Live Blackjack in South African Online Casinos

Live Blackjack in South African Online Casinos

Blackjack is one of the few card games that get a lot of attention. The game, also popularly called 21, is easy to learn, and a player’s only goal is to beat the dealer by getting a hand that is closest to 21. Over time, blackjack has changed along with the gambling industry and is now played in online casinos. To keep things more realistic even when you play virtually, there is now the option of playing live casino blackjack. 

When you try live casino blackjack in South Africa, you experience a unique ambience that reminds you of how playing in a brick-and-mortar venue feels. Here, we’ve not only provided a list of the top casinos to play live blackjack in South Africa, but we’ve also discussed how the game works and answered some frequently asked questions.

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Emma O. Written & published: 22.02.2023 By author Emma O.
Brad I. Reviewed & updated: 19.04.2024 By gambling expert Brad I.

About live dealer blackjack

Live casino blackjack is a popular game that is played in real-time over the internet with a live dealer. Players interact with their dealers via a video stream and can make all of their decisions through the game interface, just as they would in a land-based casino.

The main point behind the live dealer version of blackjack is to create the feeling of a real-life casino experience even as you play online. Some live blackjack games that you can play in SA are set up in a studio, while others are broadcast from actual land-based casinos, allowing players to enjoy the added atmosphere of a real venue. The rules and overall objective here are no different from those of land-based blackjack tables. Also, live blackjack can come in different variants. 

Live blackjack interface

  • Live blackjack interface
  • Live blackjack interface
  • Live blackjack interface

Gameplay in live dealer blackjack

Once you’re set to play blackjack with a live dealer, you’ll see a semi-circular table on your screen, with a dealer positioned in the inner arc. You’ll also notice how the blackjack table is marked to create different areas, each with its own specific use. Also visible on your screen are the cards in a shoe and some virtual chips. 

A player must make a bet within the specified time frame to start a round, usually around 15 seconds. The time limit may vary from game to game, so it is important to check the rules of the particular game before playing. The croupier deals two cards each to him (her) and the player and then waits for the player’s move. The player then makes a move based on the croupier’s up card.  

The player can either “hit,” which means to take another card, or “stand,” if they are confident that their total makes a winning hand. The player wins if their hand is equal to or closer to 21 than the dealer’s. If their hand is the same as the dealer’s, nobody wins and the round ends in a push.

Live blackjack stream

Live blackjack rules

The basic rules of the blackjack live casino game are quite simple, like those of online blackjack. You’ll always find the rules inside the game, so you can refer to them if necessary. The rules of the game stipulate that the dealer must always stand on a total of 17 or above but must draw on a score of 16 or lower. The player, on the other hand, has more flexibility in deciding whether to stand or hit. The main caveat is that the player must make his move before the dealer draws any further cards. Let’s look at the sequence of actions that occur during a hand.

To begin the game, the player is dealt two face-up cards, while the dealer is dealt one face-up and one face-down card. That means the player can only see one of the dealer’s two cards. Knowing the value of each card is key, as this determines the move a player must make. 

In blackjack, all numbered cards are counted at their face value. However, Kings, Queens, and Jacks are counted as 10. Aces can either count as 1 or 11 based on a player’s total hand. If a player gets a 10-value card and an Ace on the initial deal, that’s automatically a blackjack (since the ace can count as 11 here), which pays 3:2, provided the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack too. If he does, it’s a draw, so you neither win nor lose.

Once the player takes an action, the dealer can then draw until they get a hand of 17+ or exceed 21. If the dealer crosses 21 or the player gets the closest hand to 21, the player wins. If both parties end up with a matching total, the hand is a draw (a push), so nobody wins or loses.

Evolution blackjack in SA live casinos


Evolution Gaming has made a name for itself as the king of live casino gaming, and it’s no shocker its live blackjack games live up to players’ expectations. This operator currently has 10+ variations of live blackjack games, leaving no room for boredom if you love variety. The most basic of these games is the standard seven-seat live blackjack, which is the first live blackjack game the provider released. Some other blackjack games from this provider include Speed Blackjack, Power Blackjack, Infinite Blackjack, and Salon Prive.

Standard seven-seat Live Blackjack from Evolution Gaming came out in 2014, and it brings all the excitement of a real casino right to your fingertips. Evolution Blackjack, which is played with eight decks of cards, is also streamed in real time from a casino studio in Latvia and can accommodate up to seven players. 

The settings include bet sizes from as low as $0.5 to as high as $1000, and the game has a 99.29% RTP. As for the rules, there are quite a few that you will find in the game. The player is allowed only one split per hand, and the dealer stands on all 17. Additionally, the game features a “bet behind” option, where players can bet on another player’s hand. This game’s basic idea is that it is an easy version of online blackjack. It is therefore not bogged down with extraneous features and mechanisms.

  • Perfect Pairs side bet

    Perfect Pairs and 21+3 are the two simplest and most popular side bets in the game of blackjack, and they are the only ones available in this game. In Perfect Pairs, the initial bet is on whether the first two cards drawn are a pair. The reward will increase if the two cards are of the same colour. The highest payout is 25:1 for two identical cards (such as two Jacks of Clubs).

  • 21+3 side bet

    The 21+3 side bet requires players to create a simple poker hand with the first two cards they get and the dealer’s up card. You get a higher payout based on how strong the poker hand is. A flush pays out 5:1, a straight 10:1, three of a kind 30:1, a straight flush 40:1, and suited trips (Three cards of the same number and suit) 100:1.

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Live blackjack games with highest RTP

✅ Evolution Live Power Blackjack 98.80%
✅ NetEnt Perfect Blackjack 99.66%
✅ Evolution Lightning Blackjack 99.56%
✅ Vivo Gaming Live Blackjack 99.53%
✅ Pragmatic Play Live Blackjack 99.50%
✅ NetEnt Blitz Blackjack 99.50%
✅ Playtech Live Quantum Blackjack 99.47%
✅ Playtech All Bets Blackjack Live 99.46%
✅ Evolution Live Blackjack 99.29%
✅ Pragmatic Play Blackjack Azure 99.28%

Pragmatic Play blackjack in SA live casinos

pragmaticplayPragmatic Play published their first live dealer blackjack game in 2018 with no fancy title save for the word “Blackjack”. While that will be our game of focus here, it’s good to note that the operator also has another blackjack game called ONE Blackjack. It has a minimum bet of $10 and a maximum bet of $2000, and its RTP is 99.59%. 

In 2018, Pragmatic Play bought Extreme Live Gaming and used the studio’s operations to get into the live casino business. Shortly after that, the company’s management decided to launch a brand-new product. A studio was set up in Bucharest, and qualified people were hired to host games like blackjack. Pragmatic Play’s successfully represented the traditional game in its “live blackjack” adaptation, so there are no new rules to be learnt.

Overall, Live Blackjack by Pragmatic Play comes with standard and player-friendly rules. The Pragmatic Play blackjack is quite basic in terms of appearance, so experienced players will find the interface familiar. Also, the bulk of the game’s features is arranged at the upper right end of the screen. In terms of the side bet options available, it doesn’t go beyond the Perfect Pairs and 21+3. 

How to play Pragmatic’s Live Blackjack

To play, you’ll join a table that seats seven people and uses eight standard decks of playing cards. The edition, however, includes a few interesting features and wagering opportunities. Incorporating these into a game increases the player’s payoff and the fun factor. The betting interface is minimalistic, thus keeping the viewer’s attention squarely on the high-quality live feed.

Once the game loads, you’ll get a prompt to take any of the available seats at the table. There are seven available seats and a Bet Behind option in Live Blackjack by Pragmatic Play. The round starts once the croupier deals the cards, two per player and two for the house (one face up and the other face down).

Now, it’s time for the player to make a move by deciding how best to form their hand so that it’s close to or equal to 21 without going bust. A player may hit, double down, split, stand, or leverage the early decision feature (they can use this function to choose their options without having to wait for their turn to play). Insurance pays 2:1; blackjack pays 3:2. Also, the dealer must stand on 17 and draw until 16. 

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Vivo Gaming blackjack in SA live casinos

vivoVivo Gaming, one of the leading providers of live casino games, launched its live blackjack game in 2013, followed by three other variations over the years. The game titled Live Blackjack is played with eight decks of cards, and players can place bets from $1 to $250. What we have here is a standard blackjack table that accommodates up to seven players. There is also a Bet Behind feature, so if all seats are taken, you can choose any of the seven players and bet behind them. As expected, once bets are placed, each player gets two cards, and the dealer gets a face-up and a face-down card as well. Here the dealer must always stand on a soft 17 as per the rules, and you can split just once. There are also two side bets in Vivo Gaming’s Live Blackjack: Perfect Pairs and 21+3.

The player can choose between a 2D and 3D presentation as soon as the game starts. Interactions with other players and lively dealers greatly enhance the fun. Multiple live blackjack tables are always available from the provider; the only real distinction is the studio from which the action is being broadcast. If you have a perfect internet connection, the game runs with fluidity and no delays across all mobile gaming devices. 

The other three blackjack games from this provider are Las Vegas Blackjack, Limitless Blackjack, and Turkish Blackjack.

Playtech blackjack in SA live casinos

playtechBlackjack fans will be impressed by Playtech’s extensive library of live blackjack variations. Although the majority of the tables are located in their Latvian studio, users can also access tables streamed live from the Philippines and Romania. Playtech’s blackjack tables have slick and intuitive betting interfaces, and crystal-clear high-definition streaming, to name a few presentation highlights. Below are the most popular live dealer titles produced by the studio.

  • Unlimited Blackjack

    This table is available for play by any number of players. Here, a player can play with up to 5 hands at a time, and the game uses eight decks of cards like the other variants. In a game round, any number of players may wager on the game’s five primary betting positions. If two or more players bet on the same seat, they can decide to play their cards differently without one player’s action affecting the other.

    The player may also profit from the 10-Card Charlie rule. It states that a player might theoretically be given ten cards without going over 21. As long as the dealer doesn’t hold blackjack in this situation, the player’s hand would win immediately. There are also the 21+3, Pairs, and Insurance side bets.

  • All Bets Blackjack

    There is no restriction on the number of players who can sit at the All Bets Blackjack table. However, it uses technology in which physical cards transform into virtual ones, which appear in front of each player. 

    There are six side betting options available. These include the popular 21+3 and Dealer/Player Perfect Pairs, Buster (pays when dealer busts), and Top3 (pays on specific card combinations of the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s up card, e.g., straight flush, suited three of a kind, and three of a kind). There is also the Lucky Lucky side bet, which pays on combinations of the dealer’s up card and the player’s first two cards, e.g., suited or non-suited 777, suited or non-suited 678, etc. 

  • Cashback Blackjack

    The same real-to-digital card changeover system used in All Bets Blackjack is used in this table. You’ll also have the same set of six side wagers. Everything stays the same in the base game with the conventional Hit, Stand, Double, and Split options. However, the added option is to cash out on a hand before it ends naturally. Note that aside from the Cashback and All Bet variants, every other table from this provider we’ve listed here comes with only two side bets: the Perfect Pair and 21+3.

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There is no other way to enjoy a near-realistic blackjack game online unless you play the live dealer option. Since the rules are the same as when you play at land-based casinos or when you opt for the RNG version, there is nothing new to learn. To try live casino blackjack in South Africa, you can explore the top sites we’ve recommended on this page. Also, different live dealer game providers have tried to give their own unique touch to their live blackjack offerings. Depending on what you like in terms of streaming quality, aesthetics, and even bet range, you’ll find a live dealer blackjack game that suits you.

Live dealer blackjack FAQ

What is live dealer blackjack?

Live dealer blackjack is an online version of blackjack that is played with a real human dealer and real cards. Players can watch the dealer's actions and place their bets using digital chips. The dealer deals cards, manages the bets, and settles the results in real time, creating a near-realistic experience.

Where can I pick the best live blackjack casinos?

We have listed the best live blackjack casinos for South African players to ease your search. Each of the casinos we recommend has been carefully vetted for safety, fairness, and mobile usability, and some of them accept the South African Rand. These online casinos also feature different live blackjack games.

What are the most popular providers of live blackjack?

The most popular providers of live blackjack in South Africa are Evolution Gaming, Vivo, Playtech, and Pragmatic Play. These companies offer a range of live blackjack games with different aesthetics, rules, and betting limits. You’ll most likely find at least one of them at any casino with live blackjack.

Where can I find the rules of live blackjack?

You can typically find the rules of live blackjack within the game itself. Also, you can try visiting the game provider’s website to find the rules there.

Is live blackjack fair?

Live blackjack is fair, and real-time streaming technology allows players to observe the live games as they are being played, providing transparency. Players can see the cards being dealt and the decisions being made in real time, eliminating any concerns about predetermined outcomes.

How much can I win in live blackjack?

You can win up to 2000:1 if you place the Buster side bet and the dealer busts with 8+ cards, while you have blackjack. This option is available in Playtech’s All Bets blackjack.

Can I contact the dealer when playing live blackjack?

Yes, you can typically contact the dealer when playing live blackjack. Most live blackjack games feature a chat function that allows you to communicate with the dealer in real time.