Portomaso’s Oracle series of live casino games was finally expanded to include live blackjack. If you’re not familiar with this developer’s work, our Live Oracle Blackjack review will serve as an overview. The main idea of Oracle games is to offer players a little slice of Malta’s famed Oracle casinos. Instead of a dedicated studio, Portomaso games stream directly from traditional casino tables in Malta.
The result is an interesting hybrid product in which you can share the table with actual casino-goers. In practice, this doesn’t disrupt the usual flow of an online blackjack game. Portomaso Live Blackjack is a fairly versatile title, though. If you wanted to shut off the hustle and bustle of a brick and mortar casino, it can be done.
In fact, that was one of our first concerns while writing this review. On paper, the idea just sounds like a gimmick which doesn’t truly affect the gameplay. Thankfully, when you strip away this concept, you’re still left with a very strong offer. The game is well-made, well-optimised, and runs smoothly and efficiently. The interface itself is quite stylish as well and combines with the décor of the streamed casino. This all adds to the carefully crafted illusion. We also liked that there are two possible viewing modes. The ‘Mixed-screen mode’ allows you to have an extended computer-generated overlay which displays the cards and bets. This can make the game much easier to follow, especially on small screens or poor connections.
The setting has other benefits as well. For instance, the dealers stand out among online blackjack games as real-life professional croupiers. This seems like a detail, but it all adds to the experience of what would otherwise be bog-standard live blackjack.
If you’re wondering how to play Portomaso Oracle Live Blackjack, you needn’t be worried. As we’ve already mentioned, it works out like it would with any similar title. You log onto one of the many Portomaso casinos, pick a table, and play. The only major difference is that you might notice that some of the other players are actual people. Others, as you might expect, are other online players. The number of seats per table is limited to 7. It’s also worth noting that the minimum bet is a heft €5, while the max is set at €500.
At its core, the Oracle live blackjack is an 8-deck European blackjack. This means that the dealer initially draws only 1 card. Besides that, the dealer must stand on a soft 17 and must draw to 18. Those who are interested in a Live Oracle Blackjack strategy should know that the shoe is shuffled after 4 decks. This is one of the reasons experienced blackjack players rate this title so highly. The European ruleset makes the dealer unable to peek for blackjack as well, which is another advantage for the players.
Another rule that makes Portomaso’s game unique is that you can split your cards on a pair up to 4 times. Besides that, there are 2 options for side-bets.
- Perfect Pairs – predicts that your initial draw will contain a pair. Pays out between 5:1 for a Mixed Pair, 11:1 for a Coloured Pair, and 24:1 for a Perfect Pair.
- 21+3 – the standard side bet of making poker hands with the initial draw. Pays out between 4:1 and 100:1.
- Bet Behind – you can also bet on the outcome of other players’ hands. You can do this even if you haven’t got a seat.
If you’re a serious blackjack player, one of your best online options is to play Portomaso Live Oracle Blackjack. The mix of real-life and live online blackjack still has some kinks to iron out, however. Thankfully, none of them are bad enough to hinder one of the most player-friendly rulesets out there.