21 Oct

Take the Money and Run with Early Payout 21

Fast track your casino winning by learning how to play Early Payout Blackjack Live from Visionary iGaming.

Fast Track Your Casino Winnings with Early Payout Blackjack Live

This particular game is quite unique to the 21 genre. It was patented by Visionary iGaming (ViG), delivering a one-too-many live dealer experience where the player is always given the benefit of basic strategy – should they choose to accept it. In some cases, the only decisions available are to follow basic strategy, or to surrender, collecting an “early payout” for your trouble.

ViG likes to market it’s Live Early Payout Blackjack as the “highest paying blackjack game”. It’s not really the highest paying blackjack game, online or on land. They claim that it features an RTP of 99.5%, which would be equivalent to a house edge of 0.5%. They are surely rounding to the nearest half-percentile, as the actual rules of the game break down to a more realistic RTP of 99.31% (house edge 0.69%).

Rounded up or not, there a lot of games that can get you closer to a fair playing field. The difference is that this version lays out basic strategy for you, whereas those others will require you to strategize the best plays on your own, either because you’re a mathematical genius or because you know how to properly apply a strategy chart.

Don’t be fooled! Player strategy is still very important.

It’s worth noting that the most common way to diminish the game’s inherent RTP is to – drum roll please! – take the early payout. There are times when true strategy would call for surrendering, but otherwise, you shouldn’t do it. By my experience and calculations, the early payout offered at every interval of the game gives the house an approximate 2% house edge.

For example, if you were dealt a natural blackjack on a $10 bet, the automatic win for this is $15. Now, bear in mind the game won’t let you make such a dumb decision as to take the early payout instead of the instant 3:2 win. However, for the purpose of understanding how early payouts work, if it were offered at this juncture, the early payout would be approximately $14.70 (or 98% of $15).

How to Play Early Payout Blackjack Live

This game is only available at online casinos employing Visionary iGaming’s live dealer platform. The games are streamed from ViG’s live casino studio in San Jose, Costa Rica. To participate, you’ll need to join one of their associate casinos, navigate the menu to the live casino area, then choose Blackjack with Early Payout from the list of tables.

This game isn’t played like standard blackjack variants. First of all, it’s a one-too-many live blackjack game, meaning that an unlimited number of players can participate in the three hands that are dealt. When taking a seat, you will choose which hand(s) you want to play. By invoking perfect strategy, the dealer is able to restrict each hand’s options to stand, hit, double, and split.

Limited for Choice

Whenever basic strategy dictates that the player should stand, they will not have the option to hit. Instead, they can either stand, or surrender, taking whatever early payout is on offer at that moment. If a hand can be hit, doubled or split, the player will be permitted to deviate from strategy by choosing any of these options, standing on the current total, or collecting the early payout. If the player stands, their total will be locked in, but the hand will be played out anyway for the benefit of any others playing the hand who did not stand or collect.

Due to the limited decision making abilities in Early Payout 21, it can take some getting used to. For this reason, is it one of the rare live dealer blackjack games that allow players to participate for free, using only practice chips.

Specific Rules of Play

  • Decks: 6
  • Soft 17: Dealer Hits
  • Doubling: Yes, on any two cards
  • Splitting: Yes, 1x
  • Double after Split: Yes
  • Resplit Aces: No
  • Draw to Split Aces: No
  • Surrender: Yes
  • Dealer Checks for Blackjack: Yes
  • Blackjack Pays: 1 to 1

Early Payout 21 Side Bets

Visionary iGaming infused this game with two optional side bets. They include a very basic Pairs side bet, and a more intricate Rummy side bet.

First up is the Pairs bet, wherein the player gets a payout if their first two cards pair. It doesn’t matter how “perfect” the pairs are. The payout is always the same, 11 to 1 for any pair.

Next is the Rummy side bet, known elsewhere as 21+3. This bet is base don three cards – the first two cards dealt to the player, and the face-up card of the dealer. Any of the following “rummy” hands will pay the same 9 to 1 for a win.

Rummy Side Bet – Player’s 2 Cards + Dealer’s Up-Card are… Pays
Straight Flush 9 : 1
3 of a Kind 9 : 1
Straight 9 : 1
Flush 9 : 1
Anything else Lose
House Edge 3.24%

Strategy for Live Blackjack with Early Payout

The strategy is inherently applied in this version of 21, except when it comes to collecting the early payout (a.k.a. Surrender), and in terms of doubling/splitting.

When to Take the Money and Run! (Collect Early Payout)

Collect the early payout if…

  • Player has a hard total of 15 against Dealer’s Ace.
  • Player has a hard total of 16 against dealer’s 10 or Ace.
  • Player has a hard total of 17 against Dealer’s Ace.
  • Player has a Pair of 7-7 against Dealer’s 10 or Ace.

When to Double Down

Unless basic strategy dictates that the hand should stand, you’ll be given the option to double down. Only do so when:

Player has a HARD total of…

  • 8 against Dealer’s 5-6.
  • 9 against Dealer’s 2-6.
  • 10 against Dealer’s 2-9.
  • 11, always.

Player has a SOFT total of…

  • 12-16 against Dealer’s 4-6.
  • 17 against Dealer’s 2-6.
  • 18 against Dealer’s 3-6.
  • 19 against Dealer’s 6.

Player has a PAIR of…

  • 5+5 against Dealer’s 2-9.

When to Split Pairs

Splitting should only be done in the following circumstances:

Players has a PAIR of…

  • A+A, always.
  • 2+2 against Dealer’s 2-7.
  • 3+3 against Dealer’s 2-8.
  • 4+4 against Dealer’s 4-6.
  • 6+6 against Dealer’s 2-7.
  • 7+7 against Dealer’s 2-8.
  • 8+8, always.
  • 9+9 against Dealer’s 2-6, 8-9, or Ace.

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