20 Nov

Perfect Blackjack Rules and Strategy (Playtech)

Learn how to play Perfect Blackjack, a Playtech online casino exclusive featuring the Perfect Pairs side bet.

How to Play Perfect Blackjack, a Playtech-exclusive featuring Perfect Pairs Side Bet

Despite its clever title, Perfect Blackjack isn’t exactly what I would call the “perfect” game of 21. Its name comes from the fact that it offers the fashionable Perfect Pairs side bet; nothing more. The game was created by Playtech and is therefore (under the following rules) available exclusively at Playtech powered online casinos.

Perfect Blackjack should not be confused with RealTime Gaming’s similarly titled Perfect Pairs Blackjack. While the basic rules (and namesake origins) seem the same, there are subtle differences that increase the house edge from 0.43% (Playtech) to 0.54% (RTG). That may not seem like much, but for strategy-minded players, every hundredth of a percentile counts! Suffice it to say, if you’re going to play one of those games, it might as well be this one.

How to Play Perfect Blackjack

Because this particular title is exclusive to Playtech online casinos, you’ll need an account with one of them in order to play this variant. Personally, I’d recommend finding a game with a better return – specifically one in which the dealer peeks for blackjack, and doubling after a split is allowed. Without those favorable rules, the RTP comes in at 99.57%. It’s not the best in the iGaming business, but not the worst either.

One thing I do like about this game is that it’s one of the few that offers the 7 Card Charlie, wherein a player hand that reaches 7 cards without busting (21 and under) automatically wins. Conversely, several of Playtech’s online blackjack games limit players to a 10 Card Charlie, which I find absurd. Aside from this, Perfect Blackjack follows some rather customary rules, as detailed below. It also features an optional side bet, which we’ll talk more about in a moment.

The basic house rules of Perfect Blackjack are as follows:

Specific Rules of Play

  • Decks: 6
  • Soft 17: Dealer Stands
  • Doubling: Yes, on any 2 cards
  • Splitting: Yes, 1x only
  • Double after Split: No
  • Resplit Aces: No
  • Draw to Split Aces: No
  • Surrender: No
  • Dealer Checks for Blackjack: No
  • 7 Card Charlie: Instant winner, pays 1 to 1
  • Blackjack Pays: 3 to 2

Perfect Pairs Side Bet

The name of the game comes from the fact that it supports the common Perfect Pairs side bet. It is a wager that pays out when the player’s first two cards are paired (i.e. 4-4, 9-9, Q-Q). Two face cards that are not the same (J-K) are not considered a pair.

Playtech specifies that hands derived from splitting do not count either, but it’s worth noting any hand that was split has already qualified to win this bet.

Perfect Pairs pays out on a progressive scale depending on how perfectly the pairs align. If they are the same color suits, they pay more than mixed color suits, and if they are the exact same suit, they pay the highest prize of 25 to 1.

According to the pay table below, the Perfect Pairs side bet comes with an unfavorable house edge of 6.11%.

Player’s First 2 Cards are… Pays
Perfect Pair (same suits) 25 to 1
Colored Pair (same color) 12 to 1
Mixed Pair (red and black) 6 to 1
House Edge = 6.11%

Strategy for Perfect Blackjack

This game is by no means perfect, but you can get as close to perfect as possible by following the basic strategy charts below. The best you can expect is an RTP of 99.57% (house edge 0.43%).

Being a matter of strategy, I must dissuade you from placing the Perfect Pairs side bet. The 6.11% house edge on this wager would drag your RTP into the abyss. If you’re looking to minimize losses, it’s not worth it.

With that being said, please refer to the sectional strategy charts below. There are three charts, each designated for a specif type of player hand – hard hand, soft hand and paired hand.

To use these charts properly, first choose the chart that fits your hand type. Next, choose the total on the left that corresponds with your current hand value. Then, on the right, select the move that corresponds with the dealer’s face-up card.

How to Decide a Hard Hand

A hard hand total is one that does not include an Ace valued at 11. Any hard total of 12+ can bust if hit.

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

How to Decide a Soft Hand

A soft hand total is one that includes an Ace valued at 11. Soft totals cannot bust when hit.

Soft Total Correct Action by Situation
13-14 Double against Dealer’s 5-6; otherwise Hit
15-16 Double against Dealer’s 4-6; otherwise Hit
17 Double against Dealer’s 3-6; otherwise Hit
18 Double against Dealer’s 2-6; Stand against 7-8; otherwise Hit
19 Double againstDealer’s 6; otherwise Stand
20-21 Stand

Conditions for Splitting Pairs

Splitting pairs is an important part of any proper 21 strategy, giving players the ability to increase payouts in favorable situations. This final chart shows how to play Perfect Blackjack when a pair is dealt to the player. Unfortunately, you may be forced to deviate from these hand rules if you’ve already split, and are dealt a second pair as a result. You can only split a hand once in this game. If that happens, please refer to the hard- and soft-total strategy charts above for correct instruction.

Pair Correct Action by Situation
Ace-Ace Split
2-2 Split on dealer’s 2-7; otherwise Hit
3-3 Split on dealer’s 2-7; otherwise Hit
4-4 Double on dealer’s 5-6; otherwise Hit
5-5 Double on dealer’s 2-9; otherwise Hit
6-6 Split on dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
7-7 Split on dealer’s 2-7; otherwise Hit
8-8 Split
9-9 Split on dealer’s 2-6 or 8-9; otherwise Stand
10-10 Stand

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