26 Nov

Royale Blackjack Rules for the Pragmatic Player

How to play Royale Blackjack, a low-edge 21 game at Pragmatic Play online casinos.

How to Play Royale Blackjack, a Low-Edge 21 Game at Pragmatic Play Casinos

Royale Blackjack is one of several online 21 variants exclusive to Pragmatic Play powered online casinos. Don’t confuse its exclusivity with it being special. There really isn’t anything special about this game outside of the title, and the word “Royale” is really just a fancy word for… well… “fancy”. But as we all know, when you attach the word Royale to anything casino related, it creates and air of intrigue, which is likely the reason you were attracted to it in the first place. Am I right?

Don’t go running off now. It’s not a bad game. It’s just not as interesting as its label entails. There are no special features. There are no high-paying (and even higher-edged) side bets to waste your money. It doesn’t have the lowest house edge, nor the highest. Odds are, though, if you’re a fan of Pragmatic Play software, you’ll come across this title, and you’ll need to know how to play it, or better yet, how to win it.

How to Play Royale Blackjack (Pragmatic Play)

I have a love/hate relationship with Pragmatic Play. On the one hand, I can easily appreciate the creativity and graphic appeal that goes into the creation of each and every one of their casino games. On the other hand, they could have provided a lot more in the way of instruction.

Pragmatic’s table games leave a lot to be desired – specifically a button to display the rules of the game. Aside from the in-game controls (bet, hit, stand, double, split), there is only one button, and it brings up a basic strategy chart. We’ll talk more about that later – just know that it’s got flaws!

It took some playing the game to figure out what rules are in place. What I’ve come up wit is the following rules, which would translate to an RTP of 99.54% (house edge 0.46%).

Specific Rules of Play

  • Decks: 4+
  • 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

Royale 21 Strategy

Royale Blackjack Strategy Chart Error

I mentioned above that Pragmatic Play offers the unique option of launching a basic blackjack strategy chart right there within the game, as you play. Just tap on the “Strategy” button in the bottom right corner, and you’re good to go. Right? Not so fast…

It was so kind of the game’s developers to offer us this handy little tool – if only they were as adept at putting together a proper strategy chart as they’d like us to think. Truth is, most of it is correct, but not all of it. The image to the right shows their strategy, where you’ll see the circled section (players has 13-16, dealer has 2 showing) recommends hitting. That is 100% incorrect. By the rules of this game, the player should always stand in this situation.

You can use that chart, noting the error and making the right move, or scroll down and use the strategy charts I’ve provided below. There are three of them – one for the player’s hard hands, soft hands, or paired hands.

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 at the right time can maximize your ROI. Splitting at the wrong time can be become a huge leak in your bankroll. This chart show you how to play Royale Blackjack when splitting is an option. Since you can only split once per hand, if splitting is not an option, you’ll need to refer to the above hard/soft hand charts.

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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