Microgaming is recognised as a leader in the casino software industry – many insiders consider them the best developer in the world. All their titles are excellent, including the range of online Blackjack variations that they offer. One of the best-loved and most classic versions is European Blackjack.
For most people, European land-based, desktop and mobile Blackjack is the version that they think of first. This is the original format, and other variations developed as the game spread to America and around the rest of the world.
In brick-and-mortar establishments and online Blackjack is also often simply called Twenty-One. Not only is this a reference to the fact that the aim is to get a hand total of 21 and to beat the dealer without going any higher, it also harks back to earlier European games. Predecessors in Germany and France, for example, were called Einundzwanzig and Vingt-et-Un respectively, both of which mean Twenty-One.
Essentially, the game started in the noble homes of European aristocrats during the 17th century. As cards became more accepted Twenty-One spread to the lower classes, and was taken to the New World by early American settlers.
American vs. European Games
The larger payouts for a natural Blackjack hand originated in the United States but have now also been adopted for European desktop, land-based and mobile Blackjack. While Vegas Strip, Atlantic City and other versions all have slightly different rules, the biggest distinction between European and American games is when the dealer’s second card is dealt.
In European card play, the dealer gets only 1 card, which faces up, until all participants have made their first move. For American versions, both dealer cards are put down at once, along with players’ hands, before any other action is taken. That means players in American online Blackjack, and brick-and-mortar, the dealer can “peek” if their hole card is an Ace, face or 10 card. In that case, they have Blackjack, and the round ends before players bet and lose more money. In other words, the European original is a little more challenging – but very rewarding!
The Microgaming Advantage
With any game that involves online betting NZ players are in for a treat if it’s a Microgaming release. In the case of European Twenty-One, they can enjoy crisp and realistic graphics, and wager anywhere from 1 to 1000 credits on each hand. The authentic background music further enhances the atmosphere.
Two 52-card decks are used, and the results are created with Random Number Generation software that is independently audited and certified. If the dealer’s initial card is an Ace you can op to take the insurance side bet, which will pay you out 2:1 if they have a hand of 21. The other payouts are the conventional 3:2 if you get exactly 21 yourself, and 1:1 if you win with any other hand.
Where to Play
If Microgaming’s take on European Twenty-One sounds appealing to you, we suggest you try this version of online Blackjack at Lucky Nugget and Spin Palace. Not only will you get to enjoy this perfectly executed game, you’ll get to play in some of the safest and fairest environments, with some of the most generous bonuses, that are available for online betting NZ!