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Eclipse Blackjack (OnAir Entertainment)

Ready for a fresh face in the online gambling sector?

So are we!

Fortunately, the dynamic firm OnAir Entertainment has stepped into the spotlight.

Since emerging in 2021 out of the auspicious auspices of blue chip gaming firm Microgaming, the Latvia-based firm has been making big moves in the business, from partnerships with other topper brands to international, intercontinental market expansion.

Oh, and there have been some excellent games released, too! Their Nexus Roulette title is top-shelf material, sporting four roulette wheels, all kinds of colors, and a whopping 5000x max payout.

Now, they’ve enriched their catalogue with a crackerjack blackjack release: Eclipse Blackjack.

So how did they do? Let’s do a deep dive, so that eager gamblers have all the information they need to succeed.

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"Hello my name is John Doe, I’m a certified casino review provider, also a trained dealer with over 15 years casino experience and know exactly what it takes!"
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Full Blackout

With so many great options available to today’s live dealer blackjack enthusiasts, design squads find themselves in a bit of a bind. How can they make the strongest case for themselves in a crowded market?

There are two main approaches that we tend to see over and over again: there’s the traditionalist approach, where the core fundamentals of the game are preserved as faithfully as possible. This tends to result in high RTP, but with one major drawback: it makes gameplay exactly the same as just about every other option on the market!

Maximalism is the other way to go. The exact opposite of the traditionalist approach, these kinds of offerings feature maximum bonus features, multipliers, side bets, bright design, and every kind of extra you can imagine. Are they exciting to play? Absolutely! The downside is that they almost always have lower RTP… sometimes by quite a wide margin!

So where does Eclipse Blackjack fall?

In our opinion, it splits the difference perfectly!

Without further ado, here are the gory details.

First of all, a one-to-many (also known as ‘common draw’) approach is used in the core design here. Unlike some traditional live dealer tables, where only seven seats are available, here there’s no need to ever wait for a seat: an unlimited number of players can take part simultaneously! All will receive the same cards for each hand, but they’ll also be able to make independent gaming decisions.

(Please note that, because dealers don’t have to deal multiple hands, the game rounds go by quicker than at traditional tables! Make sure to adjust your bankroll management strategies accordingly.)

One major advantage of this approach is that it allows operators to offer far lower minimum bets than they otherwise might while remaining profitable. In this case, the minimum bet is just $1, with a max of $1,500 per spin. Quite a betting range!

There are also a great deal of side bets available, some of which are quite original… the most lucrative of which offers a top payout of 2000x the bet size.

What’s more, when playing with optimum basic strategy, this game comes with a fantastic RTP of 99.44%!

On the whole, this title follows the industry standard, basic rules of the game – that makes this a very player-friendly situation… one that seasoned veterans of the game will appreciate greatly. Dealers must stand on soft 17, and Blackjack pays 3:2.

Split and double are allowed, but players may not double after a split, nor may they split more than once (this is the only player unfriendly rule present in this title). Similarly, after splitting aces, only one additional card will be dealt per (new) hand.

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Step to the Side (Bets)

Generally speaking, we advise players to avoid side bets.

They appear nowhere in our basic strategy guide, mainly because they always offer worse RTP (which is another way of saying a higher house edge) than the main game.

It’s unfortunate, therefore, that the side games provide the setting for this title’s design team to assert their individuality. They succeed very well, offering a couple of unique and interesting side bets! These are Royal Jacks and Buster Blackjack – both are worthy of attention, although neither offers odds good enough to justify playing them with any kind of regularity.

Buster Blackjack hits when the dealer busts. It pays best when the dealer busts having been dealt many cards, and even more when the player also hits blackjack – this is the sidebar that offers the remarkable top payout of 2000x.

Royal Jacks is a wager on the appearance of jacks in the player’s first two cards and in the dealer’s up card. It pays best when jacks are of the same suit, and/or when three jacks appear.

Also on hand are Lucky Lucky, which offers payouts for a few specific combination of two initial player cards and dealer upcards, such as 6-7-8, triple 7’s, or those that add up to a total of 19, 20, or 21; as well as the more common Perfect Pairs and 21+3.

As noted, though, players should be warned to avoid these side bets. Compared to the main game RTP of 99.44%, these are the breakdowns for the side bets:

  • Perfect Pairs – 90% RTP
  • 21+3 – 30% RTP
  • Lucky Lucky – 72% RTP
  • Buster Blackjack – 88% RTP
  • Royal Jacks – 88% RTP
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What it All Boils Down To

That’s a whole lot of information!

The takeaway is fairly simple, though: a relatively young company has delivered an outstanding, traditional Live Blackjack title. The gaming fundamentals are excellent, such that serious players can give it every consideration.

Strangely enough, the side bets are somehow both the most and least interesting part about this title! While their RTP isn’t strong enough to merit extended use from savvy gamblers, their originality is enough to pique interest in a big way – as strong as this title is, the raw ingenuity of the design team suggests that even better things are yet to come. We can’t wait to see what OnAir Entertainment comes up with next!

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