Power Blackjack review (Evolution Gaming)
Evolution Gaming has long recognized that the key success factor for a Live Casino games provider is continuous innovation
And Evolution Gaming masters that art like no other. Not only do they know how to come up with brand new games, but they also often breathe new life into existing games.
It’s no coincidence that online casinos are queuing up to offer the Latvian giant’s live casino games to their customer base.
Power Blackjack is an innovative Blackjack version where the player can double down on every two cards and Triple Down or even a Quadruple Down.
It ratchets up the variance in the game considerably. Not only can you win twice as much, but you can also lose twice as hard.
Also, all nines and tens (not the face cards!) are taken out of the game, creating a completely different dynamic.
It forces you to part with the regular blackjack strategy: new rules, new optimal strategy. We’ll explain what the best plan for Power Blackjack is.
Evolution Gaming has changed a lot with Power Blackjack. A lot has also stayed the same: the crystal clear live images, the professional dealers and the many user-friendly options.
Power Blackjack gameplay and features
As with any Live Casino game, a game round begins by making a bet.
With Power Blackjack, this bet amounts to a minimum of $€ 1 and runs up to a maximum of $€ 5,000.
You can also choose to play up to four side bets. We will explain this later.
The payouts are similar to regular Blackjack:
- A tie: you get your bet back
- A win: you get your bet paid out plus your stake back
- Blackjack: You get your bet paid out 1.5 x plus your bet back
As with regular Blackjack, the goal of Power Blackjack is to beat the dealer. And not, as many people mistakenly think, to get as close to 21 as possible without going over.
The only goal you have is to get a better card than the dealer. Whether you win by 12 points from him or by 20, that does not matter.
That’s why the strategy is so crucial. By staying, buying, splitting or quadrupling at the right time, you can significantly improve your winning chances.
When consistently applying the optimal strategy for Power Blackjack, the house edge is 1.2%. That’s not as good as the 0.5% – 1% house edge you can achieve with regular Blackjack.
By the way, you play a form of Common Draw Blackjack: each player starts with the same cards and is then allowed to determine his play individually.
You play with eight decks of cards.
What is the best strategy with Power Blackjack?
The optimal strategy for Power Blackjack is, let’s put it mildly, quite tricky to remember.
Unless your name is Rainman (the lead character with autism and perfect memory, from the self-titled movie featuring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman), we would advise you to print it out and keep it within reach.
Power Blackjack gives you exactly 15 seconds per decision, so make sure you are well prepared.
We have derived this optimal strategy from the game rules. Evolution Gaming did add a disclaimer that the optimal strategy can sometimes deviate. We think this is related to the cards that are still in the game.
In 99% of the cases, the below mentioned optimal strategy for Power Blackjack would work just fine in the live Evolution Gaming casino of your choice.
- Always split when the dealer has 6. If not, you hit (take a card).
- Only split threes if the dealer has 2-8. Otherwise, you hit.
- Only split fours when the dealer has 6, otherwise hit.
- Never split fives.
- Only split sixes if the dealer has 2-8. Otherwise, you hit.
- Split sevens when the dealer has 2-7, otherwise hit.
- Always split eights.
- Never split tens (this rule also applies to regular Blackjack!).
- Split Aces only when the dealer has 2-6 or 8-10. Otherwise, you hit.
- When you have two fives, you quadruple if the dealer has less than 10. Otherwise, you hit.
- On ten points (no ace), quadruple if the dealer has 2-7. Otherwise, you hit.
- For eleven points (no ace), you quadruple only if the dealer has 2-8 points. If not, you hit.
- On 15 or 16 points with an ace, you only quadruple if the dealer has 6 points.
- On 17 points with an ace: quadruple only if the dealer has 5-6 points.
- On 18 points with an ace: quadruple only if the dealer has 2, 4, 5 or 6 points.
- On 19 points with an ace: quadruple only if the dealer has 6 points.
Hit or stand
- Always hit on 14 points (no ace) or less.
- Always hit on 15 points (no ace) unless the dealer has 5 points.
- Always hit on 16 points (no ace) unless the dealer has 2 or 4-6 points.
- Always hit on 17 points (no ace) unless the dealer has 11 points.
- If you have 17 points with an ace, always hit.
- If you have 18 points with an ace, always hit, unless the dealer has 8-ace.
- Stand when you have 19 points or more (also with an ace).
We didn’t make it up when we said that the optimal strategy is quite different from what you might be used to with regular Blackjack.
Four side bets
Besides the regular game, you can also wager on four different side bets.
Mathematically speaking, placing side bets (also called “Sucker Bets”) is never a smart move: the house edge is always higher than with the regular game.
With the Hot 3 side bet, you can make up to 100 times your stake. You win if your first two cards’ total points and the dealer’s face-up card combined total 19 to 21 points – house edge 4.79%.
21 + 3
If your first three cards are a Flush, a Street or a 3-of-a-kind, you are awarded prizes ranging from a minimum of 5:1 (Flush) to 100:1 (three identical cards) – house edge 3.94%.
If you get a pair dealt on your first two cards, you win the Any Pair side bet. A pair pays out 7:1, a pair with (exactly) the same cards pays out 20:1 – house edge 4.42%.
To win the Bust It side bet, the dealer must bust. You win up to 250 times your bet depending on the number of cards the dealer busts with – house advantage: a very substantial 5.29%.
Tip: of all the side bets, the 21 + 3 is the most attractive in payout rate, and the Bust It side bet is the least attractive. So, if you really can’t resist wagering a side bet, then opt for the 21 + 3.
Where can you find Power Blackjack?
Power Blackjack is found at all reliable Evolution Gaming casinos.
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