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Live Dealer Blackjack
Live dealer blackjack rules vary quite a bit. All are dealt from a shoe, with about 50% penetration. I think nobody allows re-splitting any pair. In other words, one split only. Most stand on a soft 17. The most variable rules seem to be on surrender and the dealer peeking for blackjack.
Special mention should be made about the Ezugi game, where early surrender against an ace is allowed. The effect of this rule variation is a reduction in the house edge of 0.39% to a low 0.11%. Personally, I think they don't understand what they are doing and this rule won't last once they realize how beneficial it is to the player.
It is difficult writing live dealer software reviews when I don't have access to play or watch the games. This was the case with Ho Gaming and Vivo Gaming.
As to the appearance of the table and dealer, please refer to the screenshots at the bottom of the page, especially for Usoft.
The following table shows the configurable rules, to the best of my knowledge, at various brands of live dealer studios. An explanation of the column headings follows the table.
Live Dealer Blackjack Comparison
- Brand: Live dealer studio and in some cases the particular game.
- Decks: Number of decks used. Penetration tends to be about 50% everywhere.
- Soft 17: What the dealer does with a soft 17.
- DAS: Is double after a split allowed?
- Peek: Does the dealer peek at hole card for a blackjack. In cases where there isn't a hole card, the value in the table indicates if the player will lose his original bet only (yes) or everything (no) if the dealer eventually gets a blackjack. Sometimes the dealer will peek only under 10 or under an ace. Possible values are:
- Yes = Dealer always peeks with either a 10 or ace up.
- No = Dealer never peeks. Player will lose all money bet doubling and splitting if the dealer gets a blackjack
- Ace only = Dealer peeks only under an ace up. If no hole card is taken, "ace only" means the player will lose his original bet only if the dealer gets a blackjack starting with an ace up, but everything if starting with a 10 up.
- 10 only = Dealer peeks only under a 10 up. If no hole card is taken, "10 only" means the player will lose his original bet only if the dealer gets a blackjack starting with a 10 up, but everything if starting with an ace up.
- Surrender = Can player forfeit half his bet and not play the hand? This option is generally offered only after the dealer peeks for blackjack, but in the Ezugi regular game (as opposed to unlimited), the player may surrender before the dealer peeks.
- Edge = House edge
Written by: Michael Shackleford