Released in April 2019, Free Chip Blackjack is an interesting variation of online blackjack by one of the largest and most reputable developers of online casino software, Playtech. With its three types of side bets and free chips for Doubling and Splitting, Free Chip Blackjack is certainly among the most innovative and exciting takes on classic blackjack ever created.
Rules and Gameplay
Free Chip Blackjack is based on the standard Las Vegas-style game but it also features really unconventional and interesting rules. It is played with 6 decks of 52 cards and the dealer can peek for blackjack if his up-card is an Ace. The dealer Hits on Soft 17 and Stand on Hard 17 or higher. Players have the option to Hit, Stand, and Split 3 times – Hitting on split Aces is allowed. Doubling can be made on any two cards.
The rules seem quite standard – at least, so far. The objective of the game and the payouts for blackjack and Insurance are also standard at 3:2 and 2:1, respectively. However, if the dealer’s upcard is a 10, he automatically loses. And if the player is holding 17, the dealer also loses. In fact, there are several special situations listed under the Bust Bonanza paytable, which includes increased payouts.
As you can see, Playtech’s Free Chip Blackjack is not the typical game of blackjack. Let’s start with the Bust Bonanza and the special rules for dealer busting. If the dealer gets over 21, he busts and the player receives a regular 1:1 payout. The dealer also busts with a 10 upcard and then, the payout is 3:1, as well as when the player has 17 – in this case, the payout is 5:1. If we have both conditions, the payout increases to 9:1.
If the player is holding 17 and the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, the dealer loses and the player receives the top prize in this game, which is 45:1. It is also possible that both the player and the dealer have 17 – in almost all cases, the player wins, but there is one exception. If the player’s 17 is formed by more than 2 cards, the current round is considered a tie.
The other thing that sets this game apart from other blackjack variations is its free chips. These free chips are available only in two cases and they allow players to Double and Split for free. They can Double on hard 9, 10, and 11 and Split on any pair, except for pairs of 10-value cards. In addition, the more free chips they collect, the higher extra prizes they receive – 1 chip pays 3:1, 2 chips pay 10:1, etc, while 7 chips bring an extra payout of 1000:1.
Playtech’s Free Chip Blackjack is a unique and entertaining version of virtual blackjack and it has an average RTP of 99.23%. In addition to the free chips and the Bust Bonanza, it also offers the standard Playtech Perfect Pairs side bet.