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PlayTech Live Blackjack

Playtech is one of the world’s premier providers of live casino technology. Founded in Tartu, Estonia, in 1999, Playtech is now worth over a billion dollars.

They are contracted by such large online casino enterprises as William Hill, Paddy Power and BGO.

They offer a truly wide variety of blackjack tables including Unlimited, Grand and Discojack. This blows most other developers live blackjack collections out of the water, except possibly for Evolution Gaming.

Playtech Blackjack tables also come with top quality presentation, including clear betting interfaces and crisp high-end streaming, as well as an impressively designed and smooth lobby system.

Playtech is licenced by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and operates legally across Europe and several other markets.

The UKGC is a top-tier regulator who holds their licensed casinos to the highest standards.

Top Blackjack Tables From PlayTech

Soiree Blackjack
Unlimited Blackjack
BGO Prime Blackjack

Live Blackjack Features

Playtech live blackjack tables are split into four distinct categories, with a couple of singular extra tables. These are:

  • Unlimited
  • Lounge
  • Grand or Royale
  • Soiree

 

Unlimited tables allow, as the name suggests, an unlimited number of players to play at the same table. No waiting around for a spare seat, watching like a hawk for a spot to come free here. Instead, dozens of players can play on the same single hand. If you choose to stand, your copy of the hand freezes where it is.

Individual players can also double down, but only once. You can only split your hand on certain combinations of cards – although which cards you can split on are determined by the optimum play table, which is good for the players. If you choose not to split, you cannot continue the hand. In this case you will get 20% of your stake back and then sit out the rest of the hand.

Lounge blackjack is Playtech’s name for their range of standard live blackjack tables. In general, these have the same side bets and house rules. However, some change between EU and American style. All that changes here is in the American style the dealer takes one face up card and one hole-card on the first pass and can then ‘peek’ for blackjack if the first card is an ace or 10 value.

This ends the hand immediately in a win for the dealer. In European blackjack the dealer only takes one card on the first pass. Therefore, they cannot ‘peek’ and end the hand early.

Playtech clearly label each table as American or EU style in the lobby preview, which is a simple but useful addition.

Grand & Royale tables are Playtech’s visually upgraded tables that add a rather gaudy feel to proceedings. Excess gold and shininess are not particularly this reviewer’s style, but we can see why it would appeal to many.

They certainly look different from the pale green and blue stylings of the lounge tables. They usually have a higher bet limit to go with the luxurious feel and décor of the tables, although obviously the exact limits are determined by the casino.

Soiree tables are Playtech’s answer to Evolution’s Salon Prive tables. To start with their not quite as exclusive as their competitors’ solo-player tables, as they allow the usual seven players to sit.

They also allow players with less than thousands in their account to visit the table, although you can’t sit down unless you have the minimum bet available – which is between £50 and £200.

The limits here can go extremely high, depending on the casino. When we played at BGO they went up to £10,000 a hand.

The unique feature here though, is players with sufficient balance (we don’t know what this is however, but its high) can request a new dealer – or ask for further time with the current host. Obviously, this can’t be abused. No-one wants to see particularly attractive or conversational dealers being forced into 12-hour-plus shifts!

But it can still be a nice feature, for those who have the money to use it. These tables also have a real understated classy feel to them, with minimal black décor that looks great.

Finally, there is Disco Jack table. This high-tempo blackjack table has party themed music and dressed up live dealers who are encouraged to chat to each other and to the players as much as possible.

Could be fun for people who want a less serious table, or one that moves faster. Although we would hope Playtech get some licenced tunes eventually, as the non-descript disco soundtrack gets old quite quickly.

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Side Bet Options

Lastly, let us touch on the side bets Playtech blackjack offers – 21+3 and perfect pair. Nothing special to see here, as these are the standard side bets offered by most live blackjack providers. 21+3 lets you bet on the likelihood of a poker hand occurring as combination of your hand and the dealer’s.

At Playtech’s Blackjack the different combinations pay out the following:

  • Suited three of a kind pays 100:1
  • Straight Flush 40:1
  • Three of a kind 10:1
  • Flush 5:1

 

Perfect pairs are a bet on your hand being a pair of the same card. This can be:

  • Perfect pairs (same suit): 24-1
  • Same colour pair: 12-1
  • Normal Pair: 6-1

 

You can play these two side-bets at all of Playtech’s blackjack tables. Although they can shake up the game a little, we don’t recommend them from a blackjack strategy perspective.

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House Rules

The house rules are slightly different for the unlimited variety, but otherwise Playtech’s blackjack rules are essentially the same at all their tables.

These are:

  • Either EU or American blackjack
  • Only one split allowed.
  • One card only to split aces
  • Doubling allowed after split.
  • Blackjack pays 3:2
  • No surrender
  • Dealer stands on all 17s.
  • Insurance on a dealer ace – pays out 2:1.

 

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Mobile

Being one of the biggest providers in the live casino game, Playtech have adapted their live blackjack tables nicely for mobile. They worked smoothly on iOS tablets as well as older Android smartphones, when we tested them during our review.

Many Playtech casinos will offer downloadable apps, which make browsing the lobby even easier. However, Playtech’s lobby has also been designed with mobile access in mind and worked like a dream in our experience.

The high stream quality is consistent on mobile, although if you’re playing using your mobile data you will need a strong signal. The user interface was adapted well, with bigger buttons popping up to negate the fiddly nature of a small touch-screen.

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Native & Private Tables

Playtech does not offer any tailored live blackjack tables in languages other than English. They do however have private table facilities. Involving a collaborative effort between the provider and the casino, these tables offer custom casino branding for the client as well as the space to run exclusive offers and other interactive elements.

At the moment you can play Playtech private tables at William Hill, Betfair, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and BGO. We must say, they have done a very good job with them – with some Ladbrokes’ tables in particular looking amazing.

An example of the kind of exclusive offers these tables open up, are golden card competitions. These see random gold or other coloured cards inserted into the blackjack shoes at private tables. Draw them and receive an exclusive bonus or other prize. We can’t wait to see what kind of uses for this technology Playtech powered casinos might come up with in the future.

 

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In Comparison

Playtech is definitely one of the top live casino providers in the game for a reason, and they don’t disappoint with their live blackjack offering.

With a huge amount of variety on offer, and every table having crisp high-definition streaming and a top betting interface, you can’t really complain here. From unlimited to Soiree or Disco Jack, all kinds of customers are catered for by Playtech.

Our only suggestion for improvement would be a few more innovative or interesting side bets. Other than that, we can certify Playtech are a top choice and will stay near the top of the live casino blackjack market for the foreseeable future.

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