Free Bet Blackjack Live is an online live dealer blackjack game with free, automatic Splitting and Doubling when available. Released by Evolution in 2022, it boasts an RTP of 99.29% with a minimum bet of $5 and a $5,000 maximum wager. The game is available on both desktop and mobile and allows you to make some moves for free at the price of a bigger house advantage.
Free Bet Blackjack is a relatively well-established variant of online live blackjack. Although not adored by advantage players, it offers an interesting set of rules that could be helpful for newbie players. Evolution has now started offering this table variant in a 7-seat format as well, further bolstering the already impressive blackjack portfolio.
|Free Bet Blackjack by Evolution
|€5,000 - €5
All supported languages
Available after November 2022, this type of Evolution blackjack table is not an innovation per se. The original Free Bet Blackjack enjoyed the same rules, but was presented in a one-to-many format in which all the players at a single table shared the same hand. That version is still available as Infinite Free Bet Blackjack. In this review, we’ll instead talk about the recently-released 7-seat version.
In most practical terms, the two versions of Free Bet Blackjack are indistinguishable. Both have the same game rules, RTP, side bets, and so on. However, 7-seat Free Bet Blackjack only allows 7 players at one table at a time. There is an option to Bet Behind, but this means that the minimum bet is set higher at $5.
Effectively, this version is for those who play at higher stakes and want a more authentic live casino experience. Infinite Free Bet Blackjack is a great alternative if you’re playing on a budget and/or want rounds to go by faster.
Needless to say, this new Evolution Free Bet Blackjack has all the production qualities of the original. We won’t waste too much time pointing out the obvious high standard of professionalism for the dealers, either. Let’s get right into the rules, which are what makes this live blackjack variant feel different from most standard tables.
If you know how to play blackjack at a live casino, you’ll easily figure out how this one works.
Find an available Free Bet Blackjack table and take a spot. Once the next round starts and the dealer gets to you, you’ll receive two cards. The goal of blackjack is for your hand to be as close as 21 as possible without going over. If it’s closer than the dealer’s, you win. However, going over 21 immediately results in a loss.
Once it’s your turn, you have four options. Hitting means that the dealer will give you one more card. Standing means you don’t want any more cards. That much works as usual.
However, you cannot Double whenever you want. Instead, the game will automatically make that call for you whenever you have a hand total of 9, 10, or 11. After doubling, you’ll receive one more card and then stand. The good news is that Free Bet Blackjack does not require you to double your stake when Doubling. Any potential winnings are still doubled, of course.
Similarly, you can’t Split. Your hand will automatically Split all pairs except 10, J, Q and K. Again, this is completely free.
There’s a catch, though. In Free Bet Blackjack, the main bet pushes if the dealer draws a hand total of 22. This means your full stake is returned to you, but you don’t win anything as you would have in regular blackjack.
That covers most of the unique rules of Free Bet Blackjack. The others are the same as with standard Evolution Live Blackjack. Dealers draw to 17 and Blackjack pays 3:2. 8 decks are used per shoe, and the shoe is shuffled roughly ¾ of the way through.
Despite the rule changes, most payouts remain industry-standard. That means most rounds can win you even money with a 3:2 blackjack. Bet Insurance is an option, paying 2:1. The same largely goes for the side bets.
The only thing you have to keep in mind is that your main bet pushes on a dealer 23.
|Free Bet Blackjack Payouts
|Perfect Pairs Side Bet
|21+3 Side Bet
|Three of a Kind
Free Bet Blackjack RTP sits at 99.29%, which is a noticeable decrease over the industry-standard 99.5%. It seems that getting Double and Split hands for free does not outweigh the fact that the dealer will lose fewer times.
As for the side bets, 21+3 and Perfect Pairs come with the usual RTP of 96.30% and 95.90%, respectively.
The set of features is also typical for most Evolution live casino tables. That means there’s a live chat, audio/video settings, and so on. As mentioned above, you can also opt to Bet Behind other players.
Side bets in Evolution’s Free Bet Blackjack are also typical for their tables. There are two options, and they may not be available at all tables/casinos.