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Introducing Pragmatic Play’s American Blackjack
Pragmatic Play were previously owned by the Novomatic Group and thanks to this they can operate from the Extreme Live Studio based in London in the United Kingdom and still do. The benefit to Pragmatic Play is that they can still use Extreme’s UK licence meaning that they can provide their games to the market in the United Kingdom. With this arrangement they can guarantee more live dealers are available for their players and those dealers are easy to understand.
Features in American Blackjack
With regards to blackjack Pragmatic Play has just one type of game and this is standardised to play out over three tables. You will find some online casinos that operate a VIP version that offers higher stakes and tables that are more decorative, but the actual game play is the same.
There are seven seats at each of the American blackjack tables and every table uses 8 card decks. However, if the seven seats are all occupied there is the opportunity for you to use the bet-behind option which will allow you to bet on the hand that is held by the player that is already seated at the table but when playing this way you have no control over any of the decisions that are made by the player throughout the game.
Generally the hosts at the blackjack tables are far more enthusiastic than any of the other hosts from the various online developers and this is a good thing as it makes up for the low quality with regard to the streaming which is below par when compared to others.
When it comes to the bet interface this is above adequate taking up a minimal space without being too difficult to use. I found the option of being able to decide how to act before taking my go as this makes the play fluid and quick. Turns of the players last just 10 seconds which is relatively short when compared with other online blackjack offerings. This is one area of the game of blackjack that Pragmatic Play seems to focus on, which is not a bad thing in fact personally I feel this is a great advantage.
As well as the bet behind that we touched on above there are two other side bets that are on offer at Pragmatic Play blackjack tables these being the usual 21+3 and perfect pairs.
Perfect Pairs is where you bet on a pair of any kind appearing in the initial two cards, this can be either a match of colour and suit or another combination. Pragmatic Play tables will provide pays out as follows:
Perfect Match – 25:1, a Coloured Pair – 12:1 and a Mixed Pair – 6:1.
When it comes to 21+3 bets you are betting on the chance of a poker hand being created from both your hand and the dealer’s hand together. Pragmatic Play tables will provide pays out as follows:
Suited Trips – 100:1, Straight Flush – 40:1, Three of a Kind – 30:1, Straight – 10:1 and Flush – 5:1.
As the tables used for American Blackjack by Pragmatic Play are standardised, the house rules are the same, these being as follows:
Vegas Rules – where the dealer pulls out two cards and peeks to see whether there is blackjack. Double down can be used on your hand but not where there are splits in play. Splits can be played only on pairs, but where there are two aces you can only use one hit (up your bet). The dealer must stand on all 17s. Players can take insurance if the dealer has an ace and this is paid out at 2:1. Winning blackjack hands pay 3:2 as standard.
Ways to play
There is no doubt that when you are playing live blackjack the mobile experience really comes down to the host casino, and then when you are in the game the casino needs to do as much as possible to ensure that the game runs smoothly.
Having played Pragmatic’s live blackjack gameplay I can state that their interface is solid however it does have some of the same issues as other providers. You have the option to play in either landscape or portrait and this is well done and really is down to your own preference, in other words whether you want a smaller live feed with a larger and betting interface that has clarity or vice versa.
Being able to offer the same great service regardless of the way the player chooses to play is a great feature, however in both modes if you want to open the chat window this covers almost all your bet window. This is a problem found in all blackjack providers and hopefully soon the industry will find a solution for all developers in this regard.
Even when you take this into account the bet interface offered by Pragmatic Play is excellent. The stream quality does suffer but thanks to the digital display you can still see your cards clearly. Side betting is made easy thanks to the big buttons offered when you place your bets, and this is one thing most other blackjack developers could learn from. Pragmatic Play blackjack can be played on both Android and iOS making play open to all whether they use an old smartphone or the most up to date tablet.
Types of Tables
There are no private blackjack tables on offer in Pragmatic Play games and this is something that is becoming increasingly popular and sees the developer and host casino collaborate to create custom built tables which can provide players with some exclusive offers for their players when they choose to play at a specific casino. Currently, Pragmatic Play do not offer this facility but due to them only just purchasing Extreme Live Gaming as their live casino division this could be something that they are working on so watch this space.
The live dealers in Pragmatic Play are multi-lingua but to date they do not offer any dedicated tables to other languages, the multi-lingual dealers are easy to spot as they display a flag in the game preview before you join the table. There are some casinos that supply this information in the lobby of the casino but there are still some that make you enter the table to ascertain this information.
American Blackjack from Pragmatic Play has been constructed on solid foundations therefore it is unsurprising that they are one of the best in this field, and whilst the game may not be the most exciting or diverse the strong experience that they offer is certainly enough for most fans of blackjack.