Playtech's ‘Grand' Blackjack has been coming to you live from the world's largest live casino in Riga, Latvia, since March 2017. Built atop the city's ancient walls at the heart of its historic old town, the studio offers an astonishing 8,500 square metres of gaming fun. And it should come as no surprise that blackjack features prominently on the list of attractions.
There are several variants of the game to choose from, but for both newcomers and seasoned players, the standard version has a great deal to offer.
Classic Blackjack rules apply here: the objective is to get closer to the dealer to 21 without going over it. Both dealer and player are given two cards, to begin with, and can either draw an additional card or stick with what they have. It takes just a few rounds to learn the rules and start having fun, and thus it's great for new players.
Hands are dealt using an eight-deck shoe that's reshuffled midway through, by a real dealer at a real table. Up to seven players can crowd around the table and place their bets using Playtech's intuitive and responsive interface, which provides both a vibrant gaming atmosphere and a frustration-free play experience.
The dealer's cards are dealt different depending on the table you're playing at. US-style means that the dealer's second card is dealt immediately after the players have received their cards. This means you'll be able to see whether the dealer has blackjack before you bet. EU-style means that you'll need to bet before seeing the dealer's second card. The type of deal will hugely influence the appropriate strategy. It's clearly indicated in live lobbies, so be sure to check it when playing.
A number of common house rules are also in force. The dealer will stand at seventeen, and players can double after split (but they can't split aces, as this would allow multiple chances to hit 21.) You're also forbidden from resplitting!
You'll also have the option of playing 247 card game behind the action, placing bets on the players sitting at the table. This allows you to enjoy the game without having to make decisions yourself – and as such, it's a great way to step back from the action, or familiarise yourself with the game before getting involved for real, or involve yourself while waiting for a seat.
You'll also get two varieties of side-bet to place, along with the ability to insure against the dealer's blackjack. The side-bets are pairs and 21+3. ‘Pairs' offer generous returns to players who are dealt specific combinations of cards; two cards of the same number and colour will return big; two identical cards will win even bigger.
21+3 side bets allow you the opportunity to create a poker-style hand from your initial deal and the dealer's up-card. Get an identical triplet (the same card from the same suit three times), and you'll get an enormous pay-out!
This version of Blackjack pays out in the same as the versions of the game you're familiar with. When your hand beats the dealer's, you'll be paid out at 1:1. When theirs beats yours, you won't. If both hands are of equal value, then your stake will be returned to you. If you get blackjack, you're paid out at a more generous 3:2. And if you've insured against the dealer getting blackjack, you'll be paid out at 2:1.
Blackjack is one of the world most popular casino card games. It's easy to understand and play. What's more, with the help of Playtech's sophisticated live studio, it's possible to enjoy a high-quality game of blackjack from the comfort of your home. The ‘Grand' version of the game takes place on an eye-catching brown and gold table, so there's no mistaking it from the other versions.