Both sites now offer one additional Live Dealer Blackjack table during the primest of hours.
What players need to know about the Live Dealer expansion
Effective this week, Golden Nugget Casino now offers four Live Dealer Blackjack tables. The new table, simply titled Table 4, is open from 6 p.m. – 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 9 p.m. – 3 a.m. on all other days.
The betting limits are the same as they are for the site’s two primary Live Dealer Blackjack games: a $10 minimum, and a $1,000 maximum. Golden Nugget also offers a game featuring a $20 – $2,000 spread.
$10 minimums are extremely difficult to find at land-based casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where the norm is a $15 minimum on weekdays, and $25 on weekends.
Betfair has also expanded its offering, adding a third table. Like all of its Live Dealer games, Blackjack Table 3 shares a studio, dealers, and player traffic with Golden Nugget Casino. The limits for the new game on Betfair are $20 – $2,000, and the hours of operation appear to be 6 p.m. – 3 a.m. daily.
It’s more than conceivable that the hours for the new tables will soon be lengthened to match those of the sites’ other Live Dealer games, which are open for business from 3 p.m. through 3 a.m daily.
What happened to Bet Behind?
It’s plausible that the new table was added to buy the sites time to rollout their Bet Behind feature.
Bet Behind is an optional side bet that allows observers to bet on a seated player’s hand. It’s intent — beyond generating increased revenue for the operator — is to allow players to make active use of their time while waiting for a spot to open.
Unfortunately, the feature has yet to go live, leading us to believe the addition of more tables is something of a stopgap solution to an overcrowding problem.
Of course that’s a good problem to have, as it suggests that Live Dealer has continued to grow in popularity. The recent addition of the new tables marks the latest in a string of expansions for the nascent vertical, which first went live last August.
Why is Live Dealer Blackjack worth playing?
We’re the first to admit that the Live Dealer Blackjack games on Betfair and Golden Nugget are hardly the industry’s best blackjack games. However, they’re the only games where outcomes are not determined by computer systems.
Not to mention, Live Dealer affords players a social component absent from digital blackjack games. The only other place to find this level of personal interaction is at a brick & mortar casino.
As for the rules, well, they’re still pretty favorable. Players give up about 0.2 – 0.3 percent of their return compared to the industry’s better games, mostly due to the fact that dealers hit on soft 17.
For most, the difference will be negligible.