Jazzing things up with a more authentic casino atmosphere, Microgaming introduces a gilded Vegas Strip online variant, with a single-hand and hole card game concept. The game is the counterpart to the developer's Vegas Strip Blackjack version, with optional piano music background, casino guests murmur and dealer's narrative.
Having one card facing down and other card revealed, the dealer can check for blackjack if their upcard is an Ace or a 10. Both soft and hard 17s will require the dealer to stand. The player can double the bet on any two cards, even after splitting them. Although in most cases splitting cards can be performed three times until 4 individual hands are created, Aces are exempt from this rule. They can only be split once and get one card each, reducing their value to 21 when combined with 10s. The player can decide to split any two cards with the same value, therefore, different face cards can also form additional hands. Should the dealer's and the player's hands have the same total, the bet is returned to the player, resulting in push.
The bets are paid out according to standard blackjack paytable, increasing the stake by 1, 1.5 and 2. Money-wise, it means that a $1 bet pays an extra dollar for any regular winning hand, $1.5 for a blackjack hand and $2 for an insurance win. The stakes start at $1 with $1,000 max bet and 99.65 RTP percentage.
There are a lot of strategy charts offered to Blackjack newbies with clear instructions on what players should do after comparing their cards with the upcard. High totals (17+) are likely to end in a bust if the player draws, therefore the player's best move would be to stand. Lower totals, such as 8, could benefit from an additional card, while 10 and 11 totals should be doubled – especially if the upcard is 2 to 9. Soft hands are safe to hit, however, it is better to stand if you have an 8 and an A. Most pairs should be split, except for 10s. Having a total of 20 can easily defeat the dealer's hand and it is better to simply stand.
Not really different from the regular Vegas Strip edition, but great if you are in need of some authenticity and casino elegance. And since the start bet is only $1, you can enjoy the VIP treatment even if you are not a high roller. Not to mention that Microgaming made the game available in free and real money mode – pretty common when it comes to their releases.