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Playing Blackjack Online...

The following tables show the blackjack rules offered by some major software providers. Some software providers allow their licensees to select their own rules. I know this to be true of Real Time Gaming and Unified Gaming. The rules below for Real Time Gaming used to be standard but with a software update the number of decks may be set by the operator. Comments on Unified Gaming rule variations follow the tables.

Note that in May 2001 Starnet changed their name to World Gaming. They expect to release new software in May 2002. If you're interested in Lasseters blackjack information click here.

Number of Decks
Unified Gaming 1 or 6
World Gaming 6
Microgaming (single hand) 1
Cryptologic 8
Boss Media single player 1
Boss Media multi-player 6
Real Time Gaming Configurable

Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Unified Gaming Yes
World Gaming Yes
Microgaming Yes
Cryptologic Yes
Boss Media single player Yes
Boss Media multi-player Yes
Real Time Gaming No

 
Double on Any Two Cards
Unified Gaming No, 9-11 only
World Gaming Yes
Microgaming No, 9-11 only
Cryptologic Yes
Boss Media single player Yes
Boss Media multi-player Yes
Real Time Gaming Yes

Double after Splitting
Unified Gaming Yes
World Gaming Yes
Microgaming No
Cryptologic Yes
Boss Media single player Yes
Boss Media multi-player Yes
Real Time Gaming Yes

 
Number of splits allowed
Unified Gaming 3
World Gaming 1
Microgaming 1
Cryptologic 1
Boss Media single player 1
Boss Media multi-player 1
Real Time Gaming 2

 
Player May Draw to Split Aces
Unified Gaming No
World Gaming No
Microgaming Yes
Cryptologic No
Boss Media single player No
Boss Media multi-player No
Real Time Gaming No

This next rule is too involved to explain in the table. In the United States if the dealer has a blackjack the player may lose no more than their original bet. In Europe the dealer does not check for blackjack until all the players are finished. If the dealer does have blackjack then the player will lose the total amount bet, including any additional from doubling or splitting. Naturally the US rule is advantageous to the player. Online casinos can go either way, or half and half. For example at World Gaming and GamblingSoftware.com casinos the player will lose the full amount bet if the dealer has a 10 showing but only the original amount with an ace showing. Boss Media is the opposite. Micgrogaming has the full European rule and Cryptologic and Unified Gaming following the full US rule. The following table shows on which dealer up cards the player is subject to lose the total amount bet if the dealer has a blackjack.

European Hole Card Rule
Unified Gaming None
World Gaming 10
Microgaming 10, Ace
Cryptologic None
Boss Media single player Ace
Boss Media multi-player None
Real Time Gaming None

Surrender
Unified Gaming Late against 10
World Gaming No
Microgaming No
Cryptologic No
Boss Media single player No
Boss Media multi-player No
Real Time Gaming No

Minimum and Maximum Bets
Software Minimum Maximum
Unified Gaming $1 $250
World Gaming $5 $200
Microgaming $2 $2000
Cryptologic $5 $100
Boss Media single player $5 $500
Boss Media multi-player $5 $500
Real Time Gaming $5 $500

Note that some software brands have different tables for different betting spreads. Jumping from the minimum to the maximum bet may require changing tables.

House Edge
Unified Gaming -0.01%
World Gaming +0.56%
Microgaming +0.13%
Cryptologic +0.49%
BossMedia single player -0.07%
BossMedia multi-player +0.46%
Real Time Gaming +0.58%*

Note: Real Time Gaming house edge based on 4 decks. This is configurable and the online rules in my experience do not disclose the number of decks used. However I believe most Real Time Gaming casinos to use at least 4 decks.

Note: All Microgaming rules are based on their single hand game. They also offer a multi-hand game with the same rules, except 5 decks instead of 1. This results in a house edge of 0.57%.

Click here to see a list of casinos grouped by their software provider.

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