How To Play
Live Blackjack Italiano follows the standard Blackjack rules. The game is played with eight decks of cards and the aim is to build a hand of cards that has a value as close to 21 as possible but without exceeding 21 and going bust. When the round is over, any player whose hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand is will win.
Hand values are very easy to calculate. Aces are worth 1 or 11, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 10, and the number cards 2 through 10 are worth their face values. This means that you can form 21 with just two cards, an Ace and any 10 card. This hand is known as Blackjack. Not only is it the strongest hand and will beat all other hands, but it also comes with a larger payout.
Players place their bets at the start of each round and will then receive two face-up cards each. The dealer will receive one face-up card and one facedown. Each player then plays his or her hand in turn. There are three main options for each hand: Hit, receive one more card to the hand, Stand, leave the hand as it is, and Double, double the bet, receive one more card, and then play moves on.
After all the players have finished, the dealer plays. The dealer must draw more cards until the hand is worth at least 16 and stand as soon as the hand is worth 17 or more.
When the dealer has finished, players are paid out for any winning hands. These will be hands that have a value closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand. There is also a special hand known as a 10 Card Charlie; this is a hand of ten cards and it will beat all hands except Blackjack. All winning hands pay at 1:1, except for Blackjack, which pays out at a more generous 3:2.
There are occasions in Live Blackjack Italiano when there are more than just three options. If the first two cards in a player’s hand have the same value then players can place a second bet and split the cards into two hands that are played separately. There are a few extra rules governing split hands. First of all, Blackjack cannot be formed with split hands, Ace and 10 hands will count as 21. Secondly, if Aces are split then only one more card will be dealt to each hand. Finally, while Doubling is available after a Split, if a player splits and doubles and the dealer is showing an Ace, if the dealer then has Blackjack then players lose both bets. If the dealer is showing a 10 and then has Blackjack then players receive the Double bet back.
After the first two cards have been dealt, if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace then it is possible to take out insurance against the dealer having Blackjack. Insurance costs half of the original bet and if the dealer has Blackjack it pays at 2:1, ensuring that players will not lose money for that hand.
Live Blackjack Italiano also offers a couple of side bets that provide the chance of even more winnings.
The 21+3 side bet is on the first two cards dealt to a player combining with the dealer’s face-up card to form a poker hand. It pays out as follows: a Suited Three of a Kind pays out at 100:1, a Straight Flush pays out at 40:1, Three of a Kind pays out at 30:1, a Straight pays out at 10:1 and a Flush pays out at 5:1.
The Perfect Pairs side bet pays is on the player’s first two cards forming one of three kinds of pairs, a Perfect Pair, a Coloured Pair or a Red/Black Pair. A Perfect Pair is two identical cards and it pays out at 25:1, a Coloured Pair is two cards that have the same colour and value but come from different suits and it pays out at 12:1, a Red/Black pair is two cards that have the same value but different suits and colours and it pays out at 6:1.
If there are no seats available at the table then players have the option of the Bet Behind feature. This allows players to follow and bet on the actions of one or more of the main players. Those who have a seat at a table can also use the Bet Behind feature.