Live Blackjack

Blackjack is a very popular casino game. It is easy to learn and play for real money. However, if you want to get all it has to offer, you need the right strategy and information about the game.

On this page, you will be learning just that. You will also find the answer to all of your questions regarding blackjack.

What is Live Blackjack Online?

You might have played Blackjack before in a real, brick-and-mortar casino. It’s a fun card game with good winning odds. Live blackjack online offers the same casino experience except you can play from almost anywhere. All you need is a good internet connection and a smartphone, iPhone, tablet, PC, or laptop.

The live blackjack online experience is better than regular virtual Blackjack because you get a real professional dealer and gaming table broadcast straight to your device. Everything about the game is real, except you don’t have to travel to the casino or dress up for the occasion. Even the atmosphere of the casino is captured.

How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack is a popular card game also known as Twenty-One. The aim is to achieve a higher score than the dealer without exceeding 21. All players compete against the dealer. Two cards are initially dealt face up to all players. The dealer is also dealt two cards, except one is faced down.

In Blackjack, a 2-card hand with an Ace and a 10-value card is called a “natural” or “Blackjack”. The dealer does not turn his/her second card over straight away unless the face-up card is an ace or 10-value card. Should the dealer score 21 with the first two cards, any player not equaling the feat loses.

Rules of Blackjack

A game of Blackjack is hosted by a dealer and includes between 5 and 7 other players. Up to 8 packs of cards are shuffled. If the dealer does not score a 10 or an ace with his/her first card, play moves in a clockwise fashion.

Players can draw more cards by declaring “hit” or motioning to the dealer. They can bet on the hand they have by declaring “stand” or again by motioning. The dealer is obliged to stand on a hand of 17 or more. Other betting options are open to players, including splitting pairs and doubling down.

Live Casino Blackjack NZ

Basic Strategy for Blackjack

Knowing when to hit and stand is one part of a good Blackjack strategy. You’d usually hit with a hand below 17 if the dealer has 7 or over. If the dealer has 2-6, the player should stand at 12 or over. The idea is to let the dealer take the risk.  

You can split a pair in Blackjack and play two hands with double the bet. Usually, you’d always split pairs of aces or 8s. Two 8s is considered a middling, problematic hand. “Doubling down” means doubling your bet against just one more dealt card. A hand of 9-11 is best for this.

Some other strategies include:

Split a Pair of 8s and Aces

It does not matter what upcard the dealer has. Make it a habit to always split a pair of 8s and Aces. While this strategy can always be trusted, lots of players fail to split a pair of 8s when the dealer has an upcard of Ace, 10, or 9. They act this way because they already consider themselves underdogs and assume there will be no need to split. This might seem great. The truth, however, is when you play two hands, you become less of an underdog.

Double Down on a Hard 11

Your likelihood of winning more money increases when you double down on hard 11 while playing against a dealer’s upcard. It is generally preferred to hitting in all games. Although this is a good strategy, it has an exception.

When involved in a multi-deck game where the dealer has to stand on soft 17 because of the rules binding the game, you will do a lot better when you go against a dealer Ace.

Avoid Splitting a Pair of 5s or Tens

A pair of 5s can be regarded as a hard 10. You will do a lot better when you take a one-or-more-card draw to ten over splitting a pair of 5s. Although when you split 10s, you will be dealing more with a winning play, your likelihood of winning is greatly increased when you keep the 10s together and play as 20.

Stand with a Pair of 9s

Many players are aware they simply need to split a pair of 9s when they are involved with a dealer’s upcard that is 9 or less than 9. They, however, are unable to cope properly when the dealer presents a 7. In a situation like this, you will get the best result when you stand. Standing will help you win a bit more money than when you split.

Play Blackjack in New Zealand

There are six physical casinos in New Zealand where you can play Blackjack. They’re in Dunedin, Christchurch, Auckland, Hamilton, and Queenstown. There are two in Queenstown. All but the first two are run by the Skycity Entertainment Group, whose shares are traded on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges.

Getting a game of Blackjack online in New Zealand is a bit more complicated, but not too troublesome. Players can legally gamble provided the mobile casino is not based in New Zealand. Many international online casinos accept New Zealand Dollars as currency, meaning there are no foreign exchange fees attached to playing.

FAQ Online Blackjack

Will playing blackjack give the player the ‘best’ odds?

Yes, it will! Like all games, it depends on the player’s skill and the rules of the specific game. But unlike most casino games, if it uses Las Vegas Strip rules and allows for doubling down after splitting, the player actually is a slight favorite, assuming they use the ‘correct’ strategy.

What are Las Vegas Strip rules then?

The Vegas rules refer to games that are common to downtown Las Vegas. What it means, in this case, is that doubling down is allowed on any two cards, the dealer hits on soft-17, and also allows for resplits and insurance. What you can’t do is resplit aces or double after splitting.

What is the ‘correct’ strategy you were talking about?

For these set of rules, there’s only one ‘correct’ strategy. All casinos don’t offer the same rules, though; the strategy is slightly different from game to game. For starting out, there are several books out there, like Theory of Blackjack and Basic Blackjack.

What about other players? Do they impact my success?

Nope! What the other players at the table are doing has no impact on the way you ought to be playing. Bad players help as much as they hurt.

Why in the world should I buy insurance, or ‘even money’?

You shouldn’t if you’re playing by strategy. If you’re counting cards, you’d know when this bet is profitable. If in an insurance situation, take your chances. You’re 60% likely to win the hand anyway, so it’s not worth taking the even money.

What’s the worst play people often make?

Putting aside foolish plays, it’s taking an 8-8 or 7-7 hand and standing. You lose 70% of the time when you stand on those hands. Best practices would have you split them and take your chances.

Aren’t single-deck games better than multi-deck games?

Sort of. Multi-deck games do indeed give the house a slight advantage over single-deck games, but at the same time, single-deck games more commonly give the house an inherent advantage in the rules.

If blackjack is more favorable than other casino games, why are you not making multiple millions instead of writing about it?

Even if it’s possible to play to a slight advantage, that doesn’t mean the money will roll in. Blackjack has three factors you control: your skill, your bankroll, and your risk. Even a highly skilled player with a big bankroll can only make small, steady gains without risking losing a great deal.

Don’t casinos still ban counters?

They do. Casinos have the right to be rid of those who hurt their bottom line.[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Should I be worried about cheating?”]Only if you’re playing off the main floors. It’s easier to rig single-deck games. Stay alert, and leave the table if something’s funny.

Let’s say I count cards. How much can I win then?

Even if you’re counting cards, it’s possible they don’t come your way. It’s based on skill level, bankroll, and the level of risk, but it also factors in the rules of the game you’re playing. The best card counters still only gain around a 1% advantage over the house.

Isn’t card counting illegal?

No, but it isn’t easy to do it like in the movies.

Well, what’s the ‘best’ card-counting system?

There really isn’t a ‘best’ way, really. For shoe deck games, all systems perform within tiny percentages of each other. For single deck games though, a multi-level count with an ace side-count shows significant improvement over other counts. Even a simple count of high cards and low cards can increase your chances, though.

So when should you count cards?

Games in which you know when to take insurance and when to stand on a 16 versus a dealer showing 10.

Why do casinos still offer blackjack when you can beat it?

The losses from successful card counters are insignificant compared to mistakes, bad counters, and bad players.

Is card counting the only way to beat the game?

Most holes get filled though because casinos like making money, but you can still find opportunities. Terms you might want to look up include: flashing, peeking, hole carding, next carding, front-loading, shuffle tracking, side bets, mistakes, new games, tells, comps, coupons, loss rebates, and many others.

How should you evaluate a blackjack game?

If you’re a card counter, look for fast games. If you’re a strategy player, look for a single deck game with the best rules. If you’re a gambler, look for casinos with comp policies, single-deck games, and few options.

What books should I read before I start?

The Bible of Blackjack is Edward Thorp’s Beat the Dealer. It’s a little outdated, but vital. Griffin’s Theory of Blackjack is also a must-read.

I want to learn how.

Read those books! Learn perfect basic strategy, and keep your bets small. Be skeptical of advice claiming better than 1.5%. Be disciplined and patient.

So what’s the ‘secret’?

Balancing knowledge, skill, bankroll, and risk. The big secret is staying dedicated to the game. Don’t just focus on blackjack; be alert for other opportunities.

Where are the ‘best’ games?

You can find the best games in Stanford Wong’s Current Blackjack News newsletter.