Set out in the table below are the mathematical house edges applicable to 7 seat live blackjack games offered at various live casinos, based on a consideration of their house rules and an assumption of optimal game play.

It offers a comparison of optimal play blackjack returns at various live casinos. That is to say, the house edge enjoyed by the casino if you are playing correct basic strategy.

If you are not playing optimally, the house edge figures become irrelevant. They also do not apply to side bets (increasingly being offered at at live blackjack tables), only the ‘main bet’.

House edge is another way of expressing return to player (RTP) rate. A house edge of 0.5% implies an RTP of 99.5%: 0.5% of total retained by the house; 99.5% returned to the players. In mathematical terms, house edge = 1-RTP.

The smaller the house edge the better!

Playtech Evolution Microgaming NetEnt* Pragmatic Play Media Live
House Edge 0.486% 0.72% 0.512% 0.50% 0.72% 0.695%
Blackjack pays 3:2 3:2 3:2 3:2 3:2 3:2
Decks used 8 8 8 6 (shuffle machine) 8 8
Dealer stands all 17s
Double after split
Double any 2 cards 9,10,11 only 9,10,11 only
Hit split Aces
Can Re-split
Surrender offered
Play at: bet365
888 Casino
William Hill
Royal Panda
Royal Vegas
Platinum Play
888 Casino
Leo Vegas
Mr Green
710 Live
Portomaso HoGaming /Amaya Visionary iGaming Ezugi SmartLive** GGLabs ***
House Edge 0.573% 0.607% 0.669% 0.486% 0.432% 0.410%
Blackjack pays 3:2 3:2 3:2 3:2 3:2 3:2
Decks used 8 8 6 8 8 8
Dealer stands all 17s draws soft 17
Double after split
Double any 2 cards  9,10,11 only
Hit split Aces
Can Re-split  (4 times)
Surrender offered
Play at: Leo Vegas
Dublinbet Leo Vegas

* NetEnt ceased operating December 2020

** Smart Live ceased operating August 2016

*** Global Gaming Labs ceased operating in 2017

The house edges have been calculated using the blackjack house edge calculator from the Wizard of Odds.

live dealer blackjack card counting

2 common myths perpetuated about the game of blackjack:

1. Non-optimal play by other players at your table will effect your returns.

Players often grumble and groan at the decisions made by other players at their table under the misguided belief that these decisions will impact negatively on their bet outcomes.  In fact, while non-optimal, or even downright ridiculous decisions made by other players may put you off your game, they will have absolutely no impact on the mathematical returns applying to your game.

Similarly, where you are positioned on the table relative to other players, good or bad, is irrelevant to the house edge applicable to your bet decisions.

2. Counting cards is illegal.

Casinos would certainly like to have you believe this, as it discourages counting, but the fact is it is perfectly legal and no casino can prosecute a player for having counted their way to a massive win at the blackjack table.

This isn’t to say they will tolerate proficient counters however.  All casinos, whether terrestrial or online employ counter measures to detect and or prevent players’ ability to effectively count and bet to that count.   And of course in the event that these counter measures don’t work, there is that old casino fallback of reserving the right to refuse service to whom ever they choose.

Live casinos thwart card counting in blackjack by instituting shuffle policies that render counting strategies largely ineffective.