No blackjack guide would be complete if it didn’t tell you about the variant of the blackjack game called Free Bet Blackjack. This is one of those games that is a must play, but very few will have heard about it, so allow us to take you into a world of free bet gaming when it comes to online Blackjack.
Entering the world of free Blackjack play
Free Bet Blackjack, one of the many, many variants of the Blackjack game found online. Invented by Geoff Hall, this dynamic game is very much a twist on the usual rules and forms of Blackjack that are out there in the world. It is a game that cuts risk, saves money and gives the player a generous opportunity to win money from the game that they get to keep!
Introducing Free Bet Blackjack
Free Bet Blackjack supplements bets for you during the game, like Geoff’s other game, the variant Blackjack Switch, if the during the game, the dealer lands a total of 22, all the bets on the table left standing push.
The game first appeared at the Golden Nugget Casino out in Las Vegas, June 2012. The strategy of the card game now became more simplified and allowed more split moves and double downs to be made than what you would be permitted in a more ‘traditional’ form of blackjack.
Players that find the basic playing strategy of blackjack too complex to memorize will find that Free Bet Blackjack is perhaps the more simple game they were hoping to find.
The rules behind Free Bet tables
💥 The rules from land-based casinos to online have changed slightly, here is how you play, with the addition of normal blackjack rules:
- Six card decks are used
- Dealers hit on soft 17
- Pay is 3/2
- Double down can be made after splitting
- Double down on two cards only
- You can split pairs into four hands with aces included
- No surrender
💥 The main changes to the blackjack rule are:
Free Doubles: A hand with hard totals of 9, 10 or 11 can claim ‘Free Doubles’ Regular doubles can still be granted with other two card hands. When you have a free double, the player wager will be matched with the free bet and will receive the one additional card. If at the end of play:
- Should the house win, the only wager lost is the original stake.
- Should the push happen, then only the original bet is returned.
- If the player does win, then the original wager and the double winnings are returned.
Free Splits: Allowed on all card pairs, except for 10’s. The Free Split comes into effect whereby the first hand formed carries the original bet, the second playing hand carries the free bet by activating the bonus button. These hands can carry the free double or free splitting again.
- The dealer will push on 22. If any player has a total of 21 or less, the dealer is bust.
The house edge with this new rule change lowers the advantage down to only 1.04% which is a 0.44% drop on the traditional rule of the blackjack games away from this variant. For those not sure of what the edge means, when it comes to placing bets at the tables, this is the percentage of advantage the casino has over the player trying to win money from their bets. So, it is almost a 50/50 split, making it one of the best options in the casinos online.
Side Betting in the Free Bet game
The blackjack variant is an option as both live table games and as virtual ones. Because the scope of play is so large in online casinos, the side bet options can switch from casino to casino, so you will find on occasion that you can gamble on side bets to help spice things up for the player taking part. Here we introduce those additional options found on some of the tables.
The Hot 3 works based on the player’s total of the two cards and that of the up card belonging to the dealer’s hand. To win the total must either be 19, 20, or 21. If 19, this pays 1:1. On a 20, it pays 2:1 and if you have blackjack with no suited card, 21 pays at 4:1. If your blackjack is suited it is 20:1 and should players make a hand of three 7’s the pay is 100:1, which is almost the best odds of any blackjack game.
If from the deck the player’s hands and the up card of the dealer’s hands form blackjack, then this is a 3-card poker hand. The payout begins with the poker Flush at 5:1. The Straight at 10:1, Triples at 30:1, a Straight Flush at 40:1 and if players land a suited Triple, the pay is 100:1
This is a very basic side bet to play and commonly found in many casino sites. This is where the player is betting that the two cards will make a pair. Unsuited pairs drawn from the deck will pay 8:1 whilst a suited pair pays 25:1
This focuses on the number of cards the dealer has at the point of going bust. If they have 3 cards at the time it pays even money. If they have four at the time it pays 2:1. Should they be playing with 5 and bust, it pays 9:1. With 6 it is 50:1. 7 pays at 100:1 and if by some measure they hit 8 or more, then 250:1 is the payout, which makes this side the best odds there are even if playing in Las Vegas.
Those are the basic facts about the unique variant of blackjack, which isn’t hard to see why this game is a must for all those with a passion for the game. It offers great strategy betting and returns if you go for the free bet button. The gameplay is definitely suited for beginners because it takes away the rules of soft or hard hands at the table which is a bonus.