Common Draw Blackjack is a live variation of the 21, launched by software vendor NetEnt toward the end of 2013. The action is streamed in real time straight from the Malta-based studio of the acclaimed supplier. The game allows for an unlimited number of players and serves as a great option for those who struggle to find empty seats at the blackjack tables during peak hours.
Rundown of the Rules and the Payouts
Common Draw Blackjack is a multi-player live variant where 6 full decks are in play. Since this is a common draw game, players share a common set of starting cards, called the “card stream”. Other than that, the payouts and the objective coincide with those in conventional variations of 21, with players having a choice from hitting, standing, doubling, splitting, and insuring their hands against blackjacks. The dealer draws to 16 and always stands on 17.
You can double down on any two-card total, including after splitting pairs. Doubling on soft 9, 10, and 11 always results in a hard hand. Splitting is allowed on all hands consisting of equally ranked cards. Split Aces cannot be hit and receive only one extra card.
This live variation does not feature hole cards. The dealer offers insurance, which pays 2 to 1. Blackjacks generally pay 3 to 2 but players have the option to accept even-money payouts for their naturals when the dealer’s first card is an Ace.
Gaming Interface and Remarkable Features
The most outstanding peculiarity of Common Draw Blackjack is that all participants get dealt a common set of cards, known as the card stream. When everyone has posted a bet, the dealer would draw one face-up card for their hand and two face-up cards that make up the initial card stream.
The cards that comprise the dealer’s hand are not part of said stream. Each player who participates in the game makes their own decisions when it comes to splitting, hitting, doubling and standing. After the outcome is settled, players are granted ten or so seconds to post new bets.
The game supports a host of side wagers like Perfect Pairs and 21+3, which yield the following payouts:
- Mixed color pairs pay 5 to 1
- Same color offsuit pairs pay 10 to 1
- Suited pairs pay 30 to 1
- A three-card flush pays 5 to 1
- A three-card straight pays 10 to 1
- A three of a kind pays 25 to 1
- A three-card straight flush pays 40 to 1
- A suited three of a kind pays 100 to 1
The 21+3 side bets return payouts when the first two cards from the card stream along with the dealer’s first card form any of the above-listed poker hands. The Perfect Pairs bets pay when the first two cards in the players’ hand have the same value.
Common Draw Blackjack may have been released over six years ago but still does not show any significant signs of aging. The concept of multiple players starting with the same two-card total in an attempt to beat the dealer is quite refreshing. The base game offers a low house edge of around 0.50%. Beware of the side bets, though, as their edge is much greater.