With live dealer blackjack becoming more popular by the year, software providers came up with multiple variants. Some of these were made due to practical reasons. For instance, how to negate the downsides of limited seating and relatively high minimum bets in live blackjack?
Common Draw Blackjack is a live blackjack variant in which all players share the same hand. The players’ decisions are independent, but they all share the same cards. This effectively preserves the charm of live table blackjack while keeping things easier to manage.
From the players’ perspective, the process itself is no different from any other live game of 21. The first step is to pick a table with the Common Draw ruleset. Examples include Blitz Blackjack, Playtech’s Quantum Blackjack, and Evolution’s Infinite Blackjack game. There are many more such games out there, mind you. Generally, if you see no seats on a live blackjack table and a single hand at all times, it’s probably a variation of Common Draw.
You’ll need to put down a bet if you wish to participate, of course. Now, this is another of the more notable advantages of Common Draw Blackjack. Generally speaking, the minimum bet for most live online blackjack tables is £5, or the equivalent in other currencies. Essentially, if you take a seat at such tables you need to make your wager worth the time and effort. Live casino streams are expensive to maintain, especially in the case of blackjack. Typically, the dealer has to focus on each player individually, which limits the seat numbers.
Common Draw Blackjack eschews that completely. The dealer will put down the cards as usual, starting with two. From then on, you can make all the usual calls – Hit, Stand, Double and Split. However, even if the cards are the same for all players, the decisions you make are all your own. For example, if you decide to stand, your turn is over and you’ll just wait for the hand to be resolved by the dealer. If another player decides to hit at the same time, another card will be drawn. This new card will be evaluated for players who hit, but not for those who decided to stand.
Now, things can get a bit more complicated with splits, but you get the idea.
We’ve outlined the two biggest advantages above. You’ll never have to worry if there are seats available, and the minimums are much lower, typically around £1. There are other pros as well, though.
If you play live blackjack for real money, a single hand can last for quite a while. After all, the croupier has to deal with each player individually. Moreover, players usually need time to make decisions. As a result, regular live dealer blackjack is rather slow-moving and can take a while.
Obviously, Common Draw Blackjack doesn’t suffer from the same issues. A hand can take just a few seconds apiece, which keeps the game fast-paced and flowing.
It’s important to keep in mind that this style of live table blackjack does not refer to the actual ruleset. For instance, some versions require the dealer to stand on 17, while others don’t. This varies and is something you should pay attention to independently of whether it’s a common draw title or not.
Thankfully, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some companies even play with the idea further, such as can be seen in Playtech’s Majority Rules Blackjack.