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Reason #2 why the Wizard likes Bovada: No-hassle practice games
Most online casinos spend more effort trying to separate you from your money than they do trying to give you a good experience. They have all kinds of popup windows, they usually make you download their software, and if they do offer play-in-browser games then you have to register an account before you can play. And if you register they start sending you emails trying to get you to deposit real money.
But Bovada is different. They have no popup windows at all, and their practice games play right in your browser, with no download, and no registration required. You don't even have to give up your email address. It couldn't be simpler: just one click and you're playing the game.
I wish all online casinos showed this much respect for their players. Other casinos practically ask for your first born child to play for free. Meanwhile Bovada is patient and does not twist anybody's arm to play for real money. You can play as long as you like for free with no obligation. The real-money games are available if that's your preference, but if not, you can play the free practice games for as long as you like without hassle.
- The game is with one, two, or six decks.
- Dealer usually hits a soft 17.
- Player may double after a split.
- Player may resplit to up to four hands, including aces.
- Player may hit and double down to split aces.
- Player may double on any number of cards.
- Player may take late surrender on any number of cards.
- Player may surrender half of total bet after doubling, what is called "Double Down Rescue" in Spanish 21.
- A player hand totaling 20 or less, consisting of six cards or more, except after doubling, automatically wins.
- A player hand of 21 points, consisting of 5 cards or more, except after doubling, pays 2 to 1 instantly.
- A player blackjack always wins
- A player blackjack in diamonds pays 2 to 1, all other blackjacks pay even money.
Single Deck Strategy
Double Deck Strategy
Double Down Surrender Strategy: The player should surrender after doubling down with either (1) 12 to 16 and the dealer has an 8 to ace, or (2) 17 and the dealer has an ace.
The following house edge figures are random simulation based, assuming a cut card and using the basic strategies above.
I have had two unconfirmed reports of a side bet in Super Fun 21, found in the casinos of San Diego county. The bet pays 300 to 1 on a suited blackjack in diamonds. It is only available on the first hand after a shuffle.
In a single-deck game the probability of winning is 0.3%, and the house edge is 9.2%.