Released alongside Quartz Blackjack, NetEnt’s Crystal Blackjack is another alternative if you are a fan of the card game 21.
NetEnt delivers yet again a top-notch dealer-hosted game of blackjack without going overboard. The accent is on simplicity and elegance rather than on innovativeness and the surprise factor. Crystal Blackjack is played in the provider’s brand-new studio facility and, therefore, feels different and upgraded.
Table action is broadcasted 24/7 from the Silver Room, managed by highly-trained and entertaining dealers. Up to 7 players can participate in a round and the game is played with 6 decks or 52 cards. Typical rules for blackjack apply, so players can jump right in and not feel like they need to catch up on their studies.
Each player is tasked with the mission to beat the dealer. They must have a hand total of up to 21, but not over, with the hand value being closer to 21 than the value of the dealer’s hand. You do not play against others, but against the croupier. The round starts with placing bets. The circle in the middle in front of your seat is where you will place your main bet, and on the side you will bet for the optional payouts offered – 21+3 and PP.
Next, the dealer will assign two cards to each occupied seat and then deal two cards to their own position, one facing up and one facing down. Players then must pick their action – Double, Split, Hit or Stand. The options will be displayed and colored differently, so you can differentiate them and make a quick decision. If the dealer gets an Ace as the facing-up card, you will get a chance to take insurance which pays 2:1.
The side bets are a welcome addition, although they aren’t something we haven’t seen before. The three cards, two for the player and the dealer’s upcard, sometimes form a poker hand. If this happens, you can cash in on the 21+3 optional bet. Perfect Pairs pays if you receive two matching cards, but the odds differ if the cards are of the same suit and colour, or just the same colour.
Another top-tier blackjack game from NetEnt, Crystal Blackjack is a serious contender to becoming the ultimate alternative when it comes to 7-seat blackjack with live dealers. This may not be the game for players who like to experiment and try radical formats, but we definitely see it finding its following in the classic blackjack fandom all over the world.