Live Blackjack Features by Software Type

Live Blackjack is not the same at all live casinos, each apply a different set of rules to their game, making each one almost unique. What do I mean “Rules?”. Well the rules are normally described in each of the casinos help sections for the game. Apart from telling you how to play they also describe the actions that are allowed during the game play. These actions or “rules” can be different, so I’ll quickly describe each of them so you know what I’m talking about.

European or Vegas Rules – This refers to whether the dealer takes one or two cards when dealing the players hands. One card is known as European Rules and Two cards is know as Vegas Rules. This is important from a house edge perspective. Two cards favours the house less than having one. A good example to show this is when the dealers up card is an Ace. Insurance will be offered to the players. When the insurance has been completed, if the dealer has 2 cards then he checks for Blackjack, if he has it then the hand is over and everyone loses apart from players with Blackjacks, which are treated as a draw (Push). The significance of this is that the players haven’t had to play there hands and therefore haven’t taken opportunities to wager more money.

Now if the dealer only has one card, all the players complete their hands, by standing, drawing, doubling, splitting etc. The dealer then draws his second card, if it’s Blackjack then everyone loses including any stake increases made as part of playing the hand. It stinks when this happens. The house love it, but I don’t. That’s why I always look for a game that has Vegas Rules.

Number of Decks – The ideal is to play a game with one deck, as it’s easier to work out what cards are left in the deck and therefore what action you should take. It favours the house the least to use one deck. You can find one deck games in the casinos of Las Vegas, but they are rare and the odds you get paid for Blackjack are reduced to 6:5 from 3:2. Most online Live casino games use 8 decks, but you will find the odd 6 game deck around.

Deal – Can be manual or Automatic. In a manual deal the dealer shuffles and deals the cards from a dealing shoe. The shoe is normally replaced when half of it has been dealt. In Automatic, the cards are dealt by the dealer but from an automatic shuffling / dealing shoe. This shuffles the decks after each hand. The casinos use these “Shufflemasters” because they say it speeds up the games, but the real reason is to combat the card counters. For the player it’s best to play with a manual shoe.

Burn Cards – These are cards that are removed from the shoe when a shuffle has been completed or at the beginning of each new hand. Again this is meant to combat card counters and demonstrate that there is no cheating by the house. From a players perspective it is removing cards from the deck and not really in the spirit of the game. Some Live Casinos remove the first 3 cards, others turn over the top card and then remove cards to the value of the card turned over. Others don’t remove cards. You’ll also find some Live casinos removing the first card from each hand dealt. Personally I don’t like the practice regardless of the reasons.

Dealer Stands – This is normally written on the table in big letters and details the value of the hand that the dealer must stand on. Dealer stands on 17, is the norm, but what constitutes 17 is another matter.! At some casinos if the dealer has soft 17 he must continue drawing cards until he has a “hard” hand, i.e. where the ace is then counted as one. The preference is that the dealer stands on ALL 17’s regardless of them being hard or soft.

Double Down – This is where you are able to double your initial bet and take only one more card. You normally do this if your hand value is 11 or below. Some of the casinos place restrictions on when you can double down. Some allow it only if your hand value is 9/10/11. Some don’t allow a double down after you have split your hand. The best is to be able to double down on any hand value and also to be able to double on splits.

Split – If your first two cards are the same value, i.e 8&8 you have the option to split them and create two new hands, with each one having one 8 in them. You are then dealt a new card to each hand and then play each had separately until you stand or bust. When splitting a hand you have to double your initial bet.

Split after a Split – It’s possible when splitting a hand to be dealt another card or cards with the same value as the initial two. At some live casinos you are allowed to split these cards again and create new hands to be played separately. At casinos that allow splitting a split they normally have a restriction on how many times this can happen. It’s normally 4, but check the rules to see if it’s allowed before worrying about the number of times. You’ll find that not many casinos allow it in the first place.

Double on a Split – Where you can double down once your hands have been split and you have received the second card to each hand. It’s quite rare to find this, but good if you can!

Cards on Split Aces – In most casinos you will be restricted to being dealt one card to each split Ace hand. If you’re lucky or know where to look you can find casinos that allow more than one card to split Aces.

Bet Behind – This is a side bet that is offered where you can place a wager on someone else’s hand. Useful if someone seems to be getting all the cards, or if you are waiting for a seat and have the facility to bet while you’re waiting.

21-3 or Poker Bet – This is a side bet where you can bet that your two cards dealt and the dealers up card form a 3 card poker hand, like a flush, straight, 3 of a kind etc.

Perfect Pairs – Another side bet, where you are betting that either your hand or the dealers hand are a pair.

Early Payout or Surrender – This is where you are allowed to cash in your hand before the game round has completed. Depending on your hand and the dealers hand value you can chose to surrender your hand for half your initial stake. Early payout is where the odds of your hand winning are calculated on the fly and you are offered a settlement to cash in your hand. Both of these are good options for the player.

Live Blackjack Features

Software Decks Deal Burn Cards Dealer has one card Stands on soft 17 Double Split Split after Split Double on Split Cards on Split aces Bet Behind 21-3 Pairs Multi Hand Multi Table Early Payout Play At
Amaya 8 Manual Shuffle (3) No Yes On any Yes No No No Yes No No No Yes No
Evolution 8 Manual No No Yes On any Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No BetVictor



William Hill


MediaLive 8 Manual No Yes Yes On any Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No No
Microgaming 8 Manual Shuffle (10) Yes Yes 9/10/11 Yes No No Yes Yes No No No Yes No
Net Ent 6 Auto No Yes Yes On any Yes Yes No No No No No No No No Comeon



Playtech 8 Manual Shuffle (10)
Hand (1)
No Yes On any Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes No No William Hill
Visionary iGaming 8 Manual No No No On any Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Fairway