Live dealer blackjack has been popular for over a decade. It offers social elements that you can’t find through traditional online blackjack.
However, the coronavirus has made the live dealer version even more popular than ever. Nowadays, numerous blackjack players are logging onto live gaming sites.
I’m going to discuss why live dealer blackjack is popular amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ll also cover what makes it so special in comparison to the traditional (virtual) online version.
COVID-19 Has Deeply Affected Land Based Casinos
Many industries have been impacted by the coronavirus. But few have been hit as hard as the brick-and-mortar gambling industry.
Most land-based casinos around the world shut down in March 2020. Many have since reopened with certain restrictions in place.
First off, casinos require players to wear masks on the gambling floor. This measure is meant to prevent gamblers from spreading COVID to each other.
Secondly, players must maintain proper distancing from each other. Casinos can enforce this policy by requiring players to sit at least one slot machine or blackjack seat apart from each other.
All of these measures are important with regard to stopping the spread of the virus. However, they don’t do casinos any favors from a business perspective.
Some jurisdictions haven’t even allowed land-based venues to reopen. The UK, for example, was going to let their casinos open at the start of August 2020. However, they delayed this re-opening over fears that COVID numbers were too high.
Some gaming companies worry that they may never open certain establishments again. Station Casinos, which owns various properties throughout Las Vegas, has floated the possibility of permanently closing four of their Vegas casinos.
Live Blackjack Is the Perfect Substitute
Live dealer blackjack may not perfectly replicate the land-based casino environment. However, it’s a nice substitute if you don’t feel like visiting brick-and-mortar establishments during the COVID era.
Live blackjack gives you an opportunity to chat with the dealer. You can also make comments to the table as a whole through the chatbox.
It streams gambling action from a brick-and-mortar studio straight to your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Therefore, you get to feel like you’re playing in a land-based casino—even when you’re miles away from one.
Most importantly, you get the convenience of online gaming when playing at live dealer sites. You don’t have to travel anywhere to play online. Instead, you simply grab your phone or hop on your PC and start playing.
You can also do all of this without worrying about wearing a mask or social distancing. Everything regarding a live casino takes place over the internet.
Best Aspects of Live Blackjack
Live dealer blackjack offers several elements that make it with trying. Here are the main aspects that make this type of blackjack so great.
Perhaps you love playing at brick-and-mortar casinos. But even if this is the case, you may not always feel like getting in your car or hopping on a plane to visit a casino.
Of course, you do need to register for an account and make a deposit before betting real money. However, you can complete these steps and get started within a matter of minutes.
Afterward, you’ll never have to leave the couch to play blackjack if you don’t feel like it. You can log hands whenever as long as your phone is nearby.
Free Blackjack Bet
Live dealer gaming sites offer
online bonuses as a reward for you signing up and depositing. These deals give you a chance to earn back losses from a losing first bet.
Here’s an example on how free wagers work:
- A casino offers a free live blackjack bet worth up to $25.
- You deposit and use the appropriate bonus code.
- You place a $25 bet and lose.
- You now have a chance to earn back $25 by meeting terms and conditions.
The last point is key to these deals. You need to satisfy all of the T&Cs before collecting your losses. In any case, free bets are still worth taking advantage of when they’re available.
You can also look forward to other rewards at live dealer casinos as well. Deposit bonuses, more free wagers, and VIP perks await at the average live gaming site.
Bet Behind Feature
Live blackjack is similar to the land-based version in that it has limited seating available. After all, live dealer studios only feature so many dealers and tables.
However, live sites have added a bet behind feature in recent years. Bet behind essentially allows an unlimited number of gamblers to enjoy blackjack action.
This feature lets you gamble on the action of another player. As an added bonus, you also get to enjoy the social aspects, such as chatting with the dealer.
One downside to bet behind, though, is that you’re entirely reliant on the gambler’s decisions and results. But at least you get to participate in the action.
Again, live blackjack offers a social element that virtual blackjack can’t match. It lets you communicate with the dealer and even leave chat messages that other players can respond to.
Virtual blackjack is certainly a fun game. However, it puts you on a software-generated table with an AI dealer. This setup still allows you to enjoy simulated blackjack action, but it’s void of any human interaction.
Minimum bets at live casinos range from $1 to $5. The latter end of this range isn’t as cheap as the set $1 minimum wagers in virtual blackjack.
However, even $5 minimums are cheaper than what you’ll find at most land-based casinos. The latter often start bets at $10 or even $25.
Of course, you may have no problem with risking $25 per hand in live or brick-and mortar-casinos. But it’s nice to have the option to wager less.
Live Casinos Also Offer Plenty of Other Games
You don’t always need to play blackjack at live gaming sites. Instead, you can also look forward to plenty of other games at the average site.
Every live Gaming outfit that I’ve seen offers a minimum of baccarat, blackjack, and roulette. This selection alone might be enough to keep you entertained.
The biggest providers feature a much wider variety of games, including some or all of the following:
- Caribbean stud
- Casino hold’em
- Deal or No Deal
- Dragon Tiger
- Dream Catcher
- Money Wheel
- MONOPOLY Live
- Sic bo
- Three-card poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold’em
You may like blackjack more than any other live casino game. But the options listed above give you more to try when you’re looking for something different.
Will Live Blackjack Remain as Big When COVID Subsides?
Nobody knows for sure when the coronavirus spread will slow down. In turn, no one can predict when the land-based gaming world goes back to normal.
Eventually, though, normalcy will return in brick-and-mortar casinos. At this point, the question becomes if live blackjack will remain as popular.
First off, live casinos have become very popular within the past decade. In the early 2010s, many live casinos weren’t even compatible with mobile devices.
Now, every live dealer outfit is compatible with Android and iOS devices. This single change has propelled blackjack and other live dealer games to new heights.
COVID-19 has only bolstered the appeal of live blackjack. Many gamblers are simply staying at home and playing on their smartphones during the pandemic.
I don’t expect as many of the same blackjack players to stay glued to their smartphones when land-based venues are operating at full capacity again. After all, more players will split time between their phones and brick-and-mortar casinos.
Of course, live blackjack will always remain a viable alternative to land-based establishments. It gives you an opportunity to experience live blackjack without having to go anywhere.
The coronavirus continues limiting brick-and-mortar casinos to some degree. You must now wear a mask and maintain a reasonable distance from other gamblers when playing in land-based settings.
These measures don’t completely prevent you from playing blackjack. But they make brick-and-mortar venues less attractive.
If you have a problem with wearing a mask for hours and/or social distancing, then you should strongly consider live blackjack. It offers many of the same elements of land-based blackjack—only with no mask involved.