Evolution is the only live dealer game provider to provide Free Bet Blackjack.
It’s a blackjack game with a unique twist that allows players to have a free Double and Split for qualifying hands. All this is for the cost of the dealer pushing a bust hand of 22.
Evolution has produced two versions, Infinite Free Bet Blackjack and Seven Seat Free Bet Blackjack. Both games have the same rules; you play your hand in seven-seat while you share with other players in Infinite Free Bet. The side bets are different between the two versions.
In this review, I’ll explain how to play Free Bet Blackjack and the strategies you should consider during play.
My Video Review shows both games in action.
Free Bet Blackjack is an alternative version of Blackjack, where players get Free Bets on specific Doubles and Splits during the game round.
The other significant difference with the Free Bet blackjack rules is when the dealer busts with a 22.
In this scenario, a dealer 22 will push all winning players’ hands rather than pay them for beating the dealer.
This rule change is how the casino can afford to pay for the Free bets. Nothing is ever Free!
Live Dealer, Free Bet Blackjack is a cracking game as games go.
The fact you get free bets feels like you’re getting something for nothing (that, of course, is not true!).
I’ve found the game to be entertaining and engaging. I can see why it’s so popular in Las Vegas land-based casinos.
Evolution has produced two versions, Seven-Seat Free Bet and Infinite Free Bet, so you have two choices to play.
It’s important to understand that blackjack free bet rules differ from regular Live dealer Blackjack.
First, it’s important to point out that you should still use the basic blackjack strategy to maintain an optimum chance of winning.
So let’s look at what’s the same and different between Free Bet and regular Blackjack.
Evolution Gaming has created two versions of Freebet Blackjack.
The first uses their Infinite Blackjack table to create a one-to-many version of this game.
Rather than being limited to 7 Seats, Live Dealer Free Bet Blackjack can be played by an unlimited number of players. The cool thing is each player can play the hand their way, with other players’ decisions not affecting the outcome of their hand.
Also present is the option to play up to 4 Side Bets alongside the main hand.
One of them, “Bust It”, almost acts as insurance for the new “Dealer pushes on 22” rule.
The second version is Seven-Seat Free Bet Blackjack, where you play alongside six other players. The game is not as fast as Infinite FreeBet, but it gives you control over your hand. All the rules are the same in both versions.
The game begins with the player placing a bet on the table. You can play four optional side bets can be played alongside the main hand.
If you’re planning on playing them, now is the time to place the bets.
Once the betting window has counted down, the dealer will signal No More Bets and deal the first two cards to the Player and Dealer positions.
If the dealer shows an Ace, he will offer the table the Insurance bet.
The dealer then peeks at his hand. The game is over if he has a Blackjack, and all bets are lost. Players who took the Insurance Bets get paid 2:1.
If there is no Blackjack or the first card isn’t an Ace, Players can make a playing decision from one of the following:
When all players have completed their choices, the dealer reveals his hand and compares the two hands.
Depending on which version of free bet blackjack you’re playing, you can play up to four optional side bets alongside the main hand.
They’re not free, but certainly worth playing if you like to add a bit of spice to the game.
Seven Seat Blackjack has these Side Bets.
Any Pair – This pays out if the player’s initial two cards are a pair. Suited Pairs pay 25:1, while a mixed pair pays 8:1.
21+3 – This uses the dealer’s up card and the player’s initial two to form a 3-card poker hand. The best hand is Suited Trips at 100:1, while a Straight Flush Pays 40:1. Trips pay 30:1, while the more common hands of Straight 10:1 and Flush 5:1 complete the payouts.
Hot3 – This pays if the players up cards and the dealers up card total 19, 20 or 21 or is 3 7’s! The payouts vary from even money for a 19, 2:1 for a 20, 4:1 for an unsuited 21, 20:1 for a suited 21 and 100:1 for 3 x 7’s.
BustIt – This is probably my favourite and pays out on the dealer’s number of cards when they Bust out. 3 cards pay 1:1, four cards 2:1, five cards 9:1, six cards 50:1, seven cards 100:1, and 8+ cards 250:1. Remember, in this game, when the dealer busts with a 22, the player’s hands all push, so this bet acts as insurance.
Infinite Free Bet Blackjack has these side bets:
Is there a strategy for playing Live Dealer Free bet Blackjack?
The simple answer is YES. It’s Blackjack Basic Strategy. Follow it, and you’ll do much better than playing without it.
However, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to win!
A word of caution
Just because you’re being offered a Free Bet for Doubles and Splits doesn’t mean you should always take them.
It may be a free stab at winning, but a basic Strategy should be followed regardless of whether the bet is free or not.
Free Bet Blackjack has a return to player (RTP) based on the first hand out of the shoe of 98.45%.
The RTP is lower than the 99.28% offered on the normal Evolution Live Blackjack tables.
The Side Bets RTP return is:
As RTPs go, 98.45% isn’t too bad. It’s better than Roulette (97.30%) but worse than regular Blackjack.
You can play Free Bet Blackjack on all device types.
Desktop, Tablet and mobile users will find the playing interfaces intuitive to the device you’re playing.
No Free bet Blackjack App is required; you play in your browser. The software does the rest.
For Mobile users, you can lock the orientation if you prefer Landscape or Portrait play.
The mixed mode screen for poor connection speeds auto loads when it detects a problem, so you can continue to play wherever you are. (That’s the marketing blurb. The reality is you’ll experience screen freezes and dropouts if connection speeds are slow).
It’s refreshing when a new variation of Live Dealer Blackjack is released. Free Bet Blackjack is different, and Evolution has been clever in producing two versions.
It’s a popular game in the larger land-based casinos, especially in Las Vegas. While it offers a lower RTP than the traditional game, which may not suit the high rollers, it’s a game aimed squarely at the regular gambler looking for a bit of fun.
The Evolution version provides just that.
Using the Infinite Blackjack technology with the newer side bets ensures a quick-paced game for an unlimited number of players.
Players that enjoy a slower game can use the Seven-Seat Freebet tables.
The Free Bets add something extra. While using them is easy, it’s not always wise.
The more discerning player will still refer to basic strategy if they want to extend their playtime.
The side bets, well, I play them all! They’re great fun :-)