Live Dealer Blackjack vs. Online Blackjack: Which Is Better?

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BetMGM Dec 26, 2023, 4:32 AM

Blackjack is the second-most popular game at both brick-and-mortar and online casinos after slots and online slots. Many players wonder whether live dealer blackjack or online blackjack is the preferred format. 

While it’s tough to match the thrills and atmosphere of a real-life casino floor, live online casinos come pretty close.

Read on to discover the main differences between blackjack as a live dealer game and its online counterpart, considering various aspects such as gameplay, interaction, and realism. 

What Is Live Dealer Blackjack?

Live dealer blackjack features a real-life dealer at a physical table that is available to online casino players via live stream. 

Players are dealt physical cards from a 6-deck or 8-deck shoe, just like in a land-based casino. However, players bet using digital chips, and clicking to hit, stand, double down, or split. 

A chat feature allows players to interact with other players at live blackjack tables online, as well as with the dealer.

What Is Online Blackjack?

Online blackjack games utilize random number generators (RNGs) to accurately mimic the chance element of real-life blackjack. Players elect to play with computerized graphics and a virtual dealer. 

The only major difference is that all the decks in a shoe are shuffled between each hand, which, compared to strategic play at a live dealer table, makes it more difficult to go on a “hot streak.”

Accessibility

When it comes to accessibility, digital blackjack trumps live dealer blackjack. For starters, because online blackjack has no time restrictions on moves or hands, you may play at your own pace. 

If you need a seat any time of the day, you can always find one when playing blackjack online, whereas there are a limited number of tables available in online live blackjack casinos. The latter may also have a restricted schedule and operate only at select times. 

Lastly, if you’ve never played blackjack before, the easiest way to learn is by using a simple strategy card while playing the free versions of the digital edition. For live dealer blackjack, there’s no demo practice mode.

The Best Odds

Technically speaking, although all types of blackjack have roughly the same odds as long as you use basic blackjack strategy, their return to players (RTPs) vary between 99–99.8%. 

Since live dealer blackjack involves a shuffled 6-deck or 8-deck shoe, counting cards is possible (though not encouraged). For instance, if you increase your bets when there are more tens in the deck, you could be banned from an online casino. 

Online blackjack will give you consistency but may lack advantages based on card distribution. Switching between the two versions strategically can enhance your overall odds.

The Best for Your Budget

You can find digital blackjack that accepts bets as low as $0.10 per hand, which is super budget-friendly, but that doesn’t necessarily make it player-friendly. 

Even $1 blackjack is nearly impossible to find at any brick-and-mortar casino in the U.S., whereas most types of digital blackjack have a $1 table minimum.

Meanwhile, the minimums at live dealer tables can be as high as $30, $50, and even $100. Because of superior odds, finding an option under $20 is difficult.

Most Immersive Experience

Playing live dealer blackjack is the closest experience you can get to entering a real-life casino floor without leaving your home. For online casino games to compete with the immersion of a live dealer stream would be a tough ask. 

The only exception might be when virtual reality (VR) gets involved, though this medium is still in its infancy at online casinos. 

While many players these days gamble on the go using their smartphones, the bigger the screen, the more immersive the live blackjack casino experience will be.

Other Things To Consider

You can always find a table in an online casino blackjack game because it’s just you and the house. If speed is of the essence, it may be your better option; the game moves as quickly as you hit the bet button. By contrast, because live dealers dictate their own pace, it’s a marginally slower game.

On the other hand, waiting on dealers and other players might be preferable for some blackjack gamblers looking for long-term play. 

Even though you’ll find more blackjack variants at online casinos, not all these versions translate well to live tables. So, if you like things a little wacky and different, you’re better off sticking to online games.

Pick One or Both

You don’t have to make a hard choice between live dealer blackjack and the online version since both have their pros and cons. Many players continue to enjoy both options and cross between the two formats as it suits them. Try both for yourself when you register with BetMGM, the premium online casino offering superior rewards and a wide selection of games, including jackpot slots.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.