Posts Tagged ‘Pontoon’

Online Blackjack Casinos: Lucky Red Casino

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Most online casinos cater to online slots for obvious reasons. Slots are the most popular casino games and they have an incredibly high house edge. Blackjack, on the other hand, has a low house edge that can be as low as 0.5% when the player sticks to perfect basic strategy. For that reason, slots are much more of a money maker for the casinos. There are some casinos that offer enough blackjack excitement to satisfy hardcore players like me, though. One such casino is Lucky Red Casino.

Lucky Red does have an abundance of online slots, as you might imagine, but there is also a good selection of blackjack games. There is a traditional blackjack game that is cleverly titled Blackjack, but there are also several blackjack variations. Such variations include Blackjack and Perfect Pairs, Face Up 21, Match Play 21, Pontoon and Super 21. Each of these blackjack games offers a different experience and different rules. I generally stick to the traditional game but do play the others on occasion for some variety.

Unfortunately, Lucky Red Casino doesn’t offer blackjack tournaments, which are becoming harder and harder to find. Along with the good variety of games, though, Lucky Red does offer comp points for players who play with them regularly. By earning comp points for every wager, players are rewarded for doing something they would do anyway: playing blackjack. Once you have enough comp points, you may redeem them for credits that can be wagered on more games or you may withdraw them as cash.

Lucky Red Casino also regularly runs promotions that give out bonuses for playing blackjack and other table games. It’s not a tournament, but it’s still nice to get rewarded for playing your favorite game. Lucky Red is also known for having good customer service that resolves issues in a timely and professional manner. Their software is developed by Realtime Gaming, which means their games have good animation, crisp graphics, fun gameplay and are safe and fair.

Right now Lucky Red is offering an unlimited 35% coupon for blackjack players. In addition, players who join the casino receive a welcome bonus of a 100% deposit match of up to $1,000. Players can also receive a bonus for referring friends to the site.

To visit Lucky Red Casino and begin playing online blackjack, click here.

Online Blackjack Casinos: Pure Vegas

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

It seems that there are more online casinos on the web than there are actors in Hollywood, so finding the right casino to join can be tough. How do you decide which casinos are the best? For me, the best online casinos are safe, fair, have a good selection of blackjack games and have good customer service. I decided to run a series of casino reviews offering casinos that fit the bill. One such casino is Pure Vegas.

Pure Vegas Casino has a good variety of blackjack games – certainly enough to keep you from getting bored of playing the same thing over and over. Aside from a regular blackjack game – simply called Blackjack – the casino offers Blackjack + Perfect Pairs, European Blackjack, Face Up 21, Match Play 21, Pontoon and Super 21. That variety means that you can choose whether to play a traditional blackjack game (e.g. Blackjack), a blackjack game with a side bet (e.g. Blackjack + Perfect Pairs) or a variant with totally different rules (e.g. Pontoon).

All of Pure Vegas Casino’s blackjack games (and all other games, for that matter) are designed by Realtime Gaming, which means that they have sharp, exciting gameplay, are fair to the players, and are safe from cheaters and hackers. Unfortunately, it also means that the casino no longer has any blackjack tournaments, which is something that RTG recently decided to abandon.

The blackjack games on Pure Vegas can either be played by downloading the casino software or by streaming the games on your browser using Flash. Pure Vegas Casino is new to the industry, launching just last year, but has already built up a solid reputation for good games as well as fast and helpful customer service. Pure Vegas also uses a system of Comp Points that reward frequent visitors to the casino. Each player is given one Comp Point for every $10 wagered and the comp points can later be redeemed for money, which can be wagered or withdrawn.

To join Pure Vegas Casino and play the wide variety of fun online blackjack games, click here.

Blackjack Variations: Pontoon

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Yesterday I wrote about the game of Spanish 21, which is one of the most popular variations of the game of blackjack. Another popular variation that has been around for ages is pontoon. Pontoon is a popular blackjack game in the UK, though you can find it other places as well. Sometimes the names pontoon and Spanish 21 are used interchangeably, even though they are different games.

Like blackjack, the object of pontoon is to get a hard higher than the dealer without going over 21, which would cause you to bust. One major difference between pontoon and blackjack is that in pontoon, all of the dealer’s cards are dealt face down, which alters strategy considerably, since it is much more difficult to guess what hand the dealer has. The player’s cards are dealt face up. Another big difference is that there are no push hands (ties) in pontoon. If you and the dealer have the same hand, the dealer wins every time. Both of the above changes tilt the odds in the house’s favor. However, there are some rule variations that help the player as well.

In this game, a combination of a 10 and an ace is called a pontoon rather than a blackjack. Pontoon has a rule that is often called a 5-card Charlie: If you draw five cards without busting, you win and the house pays out 2 to 1. In pontoon, that hand is called a “five-card trick.” Another difference is that in pontoon, the player can only stand on a 15 or better, so if you have a 14 and really would like to stand, sorry. You have to hit.

In pontoon, the dealer always hits a soft 17. The game is played using between 2 and 8 decks. If you play perfect pontoon strategy, the house edge is only 0.3%, which is right up there with the best casino games.

Blackjack Variations: Spanish 21

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Okay. So you’ve learned all of the rules of blackjack and have memorized blackjack basic strategy, including when to split pairs, and what to do with stiff hands, soft hands, hard hands and everything else. You may even count cards. You excitedly head to the casino and go toward the blackjack area only to find a game called Spanish 21.

What in the world is Spanish 21? Well, there are many different variations on the game of blackjack, with the most popular being pontoon and Spanish 21. The gameplay in Spanish 21 is basically the same, including basic strategy, but there are some big differences. Here’s what you need to know about the game.

The biggest difference between Spanish 21 and traditional blackjack is the deck. Traditional blackjack uses a standard 52-card deck. Spanish 21, however, uses a deck with 48 cards, which is accomplished by removing the four tens. Removing those tens tilts the odds farther in favor of the house, but don’t worry. There are other variations that help even that out.

Cards have the same value in Spanish 21 as in traditional blackjack, with aces standing for 1 or 11, face cards standing for 10 and every other card having its face value. The biggest difference in favor of the player is that a player 21 always wins in Spanish 21. In this variation, if you have a 21, you win no matter what the dealer has. With traditional blackjack, on the other hand, if you and the dealer both have 21 it is a push.

There are also changes in the payouts. Spanish has various bonus payouts for certain hands. In traditional blackjack, the only bonus payout is if you have a natural blackjack with two cards (an ace and a ten-value card), which usually pays 3:2. With Spanish 21, however, you get a 3:2 payout if you have a 21 with five cards. A six-card 21 pays out 2:1. A seven-card 21 pays out 3:1.

If you have a 21 using a 6-7-8 combination or a 7-7-7 combination, it pays out 3:2. If those cards are in the same suit, though, they pay out 2:1. If those cards are all spades, it pays out 3:1. There is also a special bonus if you have a 21 using that 7-7-7 combination and the dealer has a 7 card face up. If that happens, you receive a $1000 bonus for any bets ranging from $5 to $24. For any bets over $24, you get a $5000 bonus. The other players at the table will also be happy if this happens, though, because they get an envy bonus of $50 each.

In Spanish 21, you can double down on any card and are allowed to hit or double after splitting aces. Overall, the house edge in Spanish 21 is still one of the best odds in the casino. If the dealer stands on a soft 17, there is a house edge of 0.40%. If the dealer hits a soft 17, the house edge is 0.42% if doubling is allowed; if not it is 0.76%.

New Year Bonuses at Rushmore Casino

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Rushmore Casino is a website that had me with hello.* I’m a big Wes Anderson fan and Rushmore is one of my favorite films, so as soon as I heard that there was a Rushmore Casino, I checked it out immediately. What I found is an excellent online casino with a wide variety of games. For blackjack, there are several variations available, such as Perfect Pairs, Super 21, Match Play 21, Face Up 21 and Pontoon. Not only that, but the bonuses are pretty good, too.

Rushmore Casino is doing their best to help gamblers who are suffering from the post-Christmas pre-New Years blues. Starting yesterday, December 28 through New Year’s Eve, the casino is offering match bonuses that can add up to an extra $20,000 in your account.

To wrap up 2009, the online casino is offering the New Year Countdown bonuses, which are separated into two groups: $10,000 for slots and $10,000 for blackjack. Players have the opportunity to earn up to 20 coupons (five per day) during the promotion. Each coupon is a 50% match bonus on deposits, with a maximum amount of $500 each. Players must wager the bonuses 20 times in slots or 50 times in blackjack before making a withdrawal.

In addition to the New Year Countdown bonuses, Rushmore is also offering the Happy 2010 Weekend bonus, which runs from Friday, January 1 through Sunday, January 3. This bonus is a 100% match of deposits, with a maximum amount of $1000. Players can earn this bonus up to 10 times.

To celebrate the coming New Year with some exciting bonuses, visit Rushmore Casino today.

*I apologize for the Jerry Maguire reference.