Playtech is one of the original pioneers of Live Casino but for a while Playtech Live Blackjack has been stuck with a fairly basic product compared to some of its competitors.
However, during 2016 changes were implemented that make their live blackjack games more player-friendly.
The addition in August 2016 of a full range of side bets was the last missing piece of the jigsaw and players now have a real alternative to Evolution Live Blackjack.
In fact, Playtech offers a couple of things that Evolution don’t:
So in reality they now provide a more comprehensive choice for players.
Playtech has six different versions of Live Blackjack. The core rules for each of the games are essentially the same with one or two minor differences.
The common game rules are:
The six versions of Blackjack are:
In Vegas Rules Blackjack, the Dealer is dealt with two cards, one face up one face down at the same time as the players.
In European rules, the Dealer is dealt one card face up and gets his second card after all player hands have been played through.
This one to many game of 5 hands can be played by an unlimited number of players.
This is a much better option than playing Bet Behind on a full 7 seat table, but in my opinion, it’s not as good as being in complete control of your cards.
No other players’ actions on the hands have any impact on the way you choose to play the hand. Although you do get the odd player making strange decisions that can ruin the game round for everyone else. See Majority Rules Blackjack for an alternative way of playing.
The game is played to Vegas Rules.
Special Split Rules apply for Unlimited Blackjack – If a split situation occurs you’ll be offered only two options, to Split the hand or Fold it. If you choose to Fold your initial stake minus 20% will be returned to you.
AllBets Blackjack is a modification of Unlimited Blackjack. The concept of an unlimited number of players playing the same hand still exists.
But some smart technology displays only the cards you’ve played, so it gives the appearance it’s only you playing at the table.
The other change is with the number of side bets available.
In addition to Pairs and 21+3, there is now Buster (you get paid if the dealer busts his hand) and Top 3 (for hands containing a certain value).
Quantum Blackjack Plus is the first game to have multipliers assigned to individual cards.
If you get dealt one of these cards your payout will be increased by that multiplier if your hand beats the dealer.
A rule change, of the dealer pushing on a busted 3 card hand does have an impact on the payouts in normal gameplay.
But they are more than compensated for if a big win multiplier is paid.
This game is very quick with playing decisions made either by following basic blackjack strategy or by majority vote.
More than 3 players on a hand are needed for a majority vote to come into play, otherwise, Basic Strategy is applied.
Cashback Blackjack is effectively Blackjack Surrender with greater flexibility. Rather than being restricted on when you can cash in your hand, in cashback blackjack you can surrender your hand for a cash value at any time before the dealer plays his hand.
The Cashback value is calculated using the current cards on the table, with the value changing as more cards are dealt.
The game is played on a modified Allbets blackjack table and has six side bets.
The RTP is a good 99.59%, so if you don’t mind playing a single hand, this version is certainly worth a play for the improved reduced edge on certain hands.
Be sure to follow basic blackjack strategy.
Playtech’s blackjack tables are located at European and Asian Studios.
The European Studio is located in Riga, Latvia, and has a very large selection of Blackjack tables.
There are a couple of themed rooms, such as the Ruby Room where the tables are Beige and there’s also Spanish and Italian.
The Asian Studios are located in Manila, Philippines, and are ideally positioned for the Asian markets.
There are two rooms, The Sapphire Room which is English speaking and has Blackjack Tables, and the Emperor’s Room, which is Mandarin-speaking and doesn’t have Blackjack.
The tables are all distinguished by their names and also table colours.
The European studio went through a period of change, the tables used to be named after Greek Gods, but now have more regular names that describe the type of table it is.
This table is worth a special mention because it’s been created for very High Rollers.
Players using the table have a choice of keeping or changing the dealer every 30 minutes.
New shoes and shuffles can also be requested from a dedicated VIP host.
The table is multi-seat, so not restricted to just one player, and certain requests are limited to players with a particular balance.
I’m currently trying to find out what that may be as I don’t have the funds to test it myself!
The Asian Studio has Green, Purple and Red tables and are named after semi precious stones.
The table range is more limited than the European studio.
Live Games can be played on PC, Mobile and Tablet.
The tables are not displayed in widescreen format yet.
It’s not an issue with PC format, but on Mobile, the screen really should be full screen.
It’s almost unplayable on an Android mobile phone.
There doesn’t seem to be a way to have the display in Full-Screen mode, so the images are too small to be able to play with any degree of comfort or success.
You’ll come across two types of playing interfaces depending on which table you sit at.
The more modern interface is more full screen than its older counterpart which is square.
What’s immediately noticeable is the rather odd-looking positions for the side bets. The image has been likened to Micky Mouses’ ears.
Once you’ve been told that you can’t stop seeing them!
The playing interface has a very old school feel about it, primarily because the screen size is square, so you get big black borders around the interface when playing.
That said though, the interface itself comes with all the options you’d expect.
Whatever interface you’re playing, you’ll have the option of two viewing modes.
Full Screen is for when your connection speeds are ok. You get a Mixed-mode if you have bandwidth issues.
The selection of the mode is auto detected by the playing interface, but you can override it in the settings.
Both interfaces come with the following options:
When you play you’ll get a range of on-screen prompts and information about what’s going on during the game hand. Some are very useful, others you can’t play without.
Pre-Decision – After your initial two cards have been dealt you can decide what action you’re going to take next by using the Pre-decision Option that appears below your seat. It’s a smaller version of the big decision buttons and is designed to speed up the game.
Hot Player notification – shows how many times a player has won since his last loss. Useful if you’re picking someone to bet behind.
Side Bets – A selection of side bets can be played alongside your main hand.
One of the options Playtech offer their licensees ( and they have to pay extra for it) are dedicated tables.
These are normally in their own studio area and are fully branded by the casino. quite often there will be several tables.
These are normally better to play at, as the casinos can run on table promotions.
You’re also more likely to get a seat when the main Playtech tables are busy.
Here’s a selection of dedicated tables.
Alternatively, my comprehensive list of live casinos will give you more to choose from for all suppliers.
If you suffer a disconnection when playing then all is not lost. You’ll be frozen out of the game that you were playing (unless you can get back before it’s your turn to play).
If you return and the hand has finished you’ll be directed to an RNG version of the game that has an exact representation of the table as you left it.
You’ll then be able to play out the hand to its conclusion before re-joining the live table.
Note: – Any further cards dealt on the live version after you’re disconnected are not carried over to the RNG game, (now that would be too easy wouldn’t it!) J