Blackjack is one of the easiest casino table games to grasp, but it can take you a little longer to master. With the aid of this comprehensive guide on how to play blackjack, we can equip you with the skillset and knowledge to have fun even when you are sat playing against a real dealer in the LiveRoulette live casino.
With over 20 live blackjack tables to choose from at LiveRoulette, there is always an opportunity to play a basic hand of blackjack or dabble with some of the side bet variants that can switch-up your gameplay. Before you get started, why not familiarise yourself with the basics of blackjack and get to grips with an optimal strategy to minimise the house edge.
The on-screen layout of a live blackjack table
From the moment you load up your live casino blackjack table, you will meet a friendly, professionally trained dealer to manage your game. You can see the seven-player seats around the table. Vacant seats will say ‘Sit Here’ and you only need to click to join the action.
The display of your account balance is in the bottom left corner of the screen and you can choose the size of your stake in the ‘Total Bet’ button next to it. Click the inner circle of your seat position once to bet one unit. You can also click on the side bet areas to place additional bets if you wish.
It’s possible to chat with the dealer and the other players at the table in real-time using the ‘Lobby’ button in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Card values in live blackjack
The values of cards in a game of blackjack are easy to follow. They correspond to their numerical value displayed on the card. Face cards (Jack, Queen and King) are worth ten, while an Ace can be worth either one or 11 and played however you see fit.
In-play actions available in live blackjack
By ‘hitting’, you’re requesting an additional card from the dealer to try and improve your hand(s). You can continue to hit cards until your hand value is 21 or greater.
You can choose to stand on your hand, which means that you are happy with the value of your cards and don’t require any more from the deck. You may choose to stand your hand to avoid exceeding 21 and going bust.
When a dealer gives you two cards of equal value, you can split them. Splitting turns these cards into two separate hands, with the dealer giving you one additional card for each hand. You must pay to split. The additional bet must be equal to your starting stake.
If you believe one additional card will improve your hand to defeat the dealer, you may choose to double down. You’ll only get one more card from the deck and you must double your starting stake.
Whenever the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, the dealer will offer you an insurance side bet which can cover your losses if the dealer has a blackjack.
How many hands can you play in live blackjack?
You can play as many hands as you want at most live blackjack tables. Wherever there is a vacant seat at the table, you can normally use it to play multiple hands in different seats – providing you have the bankroll for it. Unlike other card games such as Texas Hold’em Poker, where it’s not possible to take up multiple seats at a table, you can do so in blackjack because you are not playing against the other players at the table, only the dealer’s hand.
What does bet behind mean?
At some live casino blackjack tables, you may have the option to ‘bet behind’ another active player at the table. This means that you will be betting on your chosen player’s hand to beat the dealer’s hand. Although you will have no say or control over how the hand turns out, you obviously have a choice as to which player you choose to bet behind.
Each active player at the table will have icons displayed next to their name, displaying how well they are playing. Those on a ‘hot’ or winning streak will usually have a gold medal or star next to their name.
How does the dealer play their hand?
You should now know how to play your blackjack hand at the tables, but do you know how the dealer plays their own hand? Put simply, if the dealer’s first two cards add up to 16 or less, they must hit and take an additional card. If their first two cards value is between 18 and 21, they must stand and take no further cards.
If the dealer has a ‘hard’ 17, they must stand. A hard 17 is a hand that does not contain an ace or has one or more aces with the value at one. If the dealer has a ‘soft’ 17, they must hit and take an additional card. A soft 17 is a hand that does contain an ace with the value being at 11.
The dealer’s hand automatically wins the round if your hand busts, or if the option is available to surrender your hand and half of your original stake. Their hand also wins if it is closer to 21 than yours. If you and the dealer have hands of the same value, then this is a ‘push’. In this event, you receive your original stake in full due to the tied game.
It’s worth noting that the dealer has very little say in how they play their hand. They must adhere to the house rules of standing on hard 17 and hitting on soft 17. Under no circumstances can they change tac and play their hand differently.
Available payouts at the blackjack tables
First and foremost, if you win a hand of live blackjack against the dealer’s hand, you will win a payout worth 1:1. If you bet €10, you’ll receive €10 in winnings, plus your €10 stake back.
It’s a little less straightforward for blackjacks. Some tables payout 6:5 for blackjack, while others will pay 3:2. For example, if you bet €10 and get a blackjack at a 6:5 blackjack table, you’ll receive €12 in winnings, plus your €10 stake back. If you bet €10 and get a blackjack at a 3:2 blackjack table, you’ll get €15 in winnings, plus your €10 stake back.
If you choose to take out the insurance bet, this pays out at 2:1 in the event the dealer lands a natural two-card blackjack.
Side bets in live blackjack
Although bet behind is also considered a side bet option, there are two primary side bets that you can place when sat at most of our live blackjack tables:
21+3 Let’s start with the 21+3 side bet. This one happens around the first two cards you receive, as well as the dealer’s visible ‘upcard’. If you can form a three-card poker hand using your first two cards and the dealer’s upcard (flush, straight, straight flush or three-of-a-kind) you will win a payout. The size of the payout depends on what kind of poker hand you can form. It typically ranges from 5:1 for a flush through to 100:1 for three-of-a-kind cards of the same suit.
Perfect Pairs Perfect Pairs is the second most popular side bet you’ll find at our live blackjack tables. This optional side bet requires you to find matching card values, card colours or, better still, two identical cards. You can win 5:1 for a Mixed Pair, such as a pair of eights of different suits. You can win 12:1 for a Coloured Pair, like a pair of sixes of the same colour i.e. diamonds or hearts. Finally, you can also bag 25:1 payouts for a Perfect Pair, which is two identical cards.
Understanding optimal strategy in live blackjack
The key to giving yourself the best chance of winning at the live casino blackjack tables is to adopt a smart strategy. A smart strategy is one that minimises the game’s house edge. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the betting techniques you should employ as part of an optimal blackjack strategy:
Doubling down on 10 and 11 Some casinos will only allow players to double down on hands when their initial two-card hand is worth 10 or 11. Doubling down on 10 or 11 is a powerful play, particularly if the dealer’s hand is lower. It may even be prudent to double down when your hand is worth nine and the dealer’s hand is of a lower value still.
Splitting Aces and 8s If you have a pair of aces in your hand, this is a hard or soft total of 12. This is rarely a good situation to be in. There’s a high probability of landing a face card or a ten with your next card and going bust. Splitting them gives you a chance to potentially land two blackjacks or two cards valued higher than 12.
A pair of eights is a hard total of 16, which means there are plenty of cards in the deck that could bust your hand when you hit. Splitting your eights into two hands gives you a chance to land a ten on both hands to achieve 18, which is a respectable outcome in this scenario.
Avoid taking Insurance Whenever the dealer’s upcard is an ace, you will get the chance to buy ‘Insurance’. This requires you to pay half the size of your original stake as a side bet, which pays out 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack, ensuring you break even for the hand. The dealer will not have a blackjack more than 50% of the time, so Insurance is a statistically bad play – unless you are certain their next card will be a ten.
Surrender 16 against a ten (if allowed) If early or late ‘Surrender’, the best time to use it is when you have a hand value of 16 against the dealer’s ten. There are plenty of cards in the deck that can bust your hand and a similar amount that can give the dealer’s hand an unassailable advantage. That’s why it makes more sense to cut your losses and surrender half your stake in this position.
Live blackjack variations
Not content with conventional live blackjack games? We’ve got you covered. At LiveRoulette, you can immerse yourself in three different blackjack variations. All of which offer exciting, fast-paced gameplay, available on all desktop and mobile devices.
Are you short on time? If you don’t have a moment to waste, Speed Blackjack could be the ideal solution for you. Powered by LiveRoulette partner Evolution Gaming, Speed Blackjack accelerates the gameplay wherever possible. The first two cards play as normal, but the next step is completely different.
In Speed Blackjack, the quickest players to make their decision to stand, hit, split or double down will play first with the dealer. It reduces the waiting time for experienced players that know what they are doing, even if it does not provide a mathematical edge to your action.
If you are someone that can only devote time to playing live blackjack during ‘peak’ hours, the chances are that most live blackjack tables will be full of players when you log in. There’s no need to worry about not being able to play though, thanks to our Infinite Blackjack tables.
As the name suggests, these low bet limit tables cater to an unlimited number of players, with no need to wait for a seat to become available. That’s because all active players receive a ‘community’ two-card hand. Subsequently, each player can play the remainder of the hand however they wish. There are no less than four side bets to choose from too.
Blitz Blackjack, powered by LiveRoulette partner NetEnt, operates on the same principle as Infinite Blackjack. All players receive the same two cards on-screen from the dealer and are then given the option to hit, stand and split the two cards to make the remainder of the hand their own. Again, there is no limit on the number of players that can play at these tables, which is great for peak hour gaming.
Blackjack is not a complex or scary casino game. You can grasp it within minutes and start to enjoy yourself at the tables of our Canadian online casino!
American Roulette: A variant of roulette that features a double zero (00). The double zero sits next to the single zero on the betting board. This means there are 38 numbers in play and puts the house edge to 5.26%.
Backtrack: The outer section of the roulette wheel where the ball spins.
Biased Numbers: A section of numbers that is said to hit more frequently than is statistically likely. Biased numbers can be caused by an uneven or otherwise faulty wheel. Unless there is a software glitch, you’re unlikely to see biased numbers at an online roulette table.
Biased Wheel: An unevenly worn or faulty roulette wheel. In live roulette games, a biased wheel could cause certain numbers to hit more often than they otherwise would as it’s not spinning in an even, random manner.
Black Bet: An outside bet in live and online roulette. When you bet on black, you’ll win a 1:1 (even money) return on your money if any black number hits.
Bottom Track: The slanted inner rim of the roulette wheel that remains static during a spin. When the ball slows down, it slides from the backtrack and onto the bottom track before falling into a numbered pocket.
Carre: The French term for a corner bet.
Cheval: The French term for a split bet in land-based, online and live roulette.
Colonne: The French term for a column bet in roulette.
Column Bet: Like dozen bets, column bets allow you to cover 12 numbers with a single chip. There are three columns to choose from, and the payout on winning bets is 2:1.
Combination Bet: In general, a combination bet can be made with one or more chips and will cover two or more numbers. An example of a combination bet is a dozen, which covers 12 numbers in one section of the table.
Corner Bet: A single bet that covers four connected numbers. To make a corner bet, you must place a chip in the middle of a square of four numbers. This means you’re selecting all four numbers in the square. The payout for a corner bet in live or online roulette is 8:1.
Dealer: The person in control of a game, also called a croupier. When you play roulette, the dealer will be present and actively control the game. When you play roulette online, the game will be controlled by a random number generator (RNG).
Dozen Bet: A single bet that covers 12 numbers in one section of the table. Dozen bets are split into three sections: 1st (numbers 1-12), 2nd (numbers 13-24) and 3rd (numbers 25-36). Zero isn’t included in a dozen bet. If any number in your dozen hits, the payout is 2:1.
Double Zero: In American Roulette, double zero (00) is the additional number on the wheel.
En Plein: The French term for a straight-up bet in online and live roulette.
En Prison: A rule common in French Roulette, en prison literally means “in prison”. This rule applies to even money bets and allows you to either take back half your stake when zero hits or leave it “imprisoned” for the next spin. You’re choosing to either get a 50% rebate on a losing bet or keep your stake for the next bet.
European Roulette: The most common form of online and live roulette in the majority of casinos. This game is the older cousin of American Roulette. The main difference between the two variants is that European Roulette doesn’t feature the double zero. Because of this, it has one less number in play than its American counterpart. In total, there are 37 numbers in European Roulette, with a maximum payout of 35:1. The house edge is 2.70%.
Even Money: This term refers to a 1:1 payout. In other words, you win the same amount that you staked. For example, if you stake €1 and win, your total return will be your €1 stake back + €1 profit.
Five-Number Bet: This is a single bet that allows you to cover five specific numbers: 00, 0, 1, 2 and 3. If you win with this bet, your return will be 6:1.
High Bet: This is an outside bet in live and online roulette. When you bet on “high”, you’ll cover all numbers between 19-36. If you win, the return is 1:1 (even money).
House Edge: This term refers to the advantage the house (casino) has in any given situation. The house edge in roulette is created by a difference in the odds of any bet winning and the payout you receive. For example, the payout for a straight-up bet is 35:1. However, in European Roulette, there are 37 numbers on the table. This discrepancy (37:1 vs. 35:1) is where the casino gets its advantage.
Inside Bet: Any bet made within the inner section of the table is known as an inside bet. Inside bets can be straight up or a combination of splits.
La Partage: When you play French roulette online or live, La Partage is a special rule that allows you to receive 50% of your stake back on even money bets. When it applies, if you make an even-money bet and the ball lands on zero, you’ll get half of your money back. This is similar to the En Prison. However, you don’t have the option to let your bet ride on the next spin with La Partage.
Line Bet: Also known as a six-line bet, this option allows you to cover six numbers (two rows of three) with a single wager. To make this bet, you split both rows with a single chip. The chip must be placed at the nearside end of the rows. The payout on this bet is 5:1.
Marker: In live roulette, a marker, also called a ‘dolly’, is a small implement used to mark the winning number. When the round is over, the dealer will place a marker on the winning number and clear away all losing bets from the roulette table before paying out the winners.
Neighbours: In roulette, neighbours are numbers found next to/near each other on the wheel. These have relevance to certain types of bets, such as Orphelins.
Orphans: A type of bet that allows you to cover the numbers 6, 34 and 17 with a single wager.
Orphelins: A French term that refers to the process of betting on neighbours (numbers that sit near each other on the wheel). By betting on “neighbour” numbers (i.e. orphelins), it allows you to cover groups of numbers with fewer bets.
Outside Bets: Any bet outside of the inner table. Outside bets offer lower returns than inside bets. In roulette, the inner board is any betting option contained without the main, rectangular betting area. The inner board is where the individual numbers sit.
Pockets: These are the slots where the ball lands on a roulette wheel.
Random Number Generator (RNG): When you play roulette online, the outcome is determined by a computer program known as an RNG. An RNG uses mathematics to generate random results. This allows online casinos to offer games that are as fair as their live counterparts.
Red Bet: An outside bet in live and online roulette. When you bet on red, you’ll win a 1:1 (even money) return on your money if any red number hits.
Sixainne: The French term for a line bet.
Split: A bet that covers two adjacent numbers. The bet is known as a split because you’re literally splitting the chip by placing it on the line between the two numbers. The payout for a winning split bet in roulette is 17:1.
Straight Up: A bet on a single number is known as straight up. The payout on winning straight up bets in roulette is 35:1.
Street: Similar to a line bet, a street bet allows you to cover three numbers in a row with a single bet. To make a street bet, you need to place a chip on the nearside end of a row. The payout for a winning street bet in roulette is 11:1.
Tiers Du Cylindre: Another neighbours bet in French Roulette, tiers du cylindre covers a third of the wheel. This bet requires you to cover 12 numbers with split bets. To make it, you split the following pairs: 5-8, 10-11, 13-16, 23-24, 27-30, and 33-36. The payout on this bet is 17:1, as any win will be a split bet.
Transversale: The French term for a street bet.
Trio Bet: Another term for a street bet in live and online roulette.
Voisins du Zero: A neighbours bet that’s popular in French Roulette. Voisins du zero translates as “neighbours of zero” and sees you cover the 17 numbers that flank zero on the wheel. You have to cover all 17 numbers with nine bets. You do that in the following way:
Two chips on the 0-2-3 trio
One chip on the 4-7 split
One chip on the 12-15 split
One chip on the 18-2 split
One chip on the 19-22 split
Two chips on the 25-26-28-29 corner
One chip on the 32-35 split
Zero: A number in the game of roulette. Zero is slightly different to other roulette numbers because it’s green. This means that it’s excluded from any outside bets.
How do live casino games work?
When you play live roulette or any other live casino game, you’re connected to a live game via a webcam. This allows you to see what’s going on at the table in real-time. In tandem with the live stream, RFID sensors on the table link to a computer program that allows you to place bets on the action via your desktop or mobile device.
What Are RFID Sensors?
These are small devices that record data in real-time. Each sensor records actions that take place on the table. These actions are then sent to a computer program so our system knows the result of each spin. This information is compared with the bets you made to determine whether you won the round or not.
Are Live Casino Games And Live Roulette Safe?
Yes. Live roulette and all live casino games are tightly controlled and regulated. In fact, every live roulette game you play online will be as fair as one in a brick-and-mortar casino. To ensure fairness and safety at all times, live roulette games have to be tested and monitored. These conditions form part of a company’s licensing duties. In other words, without proving a game is safe and fair, the company wouldn’t receive a gaming licence and, therefore, wouldn’t be able to offer products online.
Is There An RNG In Live Roulette Games?
No – with the only exception being Lightning Roulette. In this game, the location of the five numbers that are struck by lightning are controlled by a computer program called an RNG. This is very much similar to the process behind digital casino games such as online slots, blackjack and roulette, in the action is controlled by the game’s Random Number Generator. In this instance, the program does the job of a dealer and produces random results. In live roulette, however – bar Lightning Roulette, the dealer is solely responsible for controlling the wheel and, therefore, generating random results.
How Can I See The Action?
All live roulette games online are broadcast to your screens via HD webcams. To ensure everyone has the best experience, you can adjust the quality of the stream to suit your connection. Additionally, many of the best live roulette games now feature multiple cameras so you can get different perspectives on the board and wheel.
What Types Of Live Roulette Are There?
As well as European, American and French roulette, live casino developers have created new variants in recent years. Games such as Lightning Roulette feature bonus options that allow you to potentially pick up enhanced payouts. As the popularity of live casino games grows, you’ll find more innovative offerings at LiveRoulette our Canadian online casino in the coming years.
To play live roulette and enjoy the action of a truly immersive online game experience, click the link below and join LiveRoulette today.