VIG Live Blackjack
Visionary iGaming, or ViG as they are often labelled, are a live dealer studio and game developer who opened in 2008. Their studios are based in Costa Rica and they serve parts of the US and European markets.
According to their promotional literature, they serve over 50 online casinos and employ over 200 staff. ViG is not licenced by any particular gambling authority however, which might ring alarm bells for some but is not always a reason to discount an operator.
One of their games, Blackjack with Early Pay-out, is totally unique. This three-hand unlimited blackjack variant gives each hand a cash value as you play. At any time before the conclusion of your final play, you can cash out your bet at that value.
This certainly adds an interesting extra layer to the game and is a novel twist on a casino classic. All three of ViG’s blackjack varieties also have the surrender option, which is useful to see from the perspective of potential max returns.
Top BJ Tables From VIG
ViG blackjack comes in three varieties:
- Blackjack Classic
- Blackjack with Early Pay-Out
- Blackjack HD
Each variety comes with a selection of three limits, although exactly what these are is determined by the host casino.
Standard blackjack from ViG is a seven-seat six-deck-shoe table, using Vegas rules. This means the dealer takes two cards, including one face down hole card, that they can ‘peek’ at to see if they have an instant blackjack that wins the hand.
All VIG’s blackjack games feature three side bets and a surrender option. The three side bets are:
- Perfect Pairs
Bet-behind lets players bet on the hand of a player already seated at the table. The bet-behind players take no part in decision making, but just ride along with the seated player until the bet is settled. It’s a decent way of getting more players onto a table when it is full, but since ViG also offers an unlimited option it’s hard to see why many players would choose this.
21+3 is as bet on your hand and the dealer’s combining to make a poker hand. At ViG it pays out as follows:
- Matching Trips – 100 to 1
- Straight Flush – 40 to 1
- Three Of a Kind – 30 to 1
- Straight – 10 to 1
- Flush – 5 to 1
Perfect pairs lets you bet on the result of a pair turning up in your first two cards. It pays out for different kinds of pairs, as follows:
- Mixed pair: 6-1
- Suited Pair: 12-1
- Perfect pair: 25-1
Blackjack with early pay-out is a totally unique game to ViG. This is because, as the name suggests, it offers early pay-out. This system gives your hand a cash rating as you play. This score will go down your chances of winning the hand improve and go up if you look more likely to lose. At any time, instead of taking your action or receiving a card, you can cash out your rating for an early pay-out. Obviously, this pay-out will be less than if you won the hand, but sometimes it can be quite close – up to about 80% of your stake for a hand the system considers extremely likely to win.
As if just to make this game stand out further, it is also a three-hand unlimited variety. This means unlimited players can play on the same seat. If you choose to stand and other players hit, for example, your hand will carry on separately and be displayed electronically. Unfortunately, this means you can’t decide to split – instead certain hands will be auto split, unless you decide to fold and sit out the rest of the round. Still, a small price to pay for such an interesting game.
Oh and, you can also bet on the dealer’s hand to win if you so wish – although only before any cards are dealt. Blackjack early pay-out is a six-deck, European style game.
Blackjack HD, plays like the normal version except with a higher definition stream. To be honest we didn’t see much difference between the stream quality of the two. The live studio looks spacious and modern, although, as with many Costa Rican studios, the loud carpet and bright white walls can contrast somewhat garishly. The studio seems big but also busy with the sound of the other tables and dealers, as well a pit boss who will walk by now and then checking on the tables. This is a nice touch and adds to the atmosphere, although we would suggest they turn the background music down slightly.
Finally, all ViG’s blackjack games offer pop-up assistance which hints you towards the perfect strategy bet. This is nice for new players, although experienced blackjack fans may disagree with the system. Luckily ViG have made sure it is simple to turn the hints off, or just ignore them.
Blackjack early pay-out has its own rules, but the other two ViG live blackjack tables follow this set:
- Seven-seats with a six-deck shoe
- Blackjack pays 3:2
- Surrender at any time for 50% return of stake
- Dealer hits on soft 17 and stands on hard 17
- Vegas Rules: Dealer draws two cards and checks for blackjack
- 21+3 and Pairs side bets
- Split aces dealt one card each
Sites Offering VIG Blackjack
ViG live blackjack is optimised for Android and iOS mobile devices include tablets and smartphones. The betting interface transitions nicely to mobile, although sometimes the cards on the table can be hard to see because of the studio lighting. Although the user experience certainly seems a little dated looks wise – at least it works smoothly on mobile.
The streams retained their quality on the mobile devices we tested them on, with no glitching or freezing in our experience. There was however no mobile lobby for ViG games. Instead you have to return to the casino lobby you are playing at, which can be a little time consuming on slower devices.
Native & Private Tables
VIG’s main studios are in Costa Rica, so the live dealers seem proficient in speaking Spanish as well as English. In fact, they sometimes switch between the two in our experience. They do not offer any dedicated tables in Spanish or any other language.
ViG does not currently offer private table solutions for casinos either.
ViG’s betting interface may feel a little old school, the studios may not look as stylish as Evolution’s or Playtech’s offerings and they haven’t got a huge range of games – but for all that we highly rate their Blackjack tables. Each one has some unique features, and the surrender options plus the perfect play tips make these a good option for players just learning the game.
However, they also offer enough extras to keep it interesting for long-term players as well. In fact, this is especially so for players looking to maximise potential returns – being able to surrender or get early pay-out can really make a difference on losing hands in the long run.
If they could just acquire a respected licence and spruce up their studio a little then ViG they could be a real live casino competitor!