This Sonya Blackjack review is a brief but in-depth look at Yggdrasil’s newest addition to the world of online blackjack. The name Yggdrasil should be immediately familiar to anyone with any sort of online casino experience. They’re known for taking simple, traditional betting concepts and giving them a fresh, 21st-century gloss.
Such is the case with the Sonya Blackjack game. Good old blackjack is presented just as you’ve seen it thousands of times before. However, the newest motion-capture technologies are used to give the online casino game the look and feel of a real-life casino. Instead of cards flying across the screen on their own, the eponymous Sonya will act as your simulated dealer.
Despite some innovative features, Yggdrasil Sonya Blackjack is a standard multi-deck Vegas Strip blackjack at heart. If you’re wondering how to play Sonya Blackjack, you’re not likely to run into anything unexpected. This means that you have options for hitting, standing, or doubling your bet with each round. Additional options include splitting if you get two cards of the same value or Perfect Pair side bets. If Sonya reveals an Ace, you can opt-in for insurance. This is used to avoid busting if the dealer subsequently gets a Blackjack.
Conversely, if you have a Blackjack and the dealer’s face card is an Ace, Even Money becomes an option. Even Money essentially ensures that a dealer Blackjack doesn’t result in a push. You can also choose to Split if you ever get two cards of the same point value.
Another one of the several Sonya Blackjack special features which spices things up is the neat 21+3 side bet. The option of this side bet is by no means unique to this title, but it does well to set it apart from a good chunk of the competition. Essentially, your initial 2 cards and the dealer’s face card are used to create a 3-card poker hand.
Blackjack is famous for its favourable RTP ratio, which fully extends to Sonya online blackjack. The standard rules ensure a 99.54% RTP. However, the additional options – appealing as they may be – drop the RTP a few notches. For instance, simply using insurance brings it down to 92.86%. The Perfect Pairs side bet claims a Return to Player of 93.89%. The 21+3 ruleset boasts a theoretical RTP of 92.86%.
Payout rates are also fairly standard for the game of blackjack. Standard wins will net you a 1:1 return, while a Blackjack hand results in 3:2 returns.
As far as the side bets go, Perfect Pairs pay out depending on your initial cards:
⦿ Mixed Pair – 6:1
⦿ Coloured Pair – 12:1
⦿ Perfect Pair – 25:1
Similarly, the 21+3 ruleset rewards you based on your “poker” hand:
The major issue about taking advantage of 21+3 side bets is that the 6 decks are all shuffled between shoes. Basic strategies for this blackjack variation all revolve around deck penetration. The deeper you go, the more likely you are to reliably go for a Flush, for instance.
Since card counting is out of the question, predicting a favourable hand becomes purely a matter of chance. Perfect Pairs face a similar issue. With all that in mind, relying on your usual blackjack strategies is probably for the best. If you’re yet to make one, you can find detailed guides and pointers in our strategy section.
Despite our previous gripes with the side bet systems, Sonya Blackjack is an altogether high-quality product. Thus, it is quickly becoming a fan favourite. The best part is that Yggdrasil are a fairly well-known company. In other words, there are plenty of online casinos with Sonya Blackjack around.