As we touched on above, there are many different varieties of live dealer blackjack. Here are some of the most popular.
American blackjack is also commonly known as classic blackjack. The Return To Player (RTP) can hit up to 99.65%, although you’ll need to follow an optimal blackjack strategy to bring down the house edge. This involves memorizing the best moves depending on your starting hand and the dealer’s up card. It takes hard work, but it can be seriously effective. Bear in mind that the more decks in play, the lower the RTP.
Generally speaking, American blackjack favours the player more than other variants. The main difference is that the dealer can immediately tell if they have a natural 21 before you place any extra wagers. Subsequently, there’s less chance of doubling down and losing more bankroll if the dealer already has a natural blackjack.
The payouts during American blackjack are similar to other variants, although many live dealer software providers have added bonus bets and other special features to the gameplay. You can find the standard blackjack payout ratios below:
- Natural Blackjack – 3:2
- Insurance – 2:1
- Winning Without Blackjack – 1:1
All leading live blackjack dealer software providers offer at least one classic variant. Playtech, Pragmatic Play, and Evolution are commonly regarded as the gold standard for live dealer blackjack games, offering a rich variety of tables, multi-angle HD cameras, and exceptionally qualified croupiers.
Our all-time favourites are Evolution’s Lightning Blackjack and Free Bet Blackjack. The former throws Lightning Card 2x–25x multipliers into the mix, while the latter offers free double down and free split bets.
These variations give European blackjack a slightly lower 99.6% RTP than the American version. Nevertheless, it still resembles one of the best online casino games where average payouts are concerned. You’ll have to follow blackjack strategy guides to get the most out of this card game, so we recommend doing in-depth research and revision before playing with real money.
This is particularly important when opting to split aces or other high-value cards during European blackjack. The insurance of knowing whether the dealer has a natural blackjack before upping the ante in the American version is no longer available. As a result, you must be more careful and consider the possibilities of the dealer’s potential hand with more scrutiny. The same goes for doubling down. You stand to lose far more during European blackjack, so it generally requires additional patience and understanding.
On the flipside, this variant typically involves just two decks. This can differ with live blackjack online options, so it isn’t a given. Players have a better shot at card counting with just two decks in play, and with the absence of Random Number Generators (RNGs) in live dealer games, this can be an effective strategy if you can take advantage. The base payouts are largely the same as American blackjack, but software developers are known to add their own flourishes.
Live blackjack dealer games are less likely to use the European rules nowadays, although Canadian players can still find this variant at many platforms. Playtech’s comprehensive Live Blackjack Suite offers the choice of European or American rules. All variants involve eight decks, but players can make side bets such as bet behind and perfect pairs.
Vegas Strip Blackjack
Players looking for live blackjack dealer games with Vegas Strip rules generally have many options to choose from. However, many titles won’t explicitly mention “Vegas Strip” in the title, so you may have to do added research to find what you’re after. Playtech arguably has the most intuitive approach, allowing players to choose which rules they prefer before playing.
There are several advantageous elements to Vegas Strip blackjack. For example, you can split cards up to three times (but only once for aces). Additionally, all high-value 10 cards can be split even if they aren’t the same (e.g. a king and a queen). This blackjack variant also has a more relaxed approach to doubling down, so you can have more success if you play your cards right.
Geoff Hall, a card counter and casino enthusiast, invented Blackjack Switch at the turn of the century and went on to patent his creation in 2009. It offers players a greater deal of flexibility and can boost the RTP to an impressive 98.54%. However, as with all blackjack variants, this massively depends on successfully following blackjack strategy principles.
One thing to remember regarding Blackjack Switch is that natural 21s have a 1:1 payout instead of 3:2. This may put some players off, but the ability to switch your second cards can make it easier to hit a blackjack. Additionally, this exciting variant has an exclusive “Super Match” side bet. This can pay out a maximum of 40:1 if you have four of the same cards in your hands.