In recent years, stadium blackjack has become hugely popular in Las Vegas casinos and elsewhere. The game isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but a large number seem to enjoy this style of play, particularly with the emphasis shifting towards gambling as a social activity, which stadium blackjack facilitates. The format also works for the casinos, which make a large profit while reducing their regular running expenses.
How stadium blackjack works
Essentially, stadium blackjack is no different to regular blackjack, except it uses modern technology to facilitate large numbers of people playing at once. One dealer can serve up to 300 players, although around 44 per game is more common. The players are seated stadium-style before a computer screen, where they select one of two dealers to play against. The game then commences and is played entirely on screen.
Everyone gets the same deal
The most important difference with stadium blackjack is that every player gets the same cards each time they’re dealt. So initially, everyone starts with the same two cards in their hand. But they get to decide individually whether to hit, stand, double or split. The dealer then calls for their own cards until either they or the player(s) win or go bust.
The idea of everyone getting the same cards may seem odd, but it effectively doesn’t make any difference, as the game is you against the dealer. It does make the game feel more communal, and often most people will make the same decision as to whether they hit or stand, meaning that you’ll get large groups celebrating a win or groaning at their loss together.
What’s the appeal?
In some ways, stadium blackjack finds the bricks-and-mortar casinos competing with websites, as more people, particularly the younger generation, prefer to play at an NJ online casino rather than in a physical venue. As well as the wide range of games on offer, online casinos offer anonymity and security, and millennials are arguably happier interacting with their screens than with human strangers.
As with online play, stadium blackjack means you’re never going to be intimidated by the disapproval of other players, and also all the math is done automatically, so you don’t have to worry about making a mistake or being cheated. The play is fast, slick and, with a low minimum bet, it’s open to everyone.
A social game
Stadium blackjack is most commonly played by groups of friends enjoying a night out. That could mean couples or larger groups, who all sit down to play blackjack together. As mentioned above, although everyone gets to make individual decisions, they’re all dealt the same cards, so will frequently find that they’re winning or losing together. As you’re all playing against the dealer, there’s no rivalry, only a communal spirit.
Good for casinos
Finally, it has to be said that casinos like stadium blackjack because it makes them money. Firstly, with one dealer serving from 40 to 300 players, the staff-punter ratio is very much in their favor. Secondly, more hands are dealt in a set period of time than with normal blackjack, and thanks to the house advantage this means more profit for the casino.
Fast-paced, fun and very sociable, stadium blackjack equals a great night out. Individual players may prefer to stick to online play, but in terms of communal entertainment, stadium blackjack may well be the future.