Vegas Downtown Blackjack is an available blackjack variant offered on the Internet and at live casino venues. The online version is developed by top leading software developer Microgaming, and can be played by international players residing in countries where online gambling is legal (unfortunately, this does not include Australia). We take a look at Vegas Downtown rules, how to play, and the best place to play it online.
The rules of Vegas Downtown Blackjack
Vegas Downtown Blackjack is a variant developed in, you guessed it, the Downtown area of Vegas. It is actually considered to be the first widespread version of American 21, and is still available today at both land-based casinos and online. It is important to note the rules of Vegas Downtown may vary every live casino venue or software developer, so be sure to find out if there are any changes before playing.
Microgaming offers one of the best version known as Vegas Downtown Gold (part of their table Gold series). You can also find the variant available in a high limit version as well as a multi-hand title but for the purpose of explaining the rules, we detail the standard low limit title.
It follows the rules of all American Blackjack titles, except the game is only played with two standard decks. This isn’t a bad thing though, since the less decks there are the lower the house edge (see below).
Additionally, another rule difference to standard American blackjack titles is the dealer has to Hit on hard 17s, which is unusual as the dealer generally has to Stand on all 17s for American titles.
- The game is played with two standard decks
- The dealer generally Stands on hard 17s
- Surrender isn’t available
- Blackjack pays 3:2
- Insurance pays 2:1
- Players can split any two cards with the same value
- Players can Split Aces but only one card is dealt before hand is concluded
- Players can Re-Split up to two times
- Players can’t Re-Split Aces
- Players can Double Down on any first two cards
The minimum table limit available for Vegas Downtown Blackjack is $2, and the maximum table limit is $200 for the first two cards and a maximum of $400 if you opt to Double Down.
For the multi-hand variant there is a minimum of $1 per hand and a maximum of $1000 per hand and with up to five hands available, players can bet a maximum of $5000. Additionally, if you Double Down you can bet a maximum of $2000 per hand and an overall of $10,000 on the game.
Vegas Downtown Blackjack house edge
The house edge for Microgaming’s Vegas Downtown Blackjack is 0.38% when the perfect basic strategy is in play. This can vary when it comes to land-based venues, or when there are more decks in play, so be sure to keep this in mind.
Vegas Downtown Blackjack basic strategy
You can find the basic strategy chart online for Vegas Downtown Blackjack, so when you first begin to play be sure to open it in another tab so you can go back and forth until you have it down pat.
It works similarly to the standard basic blackjack chart in you look up the value of your hand on the vertical side of the chart and compare it with the value of the dealer’s up card, which is located along the horizontal axis. Where the two intersect, this is the best possible move you can make statistically speaking in accordance to the rules of the game.
For example, if you score a total value of 13 and the dealer’s up card shows a six, it is recommended to Stand. However, if you score a total of 13 and the dealer is showing a seven you are recommended to Hit.
There is advice for what to do with Soft hands too; it is recommended to Double and Hit with a Soft 13 when the dealer has a four, but stand when they have seven or above.
Additionally, you can also figure the best move to make with a pair, for example Split a pair of two’s if the dealer is showing from two to seven but Hit if they have an eight to an Ace.
Overall, the chart is your best bet at winning as playing it perfectly lowers the house edge as much as possible – without it it can be quite high.
Where to play Vegas Downtown Blackjack
Since Microgaming is behind the best Vegas Downtown Blackjack variant online you can find the title at our favourite Microgaming powered casinos, as well as at sites offering multiple software providers alongside Microgaming. Microgaming exclusive casinos offers downloadable and instant play platforms to access the variant and the best includes:
Other blackjack variants
There are a variety of blackjack variants available online, not just Vegas Downtown Blackjack, with favourable rules for the player. Click on the links below to find out more about them.