Blackjack Professional Series
The Blackjack Professional Series table game from Net Entertainment is a multi-deck game with some atypical characteristics. While the core gameplay is true to the genre, some of the details and a key side bet are super uncommon, which results in a different type of experience.
Casinos with Blackjack Professional Series
An Introduction to Blackjack Professional Series
Net Entertainment is primarily known for their selection of online slots. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that they have some pretty incredible blackjack titles as well. Their Blackjack Professional Series tables are a good example of this in action.
They bring something fresh to the table in a genre that seems to be very straightforward.
The presentation of this title is top-notch. That’s something you’d generally expect from Net Entertainment considering their reputation for awesome looking games. However, they also maintained a certain clean feel that you don’t always get from cluttered interfaces. We like how they achieved a super solid balance between functionality and an interface that isn’t distracting (and therefore kind of annoying).
As far as the gameplay goes, a lot of it is fairly straightforward multi-deck action. However, the particulars are different in a few key ways, which really affects strategy. On top of that, an atypical side bet that isn’t super common is used here as well. That adds even more opportunities to spice up the action in ways that you don’t see as a part of the “same old thing.” Overall, they made things different enough without getting too far outside of the box. That’s definitely something we think players can get excited about.
Play Procedure for the Blackjack Professional Series Tables
Everything in this game centers around a certain core set of rules, and a part of that is the scoring system. If you’re familiar with blackjack, you’ll already know most of this. However, if you’re not, you’ll probably want to pay a bit more attention. While this can be an intimidating title to learn to play for the first time, it’s nowhere near as hard as it looks.
In the following, we’ll be breaking down everything you may want to know about this title.
Basic Rules of the Game
First off, these blackjack tables are based on a standard set of multi-deck rules with a few small variations. On the most basic level, you have all of the cards that have their own values. The sum of these values in your hand is what determines your score. All of the cards are their face value except for the jacks, queens and kings that are all worth 10. For the aces, they can be 1 or 11 at your discretion. However, the game will automatically determine which is best for you and play it that way.
If you’re dealt 21 with your first two cards, you get a 3:2 bonus payout, and the hand is called a “blackjack.” Otherwise, all wins in the normal game (ie: not the side bet) are for 1:1 prizes.
Another term you’ll want to know is “busting out.” If you get a total worth 22 or more points, then you bust, which means you lose right away.
Additionally, players can play up to three hands at once. To do so, place your chips on up to three of the hand positions shown on the player’s side of the game board.
Playing Through a Single Hand of the Blackjack Professional Series Game
Most casino table games are pretty easy to learn if you see a hand or two played through from start to finish. As such, we’ll be walking you through a single hand in the following.
Note: This assumes you’re dealing with the main game only. We’ll look at the side bet below, which doesn’t affect any of this play procedure since it’s handled independently.
- Your bets are placed in their given positions on the table, and two cards are dealt face-up for each of your hands. The dealer, however, will receive one face-up and one face-down.
- If the dealer shows an ace or ten, you get an opportunity to play the insurance side bet (see below).
- In situations where the dealer is given “blackjack,” you lose unless you also have blackjack, and the hand is over.
- Otherwise, you’ll play your hands one at a time from right to left. The available strategic options for playing each hand are detailed further down below.
- If you go bust in a hand, it loses right away.
- Once your hands are played, the dealer turns over his card. From there, until the dealer has a total of at least 17, one card is added at a time.
- In situations where the dealer busts, you win if you had a hand remaining. For example, if you both bust, you lose because you busted first.
- When neither hand busts, the highest total wins. Additionally, ties are a push.
Learning this procedure isn’t too difficult when you’re playing actual hands. It definitely can sound more complicated than it is.
Your Available Options
When it’s your turn to play your hands, you have to finish them up one at a time. However, for each hand, you have a few different options available during your turn. Here’s a quick summary of these options and when you can use them because it can vary a bit between games.
- Hit – The hit option is really simple because it keeps your turn going while adding a single card to your hand.
- Stand – Standing is what you do when you want to end your turn. No new cards are added, and the bet size doesn’t change. It simply ends the turn of that hand.
- Double – When you have exactly two cards, you can double. This includes after splits. A double causes you to add a single card, but it ends your turn, and it requires you to double the size of your wager.
- Split – If both of your cards are of the same exact rank, you can break them apart to create two new hands. This can only be done once per hand position. However, you also have to add an extra bet for the second hand worth the same amount as the original.
You can pretty much use these options however you want within the restrictions listed. Having all of this flexibility to play hands the way you want is where the strategy largely comes from in this game.
Insurance Side Bet
You get two side bets at the Blackjack Professional Series tables. One of those is the insurance wager, which is pretty common.
When the dealer has an ace or ten card showing, he will offer the insurance side bet. The idea is that you’re essentially betting on whether you think the dealer has blackjack. If you take the bet, it’s set to be worth one-half of the size of your original bet size by default.
If the dealer has blackjack, you win the insurance side bet. That means doing it when an ace is showing has a better payout rate than when a ten is showing for obvious reasons. However, you still lose on your original hand (unless you also have blackjack and tie).
Double Jack Side Bet
The other side bet Net Entertainment has included in this title is the Double Jack. The way this works is that the first two cards the player hand is dealt is compared to a pay table. If you meet the requirements of one of the following three situations, you win a prize:
- Double Jacks in Spades – 100x
- Double Jacks (Other) – 25x
- Jack First Card – 10x
Note that for the “Jack First Card” result, the very first card the hand is dealt has to be a jack. However, if only your second card is a jack, then you won’t receive a payout on this side bet.
Other Rules to Know
Players who are really into the particulars of strategy will want to know certain details about the rule set that can vary between different games. This is a quick overview of those points:
- A very atypical four decks are used at these tables, but they are shuffled after each hand.
- The dealer always stands with a soft total of 17.
- As the insurance side bet indicates, the dealer always peeks for blackjack.
- You can double on any total as long as you only have two cards. This includes being able to double after splitting your hand.
- Players can only split once per hand.
- The surrender option isn’t allowed in this game.
Outside of certain strategic ideas in fringe situations, these rules don’t matter much for most players. However, they can help to guide you in certain particular spots with doubling and splitting especially.
How to Win at Blackjack Professional Series
The house advantage for this game, if you play correctly, is only 0.44 percent. That means your payout rate can be more than 99.5 percent with good play.
The basis of strong play in this title will be a strong multi-deck basic strategy. In particular, you’ll need to know how to double with soft hands (against dealer 2-6). Additionally, knowing when to split is a little different with four decks, so some adjustments have to be made there.
Outside of that, this is a very strategically rich title. However, you will need to make some adjustments with doubling and splitting in particular if you’re used to games with more decks.
Net Entertainment really showed how good they are with the Blackjack Professional Series tables. They earned the “professional” label here for sure since every aspect of these tables is top-notch.
In particular, we really like the Double Jack side bet because it offers good payouts while not being particularly complicated. It also doesn’t involve the dealer up-card, which is something that some people have a particular preference on.
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