Live Dealer Blackjack

Live Dealer Blackjack has all of the intrigue, excitement and even the banter of a real-life casino, all from the comfort of your own home. It’s become a standard now that casinos in New Zealand which offer a live casino platform will have blackjack as a flagship game.

If you want some specifics, check out our recommended casinos below and see where you might like to experiment with Live Dealer Blackjack!

About Live Dealer Blackjack

Many prospective players think that “live casino” simply means an animated dealer who dishes out the cards – they are mistaken! With Live Dealer Blackjack, there’s a licensed dealer looking straight into a live-streaming camera, using real cards, on a real table, to manage your game. Since you can chat to the dealer (through text) and see things going on around him, you get to enjoy a totally immersive, real-world experience.

In terms of rules and gameplay, it’s just normal blackjack. If you get dealt 21, you’re guaranteed a win; if you keep hitting until you break 22+, you’re out. If you’re a little hazy on the rules of the game, visit our blackjack page for a handy explanation.

Where to Play in New Zealand

Live Dealer Blackjack is completely legal in New Zealand, and we make sure to only recommend casinos which are fully licensed, have a history of good customer service and which have invested in top-quality live casino software.

Game Variations

There are near-countless variations of blackjack which have been developed over the years, but only the most popular ones will be used at live dealer casinos. Here’s a quick overview of some of them:

  • Bet Behind – If your favourite table is full, you can bet on a specific player’s hand. You’ll have no control over the betting, but if you’ve been watching and find someone talented, you’ll win whenever they do. You’ll also get first dibs on a seat when someone leaves.
  • Side Bets – Making bets away from the “main” bet: a common side bet is Perfect Pairs, where you bet on the player and dealer receiving the same cards. Side bets are usually high yield but low probability.
  • Single deck – Playing with just 52 cards (rather than the more-customary 4, 6 or 8 decks) offers slightly better odds for the gambler, though it’s not available at all casinos.
  • Multi-seat – You can hold multiple seats at a single blackjack table, allowing you to make various different bets. This is very common in traditional online casino, and really enhances the game.

Betting Limits

Different casinos have different betting limits – it depends on the audience to which the casino is catering: some support players looking for $1/2/5 stakes, whereas others may have maximum bets of several thousand bucks. To give you an indication, here’s a per-casino breakdown for some of our favourite establishments.

Mobile

In the age of tablets and always-improving smartphones, mobile casino has been booming. The obvious advantage to playing on mobile is that, no matter where you are, you can access the tables immediately and starting wagering. Good casinos will have mobile-optimised screens so that the playing experience is still okay, though you’ll get a higher-quality visual experience playing on a full-sized computer for sure.

To get you started, check out our table of recommended casinos for mobile play, as well as the games they have on offer.

Live Dealer Blackjack Software

All online casino games are developed by independent companies and are then licensed to the casino itself. The number of casino software developers is growing all the time, which means that casinos have access to a huge number of games!

You might find totally different live dealer blackjack games at Playtech casino than you would at an Evolution Gaming or Netent establishment. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Playtech – Standard 7-Seat and Unlimited blackjack available, as well as dealer chat, VIP tables and the ability to mask bets from others at the table.
  • Evolution Gaming – They are the grandaddy of live dealer casino. Can play various side bets (perfect pairs, 21+3) as well as betting behind. Many VIP tables.
  • Netent – Common Draw and 7-seat blackjack available. You can also adjust video quality but can’t place side bets.
  • Amaya Gaming – Multi-game play as well as bet behind and pre-decision available. You can create custom playing chips.
  • Extreme Live Gaming – Live dealer chat, multi-seat option and side bets (21+3, perfect pairs and bet behind) with fast betting times.
  • Ezugi – Full dealer’s schedule (you can choose your favourite!), in-game statistics and an early payout option. Can also make the usual side bets.

Live Dealer Blackjack vs RNG

RNGs refer to classic online casino games, run by Random Number Generators. These ensure fair play despite the lack of a real dealer, and use animations to create a nice, casino-like experience for players. These are sensationally popular across the world, but they lack that edge you get with live dealer games.

With a real dealer with whom you can talk and interact, as well as physical cards on a real table, live dealer blackjack is just much more immersive and realistic than using an RNG. However, RNGs run much faster, since a computer handles the dealing, wins and losses in a fraction of a second. There are definitely pros and cons to each type of game, so give it a bit of thought before committing. If in doubt, try both!

Card Counting

Counting cards is a system of observation which allows you to estimate what percentage of high-value cards remain in the deck. Knowing this, players can choose to place bets at the opportune moment where the odds of winning big are highest. It’s also known as cheating.

It’s always possible to count cards when playing blackjack (except in RNG games), but what really matters is how reliable the count becomes. Most people agree that given how regularly the deck is shuffled at live dealer casinos, it’s impossible to get a reliable count. The deck re-shuffling is to make sure the game stays nice and fair for all players.

Short answer? Card counting won’t work unless the dealer makes a mistake and forgets to shuffle.

In RNGs, the draws are completely random every time and so it’s physically impossible to count cards at all.

Is Live Dealer Blackjack Fair?

Yes. As well as following the exact same regulatory procedures as land-based casinos, there is a pit boss who directly overlooks the table to ensure that nothing is amiss and that everything is fair. Think about it this way: the odds favour the casino anyway, and they’re always going to turn a profit. Skirting the rules just isn’t worth the risk!

Free Games

You can find “demo” versions of RNG blackjack at the majority of online casinos, though given the costs and limited resources of live dealer games, you’re unlikely to find a free play option for these. An alternative is to look online for videos of live dealer games, which will show you what gameplay is really like.

Conclusion

Live Dealer Blackjack is an utterly different experience to classic online casino. You can play with all the style of vegas without the expensive flights and accommodation. If you realise you’re late for dinner, then simply logout and carry on when you get home! It’s immersive, it’s great fun, and it’s the 21st century way to play blackjack.