Live Blackjack Microgaming
Microgaming, an industry heavy-weight, has released an extensive lineup of live dealer solutions that are outfitted with numerous features. The reviewed game is a multiplayer seven-seat blackjack that can actually accept any number of players thanks to the Bet Behind functionality. An undeniable advantage of Microgaming’s live blackjack is a comprehensive Help section featuring an exhaustive set of blackjack rules and the best strategy table of what game play decision to make on dealer’s specific up card.
Video streaming is of excellent quality with many user-adjustable settings, including three options for video definition (HD, Average and Small), two camera views, a full-screen mode and Video Off option. By customizing these video settings, you can get any desirable quality of the video stream to suit your specific needs and preferences. Alternatively, you can leave the Auto option enabled to allow the software to automatically configure the video quality.
On both sides of the video streaming window are two small panels that contain useful details about the game. The right panel titled Hot Streak shows the names of seated players who have won two or more hands in a row. You can use this information to identify the luckiest or most skillful players for betting behind one. The left panel shows dealer’s last 5 hands and score as well as brief info on the dealer such as name, zodiac sign, date of birth and lucky number.
Microgaming offers an exciting opportunity to join multiple tables at a time by clicking the Add Table button at the bottom of the screen. All the tables you are playing at are indicated in the Joined Tables section and are accessible at the click of a button.
The game follows a traditional set of blackjack rules with some minor variations that are worth paying attention at before proceeding to play. The following are the general rules applied in this live blackjack:
- dealer hits on 16 and stands on all 17’s, both soft and hard hands
- player can split only the cards of the same denomination, not of the same value. This means that, for example, the King+Queen hand cannot be split, while two Kings can
- player can double down on a hard hand that totals 9, 10 or 11
- having blackjack in the dealer’s and player’s hands results in a tie (push)
- blackjack pays 3 to 2.
The player is offered to take insurance on a dealer’s ace. The cost of insurance is 50% of a regular bet. If the dealer does have blackjack, the player is paid 2 to 1; otherwise, the insurance is lost and the round continues.
Sometimes, newly joined players have to wait for an empty seat as Microgaming’s blackjack tables tend to be crowded. You may opt to join the waiting list and finally get a seat, or place a bet behind a seated player. All game decisions are made by the seated player and the only option you can select from is how to act if the seated player decides to split his hand: to transfer the bet to the right/left hand or both hands. In case of doubling down, your bet remains unaffected.