Live Dealer Blackjack

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As every card player knows, there are many versions of the game called blackjack. From traditional Las Vegas rules to Spanish 21 and Double Exposure, variety adds to the enjoyment of play. That explains why almost all online casinos have multiple blackjack options within their table games line up.

But no matter what House rules are applied, playing against computer software makes the game feel mechanical. What’s more, many players are still distrustful of virtual cards dealt by a Random Number Generator. For excitement, suspense and authenticity, there is nothing quite like playing against a live dealer.

With this in mind, more and more online casinos are adding live dealer blackjack to their line up of table games. Dealers work out of studios that have the look of real land-based casinos and their actions are streamed directly to players’ computers via the Internet. Typically, players take their places at multi-player tables with the classic seven-seat layout. Many interfaces have chat functions for real-time communication, too.

Although the games run 24/7 with shifts of dealers to assure that play is available nonstop, during busy periods it can often be difficult to find a “seat” at popular casinos. To cope with demand, many of the suppliers of the video feeds have had to increase their capacity by expanding the blackjack sections of their studios or even adding dedicated blackjack rooms.

Opened in 2003, Playtech’s Asian dealer room was one of the very first to offer live blackjack. Today, the Manila-based studio provides standard multi-player blackjack dealt from an eight-deck shoe. Reshuffles occur whenever about four decks are left in shoe. Table limits are determined by the casino offering the feed. At bet365, for example, the stakes range from €10 to €500.

Live dealer blackjack is also offered out of Playtech’s newer “European Dealer Room” in Latvia. Betfair and Betfred are just two of the many notable online casinos that offer this feed. William Hill has adopted this version for its low-limit tables, which feature a €1 minimum wager and a maximum of €50.

Casino Web Cam was also launched in 2003 with a dealer studio based in San Jose, Costa Rica. Operating today as CWC Gaming, the company provides Ladbrokes with an eight-deck game, with table stakes of €5~€5,000. Because CWC has one of the biggest teams of live dealers anywhere, they are the preferred supplier for many other gaming sites, too such as BetInternet and Bet UK.

Another leader among live blackjack organisers is EntwineTech. The Alderney-based live casino software supplier claims over 33 licensees worldwide and manages two separate studio settings in Macau. Thousands of players can thus be served concurrently with games like Crazy 21 as well as traditional multi-player blackjack. Victor Chandler and 888.com were two of EntwineTech’s earliest customers.

Perhaps the biggest name currently in live dealer blackjack is Evolution Gaming, founded in 2006. Their games became so popular that three years later they had to expand the size of their Latvian dealer studio by 400% to accommodate more tables and dealers. One of Evolution Gaming’s top clients is William Hill, who contract a VIP table with stakes of €10~€20,000. Unibet is another, with a VIP table accepting wagers of €10~€10,000.

Of course, Microgaming also offers a live dealer blackjack platform, also broadcast from Riga, Latvia; clients include Roxy Palace, Royal Vegas, Canbet and Platinum Play. Meanwhile, HoGaming’s dealer studio in the Philippines is the source for Bodog 88’s live dealer Blackjack games, and London-based SuperCasino has live blackjack for play on the Internet as well as via dedicated SKY, Freesat and Freeview TV channels. At the same time, Vuetec Ltd. offers, live dealer blackjack streamed from the Fitzwilliam Card Club & Casino in Dublin, Ireland to players at Dublinbet and Lucklive Casino.

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