Australians can no longer play online casino games, as of September 2017 and should use this page as an informational source only.
Live dealer blackjack combines the ease of online gambling with the real-life feel of playing in a traditional land-based casino. Games are dealt by hand and streamed live in HD to your computer or smart device, so you can follow every bit of the action and enjoy an immersive casino atmosphere without having to leave the house.
But where can you find the best live blackjack online? And how do these titles stack up against brick-and-mortar casino games and all-digital versions of 21 in terms of payout odds and house edge?
Here are our favourite real-time 21 games for desktop and mobile, available now at our top-ranked casino sites.
Live dealer blackjack games
Not all online casinos offer live dealer blackjack. The extra expense involved in running a real-time casino table – dealers, pit bosses and technical staff don’t work for free, after all – means there are fewer titles available compared to the raft of RNG-based blackjack games out there. Some operators prefer to focus all their attention on digital titles rather than branching into such a “niche market”, as they see it.
However, as public awareness of such games grows year on year, the leading real money casino developers are always expanding and improving their live dealer catalogues. There are dozens and dozens of different tables to choose from already, and that number will only rise over the coming years. These are our top picks.
For range, quality and accessibility, Evolution is the king of live dealer gaming online at the moment. A wide range of table types and betting limits means there is something for every kind of player, from the casual flutterer to the hardcore high-stakes gambler, while the performance, service and production values of all games are second to none.
There are four categories of Evolution Gaming live blackjack:
Blackjack Party – A fun, fast hybrid game which incorporates a digital deck to allow a virtually limitless number of players at a time. Highly interactive hosts and a $0.50 minimum bet make this a great option for the recreational punter.
Blackjack Live – These are your ‘standard’ live 21 tables, with a broad selection of dealers and bet limits available all day, every day. Wagering starts at $5 per hand and maxes out at $200, leaving plenty of room for all types of players.
Blackjack Live VIP – EG’s premium blackjack games take bets up to $1000 per hand and feature some of the most experienced and professional dealers in the business, both male and female. Tables are available in ‘Silver’ and standard ‘VIP’ editions.
Platinum VIP Blackjack Live – The real high rollers need look no further. Bet up to $5000 per hand on the VIP Platinum and VIP Fortune tables and enjoy the most authentic high-stakes blackjack experience on the World Wide Web.
The oldest of all the major online casino developers, Microgaming is a world leader in live gambling on the Web. Its real-time blackjack games offer everything you would expect of a top-shelf provider, with an attractive, easy-to-use interface and eye-catching dealers. The wagering limits are best suited to those with a reasonable amount of cash to splash, ranging from $25 to $500 for seated players, but punters with somewhat tighter belts can bet behind for as little as $10.
All the croupiers in the Microgaming live casino are professional, engaging and easy on the eye. However, the discerning gambler who wants a little taste of the VIP gaming clubs of old can upgrade to Playboy Live Blackjack. It comes with the same user-friendly features and high-quality gameplay as the standard version, but with the sexiest live dealers dressed up as Playboy Bunnies.
Like Microgaming, NetEnt is one of the world’s most respected providers of RNG-based online casino games. But the Scandinavian brand also boasts a very classy live dealer platform which displays the same level of graphic excellence and immersive gameplay qualities as its online pokies and table games.
Perhaps the best thing about these games is that every kind of player is accounted for, from the smallest minnow to the biggest whale. The standard NetEnt Live Blackjack tables feature a $1/$200 bet limit, which is well affordable for new players while offering more than enough fare for those with stouter appetites. But then there is VIP Live Blackjack, where betting starts at $200 and is capped at some $10,000 per hand. We haven’t seen another version of online 21 which offers that kind of scope for the big spenders.
These guys produce a wide array of live casino games, covering everything from roulette and baccarat to keno and lotto. The video streams are reliable, the layouts and interfaces are clear and easy to use, and the dealers know what they’re doing. You can also choose between English- and Spanish-speaking croupiers.
The Ezugi Live Blackjack tables are aimed at low- and mid-level bettors, with a $10 minimum and $200 maximum per hand. They also offer side bets, for those so inclined, in the form of Perfect Pairs and the 21 + 3 wager. But the real selling point for this game is value, as a house edge of only 0.46 per cent makes it the most player-friendly of all the live blackjack variants at our recommended Internet casinos.
How to play live blackjack online
If you want to play online blackjack with live dealers, you need a casino account with real cash credits in it. These games aren’t cheap to run, so free-play tables simply aren’t feasible in either a fiscal or a logical sense. Signing up and making a deposit takes no time at a secure online casino site, all of which support secure instant transaction methods such as Visa, MasterCard, Entropay, Skrill, Neteller, POLi and Paysafecard.
You also need a device which can handle the technical requirements of live dealer casino games. Almost all online tables are optimised for instant play, which allows both Windows PC and Mac OS users to launch games via any Flash-enabled Internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) without having to install a casino suite or other additional software. A reliable high-speed Internet connection is also required to prevent drop outs and ensure premium video quality.
If those key criteria are met, all you have to do is log in at your favourite blackjack site, head to the ‘Live Casino’ section and start playing.
Mobile blackjack live for iOS and Android
Yes, some of the top real money casinos offer live dealer blackjack for mobile play. These titles are almost exactly the same as their desktop counterparts, except the conventional mouse-driven interface is replaced by advanced touch-and-swipe technology which allows you to make wagers and navigate the game with consummate ease.
While live mobile blackjack tables are compatible with most modern devices, their rich visuals and interactive nature make them best suited to tablet products and phones with larger screen displays. Furthermore, the technical demands of such games means they will tend to work most fluently on newer products with high-performance processors and up-to-date software platforms.
House edge comparison
Most live dealer blackjack games favour the casino by around 0.50 per cent. For those unfamiliar with the concept of house edge, that means a player who employs correct basic strategy can, in the long run, expect to lose about $0.50 out of every $100 they wager.
That figure stacks up extremely well against land-based blackjack games, and especially those at Vegas casinos. Recent decades have seen the average house edge on blackjack games rise to well over 0.50 per cent, with some versions offering considerably worse value than that.
Live dealer games also fare well against some of the most popular RNG blackjack titles. For example: Ezugi’s Live Blackjack tables favour the house by 0.46 per cent, which is lower than Net Entertainment’s Single Deck Blackjack (0.48 per cent) and many of Microgaming’s multi-hand Gold Series releases (0.59 per cent).
Ezugi – 0.46 per cent
Evolution Gaming – 0.49 per cent
Net Entertainment – 0.50 per cent
Microgaming – 0.51 per cent
Best live blackjack casinos
There are plenty of online casinos which are secure, reputable and have a wide range of games. Australians can no longer access these due to the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2016.
For international players, our top-ranked live dealer casino sites feature real money blackjack games from leading developers, so you can be assured of quality, reliability and fairness. Each of these sites is licensed and regulated by a trusted governmental gambling authority, runs certified SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology to protect its players, and accepts deposits many international currencies.
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