When it comes to developing games for online gambling websites, this task is often left to professional entities in the industry, known as software providers. These companies specialize in the creation of casino games and offer their products to the online gambling scene. They play an integral part in the industry and are the source of our fun and enjoyment. Of the many software providers currently operating in the online casino scene, few are as illustrious as Realtime Gaming and fewer still manage to surpass this company. One of the major players in the world of casino game development, RTG has become a household name and is responsible for some of the best games out there. Below, we will go into detail about this software provider and the blackjack titles you can play at RTG-powered casinos.
Realtime Gaming was founded in the early days of the online casino industry and has been through all of its ups and downs, still going strong. Established in the distant 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia, RTG was one of the first few companies to start developing games and other software for online gambling websites, casino games in particular. Over the years, RTG has garnered a reputation for high quality and great entertainment value and the games from this software provider are some of the most popular out there.
Following the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the US, RTG was one of the few companies still allowed to offer their products to the now-shattered online gambling scene. As a result, RTG is currently the main proprietor of online casino games in the United States, with little in the way of competition. On the global level, RTG is still a major contender and is able to stand toe to toe with the likes of Microgaming, Playtech, NetEnt or anyone else for that matter.
Unlike several other top-tier software providers, RTG has never shifted its attention from virtual titles and as a result, did not develop a live dealer portfolio. The virtual offerings, however, are good enough to keep players’ interest and RTG has been able to thrive. Currently, RTG games are available from a downloadable client or alternatively, from an instant-play interface developed by online casinos. The latter is optional and some gambling websites choose to forgo it.
Having gained an idea of what RTG stands for, it is now time to take a look at what matter – the blackjack portfolio that this company has to offer.
Popular Blackjack Games by RTG
When it comes to playing RTG games, you should know that this software provider has never been the type of push game after game onto the market, with no regard for quality control. Instead, RTG offers a smaller number of titles than, for example, Microgaming or Playtech, but the quality far exceeds the quantity, letting you savor the experience. Below, we have included some of the notable RTG blackjack variations that you will commonly find at online casinos, as well as, a brief overview of the important rules.
Starting off with the simplest iteration blackjack from RTG, we have Classic Blackjack. This version of the game gives you the opportunity to play the purest form of blackjack, without any tacked-on special features or side bets. What you get is the absolute vanilla experience and all that comes with it.
As with any online blackjack title, Classic Blackjack includes its own set of rules which you should be familiar with if you want to be good at it. On the most basic level, Classic Blackjack is played with 6 decks and the scoring a blackjack hand pays the standard 3:2 ratio. Additionally, the dealer will draw to 16 and hit on a soft 17. Doubling is allowed under all circumstances, even after splitting a hand. Speaking of splits, you are allowed to split twice for a maximum of three times, though a hand of Aces can only be split once. Insurance is available and it pays 2:1, as per norm. As for Surrender, the availability of this option is decided by the casino on a case-by-case basis. The house edge of Classic Blackjack is calculated to be between 0.34% and 0.63%, with RTP values of over 99% in all cases.
Face Up 21 Blackjack
Face Up 21 Blackjack by RTG is a game in the same vein as Double Exposure by other software providers. The quirk of this title is that the dealer’s hand is always revealed to the player, allowing them to make choices based upon that information. Unlike other variations, where the dealer has a hole card, everything is out in the open, giving you the opportunity to make smarter plays.
In terms of specific rules, Face Up 21 is played with six standard 52-card decks. The dealer will hit on soft 17s when presented with the opportunity. The trade-off for seeing the dealer’s hand, however, comes in the payout ratio for blackjack. Whenever you are dealt an Ace and a 10-value card, the game will pay only 1:1, much like any other hand. Moreover, when the player and the dealer both score a blackjack, the dealer will win the tie. This is a drawback by all accounts and you should seriously consider these factors before putting down money on this game. Apart from that, doubling down is available on hard 9s, 10s and 11s, as well as, after splitting a hand. Splitting is allowed up to 3 times for normal hands, while you can only split Aces one time. The house edge of Face Up 21 Blackjack is estimated to be 0.90%, with an RTP value of 99.10%.
Match Play 21 Blackjack
Match 21 Blackjack by RTG is known as Spanish 21 by other software providers and it is not too different in terms of gameplay. Though still a blackjack game by its nature, it is somewhat different from what you might expect. For one, the six decks used in this game include only 48 cards, with the four 10s removed from each. This shifts the dynamic of the game and pushes the odds slightly in the dealer’s favor. However, there are certain rules to counteract this and keep the house edge within normal blackjack ranges. For starters, late surrender is allowed, allowing you to recoup part of your bet on a losing hand. Additionally, resplitting Aces is permitted, as well as, doubling after splits. Speaking of the double down feature, it can be used on any starting hand, regardless of its value. Last but not least, the player’s blackjack hand will always beat that of the dealer, unlike in Face Up 21, where the player loses the tie.
Other important rules concern the hand combinations that you can be dealt. Depending on the number of cards when forming a 21-value hand, you can get a different payout. Five-card 21 pays 3:2, six-card 21 pays 2:1, while forming 21 with seven or more cards will pay an outstanding 3:1. Additionally, holding a 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 hand will net you 3:2 and the same hands in identical suits will pay 2:1. Finally, scoring these combinations in Spades will bring in a 3:1 payout. Keep in mind that none of these payouts can be claimed if you have doubled down.
Perfect Pairs Blackjack
Perfect Pairs Blackjack is a special version of Classic Blackjack where the Perfect Pairs side bet is available to players. It is placed next to your original bet and it rewards you to different extents if you are dealt a pair. The payouts depend on the color and suit of the pair you are given. For example, a Jack of Spades and Jack of Hearts will pay 6:1, while a Jack of Spades and Jack of Clubs will pay 12:1. However, if you manage to get two cards of the same suit, you get to take home 25:1. The house edge on this bet is influenced by the number of decks used in the game. Since Perfect Pairs by RTG uses 6 52-card decks, the house advantage is calculated at 6.11%, which results in RTP values of 93.89%. For comparison, the RTP in the base game without the side bet amounts to >99%.
Pontoon is arguably the largest departure from the original blackjack formula, without crossing into a completely different genre. Pontoon is thought to have originated in Britain, although some suggest that there is some French influence, as well. Regardless of where it comes from, Pontoon has certainly become popular all over the world and is readily available at many online casinos. It feels similar to blackjack, however, there are some differences in rules, terminology and the overall feel of the game.
Starting with the basics, Pontoon is played with eight 52-card decks. A blackjack hand is called ‘pontoon’, a hit is called a ‘twist, while the stand move is referred to as ‘stick’. The real differences are introduced in the gameplay. For example, players may only stand or ‘stick’ on hands with a value of 15 or more, or alternatively, a 5-card hand. The latter is called a five-card trick and it pays 2:1, same as a pontoon hand. Doubling is allowed in most circumstances, such as on any hand value or after splitting. If you have split Aces and one of those is dealt a 10-value card, that counts as pontoon. The dealer will stand on any 17 and will win any ties. The house edge of Pontoon sits at 0.38%, which is low by blackjack standards, making this a fair game in terms of odds.
Super 21 Blackjack
Super 21 Blackjack is an interesting mix of favorable rules with some not so favorable ones. Unusual for this game is that the number of decks is not fixed, rather decided on by the casino in question. However, most go with the 6-deck setup. The dealer will hit on any soft 17 and stand on hard ones. Players, on the other hand, are given a large number of options, with relatively little restrictions as to what they can do.
Splitting is allowed up to three times for a maximum of four hands and this also includes Aces. In the case of Aces, players can hit or double down on split hands. Doubling down is permitted on any hand value and even after split hands. Furthermore, surrender is also available in all situations and there is also the option to surrender after doubling down, in which case only the original bet is lost. If you manage to form a hand of six cards or more without reaching a value of 21, your hand will win automatically. Similarly, if you form a 21-value hand out of 5 cards or more, the game will pay 2:1. This rule does not apply if you have doubled down, however. Finally, a player’s blackjack will win all ties.
The downside of this game is noticed when you score a blackjack. Unlike other games which offer the traditional 3:2 payout, or even the controversial 6:5 one, Super 21 will only pay even money on a blackjack. Basically, you get no advantage for scoring the iconic hand. With all of this in mind and assuming that the game uses six decks, Super 21 Blackjack by RTG features a house edge of 1.33% and an RTP value of 98.67%.
All RTG Blackjack Games
Mobile Blackjack by RTG
Mobile compatibility is a major aspect of the online gambling industry and one that is vital for millions of gamblers all over the world. Playing on your mobile device has become an integral part of the online casino experience and many are starting to prefer this form of betting over traditional desktop gaming. As a result, most software providers have adapted their games to be playable on mobile platforms. So how does RTG fit into this and more specifically, how do RTG blackjack titles stack up?
RTG has not had the best track record when it comes to mobile gaming. Many of the titles from this software provider come from a time when phones were used solely for the purposes of making calls and receiving texts and their capabilities did not extend far past that. As a result, the games were not created with mobile gaming in mind. The company has made efforts to adapt its products to mobile platforms to mixed results.
For one, the graphical fidelity is not the best out there and while this is not too bad when gaming on a small pop-up window on your desktop, it certainly becomes noticeable on a small high-definition display. Furthermore, the user interfaces of blackjack titles by RTG, while functional cannot compete with the same from other software providers, such as Microgaming or NetEnt. As far as the gameplay is concerned, there is nothing that you can do on a desktop computer that is not also possible on the mobile platform. The titles retain their full functionality, even if you are forced strictly into landscape orientation. Newer games do not seem to suffer as much, but older titles are certainly impacted.
In short, RTG titles are playable on smartphones and tablets, although the experience leaves something to be desired. Poor graphics and a lack of intuitive controls leave their mark on an otherwise great product. On a positive note, the games are light and will not tax your device when it comes to performance. As a result, you can play for quite a long time or as long as your device’s battery still has power.
Overall, if mobile gaming is your thing, then RTG blackjack titles are capable of being run on both Android and iOS devices. However, if presented with the opportunity to play on a desktop computer, we are sure that that will be the better experience.