Live dealer blackjack is well on its way to surpassing regular online blackjack in terms of both popularity and quality. There are dozens, if not hundreds of options out there already, all competing for players in innovative ways. Amidst all the variants and flashy features, though, sometimes you just want to sit down for a regular game of 21. Thankfully, there’s still quite a market for that. Today, we’ll be looking at one such instance of good old straightforward live table blackjack.
Live Blackjack by Pragmatic Play is a standard live-streamed version of the classic card game. It’s intended for lovers of the basic ruleset, so there’s not much to it if you’re familiar with the rules of blackjack. We’ll assume that you are for the purposes of this Pragmatic Play Live Blackjack review. If not, you can find in-depth guides to blackjack rules all over BlackjackGala.
Now, Pragmatic Play is a fairly respected company in the world of online gaming. As such, you can expect one of the best live blackjack games out there in terms of production quality. The studio in Romania largely reflects the kind of game they’re streaming. This means simple yet elegant, with no unnecessary fluff or clutter. Each table is limited to 7 seats and manned by a professional croupier that will ensure each round goes by smoothly.
There’s not much to talk about from the technical side of things. Everything is clear-cut and efficient – starting with the unembellished user interface. It allows you to play around with some settings and communicate with the dealer, which is fairly standard fare.
If you’ve ever sat down at a blackjack table before, you’ll know how to play Live Blackjack by Pragmatic Play. The rules are what you expect – the dealer draws to 16 and must stand on any 17. If you want to treat it as a multi-hand blackjack table, you may do so. Simply take up multiple seats, which you can do up to 3.
A shoe in this live blackjack game contains 8 decks, which isn’t ideal for card counting. Still, it’s industry standard at this point, so it would be unfair to complain. The dealer starts with a single face-up and a single face-down card, indicating regular American rules. Interestingly, you can also opt to Bet Behind, allowing you to wager on other players’ hands.
There are two side-bets available, and they’re as standard as side bets come. These are Perfect Pairs and 21+3.
Perfect Pairs allows you to predict that your initial 2 hands will form a pair. These can match in both suit and value, which leads to better payouts.
21+3 uses your initial draw and the dealer’s face-up card to form poker hands.
As per standard blackjack rules, blackjack pays out at odds of 3:2. Similarly, insurance bets pay 2:1. Combined with all the other table rules, it all amounts to an RTP of 99.50% for the standard game. Again, this can be considered industry standard. You could find a higher live blackjack RTP if you really tried, but it’s very strong all things considered.
The wagering limits largely depend on the table. For most tables and online casinos, the minimum wager is set to $5, while the maximum is $1,000. That’s a fairly decent spread that should cover most players’ bankrolls.
As always, the side bets are a bit of a weak spot. Perfect Pairs is fairly bad with 89% RTP, while 21+3 boasts a somewhat stronger 95.38%. Still, if RTP matters to you, we advise staying away.
Generally, the most common blackjack strategies should do the trick with this game. That said, there are a few things to note.
Firstly, you’ll need a plan to get the 99.50% RTP out of this game. Following blackjack charts should be enough to get you there. Lastly, we advise staying away from the side bets unless you really know what you’re doing. At most times, they’re much worse than the base game.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about the Pragmatic Play Live Blackjack game. It’s a classic title for classic lovers of blackjack, so there’s very little to complain about. It’s overall a smooth and enjoyable experience that we can safely recommend. Being a live title, though, we can’t offer a free demo. You can only play Pragmatic Play Live Blackjack for real money.