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It is easy to attribute the popularity of online blackjack to the vast array of available versions. Almost every US casino has at least several blackjack variations, each with its take on the exciting game.
Live dealer blackjack has emerged as the go-to option for many online blackjack enthusiasts, and it’s easy to understand why.
RNG-powered variants simply can’t compete with the level of immersion provided by this format. It’s the closest thing you can get to playing blackjack in an actual casino without leaving the comfort of your home.
Fundamentally, live dealer blackjack is identical to its RNG counterpart. As with computerized blackjack, live dealer blackjack is more likely to produce better results when a proven strategy is applied.
This guide will reveal several tips for playing live dealer blackjack that will significantly boost your long-term win rate.
Live Blackjack Basic Strategy
The basic strategy is a mathematical model invented in the 1950s that explains how to play the game optimally, taking into account your initial two cards and the dealer’s up card. When used correctly, it can reduce the house edge to 0.5%.
You can apply the basic strategy to live dealer blackjack. Our dedicated basic strategy blackjack page describes the hand combinations, charts, and appropriate plays for each scenario.
While the strategy varies depending on the rules and number of decks used in a game, some plays are used across all variants, regardless of the house rules.
- Always split 8s and aces.
- Avoid the insurance bet.
- Double down on 9, 10, and 11 if your total is higher than the dealer’s; otherwise, hit.
- Never split 10s and 5s.
- Always stand on soft 19.
- Double down on soft 13–18 if the dealer’s card is 5 or 6.
- Always stand on hard 17 (or higher).
Live Dealer Blackjack: Tips for Getting the Best ROI
Although the basic strategy is the only way to maximize your blackjack winnings, a few auxiliary systems may also come in handy.
We’ve highlighted them below.
Look for Tables that Pay 3:2 for Naturals
It’s possible to play various blackjack games in US online casinos, and they differ in terms of:
- The number of decks
- Side bet availability
Regarding the last aspect, you should always look for variants that play 3:2 for blackjack or $3 for every $2 wagered.
With 6:5 blackjack, the house edge is 1.39% higher than with 3:2. The difference may seem minuscule, but it adds up over time, especially for high rollers.
Chose Tables Where the Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Always look for tables that require dealers to stand on soft 17, as it will decrease your house edge by 0.22%. It is usually noted in the table layout. It will be stated somewhere on the interface if the dealer must draw on 16 or less and stand on 17 or more.
Try to Find Single-Deck Versions
For obvious reasons, single-deck blackjack variants are seldom found in online casinos. When played using the optimal strategy, single-deck versions can have a house edge as low as 0.17%.
That being said, you should absolutely try this variation if you can find an online casino that offers it.
Take Advantage of the Casino Bonuses
Online casinos are offering promotional deals left and right these days. These bonuses will help you get a better ROI since they give you additional chances of winning.
The catch is that live dealer games have low wagering contributions, so you’ll have to play several times as much as you would on slots to redeem the bonus. The casino might be running a live dealer-specific promotion, though.
Most winning tips that apply to standard online blackjack (RNG-based) are also applicable to live dealer variants. In either case, it’s vital to learn (and master) the basic strategy and find tables with player-friendly rules.
Taking advantage of promotional offers can strengthen your bankroll considerably, so take advantage of them whenever you can.
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