Many casino games have tried to dethrone blackjack’s popularity over the years.
Really, the only one that we can really say came close to doing so was poker! However, live casino players always come back to their old favourite due to the control it offers them. Being able to follow a set playstyle for maximum profit is appealing for punters. After all, we all play in hopes of winning big!
That said, blackjack is not a game that is all too easy to get into. New players often comment that it takes a while to learn all its intricacies. This has led to software providers trying to figure out what the best way to teach new punters. NetEnt’s Perfect Blackjack showed a market existed for guided blackjack gameplay. Today, we will be looking at Playtech’s version of the same idea.
Majority Rules Speed Blackjack is played following European Blackjack rules. The dealer will draw only one card when dealing the cards. You can split on any pair, and you will be offered an insurance bet when the dealers up card is an ace. If you split aces, you will only receive one card. Players can double down on any two cards.
You have eight decks total in the dealing shoe on this table. When half of the shoe is dealt, a reshuffle occurs. This is done to prevent card counting, so we advise against trying to do so. You have two side bets available in the form of Perfect Pairs and 21+3. These offer a way to win bigger prizes at the cost of decreasing the RTP.
What Makes it Unique
While these elements are important to know, they are not what sets this release apart. No, what sets Majority Rules Speed Blackjack apart is that all players have a say in how it is played! This is a shared table where an unlimited number of players play a single hand. This is not a new concept, either. We have seen it previously in titles like Evolution Gaming’s Infinite Blackjack.
On this specific table, we have two positions. You can choose to play one or the other, or both at the same time! Each one comes with separate main and side bets, as well. After placing a wager, you will be able to vote on how the hand will be played. Each punter gets a single vote, and can choose to hit, stand, double or split. After the timer runs out, the most popular decision will be carried out.
Experienced players will be attracted to the speed aspect of this table. It takes a much shorter time to complete a round here compared to standard live blackjack. New punters will be able to see what the majority is picking, and slowly pick up the rules that way. It is not a perfect balance, as inexperienced blackjack players may appreciate more time to process the round. However, Playtech had to make a concession to attract existing punters to make the right decisions.
What happens if you do not have enough people for voting? Say you are the only person on the table, or you have an even number of people. In such a case, you may be unable to decide due to a tie. Do not worry, as Majority Rules Speed Blackjack thought of that as well! In such cases, the game will default to the basic blackjack strategy and play the most optimal move possible.
From the time spent playing this release, it will default to guided gameplay if there are less than three players. In such examples, players will not be prompted to vote at all. The decision will just be made in their name. This continues until enough punters join the table to allow for voting to take place.
This system also appears in case of ties. In case that a vote is perfectly split (50-50, 33-33-33) the dealer will play following the basic live blackjack strategy. We should stress that this does not occur in case no decision goes over 50%.In case players voted 40% hit, 35% stand and 25% split, the dealer will follow the majority vote and play the hit.
How to Play
Now that we have covered how everything works, join us as we go through a typical round of Majority Rules Speed Blackjack. For this example, we will say there are enough players for voting to be active.
Upon first launching the game, you will be prompted if you want to automatically double and split. Turning these options off means you will have to manually approve these in case the majority votes for such moves. You can also turn off the left position entirely, allowing you to play only the right hand.
You will then be prompted to place a bet. Choose your coin value, and place it on the main bet. Side bets are also available in both hands if you want to play them. After betting ends, the dealer will draw one card for themselves and two for both your hands. At this point, you will be asked to make a choice.
Players are able to hit, stand or double on any hand. Splits are only available if you have a pair in your hand. Select the option you want to play. This casts one vote for that decision. You can see how everyone else is voting by looking at the meters next to the active hand. Once all players have voted, the decision with the most support will be played. This happens even if you voted for something else.
At that point, the dealer will reveal her remaining card and results will be tallied. Blackjack wins pay 3:2, while insurance wins pay 2:1. All other standard wins pay 1:1, identical to regular blackjack tables. For bigger wins, you will need to make use of this game’s side bets.
If you want to play side bets, you have two available options: Perfect Pairs and 21+3. In Perfect Pairs, you receive a cash prize for scoring a pair. The better the pair, the stronger the payout! The RTP for this side bet is 95.90%.
21+3 uses your first two cards and the dealers face up card to form a three-card poker hand. How much this side bet pays depends on the strength of the hand. The better it is, the more you will receive! The RTP for this side bet is 96.25%. Neither can match Majority Rules Speed Blackjack’s 99.54% RTP, but they make up for it with bigger wins.
We did not expect to have as much fun with Majority Rules Speed Blackjack as we did. Our assumption was that voting would slow the game down, nullifying the effect of speeding up each round. Playtech took steps to make sure that did not happen. The rounds go by incredibly quickly! A touch too quickly for new punters trying to get their bearings. If you hope to learn from this title, we are not certain you will be able to.
Fortunately, players who know what they are doing can make up for less experienced punters. If you want the benefits of blackjack without learning the detailed strategy, this is definitely a good way to do it. It offers a benefit for all parties involved. We have no doubt this will be a successful table.
One more aspect that we really like is the introduction of guided gameplay at times. In case of ties or not having enough people, the table keeps going. These systems also help prevent malicious players from voting for the worst possible decisions. Personally, we might raise the minimum amount of punters needed before voting is turned on. However, we are quite satisfied with the current arrangement, as well.
Put it all together, and you have an excellent blackjack table. If what you have read sounds interesting, we wholeheartedly recommend trying it out!