7 Tips for Beating Live Dealer Blackjack

By in Casino & Gaming on
7 Minute Read

Live-dealer blackjack provides a totally different way to enjoy online blackjack. It streams action directly from a casino studio to deliver an authentic feeling.

In essence, you get the best of both worlds, including the convenience of internet blackjack and the live experience.

Of course, just like with online or land-based blackjack, you stand to win more money in the live version when using good strategy. The tips covered below will boost your chances of beating live dealer casinos.

1 – Choose a Game With a Low House Edge

For the most part, live-dealer gaming sites feature better odds than land-based casinos. Nevertheless, they can differ on the exact rules that they offer.

For Example:

One live casino might allow you to double down on any total. Another may restrict double downs to totals ranging from 9 to 11, or 10 to 11.

That said, you always want to pay special attention to the rules involved with any live blackjack game. The more player friendly the rules, the lower the house edge will be.

Here are some of the main rules to keep an eye on along with their effect on the house edge:

  • 3:2 pay outs for natural blackjack hands – Lowers house edge by 1.39%.
  • Single deck (vs. eight decks) – Lowers house advantage 0.59%.
  • Double down with all totals (vs. just 10 & 11) – Lowers the casino edge 0.25%.
  • Dealer has to stand on soft total of 17 (vs. hitting) – Lowers the casino edge 0.20%.
  • Double down even after you split – Lowers the casino advantage 0.17%.
  • Re-splitting additional pairs of aces – Lowers the casino edge 0.08%.
  • You can surrender late – Lowers the casino advantage 0.07%.

You can find the rules by visiting the info section on the game screen. The idea here is to find out how many rules go in your favor

Some casinos even put a game’s house edge within the info section. In this case, you don’t need to do any guesswork after reading the rules.

2 – Learn Proper Strategy

Blackjack is one of the most-strategic casino games. That said, you stand a stronger chance to win money when you know basic strategy.

The internet is filled with articles, charts, and videos that will help improve your skills. Out of these options, charts are optimal for learning blackjack strategy in the quickest manner possible.

A chart shows what decisions you should make in every instance. If you refer to a strategy chart long enough, you may memorize everything and not even need it in the future.

Videos can also be helpful if you’re an audio learner. You can sit back and listen to somebody else explain how to play blackjack.

In any case, the goal is to improve your skills so that you make better decisions and lower the house edge. It’s definitely worth learning strategy for live blackjack when considering how much more you stand to win in the long run.

3 – Don’t Use Bet Behind

Live-dealer blackjack is much like the land-based version in that seats are limited. Each table only seats a maximum of seven gamblers.

However, live casinos get around this limitation by offering a feature called bet behind. The latter refers to when you bet on the action of a seated player.

You don’t need to worry about making any hand decisions yourself in this situation. You simply choose one or more players to bet on and let the action play out.

Bet behind is a nice feature if you want to get action when limited seats are available. However, it also robs you of any control over the situation.

As discussed in the point before, blackjack features a good deal of strategy. You can boost your chances of winning by making the correct decision in each instance.

Unfortunately, you can’t influence the action when you’re not the one who’s actually making decisions. Instead, you’re entirely reliant on the seated player’s skill.

Your best option is to learn strategy and only play when there’s an available seat. If you do use bet behind, you should only do so for low stakes and pure entertainment.

4 – Take Advantage of a Free Live Blackjack Bet

Some online casinos offer you a free bet to try blackjack or another game. These free bets provide an opportunity to play live blackjack without technically risking anything.

Here’s an example of how a free blackjack bet works:

  • A live casino offers a free wager worth up to $25.
  • You deposit and take advantage of this deal.
  • You bet $25 and lose.
  • You have an opportunity to earn the funds back by meeting terms and conditions.

The last part is key to a risk-free blackjack bet. You must satisfy all terms and conditions before regaining your losses.

Playthrough (rollover) is easily one of the most-important terms behind a bonus deal. It refers to what you must wager before regaining losses from a free bet.

Here’s an example on how playthrough works:

  • You receive a free live blackjack bet.
  • You wager and lose $25.
  • Playthrough is 10x.
  • 25×10 = $250 must be wagered.

Of course, these offers come with other T&C’s. Therefore, you should look over and learn all of the terms before chasing any offer related to live-dealer casinos.

5 – Don’t Be Consumed by Chatting With the Dealer

One big benefit to playing live dealer blackjack, versus traditional online blackjack, is that there’s a social element involved.

You can use the chat box to communicate with the dealer. In turn, the croupier can respond verbally to any question or comment you send their way.

Assuming you can’t make it to a brick-and-mortar casino, then live-dealer blackjack is the next best thing. However, you may also get distracted if you’re trying to chat with the dealer.

These distractions can lead you to playing poor blackjack. That said, you should enjoy the social aspect of live-dealer tables without getting carried away.

You may need some time to acclimate yourself to playing online blackjack while also communicating with a dealer. After a while, though, you shouldn’t experience much trouble with this juggling act.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to balance enjoying yourself on the live-dealer blackjack tables while also playing well.

6 – Exercise Bankroll Management

Live blackjack is more expensive than traditional online blackjack based on two aspects:

  • Minimum bets are typically $5 (versus $1).
  • Many gamblers find the live version more exciting and, thus, play longer.

Bankroll management takes center stage when you play live-dealer blackjack. It helps ensure that you’ll minimize losses during cold streaks and avoid losing too much money at once.

As for managing your bankroll, you should first set a budget. To do this, you want to go through your monthly expenses and decide how much you can afford to lose.

Of course, the goal is to win profits. But you should be prepared and ensure that you’re not risking money you can’t afford to lose.

Here’s an example:

  • You go through your savings and monthly finances.
  • You have $200 to lose.
  • You’ll be betting $5 per blackjack hand.
  • $200 / 5 = 40 bets

The next step is to put a stop-loss limit on your play. A stop-loss limit encourages you to quit playing during a rough session and live to fight another day.

Here’s an example on stop-loss limits:

  • You have 40 total bets.
  • You set a stop-loss limit of 10 wagers.
  • You’ll quit playing any time that your bankroll drops by 10 bets.

7 – Skip Card Counting

Blackjack is one of the few games that give you a chance to beat the house. You can use card counting to gain the upper hand on the casino.

Card counting involves tracking card values to figure out when the shoe is rich in aces/10-value cards. This is the point when you stand a better chance of getting a natural blackjack and beating the dealer (more high cards hurts the croupier).

You may think that card counting works in both land-based and live-dealer casinos. After all, both settings feature real cards, tables, and dealers.

However, you’ll get nowhere counting cards in live casinos. Each live-dealer site shuffles the shoe too frequently for you to gain an edge.

In Order to Beat the Casino, You Need Deck Penetration

The latter term refers to how far into the shoe a dealer goes before shuffling. Deck penetration provides more confidence in your account. When you bet more with a positive count and see more penetration (e.g. 70% or better), you stand a much better chance of winning money.

In contrast, you can’t enjoy as much confidence in a positive count with less than 70% deck penetration. Live-dealer tables shuffle the deck at anywhere between 25% to 50% penetration.

That said, you’ll never be able to enjoy a true advantage in live casinos. You should save counting for the brick-and-mortar casinos.


Live blackjack isn’t much different than the land-based version. Nevertheless, you should still know tips that relate directly to the live version.

For example, you want to take advantage of free bets whenever possible. Casinos offer free wagers when you sign up and deposit.

The chat function provides another example. You must strike a balance between chatting with the dealer and still using good strategy.

In summary, you’ll enjoy a strong chance to win in live-dealer blackjack by following the seven tips covered here. You should refer to this guide whenever you need some help winning in live blackjack.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

View all posts by Michael Stevens
Email the author at: [email protected]