Live blackjack is the live casino variant of the traditional blackjack game. It was introduced in the mid-2000s and has become one of the most beloved live dealer games since. 

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How Does Live Blackjack Work?

Live dealer blackjack works a lot like the random number generator-powered variant in traditional online casinos. There are, of course, a few major differences between the two. RNG blackjack, for example, “shuffles” the cards before every round, whereas in live blackjack, there’s a shoe with several decks that are played through before shuffling. 

In front of the shoe, there’s a scanner that uses OCR to scan and recognize the cards being dealt. This is then transmitted by the game control unit to the user interface on your side. The same GCU then transmits your bets and decisions to the dealer’s display. An important part of the game is the camera that streams the actions of the dealer as they happen. 

Live Blackjack Rules

The rules of live blackjack are, in general, the same as the rules of the game played in casinos like Sun City or Montecasino. There can be certain deviations from the standard rules at South African live casinos. We'll cover them in more detail below.

As a reminder, here are the basic rules of blackjack that are common among all variants:

Card Values

What Does an Average Live Blackjack Hand Look Like

You sit down at the live blackjack table at your favourite South African online casino, decide your bet, and place the money in the appropriate spot - this is how you join the game. Live blackjack tables usually have several seats, with people joining and leaving the table at any time. Depending on the game rules, you can occupy one or more seats - this means one or more concurrent bets.

Winning Conditions

There is more than one way in which you can win a hand of live blackjack:

Some blackjack variants have extra winning conditions. For example, Five Card Charlie and Six Card Charlie games will pay you when you have a hand consisting of five or six cards, without exceeding a total of 21. For more details on these and the complete Blackjack glossary, check out this page.

Live Blackjack Variants

Several blackjack variants are used by live casinos today. Many of them are standard deviations from the basic rules, but there can be some that have extra rule variations or side bets you need to take into account. These are the most common live blackjack variants you may stumble upon at South African casinos:

Any deviations from the standard blackjack rules are listed in the game's rulebook accessible once you connect to the game. Make sure you read and understand them before you start playing to avoid any surprises.

Live Blackjack FAQ

  • What is Live Blackjack?

    Live blackjack is a way to play blackjack at online casinos. You play against a real dealer sitting in a studio streaming the action on the table directly to your computer or smartphone.

  • How to play live blackjack?

    The rules of live dealer blackjack - aside from a few variations - are the same as those for traditional blackjack.

  • How to win at live blackjack?

    Use a smart strategy and refer to the basic strategy charts to outwit the dealer and win at live blackjack.

  • When can you split in live blackjack?

    It depends entirely on the table rules and game variant. In essence, if you have two cards of identical value, you can split them into separate hands.

  • Is there insurance and other side bets in live blackjack?

    Yes, there is - insurance, as well as other side bets are a staple in live dealer blackjack.

  • How many live blackjack variants are there?

    There are dozens of live dealer blackjack variants. Check out your favourite South African online betting sites to explore them all.