25 Nov

Progressive Blackjack Rules and Player Guide

How to play Progressive Blackjack, for day dreaming side bettors.

How to Play Progressive Blackjack, a Jackpot Side Bettor’s Game from Playtech

Progressive Blackjack is not a single game of 21, but rather a group of games that all fall into the same category. The term applies to any standard game of blackjack, by any basic set of house rules, wherein a progressive side bet is offered. The conditions for winning the side bet will very largely, dependent entirely on where you play.

For the purpose of detailing this game, I’ll be utilizing the house rules and progressive side bet found in Playtech’s Progressive Blackjack game. By these rules, you can expect to face off against a house edge of 0.43% on the base game, and as high as 59.69% on the progressive side bet.

How to Play Progressive Blackjack (Playtech)

The base game is quite simple and very typical for an online blackjack game. Remember, they can vary from one casino to the next. At Playtech-powered online casinos, the following house rules are applied

Specific Rules of Play

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

Progressive Side Bet

This is an optional wager that can be placed for a static value of $1, no more. In order to win this bet, the player must be dealt at least two Aces of any suits, same or mixed. If the suits match, the payout will be higher, with the highest payout – the progressive jackpot – going to a player who receives 4 Aces, all of the same suit.

Note that the game’s strategy does not deviate with placement of this side bet. It is won or lost independently of the base game. When dealt a pair of Aces, the proper strategy is always to split them, thereby increasing the odds of winning the base hand, and giving the player a chance to be dealt a third and fourth Ace.

The following is the pay table enforced in Playtech’s Progressive Blackjack.

Player’s first, consecutively dealt cards are… Pays
Four Aces, Same Suits Progressive Jackpot
Three Aces, Same Suits 2500 to 1
Four Aces, Mixed Suits 1500 to 1
Three Aces, Mixed Suits 250 to 1
Two Aces, Same Suits 100 to 1
Two Aces, Mixed Suits 25 to 1
House Edge = 59.69% Break even at $2,621,763.29 jackpot

Progressive 21 Strategy

The strategy for Progressive Blackjack (per Playtech) is very straight forward. The charts below depict the recommended decisions for all possible situations, according to three different player hand types – hard hands, soft hands, or paired hands – as follows.

How to Decide a Hard Hand

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 against Dealer’s 2-10; otherwise Hit
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

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 3-6; Hit against 9-A; otherwise Stand
19-21 Stand

Conditions for Splitting Pairs

Splitting is one of the best ways to maximize your ROI. This last chart details how to play Progressive Blackjack when dealt any pair. Note that you can only split once per hand. If you split and receive a second pair that cannot be split, refer to the above charts for proper direction.

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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