Should You Play Video Blackjack or Live Blackjack?

You might consider switching to video blackjack if you are a dedicated low-roller gambler, like me. The minimum hand bet on video blackjack is usually as low as one dollar. Although most casinos in Las Vegas require a minimum of $15 to play blackjack, it’s not difficult to find smaller casinos that offer the game at $5 per hand. You can also find low-rent casinos that have minimums of $1 or $3. That’s harder, though.)

Is it worth the effort?

This article examines the pros and cons to video blackjack compared with live Blackjack. You will also find some observations on online blackjack. Although it is very similar in terms, of game-play, and rules, to video blackjack, it is not as easy to play.

Video Blackjack – Lower Minimum Bets

As I mentioned, you can play video blackjack for as low as $1 per hand. This is not easy to find in live blackjack games, but it is possible.

Sometimes, the Downtown Grand offers $3/hand blackjack. This is triple what you would get at most other video blackjack games. It is worth noting. Jerry’s Nugget sometimes offers $3 games.

Lucky Club offers $1 Blackjack. This is the only Las Vegas casino that offers games with this low a limit. The Lucky Club is right next to I-15, so they are not easily accessible.

Blackjack is a game with negative expectations for most players. Therefore, it’s advisable to play for lower limits in order to reduce the hourly mathematically predicted loss.

As you will see, this is not the only factor that determines how much money you can expect to lose an hour. These other factors may be more important.

Video blackjack is clearly more advantageous than live blackjack when it comes to finding the lowest-limit blackjack game.

Also Read: Your First Game of Blackjack in a Casino

Live Blackjack: Better Rules and Lower House Edge

The rules variations that are used to determine the house edge in blackjack will have a significant impact on how much money is being made. In terms of rules, live blackjack has a huge advantage over video blackjack.

Blackjack pays at 3 to 2, in most live blackjack games.

Video blackjack is usually worth nothing.

This gives the house an extra edge of 2.29%.

Although 2.29% may seem like a small percentage, when you add it to all your bets over time, you will see that it adds up much faster than you could have imagined.

Let’s look at the hourly average loss rate for 2 games. There are only 2 differences.

  1. The minimum bet for video blackjack is $1, while the minimum bet for live blackjack is $5.
  2. The house edge for video blackjack is 3.29%, while live blackjack has a 1% house edge.

There’s another difference. It should be discussed in the next section.

Video Blackjack – Faster Play Rate

The number of bets that you place per hour is a major factor in how much money you can lose when playing casino games. To calculate how much money you are putting in each hour, multiply your hourly bets by the amount of your bet.

The number of hands that you can play at a live blackjack table will vary depending on how many players are present. You won’t usually be playing head-to-head with the dealer.

To make it easier to compare, let’s assume you are playing blackjack with two other players most of the time. At such a table, you’ll see approximately 105 hands an hour.

Video blackjack is just you and the dealer. Video blackjack will allow you to see twice as many hands per an hour. That’s 200 hands an hour.

When you calculate your expected loss per an hour, multiply your average hand per hand by the number. Then, multiply this by the house edge.

This is the video blackjack game. It’s $1 per hand X 200 players per hour X 3.377%. That’s $6.74 an hour for expected losses.

Live blackjack: $5 per hand X105 hands per game X 1.1%. That’s $5.25 an hour for expected losses.

You can still lose less per hour playing live blackjack even though you are betting 5x as much.

These numbers assume that you have a perfect basic strategy. You can find out more about this strategy elsewhere on the site, or you can buy one of these little laminated cards from the casino gift shop.

Counting cards and other advantage techniques – Live Blackjack

You can’t use any advantage strategies like counting cards when you play video blackjack. These techniques are only applicable to live blackjack games. Here’s why:

You count cards by keeping track of how many high and low cards are in each deck. You can increase the size of your wagers if the deck contains a higher percentage of 10s or aces. You’re more likely than not to get a blackjack, and you will receive a 3 to 2 payout.

This possibility is eliminated by video blackjack in two ways:

  1. Blackjack doesn’t offer a higher payout, so you lose any potential advantage from counting.
  2. The game “shuffles” the deck after each hand. This means that any count you keep would be lost as soon as the next hand begins.

For the average blackjack player who doesn’t count cards, this is not a major issue. It’s difficult to give a comprehensive treatment of live blackjack versus video blackjack without also examining this aspect.

Online Blackjack is a Different Game, Usually

Online blackjack is, in general, video blackjack with more generous rules that video blackjack at the casino. They offer many of the same rules as land-based casinos.

Online casinos often offer multiple variations of blackjack, but only one variation will usually have the lowest house edge. These rules will almost always include the 3-2 payout for blackjack. This is the biggest difference between live and video blackjack.

To determine which version of blackjack offers the lowest house advantage, you can use the house edge calculators on different websites to plug in the variations. This is the version you should use whenever you play at this casino.

Not all online blackjack games can be played with video blackjack. Live dealer blackjack is a popular option at many online casinos. This game involves real dealers and real decks of cards. It can also be played via webcams.

You can play live dealer online blackjack or video blackjack. To get the lowest house edge, you will still need to follow a basic strategy.

Even in live dealer games, you won’t be able to count cards. This is because automated shuffling machines are used to start the deck over with every new hand. Video blackjack also uses this method.


Which game should you choose?

Even if you are a low-roller, I recommend that you stick with live blackjack games. Although you might need to wager $5 per hand rather than $1, the house edge is lower and the game moves at a slower pace. This means that you will lose less money per hour playing live blackjack.

You should know the basics of strategy, regardless of which version you are playing. It’s not a good idea to make decisions that aren’t mathematically optimal. Basic strategy is easy to understand.

Don’t count cards when playing video blackjack or any other variation of online blackjack. This is an advantage technique that you can use in real blackjack, but it’s not possible with online casinos.

100 %Match Bonus
100 %Match Bonus
100 %Match Bonus