Guide to Live Dealer Blackjack Sites in the US
When online casinos began in the late 1990's, the games offered were a far cry from the sophisticated online games you’ll find today. However, the casino sites still faced a problem with certain games, as a number of players wouldn’t trust the virtual games, wrongly assuming that they would be ‘fixed’ to ensure the sites made profits.
As technology has advanced, and broadband has become commonplace, it has opened the door for ‘Live Dealer Casinos’ to enter the industry. These sites offer everything you’ll find at a bricks and mortar casino, as you’ll be gambling using actual cards dealt by a dealer in real time, streamed live to your laptop/device. These live dealer games also have an advantage over the virtual games, in that there is an added social aspect, with interaction possible between the player and the dealer – the player chatting through a chat box, the dealer responding verbally.
In this guide you will first find an overview of how way live dealer Blackjack works from the players perspective. I then move on to detail the options available to US gamblers including details of the sites that have stepped in and made these games possible.
How does Live Dealer Blackjack work?
When you play Blackjack at a live dealer casino, the dealer will be dealing your cards on a live stream and you’ll make your decisions in the same way as you would at a virtual casino - by clicking buttons on your screen. You’ll find customizable options, such as changing the view of the live dealer action from a 3D view where the dealer is facing you, to the dealer and the action in a window at the top of the screen. More than one player will be able to play any hand, the dealer playing the game in exactly the same way as they would if visiting a casino, moving from player to player. With up to 7 players in many games, the action can be slower than in the player v computer games that you might be used to.
Live Dealer casinos will in most cases employ attractive female dealers which have proven to make these games very popular. The dealers are always friendly and welcoming and will happily interact with the players at the table.
Some live dealer games play a game known as ‘Blackjack Early Payout’ where more than one player will be playing using the same hand, the games being played out using what is considered to be ‘basic strategy’. Should you choose to ‘stand’ and another player hits, the next card will have no effect on your particular hand (and will appear as a ‘ghost’ card on the screen).
Stakes in live dealer games are higher than for the virtual games. This is needed to make up for the overhead of setup, dealer wages and streaming technology. You'll find most casinos start at $5 stakes, though some allow you to play for $2.50c units too.
US Live Dealer Scene
There are a great number of live dealer casinos in operation in many parts of the World, especially in Europe, however the majority of these sites have pulled out of the US market – this due to the introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Fortunately, several US friendly casinos based offshore (usually the Caribbean nations or Central America) offer these games. They do not run the studios themselves, these are run by independent providers including Vegas Technology. Individual casinos license the streams, making the blackjack, roulette and sometimes Casino Holdem Poker tables available to their players.
Depositing and withdrawing from offshore casinos has become much easier in recent years. Payment methods include credit cards and money transfer services. As long as you stick with known brands, these casinos (many of which are also sportsbooks) are safe and reputable.
US Live Dealer Casinos offering Blackjack
5 Dimes Live Dealer Casino
You’ll find two different live dealer casinos at 5 Dimes. Firstly you can play at the games supplied by Vegas Live Dealer, where you’ll be able to enjoy both multi-player games (up to seven seats) and the early payout version of the game. The second option is to play the HD Live Dealer game, where you’ll play classic 7 seat Blackjack from an 8 deck shoe.
BetOnline Live Dealer Casino
Here you’ll be able to enjoy the HD Live Dealer games, where you’ll play the classic 7 seat game. Options for the players include split pairs, double down (including after split), insurance and surrender (where you’ll forfeit half of your bet). See www.betonline.ag for more
Grand Parker Live Dealer Casino
At this live dealer casino you’ll be able to enjoy the 7 seat game offered by Vegas Live Dealer. Blackjack will pay 3:2 and the dealer will stand on a hard 17 and draw on a soft 17. In this game, side bets are offered on pairs and rummy.
US Live Dealer Blackjack Summary
Once you play the live dealer Blackjack games, the virtual games start to seem very 'flat' in comparison. It is a bit of a cliche, but this really is the closest online experience you’ll find to an actual casino, and in many cases, it might actually replace the need to visit the casino! Live Dealer casinos have transformed the online gaming world, and it’s certain that these games will only improve as both computing devices and networks get better.