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Review, Analysis, and Strategy: Free Bet Blackjack Live / Creedroomz

From it’s popularity at casinos worldwide – both online and brick-and-mortar – it’s clear that blackjack is an almost perfect game.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved!

At least, that seems to be the logic behind Free Bet Blackjack Live, the live dealer game built by Creedroomz. It strongly resembles traditional blackjack, but offers a few particular rule variants that make this variant uniquely appealing. It first appeared in Las Vegas, and the option of splitting and doubling down for free is going to pique the interest of many players.

Make sure you have the whole story, though! There’s more to this variation than meets the eye.

Make no mistake: this is NOT a free tool for getting a feel for the game!

There’s a big difference between free blackjack and free bet blackjack. This is a full-fledged, real money title that will either boost or reduce bankrolls. Let’s get into the nitty gritty.

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What’s Free About it?

Anyone who has played their fair share of blackjack will be excited about the prospect of a free bet or two. But in this case, “free bet” is a bit of a misnomer…

… it would be more accurate to say that some specific bets – bets that would usually cost a player a second wager – are free to place here. Or to be even more precise, you could say that there are some interesting deviations from the usual blackjack rules players that should know about in advance.

whats_free_about_it

For starters, splitting is free here, and doubling is also free for hands totaling 9, 10, or 11 – unlike in games with standard rules, making these moves doesn’t require any additional wagers. What’s more, you can re-split up to four hands, and doubling aces is permitted. Doubling after a split is also allowed.

Those are the player-friendly changes… but there are is also one biggie that favors the house! When a dealer ends up with 22, it counts as a push, returning bets to all players, rather than a bust that results in a win for players. And remember that, though players won’t have the opportunity to split and/or double down on every hand,

Aside from that, the rules stay the same as usual. Blackjack pays 3:2. There are also two side bets available: Perfect Pairs and 21+3.

Do these rule changes sound fun? Perhaps…

… but the math doesn’t lie, and these results aren’t all that encouraging. RTP is surprisingly lower than most blackjack titles, coming in at 98.96% overall, compared to usual 99.5% RTP enjoyed by gamblers who stick to basic betting strategy.

That’s a significant dropoff! The side bets are even worse: Perfect Pairs offers 95.9%, while 21+3 delivers 96.72%. These are mediocre numbers for a slot game, but absolutely atrocious ones by blackjack standards.

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Roomz of Her Own

roomz_of_her_own-1Whether or not this particular title floats your boat, Creedroomz deserves some credit for taking a risk and looking for a fresh approach to live dealer blackjack. While Evolution (see here) has dabbled in the ‘free bet’ rule variant before, this is hardly standard issue material.

 

And this is doubly impressive, considering that this is still a very new brand on the casino gaming scene! In only a few short years, Creedroomz has found a way to make waves in the industry again and again.

They don’t even have very many games in their catalogue as of yet! (Though it should be said that the titles they have released so far are extremely promising.) So it’s significant that they’ve chosen to bet so heavily on this variant, rather than introduce a standard rules title instead.

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Devil’s in the Details

At the end of the day, it’s not the rule changes that make or break this title (though we always prioritize higher RTP when given the choice).

As usual, it’s all about the designer’s attention to detail. And one particular rule is going to make place title out of reach for all gamblers who don’t (yet) have a massive bankroll: the betting range. The minimum bet is $5… while the maximum is $5,000!

This is great news for high rollers, who are looking for the biggest action possible. For average players, though, this offering may get very expensive, very quickly. And when that’s combined with a lower than average RTP (by blackjack standards, anyway), we find it difficult to give this title our whole-hearted recommendation.

With that said, this is a well-built game that is absolutely worth trying out. Even if blackjack is a more or less perfect game, it can still be interesting (and thought-provoking) to explore different takes on a classic. Fans of this seemingly timeless game will enjoy the strategic changes its rule variations require, and those still learning it will gain a fresh perspective. And at the end of the day, an RTP of 98.96% still blows just about any other casino game out of the water.

So by all means try this game out! It will give you better odds than almost any slot game out there, to say nothing of abominations like triple zero roulette! Just be forearmed with the knowledge that this ‘unusual’ blackjack title comes with unusual liabilities.

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