10 Oct

Red Queen Blackjack from 1x2Gaming

Rules and strategy to achieve the lowest house edge blackjack on 1x2Gaming’s online casino game, Red Queen 21.

Lowest House Edge Blackjack on 1x2Gaming's Red Queen 21

For various reason I won’t get into right now, 1x2Gaming isn’t very high on the list of my favorite digital gaming software brands. However, there is one thing they do well – and I mean very well. They know how to produce a blackjack game that any strategically-driven player can truly appreciate.

Several years ago, 1x2Gaming released a trio of blackjack variants. Red Queen Blackjack was one of them. It follows most of the standards for an American-rules game, but with one innovative and extremely player-friendly rule. Any natural blackjack that contains a red queen (heart or diamonds) gets a payout boost of 2 to 1.

When it comes to blackjack rules, most games creators will ‘giveth and taketh away‘ when installing such favorable rules as this, but 1x2Gaming did not. All other natural blackjacks still pay the standard 3 to 2. For this reason, Red Queen 21 comes in among the…

Lowest House Edge Blackjack Games Online!

Every blackjack game can be played with a strategy. Each variant has its own special chart adapted specifically for that game’s rules. But the house edge for each game can vary dramatically. In fact, of the best blackjack games found in land-based casinos, the average return to player (RTP) will range anywhere from 99.65% to 99.52% (house edge 0.35% to 0.48%).

If we dismiss the bonus payout rule in Red Queen Blackjack, all the other rules combined would deliver an RTP of 99.54%, falling right into the gap of average returns. With that rule in place, however, 0.28% is shaved off, bringing the house edge down to a mere 0.18% (RTP 99.82%), with basic strategy applied.

How to Play Red Queen Blackjack

I’m assuming that beautifully low edge grabbed your attention, so let’s take a peek under the hood at all the specific rules of Red Queen Blackjack. It’s also worth mentioning that 1x2Gaming came out with a mirror version of this game called Bonus Blackjack, instating the exact same rules except the bonus payout applies to natural blackjacks made with a “black jack”.

  • Decks: 6
  • Soft 17: Dealer Stands
  • Doubling: Yes, on any two cards
  • Splitting: Yes, 1x
  • Double after Split: Yes
  • Resplit Aces: No
  • Draw to Split Aces: No
  • Surrender: No
  • Dealer Checks for Blackjack: Yes
  • Tie for Blackjack: Push
  • Natural Blackjack Pays: 3 to 2
  • Natural with “Red Queen” Pays: 2 to 1

Bonus Blackjack Hand Strategy

The following trio of strategy charts will ensure you take full advantage of that 99.82% RTP. I’ve split them into three charts because the appropriate action will depend on whether you have a hard hand total, soft hand total, or pairs.

How to Decide a Hard Hand

A hard hand will contain any number of cards with a value of up to 21, but will not contain an 11-point Ace. Hitting a hard total of 12+ can result in a bust, so the strategy is more limited.

Hard Total Correct Action by Situation
8 & Under Hit
9 Double on Dealer’s 3-6; otherwise Hit
10 Double on Dealer’s 2-9; otherwise Hit
11 Double on Dealer’s 2-10; otherwise Hit
12 Stand on Dealer’s 4-6; otherwise Hit
13-16 Stand on Dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
17-21 Stand

How to Decide a Soft Hand

A soft hand will contain any number of cards with a value of up to 21, including an 11-point Ace. Hitting a soft total cannot result in a bust, broadening the player’s options.

Soft Total Correct Action by Situation
13-14 Double on Dealer’s 5-6; otherwise Hit
15-16 Double on dealer’s 4-6, otherwise Hit
17 Double on dealer’s 3-6, otherwise Hit
18 Hit against 9-10; Double on 3-6; otherwise Stand
19 to 21 Stand

Conditions for Splitting Pairs

As the old saying goes, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. In this case, having the option to split pairs doesn’t mean it’s always the correct choice. Follow this pair-splitting guide to ensure you’re always playing the lowest house edge blackjack game.

Pair Correct Action by Situation
Ace-Ace Split
2-2 Split against 2-7; otherwise Hit
3-3 Split against 2-7; otherwise Hit
4-4 Split against 5-6; otherwise Hit
5-5 Double against 2-9; otherwise Hit
6-6 Split against 2-6; otherwise Hit
7-7 Split against 2-7; otherwise Hit
8-8 Split against 2-9; otherwise Hit
9-9 Split against 2-6 and 8-9, otherwise Stand
10-10 Stand

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