iSoftBet’s Blackjack 21+3 game offers players a great blackjack environment with a popular side bet. With the 21+3 side bet, you get a chance at winning up to 100 times your wager based on three-card poker hand rankings. This is on top of an excellent presentation and soundtrack.
Casinos with Blackjack 21+3
An Introduction to Blackjack 21+3
Something we really like to see in the online casino world is a variety of table games. They are so under represented compared to slots because of the nature of the game types that any new addition to the genre is generally welcomed.
iSoftBet has made a very important addition to the blackjack sub-genre in particular. This comes in the form of the Blackjack 21+3 tables.
In terms of blackjack gameplay, we love side bets. They’re an important part of the blackjack culture because of the increased action they provide. As much as blackjack players love the game, it’s a relatively narrow niche market due to the payouts. It’s hard to end up with a huge winning streak in blackjack in a single session. However, when you add side bets with much larger potential upsides, that all changes.
The presentation of this game in particular is very strong. In a genre filled with an emphasis on live dealer games, it’s nice to see a strong presentation without that element. The purple background compared with the golden cards feels very nice. Additionally, the soundtrack and animations are strong and immersive. In short, this is the perfect game for players who take the game seriously while also being a good fit for more recreational types.
Basic Gameplay and Rules
Blackjack is played based on a scoring system. That system has the cards two through nine being worth their face value. Additionally, 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings are all worth 10 points. Finally, an ace is worth one or 11, and that value can change during the hand. However, the ace’s value is always 11 unless that will put the player at a total of 22 or higher. Otherwise, it’s only worth one point.
However, whether you’re familiar with blackjack or not, the basic rules are something you need to look over. That’s because certain details can change from game to game. Without knowledge of those details, even advanced players can go wrong pretty regularly.
In what follows, we break down both the play procedure as well as the specific rules you’ll need to know to get the most out of what this title has to offer.
Playing Through a Hand
You have two different bets you can make in this game. One is for the regular game, and that’s what we’ll look at first. For the 21+3 side bet, we’ll take a look at it further down below and show you what it’s all about.
- The player starts by making a bet using the chips interface. Once that bet is placed, the player receives two cards face-up. The dealer is given two cards with one face-up and one face-down.
- If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, you have the option to place an insurance side bet if you do not have blackjack (21 on your first two cards). The cost of this side bet is half of your starting bet, and it pays 2:1 if the dealer starts with a blackjack.
- Absent any insurance bets, the player then gets to choose between a few betting options. We’ll look at those in more detail below.
- If the player’s total reaches 22 or higher, the player immediately loses with no chances to win (ie: busting).
- Otherwise, when the player’s turn is over, the dealer’s down card is flipped. If the dealer’s total is 16 or lower, the dealer then adds cards one at a time. This proceeds until the dealer reaches a total of 17 or higher. If the dealer busts with 22 or higher at this point, the player wins.
- The two hands are compared, and the highest total wins. However, if the score is tied, then it’s a push, and the player’s bet is returned.
In what follows, we’ll look at the player’s betting options and how they affect gameplay.
Betting Options for Players
When it’s the player’s turn, a few different betting options are available. These dictate how the player’s hand is handled, and they can also affect betting to limited degrees.
- Stand – This ends the player’s turn, and it’s always an available option.
- Hit – Hitting is the other option that’s always available no matter what. This gives you an additional card, and it remains your turn to play.
- Double – You can only double if you have two cards in your hand. This will add one card to your hand. However, it also requires you to double the size of your wager, and it ends your turn.
- Split – If you have two cards of the same rank, you have the option to split them. This pulls them apart to start two new hands. However, you have to add an additional wager equal to the size of your first for the second hand.
Another option is called “Even Money” that’s only available if the player has blackjack and is facing an ace. We’ve never seen this option before, and it’s not a standard choice. The idea is that you can win 1:1 on your wager regardless of the dealer’s down card if you take this option. This matters because you get a better payout of 3:2 for winning with blackjack. However, if the dealer also has blackjack, the hand is a push instead.
Other Important Rules in Blackjack 21+3
This game has a few other important details in its rules that players should be aware of. Here we’ll list them out in no particular order:
- This game uses six standard decks of 52 cards. They are shuffled after each and every hand.
- If you get 21 in two cards after a split, it does not count as a blackjack.
- You can double with any two starting cards. We point this out because some games only allow you to double with totals of 9, 10 or 11.
- Splitting aces only draws one card each to the two resulting hands.
- You are only able to split once per hand. However, you do have the option to split after doubling.
- The dealer does not peek for blackjack at any point.
These rules are some of the more detailed aspects of the game that come up in certain marginal situations. However, they’re critical to know because they can be much different in other games.
The 21+3 Side Bet
With the 21+3 side bet, you get an extra chance to win some pretty serious prizes. While the payout rate as a whole is lower than the regular game, the size of the prizes you can win on a single hand are much higher. This is the trade-off for placing this exciting side bet.
The way this side bet is evaluated is as follows. Your first two starting cards along with the dealer’s up-card are used to create three-card poker hands. The values of those three cards are then compared to a pay table to determine if you win a prize. However, whether you win or not on the main hand is irrelevant to whether you win in the side bet. Additionally, your extra cards and the extra cards the dealer receives do not affect the 21+3 side wager.
Pay Table for the 21+3 Side Bet
The pay table for this side bet is as follows. It’s shown on the screen for reference as you play. However, you may not know what these hands mean, so we’ll explain them here.
- Suited Three of a Kind (100x) – If all three cards are the same rank and suit, you win the top prize.
- Straight Flush (40x) – This requires that you have all three cards in the same suit but also in consecutive ranks like 7-8-9 of spades.
- Three of a Kind (30x) – All three cards need to be the same rank here. However, the suits don’t matter.
- Straight (10x) – Here the three cards have to be of consecutive ranks, but the suits are irrelevant.
- Flush (5x) – A flush is three cards with the same suit. However, ranks and order do not matter.
We want to point out a few things here to clear up any questions you may have. First, the aces can count as the “high” or “low” for the straight and straight flush. That is to say both A-2-3 and Q-K-A combinations work. However, a K-A-2 combination does not count for either.
Also, some players may wonder why three of a kind is ranked higher than a straight and why a straight is higher than a flush. In five-card poker games, the order of these three hands are in reverse. However, in three-card games, it’s actually more likely to get a flush than a straight. Likewise, you’re more likely to get a straight than three of a kind. The payouts are in order of the hands that are the most rare to get.
How to Win at Blackjack 21+3
At the 21+3 Blackjack tables, you’ll need to use a basic multi-deck strategy. However, the main adjustment you’ll need to make to that strategy is for the no peeking rule. In this game, the dealer doesn’t peek for blackjack, which would normally end the hand as soon as it starts to speed things up. As a result, you have to be more conservative about doubling or splitting when facing against a 10-point card or an ace.
With correct play, you can get your payout rate worth up to 99.43 percent in this game. That’s for the regular game mode. However, for the 21+3 side bet, the payout rate is exactly 95.38 percent on average.
We think that iSoftBet really did an excellent job putting this game together. What we find with Blackjack 21+3 is that you don’t actually have to get into a live dealer game to enjoy one of the most popular side bets out there. Aside from that, the game plays similarly to European Blackjack with six decks instead of the eight that we see more often. That gives it a great amount of action and a lot of deep strategies.
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