-and-mortar casinos had for decades. Even better, the dealer and the pit boss don’t know if you’re counting cards or not.

For that reason, many live casinos either have large deck sizes in their games or they reshuffle the deck often. Alternately, they have rules advantageous to the casino which balance out the perks players receive when they play live dealer blackjack. It is important to learn the rules of the game you play. It’s also important to find the live casinos with the best policies, which is why we discuss the various providers so much at the bottom of this page.

Effects of Deck Size on the House Edge

Readers must be wondering at the effect deck size has on the house edge. The table below shows why players are so interested in playing single deck blackjack. The gulf between single-deck blackjack and double-deck blackjack is immense. The drop-down from double-deck to 3-deck blackjack is also significant. Once you get to four decks or more, the effect is negligible, though they’re all bad.

DECKS USED ADVANTAGE
Single Deck +0.02%
Double Deck -0.31%
Three Decks -0.43%
Four Decks -0.48%
DECKS USED ADVANTAGE
Five Decks -0.52%
Six Decks -0.54%
Seven Decks -0.55%
Eight Decks -0.57%

Do not make a single-minded search for single-deck blackjack. In brick-and-mortar casinos, casino management often pairs single-deck 21 with a bunch of rules which punish the player. The cumulative effect is the single-deck table is a worse game than other blackjack tables in the gaming space. Remember to look at all the rules being used in the game.

What you should take from this section is the number of card decks used are important and should always be considered before selecting a game, whether in an offline, online, mobile, or live casino. You can also use a house edge calculator if you want to be more prepared when playing live blackjack online.

Different Blackjack Versions

When casinos began to appear on the Internet in the 1990s, blackjack’s popularity continued online. Software providers designed an array of games found in land-based casinos, including the popular forms:

  • Las Vegas
  • Atlantic City
  • Monte Carlo (European Blackjack)
  • United Kingdom (Pontoon)
  • Australia (Australian Pontoon)

Lesser known versions like Double Exposure and Switch appeared online, while new types of blackjack were introduced.

Online blackjack lacked certain charms of the live dealer experience, because they required a random number generator (RNG) and virtual simulations of the real life game. The RNG allowed the deck to be shuffled in real time between every single hand, eliminating any advantage card counting provided. Despite the low house edge, online blackjack decidedly tilted the game in the casino’s favor.

Blackjack Rule Variations

Below is a list of some of the different rules you might run into. This is by no means a full list of alternate blackjack rules. Players should note some of these variations and avoid them, anytime possible. Losing on ties or pushing on a dealer bust is not fun for the player, but these rules can also increase the house edge by 4% to 8%.

Blackjacks Pay 2:1
Suited Blackjacks Pay 2:1
Five-Card Wins Pay 3:2
Blackjack Tie Pays 3:2
Early Surrender Against 10
Late Surrender Against 10
Player May draw to Split Aces
Player May Double on Any Cards
Five-Card Charlie
Six-Card Charlie
Seven-Card Charlie
Ace & 10 after Splitting Aces is Blackjack
Player May Re-Split Aces
Player May Double or Stand after Splitting Aces
777 Pays 3:1 Automatically
777 Pays 2:1 Automatically
Late Surrender after Splitting
Dealer Must Stop at 6 Cards
No-Peek When Ace is Showing
No-Peek When Ten is Showing
Dealer Secretly Goes First
Player May Not Split Aces
Player May Split 10, 11 Only
Dealer Hits on soft 17
Blackjack Pays 7:5
Blackjack Pays 6:5
Player Loses 17-18 Ties
Player Loses 17-19 Ties
Player Loses 17-20 Ties
Dealer Bust on 22 is a Push

Most of the rules above have an effect of less than 1%, but this translates to a lot of money when you’re gambling at high volume. Beware of games which pay less for a blackjack. The 6:5 blackjack and 7:5 blackjack tables are avoided by smart players in the brick-and-mortar casinos.

Books on Basic Strategy

Book iconReaders who want to study basic strategy in greater detail should be one or more of the books below, other books about blackjack. I have tried to avoid books on card counting, though some of the titles below provide intermediate advice on the subject after they present basic strategy.

Many of these books provide overlapping information. Each has a solid introduction to basic strategy, which is most important for new readers. Each book also has additional how-to information, including chapters on card counting.

  • Blackjack Secrets by Stanford Wong
  • Big Book of Blackjack by Arnold Snyder
  • Playing Blackjack as a Business by Lawrence Revere
  • Winning at Blackjack by Bryan Evans
  • Winning Blackjack for the Serious Player by Edwin Silberstang
  • Winning Casino Blackjack for the Non-Counter by Avery Cardoza
  • The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book by Lance Humble and Carl Cooper

Lawrence Revere’s book is a little dated, but it still presents the clearest description of basic strategy in print. In all of these books, beginning players should avoid the chapters for card counters.

Counting cards is an advanced level of gaming beyond our discussion here. While anyone with math skills can count cards, it is likely to be a level of dedication and immersion which some gamblers won’t find enjoyable.