How To Play
If you have ever played Blackjack before then Live Blackjack will be very familiar to you. The game follows the standard rules, it is played with an eight deck shoe and the aim of the game is to build a hand of cards that is as close to 21 in value as possible, but without exceeding 21. At the end of a round, as long as your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s is then you have won.
In Blackjack the number cards (2 – 10) are worth their face value, face cards (Jack, Queen and King) are worth 10 and Aces are worth 1 or 11. This means that it is possible to build a hand of 21 using just two cards, an Ace and a ten card. This hand is called Blackjack, it is the strongest possible hand and will always beat all other hands, including those worth 21 but made up of more than two cards.
At the start of a round, you need to place your bet. Once all players have done so, each player will be dealt two face-up cards while the dealer will receive one face-up card and one facedown. There are then three basic options for your hand, Stand, Hit and Double. If you choose to Hit then you will receive an additional card to the hand, if you choose Stand then the hand remains as it is and play moves on to the next player. If you choose Double, your bet will be doubled, you will receive one more card to the hand, and then play moves on.
When all players have finished playing their hands the dealer will play. The dealer will always draw more cards until the hand is worth at least 16 and they will stand as soon as the hand is worth 17 or more.
After the dealer has finished playing, you are paid out if you have a winning hand. All winning hands pay at 1:1, except for Blackjack, which pays out at a more generous 3:2.
When playing Live Blackjack there are many situations in which you will have options beyond Hit, Stand and Double.
If the first two cards dealt to you have the same value then you can split them and play them as independent hands. If you split two Aces then you can only draw one more card to each hand, but if you split any other cards then you can play them as regular hands.
If the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace then you have the chance to take out insurance against the dealer having Blackjack. Insurance costs half of your original bet and if the dealer does have Blackjack then you are paid double the insurance bet. This means that you will not lose any money.
To be in with the chance of winning even more you can make use of two exciting side bets, 21+3 and Perfect Pairs. The 21+3 side bet is on the two cards dealt to you and the dealer’s face-up card combining to form a poker hand. It pays out as follows: a Suited Three of a Kind pays out at 100:1, a Straight Flush pays out at 40:1, Three of a Kind pays out at 30:1, a Straight pays out at 10:1 and a Flush pays out at 5:1.
The Perfect Pairs side bet pays out if your first two cards or the dealer’s first two cards form one of three kinds of pairs, a Perfect Pair, a Coloured Pair or a Red/Black Pair. A Perfect Pair is two identical cards and it pays out at 25:1, a Coloured Pair is two cards that have the same colour and value but come from different suits and it pays out at 12:1, a Red/Black pair is two cards that have the same value but different suits and colours and it pays out at 6:1.
The game also offers a Bet Behind feature. You can place a bet behind one or more of the other players at the table. That player will control the hand and you have to follow their betting pattern for splits and doubles. It can be a great way to win a bit more if you spot a talented player at your table.