Best Live Dealer Blackjack Casinos

Last Updated: 09/07/2021

Blackjack is one of the few casino games that are easy for new players to enjoy but offer enough complexity to keep pro players engaged. Part of the fascination lies in the fact that practicing basic blackjack strategy and keeping track of the cards, even in a rudimentary way, can significantly reduce the house edge and lead to better winning streaks over time. If you want to exercise your blackjack strategy skills online, choosing top live casino blackjack games is the best way to do it!

In online blackjack, the cards are usually "shuffled" for every hand through a random number generator, so tracking cards is virtually impossible. Live blackjack casino games are played with real decks of cards and a real dealer, so they give players a platform that is much closer to a land-based casino experience. We explain how to find top live dealer blackjack casinos, how live blackjack works and give you some tips on how to improve your blackjack strategy.

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How To Choose The Best Live Blackjack Casino

There are several aspects to consider when you are looking for the best live blackjack casinos. Due to the popularity of live dealer gaming, plenty of online casinos in NZ offer some form of live casino, but the better ones will offer a wider variety of games from multiple software providers. In addition, a top live dealer casino should offer a great welcome bonus, several deposit options, and a seamless gaming experience whether you choose to play on your desktop computer or mobile device. We looked at some of the most important criteria for selecting a top live blackjack casino below.

Game Variety

Game variety at an online casino is about more than simply a long list of titles. The live blackjack game options also need to offer a range of betting limits. Live blackjack tables have different minimum bet limits, depending on the software providers and the type of blackjack you choose. For some blackjack betting strategies, you need to find a live blackjack game that can accommodate bets ranging from a single unit to 21 units or more, so minimum and maximum betting limits are important. A casino that provides a range of options will be able to accommodate you whether you have a small budget or you wish to play for higher stakes.

Once you have found a casino that suits your betting budget, the variety of games available comes into play. A casino needs to provide different kinds of live blackjack from several top software providers. If you prefer to play Lightning Blackjack for NZ$0.50 a hand, it's pointless to join a casino that only offers European Blackjack with a minimum stake of NZ$50. Fortunately, the live casino market is becoming increasingly competitive, so good casinos will provide you with Classic Blackjack, European Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack and a range of other live blackjack variations.

Streaming Quality

To create an authentic casino feel via your desktop or mobile device, the streaming quality needs to be excellent. The best mobile casino software providers do everything they can to create the best live dealer experience for you, from using quality cameras and audio equipment to create a high definition video stream, to the technicalities of encoding that stream to ensure that it is delivered in its optimal form. However, to receive the live stream as it was sent, you need to make sure that you don't have too many applications open on the device you are using and you need to have a good internet connection. Although you can play a live dealer game with less, a broadband connection of at least 1Mbps will give you the best experience.

Licensing And Safety

The single most important check that you need to perform on any casino before you trust it with your money is a credential check. Online casinos can be licensed by different regulatory bodies, depending on where they operate. To provide gambling services in New Zealand, the casino needs to hold a license from a regulatory body like the Malta Gaming Authority and approved by an industry watchdog like eCOGRA.

The licensing organisations ensure that the casino provides a safe online platform with appropriate security systems in place. This means that the online casinos have to use digital encryption technology that measures up to industry standards, so your personal details are protected and you can deposit money and withdraw your winnings safely. The regulatory bodies also ensure fair play. Top casinos are audited regularly, and casino games from licensed software providers are thoroughly tested to ensure that they provide players with a fair chance of winning.

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In addition to a superb live dealer game collection, most of the top online casinos will offer you a sign-up bonus. If you want to use the bonus to play live blackjack online, you need to ensure that the bonus is not restricted to slots and RNG-based table games. Most of the standard casino welcome bonuses are geared towards slots players, which is evident in the wagering requirements and game weightings towards those requirements. For example, in a standard welcome offer with wagering of 40x, slots wagers may count 100% towards wagering requirements while blackjack may only contribute 10%. In this case, it can take 10x longer for blackjack players to play through the wagering requirements in order to withdraw their winnings.

Live blackjack players need to be selective in order to get the best from a casino welcome offer. Some top online casinos will offer you a bonus specifically for the live blackjack tables. The best of these bonuses will give you a generous percentage match on your deposit, and will have reasonable wagering requirements.

Deposit Options

When you are comparing your casino options, it is always worthwhile to investigate which payment methods are available to you, and the time it takes to make a deposit and withdraw your winnings. Some casinos are more limited than others in terms of the deposit options they provide. Most casinos will accept Visa or Mastercard, for example, but fewer casinos offer a cryptocurrency option. Good casinos will support a variety of web wallets, as well as credit card, debit card and bank transfer options.

When you make a deposit, it will usually reflect in your casino account almost instantly, but withdrawals can take much longer. Casinos can take anything from a few minutes to a few days to process a withdrawal, and the payment method you choose can add further delays. If fast withdrawals are important to you, choose a casino that offers same-day withdrawals, and a payment method that processes transactions quickly. Visa and Mastercard transactions can take up to 2 days to reflect in your account, but web wallet transactions tend to be much quicker. Web wallets also tend to have lower fees for online transactions.

Playing On Mobile Devices

Mobile technology has developed significantly since live dealer casinos were first launched. Initially available on desktop casinos only, live blackjack games are now easy to access on mobile phones and tablets.

There are three main ways to access mobile casino games. Some casinos will optimise their desktop casino so that it adjusts when you access it through your browser on your mobile device. Other casinos develop web apps specifically for mobile players, so you can get a seamless experience that's tailored for mobile use when you access the casino from your smartphone or tablet browser. The third method is through a dedicated mobile app. These are developed for specific operating systems and need to be downloaded from the relevant app store.

Although some of the older online casinos may be less mobile friendly, all of the top live blackjack casinos will offer a great mobile experience, either through a fully optimised website, a browser-based web app or downloadable mobile app.

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How Does Live Blackjack Work?

Each online casino that we list on this page will all offer an immersive live casino experience, with software from some of the world's best game providers. To get started, click on the casino that appeals to you and follow these simple steps:

  • Create your casino account. You will need to provide your name, address, contact information and currency.
  • Once your account is ready, make your first deposit. The casino will provide a list of the payment options available, so you can choose the most convenient option for you.
  • Claim your welcome bonus. Your first deposit bonus will be allocated automatically in most cases, but some casinos may require you to claim the bonus in your promotions section.
  • Navigate to the Live Casino section, and choose the Blackjack option.
  • Choose a live blackjack table. Each table will have a minimum bet limit, which can range from NZ$0.50 to NZ$20 or more.
  • Check the game rules. Most tables will have an information section that will list the rules and table limits.
  • When you are ready, take a seat and start playing. At peak times, the tables may fill up quickly, but you may also have the option to bet behind other players. This is a good strategy to use if you are uncertain how the games work, and would like to get a feel for them before taking your seat at the table.

If you have a good playing session, withdrawing your winnings is simple. Go to the cashier section, tap on the Withdrawal option and select the amount that you would like to cash out. Provided that there are no wagering requirements outstanding, and you have verified your identity by sending in the relevant documentation, your first withdrawal should be a smooth transaction. It could take anything from an hour to a few days to be processed.

Online Live Blackjack vs. Land-based Casino

The aim of live casinos is to give players an authentic casino experience at home. To create this sense of authenticity, live casinos try to recreate as many land-based casino characteristics as possible. The real dealer is the most obvious similarity, but there are several others.

Betting on blackjack at live casinos is similar to betting at land-based establishments. You can choose the chip denomination and click on the bet pocket to make your bet. Use basic blackjack strategy to determine your in-game hand decisions, and to help improve your chances of winning.

Land-based casinos offer a social aspect that is difficult to recreate online, but most live blackjack games will give you the option to chat to the dealer and other players. The chat function could be presented as a separate pop-up window, or built into the game interface. This gives live dealer blackjack a more social aspect than you would find in traditional online blackjack games.

One of the advantages to playing live dealer blackjack is that new players are less likely to inadvertently break etiquette rules than at a land-based casino. In a brick and mortar casino, you should not hand cash to the dealer, and there are particular rules for how to handle your chips. At a live dealer casino, you cannot break any of these rules. Live dealer blackjack etiquette is much simpler: be polite, greet the dealer, and keep chats light-hearted.

There are several other advantages of choosing a live dealer casino over a brick and mortar version:

  • You have a wider selection and variety of blackjack games available to you.
  • You can bet behind players if the game allows it, without asking the player's permission.
  • You can join a table in the middle of a shoe if a seat becomes vacant.
  • You can set gambling limits at live dealer casinos to help you manage your bankroll.
  • Live casinos tend to offer generous welcome bonuses to new players, and loyalty programmes to reward their regulars.
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Live Blackjack Software Providers

Evolution Gaming, Playtech and Pragmatic Play are three of the biggest names in the live dealer casino industry. Evolution Gaming is by far the biggest live-dealer software provider, and has set the industry standard with top quality video streaming, smooth gameplay and a wide variety of gaming options. With the acquisition of Ezugi and NetEnt, and the release of the first VR live casino game, Gonzo's Treasure Hunt, Evolution's giant status is growing even further.

Although Gonzo's Treasure Hunt is a slot-based live dealer game show, it will be interesting to see how Evolution can improve the live blackjack experience with VR technology. However, Playtech is developing new technology to add an augmented reality layer to its live blackjack, roulette and baccarat games, so Evolution's position as the industry leader may be challenged in the near future.

Live Blackjack Bets

One of the disadvantages to playing at live casinos in the past was the pace of play. Some live blackjack tables gave players 30 seconds to place their bets in between rounds, which caused a delay in gameplay. Live blackjack speed has improved as the technology developed, so gameplay is much quicker.

An important aspect to consider, particularly if you want to experiment with blackjack betting strategies, is the table betting limits. The smaller the bet size allowed, the smaller your base unit can be. If you use an aggressive progression system, the maximum table limits will also be an important consideration.

Live Blackjack Rules

The rules for playing blackjack at land-based casinos or live online casinos depend on the variant you choose, and the casino’s house rules. Casinos decide on each table's betting limits and whether a Blackjack hand pays out 3:2 or 6:5, or whether the dealer must stand on soft 17, for example. Rules will also vary on whether you can bet behind other players (ie. bet on their hands to win), surrender (fold your hand to retain half your initial stake) or place side bets. If you would like more information on blackjack rules, how to play, and the different blackjack game types, have a look at the following guides:

Tips For Live Blackjack And Live Blackjack Strategies

If you are ready to start playing live blackjack online, we have a few tips to help you to make the most of your bankroll:

  • Manage your Bankroll: It is always good practice to choose a table with a minimum bet that is in proportion to your budget. Ideally, the minimum bet should be 1% to 5% the size of your bankroll.
  • Use Basic Blackjack Strategy: Playing blackjack with a good strategy will give you the most mathematically advantageous options for any given hand. An advantage of playing at a live casino rather than a land-based one is that you can use your blackjack strategy chart for reference while you play.
  • Understand the Soft 17 Rule: If you are new to blackjack, choose games where the dealer must stand on 17. The Soft 17 Rule allows the dealer to hit on a soft 17 and potentially get a better hand. If you do choose to play these games, you need to adjust your blackjack strategy accordingly.
  • Don’t take insurance: Insurance bets have negative EV, which means that over time, you could lose money if you take them regularly.
  • Choose tables that pay 3:2 for Blackjack: Some tables will only pay out 6:5 on a Blackjack hand, so it makes sense to choose blackjack games that have better payouts.

Card Counting In Live Blackjack

Card counting refers to techniques that blackjack players use to give them an advantage by keeping a running tally of the cards that have been dealt in order to predict the cards that are likely to land in upcoming hands. There are several card counting strategies ranging in complexity from simple level-1 counts to more complicated level-4 strategies. If you would like to learn about card counting, have a look at the following guide:

It is extremely difficult to count cards while playing live blackjack, for a number of reasons. Live blackjack is typically played with 8 decks, and the shoe is usually replaced after 4 decks have been used. This makes it difficult to keep an accurate count. However, for players learning how to count cards, live dealer casino games can provide valuable blackjack strategy practice.

Card counting tips for new players:

  • Learn basic blackjack strategy and practice regularly before you start counting cards.
  • Choose a simple card-counting system to start off with. It is better to play quickly with a good basic blackjack strategy than to play slowly with a complicated counting system that is difficult to implement.
  • Always adjust your running tally to include the number of decks left in the shoe.

Live Blackjack Casinos: FAQ

♦️ Is online live blackjack safe?

If you choose a licensed, reputable online casino, then playing live blackjack online is as safe as playing in a land-based casino in terms of fair play and financial security. Licensed casinos are audited regularly to ensure fair play, and all financial transactions are protected by digital encryption, so your funds are always protected.

♣️ Can live blackjack be rigged?

It is possible to rig live casino blackjack, through use of bots to interrupt game flow, or by stacking the decks, or any number of other ways. However, the fact that it could happen does not mean that it does happen. Reputable, licensed casinos have too much to lose if they rig their games, because they are regulated and audited by their licensing bodies and could lose all their credentials if they are found to be cheating.

♥️ How do casino bonuses work for live blackjack?

Most casinos will offer new players a deposit match welcome bonus when they fund their accounts for the first time. In many cases, these bonuses may exclude live casino games, or the live casino wagers will not contribute towards the wagering requirements. However, some casinos offer bonuses specifically for live blackjack or other live casino games. These tend to have favourable wagering requirements and are intended to allow new players to explore the live blackjack games with some extra funds from the casino.

♠️ Are there any free live blackjack tables?

You may find live blackjack options at social or sweepstake-based casinos, where you can play for virtual coins. Online casinos seldom offer free live blackjack tables. If you find a casino that offers a great Live Casino bonus, you can play with bonus funds without risking your own money - and you can win real money, too.

♦️ What’s the minimum bet in live blackjack?

Depending on the live blackjack game you choose, you could place bets from as little as £0.50. If you choose a live blackjack game with limited seats, the minimum bets start at £5 and increase for the more exclusive tables. However, if you choose a game like Free Bet Blackjack or Live Common Draw Blackjack, you can place bets from £1, while games like Blackjack Party and Pegasus Unlimited allow bets from £0.50.

♣️ Are the live blackjack odds the same as regular online blackjack?

Blackjack odds vary significantly depending on the individual game rules. The Soft 17 rule, the number of decks in play, rules around whether you can double after a split or re-split aces all have a big impact on the odds. The Blackjack payout ratios also influence the house edge. The odds of online blackjack games vary depending on these rules rather than on whether the game is live or RNG-based, unless you are a superb card counter and can influence the odds in a Live Dealer game.

♥️ How do I know the casino offers fair live blackjack games?

The best way to find out if a casino provides fair live blackjack games is to check its licensing information. A reputable online casino needs to hold a valid license for the region in which it operates, and the software needs to be fully licensed. In addition, if it holds extra accreditation from an industry watchdog like eCOGRA, it means that the casino is audited regularly to ensure fair play.