Of the many Microgaming table games out there Perfect Pairs blackjack is especially popular. This game follows European rules and also adds the intriguing Perfect Pairs side bet option for those interested. Played with only two decks, Perfect Pairs has rules that are greatly in the player’s favor, for example, the dealer with stand on soft 17s and a high RTP value of over 99%. Below, we will explore this blackjack variation by Microgaming and give you a clear-cut rundown of the rules.
Basic Rules and Payouts
The base gameplay of Perfect Pairs is based on the principles of European Blackjack, with the goal being to beat the dealer’s hand without going over the limit. A normal winning hand will reward you with even money, whereas hitting a blackjack will pay 3:2. The dealer will draw to 16 and stand on soft 17s and they will not peek at their second card.
The namesake of this variation, the Perfect Pairs side bet is arguably its most interesting aspect. Available as an option wager next to your main one, Perfect Pairs is a bet that you will receive a pair of some kind. Depending on your actual hand, you stand to get a reward. There are three different win conditions to the side bet. The first is being dealt a Mixed Pair which pays 7:1, followed by a Colored Pair with a payout of 15:1. Finally, receiving a Perfect (Suited) Pair will net you a 30:1.
Insurance will be offered to you whenever the dealer gets an Ace as their opening hand. This is an optional side bet designed to give you a way out in case the dealer hits a blackjack. It is worth half your initial bet and will 2:1 if the dealer draws a 10-value card. When this bet pays out, it gives you the same amount as the money you lost, thus voiding your loss. Though good in case of a dealer’s blackjack, overall, Insurance is frowned upon by serious blackjack players due to its low success rate. Moreover, you do not stand to make a profit from this side bet even when you risk 50% of a normal wager. You should be cautious when offered Insurance, in any case.
Double Down is an important action in blackjack, allowing you to increase the value of your bet twofold. You should take this option whenever you feel that your hand will surely be better than the dealer’s as it significantly increases your profit potential. Doubling Down is available on opening hands with hard totals of 9, 10, or 11. However, doing so after a split is not allowed.
The ability to split a hand of identical cards is essential in blackjack, as it allows you to turn bad hands into winning ones and favorable situations into even better ones. You can only split one hand for a maximum of two and you cannot Double Down after a split. However, you can hit on split Aces. Furthermore, 10-valued cards are not considered identical. For example, a Jack and a 10 cannot be split, however, a pair of Queens can be. Finally, you cannot hit a blackjack after a split and if you have a 10-value card and an Ace, it will only count as a 21, paying even money.
Perfect Pairs European Blackjack House Edge and RTP
A vital aspect of any casino game is the inherent casino advantage and the corresponding return-to-player percentage. Looking at these statistics you can judge how fair a game is and if it is worth playing. Where Perfect Pairs European Blackjack is concerned, this title comes with a house edge of 0.40% and an RTP percentage of 99.60%. This is great by all metrics and as fair as casino gaming can be. The Perfect Pairs side bet comes with its own odds and a house edge estimated between 3% and 4%, based on the number of decks. This is above those of the base game and you should take that into consideration when placing down a side bet.