Developed by Microgaming, Multi-Hand Vegas Downtown Blackjack Gold is an online version of blackjack style that evolved from the variant which originally appeared in the central area of Las Vegas. The main characteristics that differentiate this form of blackjack from most of the others, pertain to the dealer's “hole card” and an expanded double down option.
Played with up to five hands at the same time, this variant lets the dealer peek for the Blackjack and hits on soft 17 – unlike some other forms of Blackjack where the dealer must stand on all 17 hands. Both the player and the dealer are dealt with two cards each, with one of the dealer's cards revealed (hole card). If this card is an Ace, players can take up an insurance and continue with their next move – hit, stand, double down or split, which in this case is permitted with both the same denomination and same value cards. One extra benefit of this variant is that the player can double down even after a split – a move usually limited to only the first two cards. The surrender move is not offered.
Microgaming sets the bet limit at $5,000 or $1,000 per hand, with the minimum bet being $1.00. The payouts follow the regular pattern of 3:2, 1:1 and 2:1 for blackjack, standard and insurance win. The expected theoretical return to player is 99.62%, meaning that this particular variant comes with a somewhat lower house edge of 0.38%.
Any good blackjack strategy directs the player to the most logical and reasonable step under the circumstances. Generally speaking, one should stand on hard totals, starting with 13, if the dealer's hole card is 2 to 6. The same goes for the player's 17 and up, when the dealer holds 2 to 10 hole card value, or an Ace. Soft totals - Ace in combination with 3 - 7 - should be doubled if the dealer holds 4, 5 or 6. Pairs of 2, 3, 6 and 7 should be split on all 2 - 7 hole cards. Aces and eights are to be split, while a pair of 10s should be kept together.
Multi-Hand Vegas Downtown Blackjack is a well balanced game with pretty much all you need in one place. Featuring a player friendly option to double down on any two cards together with the possibility to re – split the hand, Downtown adds a new dimension to the standard blackjack framework, rewarding the player with additional possibilities and larger manoeuvring ground.