Once upon a time, most blackjack games in brick-and-mortar casinos were played with a single deck. However, the casinos quickly learned something – having only 1 deck makes it very easy to count cards. That’s how the standard of 6 or 8 decks we have today came about.
Vegas Single Deck Blackjack by Microgaming’s intention is to challenge this standard. Before you get your hopes up about cleaning the house with card counting, though, this game is a bit different. Microgaming changed some basic rules and decided to shuffle the deck after each hand. In practice, this means that card counting isn’t any easier.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. The Vegas Single Deck Blackjack game greets you with a unique-looking reddish table and a strange lack of music. This is a single-hand blackjack game, so you can’t take up multiple seats at a time. Looking around the features, they appear fairly barebone. Besides the rules panel and a short options screen, there’s not much to look at.
Thankfully, there are a lot of Microgaming online casinos out there. Finding a place to play Vegas Single Deck Blackjack should be fairly easy.
So what are these rule changes, then? Firstly, the dealer must hit on a soft 17. Though this may seem like it increases the risk, the low number of cards often ends up working in the dealer’s favour.
More importantly, the deck is shuffled after each hand. This almost negates the advantage for card counting, though not completely. You should still find it much easier to keep track of cards compared to 6 or 8-deck blackjack.
Lastly, the dealer can peek at his down-facing card if the other one is an Ace or 10-value card. This can greatly affect the AI’s decision-making and is very effective at keeping the odds stacked against the player. Despite the single deck, you’ll quickly learn that Vegas Single Deck Blackjack by Microgaming is quite hard to beat. In fact, the advantages over multiple decks are dubious at best.
Furthermore, this title features no side bets. After you’ve played enough of it, you’ll find it desperately lacks something to keep the player’s attention. That doesn’t mean you don’t have options other than Hit or Stand, mind you. It’s just that they’re the same as with any other online blackjack game.
For instance, players can choose to double down on a hard 9, 10, or 11. You can also split on a pair, though split hands cannot be doubled. Also, a split Ace counts as 10 instead of 11.
When it comes to the payouts, there’s nothing out of the ordinary here. Regular wins pay out 1:1, while Blackjack pays 3:2. Bet insurance also pays out at industry-standard 2:1 odds. This means that the biggest win you can rake in with a single hand is €500. The RTP rate is a fairly standard 99.63%, which is pretty high by online casino game standards.
Compared to most other online gambling activities, blackjack is a fairly strategic game. You can find out how to play Vegas Single Deck Blackjack and win by reading through our blackjack strategy guides. Additionally, you should check out our blackjack blog. It covers a wide range of topics, often referring to card counting. Card counting should be especially interesting for a 1-deck blackjack game.
That is likely the best advice we can give you if you decide to play Vegas Single Deck Blackjack for real money. Pay close attention to the limited information you have about each hand. Though you’ll only ever have reliable information about 3 – 5 cards, using a simple system such as hi-lo can give you a slight edge.
The major upside to this title is that there isn’t really much competition out there. Most blackjack games use multiple decks – and it may be easier to see why. To counteract the advantages of using just 52 cards, Microgaming had to make a lot of compromises. As a result, the game lacks side bets or any other special features and is fairly barebones altogether.
If you still want to try it after our Vegas Single Deck Blackjack review, there aren’t many better alternatives, though.