Evolution Gaming present this live Blackjack variant featuring no less than 4 side bets as well as the opportunity to triple or quadruple your bet.
Being a live game each hand will be dealt by a real dealer filmed in a studio and streamed to your screen, and this means you do have to play at their pace, although you can sit as many rounds out as you like and even just watch if you want to.
The game is played with 8 decks of cards and with this being live the shoe empties as the game goes on, so you can keep track of what cards might be left in there.
The game itself plays out in the familiar way, but the live element might be new to some of you.
There is no limit to the number of players at the table, and although all players are betting on the same hand, the decisions made after the cards have been dealt are individual to each player.
All cards are ‘chipped’ which is why the dealer swipes them over a barcode reader next to the shoe. See the yellow arrow in the image below.
This tells the computer which card has been drawn. The dealer will then deposit player cards into a trap door in the middle of the table which we have highlighted with a yellow box. At this point the player’s hand becomes digital and each player can make their own decisions from then on.
Rules specific to this game are:
- Dealer always stands on soft 17.
- Dealer checks for Blackjack on J, Q, K and Ace.
- 9’s and 10’s removed.
- One split per hand.
- Split Aces dealt only 1 further card.
Double, Triple, Quadruple
The main unique feature in this game is the ability to double, triple, or quadruple your bet after any initial two cards, and also after a split.
Doubling down is a regular feature of any game of blackjack, but the ability to take that so much further on a strong hand is unusual and potentially very beneficial, although of course it does mean you stand to lose more if your decision to quadruple down doesn’t pay off.
It’s also worth clarifying that you are only playing against the dealer here, not against other players. The other player in a live game do not have any impact on your bet.
Although the main feature of Power Blackjack is the ability to double, triple, or quadruple your bet, the side bets are also a big factor in the game.
You do not have to use the side bets if you don’t want to, but if you do want to use them you will also have to place a regular bet on the hand.
There are four in total, and it is possible to win your side bet even if you lose the hand.
They work as follows:
This bet looks at the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s up card.
If the total value of those three cards is between 19 and 21 the bet will win, it will also win if all three cards are 7s.
|Total of 19||1:1|
|Total of 20||2:1|
|Total of 21||4:1|
|Total of 21 Suited||20:1|
Simply, this bet wins if you first two cards hold the same value, although you can win more if those two matching cards are also suited:
Another side bet that looks at the player’s hand combined with the dealer’s up card.
This bet pays out if those three cards form any of the following hands:
|3 of a Kind||25:1|
|Suited 3 of a Kind||100:1|
Here you are betting that the dealer will go bust, but the more cards it takes the dealer to do so, the more money you will win from your bet:
|Bust 3 Cards||1:1|
|Busts 4 Cards||2:1|
|Busts 5 Cards||8:1|
|Busts 6 Cards||25:1|
|Busts 7 Cards||100:1|
|Busts 8+ Cards||250:1|
With so many side bets there are a number of theoretical return to player percentages to consider for this game.
The overall RTP for the base game is 98.80% when using an optimal betting strategy. This is incredibly low for blackjack but takes into account the various rules like the tripling and doubling down.
The side bets’ RTPs are:
- Hot 3s – 96.21%
- 21+3 – 96.09%
- Any Pair – 96.58%
- Bust It – 94.17%