If you are looking for a beautifully rendered online card game with low house take, simple rules, and a huge variety of exciting side bets, you might want to try Premium Blackjack. The game is courtesy of leading software supplier Playtech. It would be fair to say the expertise of the studio’s developers truly shows in all aspects, from interface and graphics design to gameplay.
Premium Blackjack has been optimized for play across most desktop and portable devices. This authentic variation supports a broad range of side bets and provides players with a choice from four different betting ranges. Additionally, blackjack buffs have the chance to bet on up to five betting spots at a time.
|Premium Blackjack Summary
|99.58% (95.38 for the 21+3 side bet and 93.89% for Perfect Pairs side bets)
|Four different minimums – $0.01, $0.10, $0.50, and $10
|Three different maximums – $100, $500, and $10,000
|3 to 1
|Dealer Standing Rule
|Stands on all 17s
|1 exposed, 1 hidden dealer card (no peek)
Allowed Moves in Premium Blackjack
Premium Blackjack is a variation of the classic game of 21 that plays with 6 full decks of cards, reshuffled automatically by the software after each round. It uses the same card values as conventional blackjack, i.e. the aces are counted as 1/11, face cards are assigned a value of 10, and all other cards are assigned their pip value. The virtual dealer draws to 16 and stands on all totals of 17.
Players can bet on up to five hands simultaneously. The game is a bit restrictive in terms of doubling and splitting decisions, though. Players can split all pairs of cards, including unlike ten-value ones but resplitting is not an option.
Split aces cannot be hit. A card is drawn to each ace and the hand automatically stands afterward. When a split ace catches a ten, the hand is considered a regular 21 instead of blackjack, and as such, pays even money.
Doubling down is possible on all totals consisting of two cards. After doubling their initial bets, players get a third and final card on their starting hand. Doubling your bets is allowed on split hands as well.
When the dealer’s exposed card is an ace, players are given the chance to buy insurance on each of their hands against a potential dealer blackjack. If they accept insurance, an amount equal to half of their initial wager will be deducted from their balance.
This is a separate bet that has no influence on the odds of winning with your original hand. If the dealer has a blackjack, the insurance bet pays 2 to 1. If not, the player loses the insurance bet and the game continues as usual.
In Premium Blackjack, the dealer does not peek for naturals when showing an ace or a ten-value card. A player blackjack returns the standard payout of 3 to 2. The game pays even money to players with non-busted hands that consist of 10 cards (10-card Charlies).
Specific Features of Premium Blackjack
Some of the most distinguishable features of Playtech’s Premium Blackjack are the side bets the game supports. The side bets are settled first, immediately after the initial deal and have no effect on the outcome of the original hand.
The first group of extra wagers consists of the Perfect Pair bets. You have the option to place a side bet on a player or a dealer pair. The payouts are 6 to 1 for red/black pairs, 12 to 1 for offsuit pairs of the same color, and 25 to 1 for perfect pairs consisting of suited cards of the same color.
In Premium Blackjack, you can also experiment with the 21+3 side bets. The wagers from this category win if your first two cards and the dealer’s exposed card form any of the following three-card poker hands – a flush (pays 5 to 1), a straight (pays 10 to 1), a set (30 to 1), a straight flush (40 to 1), or a suited set (100 to 1).
These side bets undoubtedly add a dose of excitement to the gameplay of Premium Blackjack but players should refrain from placing them frequently as they yield a massive house edge. The overall theoretical return to player percentage of the game is quite decent at 99.58% while that for the 21+3 and Perfect Pairs side bets is 95.38% and 93.89%, respectively.
Other than that, the software developers from Playtech have incorporated several extra cool features in Premium Blackjack. You can disable the ambient sound effects playing in the background or turn on the Turbo Mode feature for more dynamic gameplay. The insurance and the side bets can also be turned off if you do not plan on making such wagers.
Premium Blackjack is a suitable option for all fans of the classic card game who insist on clean graphics, immersive audio effects, and smooth gameplay. This enticing variation fits within the means of any pocket. Casual players can bet as little as $0.01 per hand while those with fatter wallets can risk up to $10,000 per hand.