Microgaming is easily the software supplier with the most impressive collection of virtual blackjack games, at least in terms of sheer numbers. This is the software studio behind Atlantic City Blackjack, an appealing variant with liberal rules and a very tolerable house edge that amounts to 0.35% only. Respectively, the game offers a long-term theoretical return to player of 99.65%.
As the name of the variation itself tells us, Microgaming developers have crafted their creation in accordance with the rules that were in force at blackjack tables when the first casino resorts opened doors in Atlantic City.
In other words, this is a hole-card game that plays with 8 full decks where the virtual dealer draws to 16 and stands on all 17s. The variation offers liberal rules when it comes to doubling and splitting. The fact late surrender is available further increases your chances of preserving your bankroll.
Hitting and Standing Decisions in Atlantic City Blackjack
First off, the 8 decks are automatically reshuffled after each round to hinder advantage players from counting cards. The Gold Series variation enables you to bet on one hand at a time only. Once you place your wager, the software deals you your two starting cards face-up. Meanwhile, the virtual dealer receives one card face-up and another one face-down.
When the dealer is dealt an Ace or a ten-value card, they check their hole card for a blackjack. This is known as peeking and is considered a favorable rule from the player’s perspective. If the dealer has blackjack, they would immediately expose their hole card and the round ends with the player losing unless they also have a blackjack.
If not, the player must decide whether to hit their hand or stand. By hitting, the player requests to be dealt one or more cards. Cards can be drawn until the hand either busts or the player is satisfied with its total. When choosing to stand, they decline drawing more cards.
The hand results in a win for the player if they have a better total than the dealer, if only the dealer busts, and if the player has a natural when the dealer does not. A push happens when both dealer and player have cards that add up to the same total, in which case the original stake is reimbursed. Naturals pay 3 to 2 in Atlantic City Blackjack while all regular winning hands have a payout of 1 to 1.
Splitting Pairs in Atlantic City Blackjack
It is no surprise fans of 21 favor Microgaming’s Atlantic City Blackjack as the game offers great splitting rules. Splitting is allowed when you receive paired cards on the initial deal. This move is typically performed against a dealer who is in a tough spot and more likely to lose.
You can split a pair into two hands and thus, increase your action by covering the second hand with another wager to the amount of your initial one. This Microgaming blackjack variant allows you to split three times to up to four hands.
The only exception to this rule is when you have paired Aces, which you can split only once. Atlantic City Blackjack players cannot hit split Aces. Each Ace automatically receives only one extra card. A ten-value card next to a split Ace counts as 21 and not a blackjack, which is why it pays even money. The cool thing here is that players are also granted the chance to split unlike face cards, which is not always the case in other online variants of 21.
Doubling in Atlantic City Blackjack
Atlantic City Blackjack players get to enjoy liberal rules when it comes to doubling as well. This is another way for you to increase your payout in favorable situations when the virtual dealer is at a disadvantage. Doubling down also involves posting another bet to the amount of your first stake.
Here, this move is possible on any hand total as long as it consists of precisely two cards. In other words, you cannot double on hands you have previously hit. The dealer then draws one more card on your hand and settles the bets depending on the result. Doubling down after you split a pair is also an option in Atlantic City Blackjack.
Late Surrender and Insurance
When the dealer’s first card is an Ace, players are provided with the chance to buy insurance by posting a side bet that amounts to half their original bet. Insurance is offered before players have acted on their two-card hands. It pays 2 to 1 when the dealer really turns out to have blackjack.
Should this happen, you lose your original wager but break even with the help of the winning insurance bet. The latter loses if the dealer’s hole card is not a ten for a blackjack and the round continues with players acting on their hands as normal.
Under the late surrender rule in Atlantic City Blackjack, players can fold their starting hands and get half of their bets back. It is called “late” surrender because you can exercise this move only after the dealer has peeked under their hole card for a blackjack. If they have one, the round immediately ends and surrendering is no longer possible. This reduces the house edge by around 0.07%.