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How to Play Live Blackjack: Answering Our Visitors’ Questions

Posted on August 31, 2018 | 12:30 pm

Time to start answering some of the gambling community’s most burning questions about live games. In this publication, we will be focusing on live blackjack. While doing so, we will be referring to some of the most popular questions that landed in our inbox, as well as those found on the forums.

We will be starting with a question submitted to Reddit:

What are some good tips you would give for a beginner looking to play live blackjack?

This is a reasonable question and it can be subdivided into several additional queries. Or, in other words, there is no short answer to this one, so we have created a step-by-step answer. It will be especially handy if you are just starting to explore live dealer lobbies in order to play live blackjack.


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* T&C's Apply to all bonuses. Must be 18+ to participate. Please gamble responsibly. Visit begambleaware.org for more details.

Pick a certified and reputable, as well as UK-friendly, live dealer casino

The first step to enjoying live blackjack is to launch it from a licensed and trustworthy lobby. This is especially important if you are a beginner. Very soon you will discover that there are 1000s of online operators out there. Many of those will invite UK gamblers to join. Only some will meet all the strict requirements of the gambling regulatory commissions in the United Kingdom.

Why do we start by stressing the importance of a license? Because it automatically means protection for the player, the company’s compliance with a list of rules, and supervising authorities involved. In order for a casino to receive a license, it will need to submit a lot of documents and to pass plenty of verifications that will establish whether the owners are legit.

For the UK, the recommended licenses are from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and from the jurisdictions of Alderney, Gibraltar, and the Isle of Man. A few other great licensors to take into account are the Malta Gaming Authority and the government of Kahnawake.

You will see that there are also many active licensors and established casinos. The list of possible permits includes Curacao, Cyprus, and Panama, to mention a few. These are a bit less prestigious, so when deciding to choose between them, do some additional research regarding the online operator you were planning to register at.

To check whether a brand has a license is easy. Scroll down to the footer and if the location is legit, it will have a small seal or an emblem with a link leading to its license number on a separate page.

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Catch up with the blackjack basics prior to launching the first live game for real money

Some of the live games, such as baccarat, as you will come to see, will require little to no strategy. With live blackjack, however, a certain skill is involved and experience gives some advantage.

Speaking of other benefits of blackjack over other games, it is not only about skills and experience. It is also about the house edge. With most live dealer games, it will be fixed. This means that regardless of your strategy or choices, the chance of winning will always be the same. When playing blackjack, you will soon see that the house edge changes according to the decisions you make when gaming.

According to industry standards, the optimal house edge is between 0.5% and 0.75%. Some of it will be up to the selected provider. Choosing not to follow a basic strategy at a minimum leads to increasing the house edge up to 5%. Much will also depend on the number of wrong decisions that you make.

While we are on the subject of the importance of the basic strategy, here is a great cheat sheet from Unibet Live Casino.

basic strategy card for live blackjack

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Use The Strategy Card at Unibet Blackjack Tables - Click To Visit >>

Never miss out on the latest live blackjack promotions and casino bonuses

Yes, we know – it is hard to find a live dealer promotion. More often than not, a platform will offer a welcome bonus only for slots.

However, since launching LiveDealers, we’ve assembled a great collection of welcome bonuses created specifically for this type of content. A quick tip here: in most cases, offers for live dealer games will come with higher wagering requirements, and the bet will not always contribute 100% to the rollover requirements. It is still worth claiming such offers, though.

If you are a beginner, you also need to realize that a bonus does not mean free money. The casino releases funds on certain terms. These are called the wagering requirements. You will need to play the cash (deposit and bonus, or just the bonus cash, depending on a website) the specified amount before you can withdraw wins.

It is also imperative that you familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions before wagering cash. The casino may (and will) have limits on maximum bets, allowed games, deadlines, and whatnot.

These may be considered as cons of promotions. However, there are way more pros. Some extra cash to play is among them. Also, welcome bonuses are a great way to test the casino’s services, reliability, and friendliness. Finally, in many cases, not only wins from the bonus, but the promotional cash itself can be withdrawn.

One of the best locations for the live blackjack players from the UK to claim promotions is Leo Vegas Live Casino.

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Be in control of your bankroll process and place bets wisely

Experienced players call this the bankroll management. In simpler terms, it is your understanding of the finances that you’ve set aside to gamble and the way you manage them. If you only have 20 GBP to spare, it is pointless heading to VIP or high roller blackjack rooms. Stick to the low roller versions. It is also not a good idea to deposit 20 GBP and to risk it all in a single 20 GBP bet. Such a 100% risk will most likely give a 0% result.

Instead, take a look at the cash you are willing to spend, and break it into at least 20 bets. These are the 20 sessions you will be able to participate in. It doesn’t mean that your deposit should be big. Even with 10 GBP to spare, you will be able to participate in 20 sessions of 0.50 per hand. Stick to the strategy because it will give you some leeway and a chance to still be in the game even after a couple of unfortunate rounds.

Keep in mind the possible splits and double downs, as well. For instance, when playing Portomaso Live Blackjack, you will have a chance to split up to 4 hands, as well as to double on all of them. This leads to 8 betting units in total.

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Steer clear of the side bets

If you decide to give our basic strategy of 20 even bets in 20 rounds a go, this will bring you closer to that desired minimum house edge of 0.50% to 0.75%. Choosing to put cash into side bets, however, eliminates the low house edge automatically.

Let’s look at the numbers. When side betting on a perfect pair or 21+3, you are looking at a house edge growing to 4.1% and 3.7%, respectively. So, if you are following a low house edge strategy, restrain from side bets.

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Live blackjack tips in a nutshell

  • Always give preference to licensed casinos, and among those, look for UKGC, MGA, Alderney, Isle of Man, Kahnawake, or Gibraltar first. Others may be a bit less reliable if it comes to solving problems such as non-payment.
  • Opting-in for side betas automatically leads to increasing the house edge by at least 2%, and in most cases even higher.
  • Manage your bankroll and keep cash for at least 20 bets ready. This means that you will need to strategically distribute the money prior to placing the first bet.
  • Look for the live dealer promotions and use them! Welcome and ongoing bonuses are great boosters. In legit casinos, they are easy to wager and are often cashable.
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