New European Blackjack game released from Switch Gaming for Microgaming
Hot on the heels of their first table game release for Microgaming, Switch Studios' second casino game, Blackjack, is now ready to hit the casinos.
The game is European Blackjack and we are going to take a closer look at the game in this review. Read our review of the new Roulette game released in March 2019.
What is Blackjack?
For those of you that have not played the online casino version of blackjack before, then this is a game that goes by a number of different (and some slightly incorrect) names, such as 21, pontoon or vingt-et-un. The aim of the game is to beat the dealer's hand by scoring as close to 21 as possible with the cards you hold.
You begin the game with two cards and if you manage to hit an ace and a 10 value card (10, Jack, Queen, King or Acer) then you hit blackjack and win automatically. If you do not then depending on the value of your cards, you have a number of options, the most common one of which is to draw cards from the deck in order to improve your score.
You can at any point chose to keep the hand you have received (known as Stand) and there are some additional rules to the game which we will explore when we look at this particular version of European Blackjack in more detail below.
If at any point the player, who always draws their cards first, busts their hand, then the dealer will win. If a player Stands and does not bust their hand, then it is the dealers turn to draw cards, which they do based on the rules of game stated (again we will look at this in more detail for this specific game). The winner is the player with the hand closest to 21, or who has not bust and if the player wins, they receive double their money, or in the case of landing a blackjack 2.5x their stake.
This is a very simple understanding of how a standard game of blackjack goes, but online blackjack does have a few more rules and they change from game to game, so what are these key rules for Switch Gaming's European Blackjack offering?
Switch Gaming's European Blackjack key game rules
Switch Gaming's newest release has all the main ingredients you would expect from a standard game of blackjack and it has tweaked its rules in a number of ways to make the game more appealing to players.
The key rules of the game are as follows:
- Any hand landed that is Blackjack, pays 3/2
- The Dealer must stand on all instances when they reach 17
- Insurance pays 2/1
- The game is played with two regular decks of 52 cards
- Players can double down on hard 9,10 and 11.
- A player is allowed to split their hand once to make 2 different hands.
- Multiple cards to split aces
- If you split cards and one is an ace and you land a 10, this is paid out as 2/1 (1/1) rather than as blackjack (3/2).
- You cannot split 10 value cards that are different cards (so you cannot split a jack and queen for example).
The maximum size of bet you can wager on the new game is 200, and the coin value goes from 1 up to 200. You can therefore wager any amount between 1.00 and 200.00.
Insurance is available when you are dealt your hand and the dealer receives their first card and it is an ace. Insurance costs you half of your initial bet and pays out at 2/1 should the dealer land blackjack. This means if the dealer does indeed hit blackjack, while you lose your initial bet, the pay out from the Insurance bet will cover your losses.
If you are dealt two cards of the same value, you can elect to split these cards in European blackjack and play them as two separate hands. When you split, you are required to pay another stake to match your first bet to cover the second hand. Each hand is then an independent hand and will be played on its own and both will rank against the dealer's single hand, you can win both hands, just one, or lose both hands on a split bet.
One final option available in European Blackjack is to Double or Double Down. This is an option when you want to receive just one more card to add to those in your hand. This bet will cost you the same amount as your initial bet (hence the term Double) but of course, if you win, then you win twice the amount you would have won ordinarily.
In the event of the dealer and the player tying scores, then a Push is called and the player receives back their bet cash.
How does European Blackjack play?
Switch Gaming have gone for a clean, crisp look for their European Blackjack game and to be fair, it works nicely. The table is nicely decorated in a soft blue colour and the controls are pretty standard if oyu have played any online casino card game before with the coins you can bet with and your betting options displayed at the bottom of the screen.
Simply click on the highlighted area on screen to make your bet and then click the green Deal button to start the hand. Hands can be played through at a fast pace and the good news is that with just two decks in play, the house edge on this game is around 0.46%, which is more advantageous to the player than playing with three, four, five or more decks.
The animations and sound on the game are simple but smooth and effective and it is clear that speed and simplicity have been the byword for Switch Gaming when developing the slot and it has worked well as the game is equally as enjoyable to play on mobile as it is on tablet or desktop.
Microgaming will be very happy with this new addition to their casino gaming selection. Switch Gaming have produced a clean, simple but enjoyable card game that is particularly well suited to players who are just starting to discover what blackjack online can offer them. It also offers a favourable house edge which will be of interest to more seasoned players too. All in all, this is a card game that is fun to play and easy to pick up if you have never played it before.
Where can you play the new European Blackjack?
You can play European Blackjack at any of the Mega Moolah casinos, which are all licenced by Microgaming. Note that depending on your location and residence, it is possible that you cannot play from your location. Check our Country page first.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.