Live Free Bet Blackjack
Evolution Gaming’s live dealer Free Bet Blackjack game offers you a chance to get doubles and splits for free. This is in exchange for the dealer busting out being a push instead of a win. A handful of side bets are also available in this fun, exciting and action-oriented spin on an old classic.
Casinos with Live Free Bet Blackjack
An Introduction to Live Free Bet Blackjack
Two of the most important betting options in blackjack are splitting and doubling. They are essentially where all of the “spice” comes from in the gameplay. Each of them are also critical from a strategic standpoint. The live Free Bet Blackjack tables from Evolution Gaming make both of these options free.
Instead of having to put up an additional wager of the same size, you get the options for free in this version of the most popular casino card game of all time.
When this is combined with some very popular and exciting side bets, you get a tremendous overall experience. No matter if you’re a casual fan, or you prefer the detailed nuance of strategy, there’s something here for you. They’ve done a tremendous job with this title in terms of giving players a lot to look forward to. On top of that, the action is faster than most other live dealer blackjack games, which we’ll get into below.
The Issue of Speed and the “Infinite” Format
In traditional live dealer blackjack games online, each table has a number of seats. Those seats are handled by individual players, so you have to wait for each player to make a decision. However, in this game, you won’t have to. This is because of Evolution Gaming’s “Infinite” blackjack format.
The way this works is that everyone is actually playing the same hand. You don’t have to play it the way everyone else does, however. Instead, you’ll see every possibility laid out on the table in front of you. Whichever way you play is the way you’ll win or lose, but this speeds up the game substantially. However, the pace is actually pretty normal for a single hand, so you’re never really being rushed.
How to Play Live Free Bet Blackjack
Between the side bets, how the cards are registered to the player and the general rules, there’s a lot to keep up with in this game. However, we’re going to break things down section by section so that you can take it all in.
The procedure for a single hand follows the steps below. We’ll get into more specifics like how the free bets and side bets work. However, this is the basic way that the flow of the game happens.
- As the results for the previous hand are on the screen, players are able to place their wagers.
- Once the timer for putting up bets and side bets is finished, cards are dealt to the player and dealer.
- You’ll notice that each card has a barcode on it, and the cards to the player go into the table. This is for them to be scanned so that the software can put them onto your screen automatically.
- The cards will be dealt out for each strategic option that is available. This includes hitting repeatedly until the hand busts. These cards will not affect you if you are standing.
- Likewise, you’ll have free doubling available with totals of 9, 10 or 11 for hard hands. You’ll also have the ability to split for free with any non-10 point cards.
- If you take a double, it will play as if the bet size was doubled, so winning gives double the payout.
- Normal blackjack rules apply otherwise for how you win. If you bust, you lose. If you don’t bust, you win if your total is greater than the dealer’s. However, if you don’t bust and the dealer does, the result is a push if the dealer’s total was 22.
- Once the hand is over, all side bets are reconciled, and you get the option to wager on your next hand.
This is a really straightforward game in terms of how the play works overall.
Particulars of the Rules
Players who are really into the details of strategy will like to know the particulars of the rules. This includes small, specific ways in which this game is different than other blackjack titles. For those players, and for those who like more clarity on how things work, we offer the following.
- The game is played with eight usual 52-card decks.
- All blackjacks pay at 3:2, even if the dealer hits a total of 22.
- Insurance is only offered when the initial card is an ace and not when it’s a 10-point card.
- Doubling is allowed on any two starting cards. However, it’s only free with a hard total of 9, 10 or 11.
- Splitting is allowed with any two cards of matching rank, but you can only split once each hand.
- You are allowed to split aces, but each resulting hand will only be given a single card.
- Likewise, doubling after a split is not allowed.
- Players who get six cards without busting automatically win. This is called the Six Card Charlie rule.
- The dealer stands on a soft 17.
This should clear up any questions about the particulars for anyone who is interested. However, we do want to point out one special case that’s important.
If you’re dealt a 5-5 combination, you’ll qualify for both the free double and the free split. Both options will be available to you no matter the situation, but only one of them can be chosen.
Side Bet Options
Players have four different side bets available in the Free Bet Blackjack live dealer games from Evolution Gaming. Each of them have a pretty solid pay table and ways to win with a lot of variation. Here we’ll have a look at each of them, what they pay and what you can expect in house advantage.
Hot 3 Side Bet
The Hot 3 is a really straightforward side bet based on the totals of three cards. Add up the dealer’s up card with the player’s two cards to see where you land on the following paytable.
- 7-7-7 (Any Suit) – 100:1
- Total of 21 (Same Suit) – 20:1
- Total of 21 (Not Same Suit) – 4:1
- Total of 20 (Any Suits) – 2:1
- Total of 19 (Any Suits) – 1:1
This side bet with this pay table has a house edge of about 5.4 percent. That’s about average in terms of how blackjack side bets come out. In terms of volatility, this one is pretty balanced as well.
21+3 Side Bet
The 21+3 may be the most popular side bet for blackjack of all time. It essentially turns the dealer’s up card and the player’s initial two cards into a game of three card poker. The payouts are a little different, but the idea is the same.
- Three of a Kind (Same Suit) – 100:1
- Straight Flush – 40:1
- Three of a Kind (Not Same Suit) – 30:1
- Straight – 10:1
- Flush – 5:1
Some players who aren’t familiar with three card poker rankings may wonder about the bottom end of the table. In five-card hands, a flush is better than a straight, but that’s flipped here. The reason for this is that a flush is less likely than a straight with only three cards.
With this pay table for the 21+3 side bet, the house edge is about 3.7 percent. That’s up there with the best-paying side bets that you’ll find anywhere.
Any Pair Side Bet
This is the most simple and straight forward of the side bets in the live Free Bet Blackjack game. You look at the first two cards that the dealer gets, and if they’re the same rank, then you win.
- A win for a pair in the same suit is 25:1.
- A win for a pair in different suits is 8:1.
Since there are only two ways to win (same suit or different suits), no other payouts are needed. The house edge for this is 4.6 percent.
Bust It Side Bet
You’ll sometimes see this called the Buster Side Bet, but it’s the same idea with different payouts. Essentially, you’ll be paid if the dealer busts out. However, the exact amount of your payout is determined by how many cards the dealer uses before going bust.
The payouts are as follows for this side bet:
- Eight Card Bust – 250:1
- Seven Card Bust – 100:1
- Six Card Bust – 50:1
- Five Card Bust – 9:1
- Four Card Bust – 2:1
- Three Card Bust – 1:1
This is a pretty cool side bet because winning usually means you won the hand. The exception is if you went bust yourself. However, you get condolences by winning this side bet, which will often make your overall play for the hand profitable as a whole, which is always a good thing.
How to Win at Live Free Bet Blackjack
Strategy for this game involves three things. First, you need to have a good basic strategy for multi-deck blackjack. There’s no getting around this. This will form the foundation of the strategy overall.
Second, you need to make adjustments for the fact that you have the free splitting and doubling options. Keep in mind that the only doubles that are free are for hard totals of 9, 10 and 11. That means that you’ll mostly be doubling in those situations regardless. For splitting, you’ll be doing so most of the time with most hands and very few exceptions. You will never split with pairs of cards that are worth 10 points, for example.
Third and finally is the arena of card counting. Counting with something standard like the Hi-Lo system is completely fine here. A decent amount of shoe penetration happens with eight decks, so you can find plenty of spots to adjust your bet sizes for a better payout rate.
Evolution Gaming’s Live Free Bet Blackjack tables are all about giving you extra action. You get more action from the free doubling and splitting. However, you get more action from the four different side bets as well. If you’re the kind of player who likes exciting variations on classic titles, this is a great pick.
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