How to play live Blackjack

Also known as ‘21’, live Blackjack is a traditional card game that’s hugely popular across our online live casino. When you play live Blackjack, you play against the dealer and are trying to beat their hand without going over a total of 21.First, you will choose how much to bet on your hand. The live dealer will then deal cards to all players and two cards for themselves. If you receive an ace and a picture card or 10, this hand is called Blackjack. It will be paid instantly at 3:2 – unless the dealer has an ace or 10 as their first card. In this case, you will have to wait to see the outcome of their hand.

If neither of you have Blackjack, you can choose whether to ‘hit’ and be dealt another card to increase the value of your hand, or ‘stand’ and play your initial hand against the dealer’s.
If the total of your hand exceeds 21, you will ‘bust’ and the hand will be disqualified. If the total of your hand is higher than the dealer’s without going over 21, you will win.
Insurance bet
If the dealer has an ace face-up, you can place an ‘insurance’ bet. This is an additional bet equal to half of your original bet. The insurance bet wins if the dealer has Blackjack.
Double Down
Depending on the cards you have been dealt, you might choose to ‘double down’. This doubles your wager in exchange for committing to stand after receiving one more card only.
If you are dealt two cards of the same value from 1 – 9, you can choose to split the hand. A split will double your wager and give you two hands to play with that are treated individually. You will need to ‘hit’ your split hands and try to beat the dealer.

Live Blackjack rules

Live Blackjack is played with 8 decks of 52 cards as standard
Your hand must be higher than the dealer’s without going over 21 to win
The total of your hand is counted by adding the numerical values of your cards. The suit of the cards is not important. Card values 2-10 are counted as numbered
All picture cards are counted as 10
Aces are counted as 1 or 11, whichever is in the favour of the hand. A hand that contains an ace is called a ‘soft’ hand
If your hand goes over 21, it is disqualified. This is called going ‘bust’
If you receive an ace and a second card with a value of 10 on the initial deal – this hand is called Blackjack and will be paid instantly at 3:2 (unless dealer has an ace or 10 as their first card. In this case, you will have to wait till the outcome of the hand)
If the dealer’s visible card is an ace, you can place an insurance bet before the dealer checks their other card. If the dealer has Blackjack, the insurance bet wins and pays 2:1
The dealer must hit until their hand totals 17 or more
The dealer will stand on a ‘soft’ 17 – where they have dealt ace and 6

Basic Blackjack Strategy

You can give yourself an edge by learning some basic strategy. If you’re new to the game, make a note of the below before sitting down to play Live Blackjack online:
• Stand on 17 and above
• Stand on soft 19 and 20
• Hit on 12-16 against the dealer when their face-up card is 7 or more
• Hit on 8 or below
• Double down on 11 (except if the dealer has an Ace)
• Double down on 10 (especially if the dealer has 9 or less)
• Double down on 9 if the dealer has 6 or less.
• Split 3s and 2s if the dealer has 6 or less
• Split 8s – it’s better to hit two 8s than stand on 16 or risk a probable bust by hitting
• Split Aces – they could both turn into 21
• Never split 10s and 5s. You aren’t allowed to split your 10s at as the odds of you scoring better hands than your initial score of 20 are too long.

It’s not an easy decision to stand on Blackjack unless you have a high total of 21, 20 or 19. You can immediately bust if you take a high card on 15, for example, but you could dramatically improve your chances if you draw a low card. There is no straightforward answer on when to stand as it depends on many factors including the dealers face-up card and if your hand is a ‘soft’ hand – meaning that it contains an ace. The below table outlines the most favourable plays:

In a nutshell, these are your chances of busting if you hit, based on full deck:

Blackjack Perfect Pairs and 23+1 side bets

Side bets offer high pay-outs and can be incredibly lucrative if luck turns your way

Perfect Pair bet

You will be paid if you receive the following on your initial cards:
• Perfect Pairs pays 25:1– same suit, e.g. two aces of spades.
• Coloured Pair pays 12:1– different suits of the same colour, e.g. 2 of diamonds and 2 of hearts.
• Mixed Pair pays 6:1 – different suits of a different colour, e.g. 10 of hearts and 10 of clubs.

21+3 bet

You will be paid if your two cards and the dealer’s visible card are compromised to form any of the following:
• Suited Trips 100:1 – an identical triplet, e.g. 3 queens of hearts.
• Straight flush 40:1 – in numerical sequence and same suit, e.g. 10, jack and queen of diamonds.
• Three of a kind 30:1 – same value but different suits, e.g. any 3 non-matching kings.
• Straight 10:1 – in numerical sequence but different suits, e.g. 2 of spades plus 3 of clubs and 4 of hearts.
• Flush 5:1 – non-sequential cards in the same suit, e.g. 2, 6 and 10 of clubs.

Live Blackjack further bets

On some of our live casino tables, you can you can play multiple hands and bet on two or more hands per round.

On some of our busier tables, you can bet behind someone when you are waiting for your seat. You can’t make any decisions about the hand, but you are able to double your stake when splitting or doubling.

Want to learn more about how to play a flawless strategy? Check out Perfect Blackjack.

Learn with Perfect Blackjack

To learn the ropes and sharpen your game, try your hand at Perfect Blackjack. Using industry-leading technologies, streamed live in HD and offering an intuitive interface, Perfect Blackjack gives players the chance to learn how to play the perfect strategy, in every hand. It’s Live Blackjack made easy – you’ll be calling cards like a pro in no time. Why not give it a try? Play Perfect Blackjack. Our experienced dealers can also help with any queries you may have while you’re at the table. Good luck!

Perfect Blackjack Game - Grosvenor Casinos