Perfect Pairs Blackjack
The Perfect Pairs Blackjack game from Arrow’s Edge offers players two types of exciting play. First, you have the strategic depth of a liberal set of rules for multi-deck blackjack. Additionally, you have the exciting Perfect Pairs side bet that offers wins worth up to 30 times your bet.
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An Introduction to Perfect Pairs Blackjack
Arrow’s Edge is a software developer known for giving players different variations of traditional table game titles. Their Perfect Pairs Blackjack game is a good example of that concept in action.
In this game, you get the strategic complexity of a favorable set of blackjack rules. However, you also get a side bet that offers chances for much larger wins than the usual.
This combination style of gameplay is what makes this title stand out compared to other traditional multi-deck blackjack games. However, if you aren’t a fan of the side bet, you don’t have to make it because it’s completely optional. What’s more is that they’re completely separate wagers, so you have different wagers for each and do not have to bet the same on each side of things. This allows for you to adjust to whatever style of play works the best for you as an individual.
In terms of presentation, we love how clean this game is. We also love how it sits outside of the live dealer sphere, which means you can take as much time as you need. While we love live dealer tables, it’s not the best option for everyone in every situation. However, you’ll have all of the flexibility you need here to play at whatever pace you want. This means you don’t have to worry about other players at the table, and you don’t have to worry about playing faster or slower to suit other individuals.
Gameplay Essentials and Rules
In the following, we’ll take a look at the essential things you need to know before you hop into this game. We’ll start with looking at the game in general with broad strokes so that you know what you’re getting into. However, we’ll also finish up with some more seemingly mundane details. These details are the types of things that separate this game from others in the genre, and they’re very important when dealing with the finer points of strategy.
The Key Things to Know
If you’ve never played blackjack before, or if you’d like a refresher, here are the key things to know before you get into how a hand is played:
- All cards in this game are assigned a value. Your score is the total of those values summed up. The cards 2-10 are their face value, and the jacks/queens/kings are all also worth 10. An ace is worth 1 or 11 at the player’s discretion.
- You can generally win a hand in two ways. First, you can have a total of 21 or lower while the dealer goes above 22, which is called busting. Second, you can have the higher total if you both have a total of 21 or lower.
- If you both bust, the dealer wins. However, if neither of you bust, and the scores are tied, then it’s a push, and you receive your wager back.
- Blackjack has a reputation for involving a lot of detailed strategy. However, basic beginner strategies are very effective and do not give up a large edge compared to more advanced ones.
- A hand called a “blackjack” in this game is when your first two cards give you 21. This is a combination of an ace and a 10-point card.
Once you understand that set of basic ideas, we can get into how a hand is played.
Playing an Example Hand
The following is how a regular wager is played at the Perfect Pairs Blackjack tables. However, this does not include the Perfect Pairs side bet, which we’ll look at in more detail below. Also, keep in mind that you can play three hands at once, but each of these hands is handled separate from each other, and each competes with the dealer one-on-one.
- You start by placing your wager and receiving two cards face-up. You’ll only be able to see one of the dealer’s cards, however.
- You’re given the option to take insurance if the dealer is showing an ace or ten. This pays 2:1 if the dealer has blackjack, but you lose your original wager in the process.
- From there, your will play up to three hands you have wagered on. They go from right to left on the table, and you have to finish playing one hand before you go on to the next. However, this involves choosing different strategic options that we’ll look at below.
- If you go over a total of 21, your hand busts out and immediately lose with that hand.
- When your turn is over, if your hand didn’t bust out, the dealer turns over the face-down card. Until a total of 17 or higher is reached, the dealer will add one card at a time to his hand.
- If the dealer busts, and you did not, you win immediately for all remaining hands.
- If you win with blackjack, you win at 3:2 instead of even money.
- In situations where neither the player nor the dealer bust, the highest total wins.
All of this can seem like a lot, but it’s pretty straightforward after you play a few hands.
Your Options When It’s Your Turn
We mentioned above that players have a variety of options to choose from for each hand. Additionally, each individual hand is played until its turn is over. When it’s a single hand’s turn, you have the following actions to choose from:
- Standing (Always Available) – Standing ends your turn immediately. Additionally, it does not add any more cards than what you already have.
- Hitting (Always Available) – When you hit, you receive one extra card to your hand. However, it’s still your turn, and you can continue to take actions.
- Doubling (Available With Two Cards) – A double is when you double the size of your wager in exchange for receiving one more card to your hand. The caveat is that this ends your turn, so you have to be sure this is what you want because the decision is final.
- Splitting (Available With Two Cards of the Same Rank) – When both of your cards have the same rank, you can split them into two new hands. You have to add another wager for the second hand, however, and it’s equal to the size of the original.
We want to point out for players who may be wondering that surrendering is not an option. You can find it in a variety of blackjack games. However, it’s not used here.
Other Rules to Know
With so many blackjack games out there, some players who are fans of the genre will want to know how Perfect Pairs Blackjack differs from other titles when it comes to some of the more detail-oriented aspects of the rules. Here we’ll take a look at a few things you’ll want to know along these lines.
First, the dealer does not peek for blackjack here. In some games, the dealer will look to see if he has blackjack with an ace or 10-point card showing. If so, this ends the hand before the player gets a chance to take any action. That is not the case here, which has strategic implications.
Second, the dealer has to hit on a soft 17. A soft hand is when you have an ace that’s worth 11. For example, if the dealer has A-6 for total of 17, that’s a hit in this game instead of a stand.
Additionally, players can only split a given hand one time. Some titles allow you to do this repeatedly, but it’s not an option here. However, you can double after splitting. Also, splitting aces will only receive one card to each resulting hand, and that hand’s turn will then be over.
Finally, if you receive a hand that’s worth 21 after splitting, it does not count as a blackjack. It can only receive the regular even money win and not the 3:2 bonus payout.
Perfect Pairs Side Bet
When you place the Perfect Pairs wager, you put chips at the top of where your cards go. It’s important to note that this is a completely separate wager from the regular bet. As a result, these two bets can be completely different sizes. Many players prefer to make their Perfect Pairs wager be a fraction of their regular bet size for balance.
Here’s how the Perfect Pairs bet works. Your first two cards for the hand are compared. If they are of the same rank, then you get a payout based on the suits of the two cards:
- Perfect Pair (same suit) – 30x
- Colored Pair (same color) – 10x
- Black/Red Pair (different colors) – 5x
With a chance to win up to 30x with this side bet, it’s easy to see how it’s so popular.
How to Win at Perfect Pairs Blackjack
This game uses six decks that are shuffled after each hand. While that means a regular multi-deck strategy is the basis of how you should play here, it also means card counting is not an option.
The main rule you’ll need to adjust to is the no peek rule. However, that’s a pretty easy adjustment to make. All you have to do is avoid doubling or splitting in most cases when you’re facing a ten or ace.
As far as the side bet goes, it has a payout rate that’s a few percentage points worse than the regular bet with good play. However, it also offers chances for much larger payouts on a single hand, so it’s a trade-off.
The Perfect Pairs Blackjack tables from Arrow’s Edge offer a great experience for players who like strategy. Of course, mixing in one of the most popular side bets ever used in the industry doesn’t hurt. With that said, the presentation is straightforward but strong, and the speed of the gameplay is perfect for those who don’t want to deal with the complications and time pressure of playing in live dealer games with similar rule sets.
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