Played with 52 cards, Vegas Single Deck Blackjack Gold by Microgaming comes as a part of the developer's golden series and combines a classic game of blackjack with a rather low house edge of 0.31%. Launched in free and real money mode, this version is great for both veterans and beginners as it offers a great skill testing platform with all of the advantages of a single deck variant.
The player starts by selecting the bet level and placing the chip(s) on the betting area. After the cards are dealt, the dealer peeks for Blackjack on ten value cards/Aces or hits on soft 17 hand. The player moves first and can either Hit, Stand or Double the bet on 9-11 hard totals.
Splitting the hand can be performed only once and will disable the Double down option. Aces divided into two separate hands can only be hit once each and are not considered as blackjack in combination with 10s. Microgaming's Vegas Single Deck Blackjack does not allow for a surrender move; insurance is however possible and the player can add extra 50% to their bet if the dealer's revealed card is an Ace.
Winning the insurance bet has the highest payout ratio - 2:1. Regular hands are paid even, while Blackjack cashes out 1.5x of the original bet. The player can stake any amount between $1 and $1,000 with the theoretical return to player calculated at 99.69%.
In a single-deck variants where the dealer hits on soft 17, players will want to hit on all 4-7 total hands, regardless of the upcard value. The total of 8 should be hit, if the dealer has 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and A, or doubled if the upcard is 5 or 6. Pairs with the total of 12 should be hit when in opposition to 2, 3 or 7 - Ace. Totals of 13-16 can be hit if the dealer has 7, 8, 9, 10 or an Ace; that way the dealer is more likely to bust. One should always stand with higher hard totals of 17 and up.
Most players prefer single deck variants as they offer a higher return to players and are generally considered as card counters paradise. The game itself is a clean cut blackjack version with sharp graphics, convenient bet range and excellent strategic potential.