There are hundreds of blackjack games available online but few of them can be played freely by US-based casino patrons. Those who are looking for fast, good-quality blackjack should consider the strong gaming collection by RealTime Gaming. The software by RTG, as the company is also known, remains available in US-friendly casinos and offers players several classic versions of blackjack.
RealTime Gaming was established back in 1998 in the United States but later, it relocated to Costa Rica. Over the years, the company has created around 300 games, including online slots, table games, video poker titles, and progressive jackpot slots. As one of the first developers of online casino software, RTG has produced a nice range of realistic, customizable blackjack variations, as well. Their games are often described as classic or traditional, having just basic appearance and features.
Indeed, in terms of graphics and sound quality, the games by RTG are probably not the most impressive ones. We should note, however, that the majority of them were released more than a decade ago when the online gambling industry was less crowded and competitive. Still, the blackjack games in the studio’s gaming collection offer fast and simple gameplay, relatively favorable rules, and standard payouts. And one of the best things about them is that they can be played in US-friendly casinos.
RTG Software and Features
Similarly to other veterans in the casino software development, RTG offers both downloadable and instant-play versions of their games. Players who choose to install the software package on their computers would generally enjoy games with slightly clearer graphics than what is offered in the Flash casino. However, the difference in quality is subtle and should not be a problem for most players.
Download and Flash Casino
The downloadable casino software by RTG is available for PCs and it can be installed within minutes. After registering a casino account, users can access the full collection of games by RTG and play them in demo mode or for real money. The games load quickly and the performance and the graphics are great for a really enjoyable gaming experience. Of course, the majority of games are available in the Flash casino so it is a good alternative for those who simply do not want to bother installing the Casino Client.
The instant-play platform is, indeed, a bit outdated compared to other online casinos but offers fast loading times, convenient and easy-to-use interface, and simplistic layout. Players have instant access to the Support and Banking pages, as well as to the game lobby, where the games are neatly organized into several main categories, including Slots, Table Games, and Video Poker. Blackjack fans will be glad to know that many of the games developed by RTG are also mobile-friendly and available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. They perform very well in most mobile browsers and do not differ much from the desktop version.
Software Features and Configurable Settings
The blackjack variations come with only a few basic features and options. Players can open the History window from the Menu tab where they can track their progress and check past results. From the Player Options, they can enter or exit full-screen mode, switch on and off dealer voices, adjust the volume, and change the speed of the game.
The most interesting thing about RTG games is that the studio allows operators to adjust some of the rules and settings of each game. One of the most important configurable settings is the decks of cards that are used – usually, RTG blackjack is played with 6 decks, but some casinos also offer 4 and 8-deck variations. Another thing that operators can opt-in and out is the Late Surrender. In addition, table limits may vary – usually, bets are from $1 to $200 per hand, but some casinos allow wagering up to $500 per hand.
Rules and Variety of Games
Variety of Blackjack Games
Standard Rules of RTG Blackjack
Compared to the gaming collections of leading gaming studios such as NetEnt or Microgaming, RealTime Gaming’s portfolio of blackjack titles is quite limited. Despite the fewer games, however, it offers a great diversity of rules, payouts, and betting limits. RTG’s blackjack games stand out with their flexibility – as explained above, casino operators are given the opportunity to change some of the rules and settings of the games. As a result, the blackjack games are slightly different on each online platform.
RTG offers a handful of standard blackjack games and several variations with side bets and bonus payouts. However, it does not have multi-hand versions, where you can play several hands simultaneously. Moreover, there no live dealer versions of blackjack, which would probably disappoint many players.
The standard version of American blackjack created by RTG is simply called Blackjack. The dealer draws two cards, one face-up and the other face-down. He is required to Hit on soft 17. Players can Double on any two cards and after a Split, except for slit Aces – no hitting, doubling or resplitting can be done on them. Up to two Splits are allowed and Insurance is offered if the dealer’s upcard is an Ace. As we have said, the number of decks and the Late Surrender are configurable and they affect the RTP of the game.
RTG also has a nice European Blackjack game, which is played under the classic rules, as well. The dealer must Stand on all 17s and Doubling is allowed only on hard totals of 9, 10, and 11. Apart from these games, RTG-powered casinos offer one interesting game, which is based on blackjack. It is called Pontoon and follows very similar rules. A hand consisting of a 10-value card and an Ace, however, is not called blackjack but pontoon, hence the name of the game.
This game is an interesting combination of the classic Pontoon and the traditional blackjack. The dealer draws 2 face-down cards and must Hit soft 17. The player is also required to Hit or Double on totals of 14 or less and up to 5 Hits are allowed per round. Up to 2 Splits can be made and double after Split is allowed. Here, a hand of pontoon pays 2:1 and the second-strongest hand is any 5-card hand, which also pays 2:1. It is called Five-Card trick. The dealer wins all ties. RTG also offers a variation of the relatively popular Double Exposure blackjack but here, it is called Face Up 21.View more...
RTG Blackjack with Bonus Payouts
Several blackjack variations by RealTime Gaming feature optional side bets and players who win them are eligible for tempting bonus payouts of up to 60 times the original stake. As a general rule, the side bet should be equal to the main game wager.
Suit ‘Em Up Blackjack
This is one of the most exciting variations of blackjack that can be played online. It offers amazing bonus payouts without the need to place any side bet. Depending on the casino, Suit ‘Em Up could be played with 2, 6 or 8 decks of cards. Following standard rules, it pays 3:2 for player blackjack and 2:1 for winning Insurance.
The dealer in this hole-card game must Hit on soft 17. Players can Double Down on any two cards, including after they Split a pair. Aces can be Split only once and only one and final card will be dealt to them. The special payouts are granted for suited hand combinations:
- Any suited cards – 2:1
- Suited 11 – 3:1
- Suited pair – 5:1
- Suited blackjack – 10:1
- Suited Aces – 60:1
Blackjack + Perfect Pairs
RTG has added one of the most popular blackjack side bets into this game, aptly named Blackjack + Perfect Pairs. It is played under the traditional rules of blackjack – the dealer has one face-up and one hole card and must Hit on soft 17. Players can Double Down on any two cards and after a Split.
Along with the regular payouts, however, players may be rewarded with winnings of up to 25 times their original wager if their initial hand is a pair. These bonus payouts are triggered only after a side bet has been made. The Perfect Pairs side bet is optional, independent from the main bet, and its size must be at least the table minimum. Depending on whether the pair is of the same denomination only, of the same color and denomination, or the two cards are completely identical, the payout will be:
- Mixed Pair – 6:1
- Colored Pair – 12:1
- Perfect Pair – 25:1
Match Play 21
This variation of blackjack more or less follows the standard rules of the classic casino game, with a few notable exceptions. One of them is the fact that the game uses the so-called Spanish decks of cards – these are regular packs but all 10s have been removed. As a result, each of the decks in use consists of 48 cards rather than 52. RTG’s Match Play 21 is a hole card game and the dealer is required to Hit on soft 17. Players here can Double once per round and on any number of cards. They are also allowed to Surrender at any time.
Ten different special payouts can be received without placing any side bets. These payouts are given for some special combination of cards – for instance, if the player has a 5-card 21, he receives an additional payout of 3:1. The top bonus payout is when a Match Play 21 occurs in the game – when the player has three 7s of the same suit without busting and at the same time, the dealer’s upcard needs to be a 7, too. However, none of these bonus payouts will be valid if the player Doubles or Splits a pair.
- 5-Card 21 – 3:2
- Any 6-7-8, 7-7-7 – 3:2
- 6-Card 21 – 2:1
- Any 6-7-8, 7-7-7 Suited – 2:1
- 7-Card 21 (or more cards) – 3:1
- 6-7-8, 7-7-7 of Spades – 3:1
- Match Play 21 – 40:1
Super 21 by RTG is also an interesting version of online blackjack, which offers bonus payouts if the player holds some special combinations of cards – a Diamond Blackjack pays, for instance, 2:1. However, having a regular hand of blackjack (an Ace and a 10-value card) brings even money. The dealer has a hole card and hits soft 17. Players can Double and Surrender at any time. They also win blackjack ties and instantly win if they hold 6 cards without busting.
- Diamond Blackjack – 2:1
- 5-Card 21 – 2:1
- 6-Card 21 – 2:1
- 6 Cards – Instant win