Winning a hand of blackjack is satisfying but when it’s for a hefty jackpot, gameplay is taken to the next level. While it isn’t common for land-based venues to offer mid-limit players a chance to take home what high rollers do, online casinos changed changed that with blackjack progressives. Read our comprehensive guide to online blackjack here.
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Thanks to software developers, progressive jackpots have now been created for not only slot machines, but for table titles too. This means players can have a chance at using skill and strategy, over luck which progressive pokies require, to take home a large jackpot.
Blackjack progressives are a fun and thrilling variation to standard blackjack titles and are quite easy to understand and learn.
What is a progressive jackpot?
A progressive jackpot is created by a linked prize pool and can either be casino-specific (i.e. pool is made from people playing at just the one casino) or it can be game-specific in that it grows irrespective of what casino the player is playing it at. So all players playing a NetEnt progressive blackjack game would be competing for the same jackpot even if they are playing at two separate casinos.
Progressives work by taking a a small percentage of the bet every single player of the game makes and contributing it to the prize pool. Obviously if you play a progressive title which isn’t casino-specific it can climb incredibly quickly.
Progressives are quite common when it comes to pokies, but progressive blackjack titles aren’t as common.
How can a blackjack game be a progressive?
It works on exactly he same principal as the popular progressive pokies, with a small percentage of each hand or a side bet going to the jackpot pool. Realistically the house edge is greater on a progressive machine because there is more money being taken from your outlay than a standard machine, but the silver-lining to giving up some ground on the house edge is compensated for by having the chance to win big dollars.
How to play a blackjack progressive
How you play the progressive blackjack title is dependant on the rules of the game you have chosen. However, the progressive part of the game is generally dependant on the side bet, which relies on the card combinations you are dealt.
Blackjack progressive side bet
The side bet is an additional bet to your base wager and it is what can win you the jackpot. The general betting limits involved for these side bets are from a minimum of $1 to a maximum of $300.
Depending on the blackjack progressive you play, different cards can payout at different amounts. For example, some games see the Ace paying the maximum jackpot while other games certain suits and certain cards can payout the progressive prize pool. Additionally, they will offer smaller jackpots with other card combinations, colours, numbers, and suits.
Players make a side bet on these card combinations and this side bet will not affect your original hand and the wager you have made, rather it basically acts as though you have made two separate bets, one of which can win a massive payout. Since there aren’t many blackjack progressives available, we are going to detail the Microgaming title to make it easier for players to understand how to play a blackjack progressive.
Triple Sevens blackjack progressive
This progressive title has been created by Microgaming and features a side bet with six jackpots, from very little to the entire progressive prize pool. But let’s talk about how to play before we jump into how we win.
Triple Sevens has five decks that are reshuffled on completion of each round. Players have the standard game where they are required to amount 21 without busting, but there is an interesting side bet that has a bigger payout on offer, namely the jackpot, and here players want to make 21 via three sevens. Two sevens also pay out, but not quite as much.
First, players wager on their original hand as they would any blackjack game. Then, if they want to participate in the progressive jackpot they are required to place a side bet which is activated by clicking on the ‘Triple Sevens’ button on the game screen.
The player can then press ‘Deal’ and will be dealt two cards, which are both up cards, while the dealer will receive one down card and one up card. This is where things can get tricky as you have to decide if you should Hit or Stand in association to your hand and the side bet. We go into the strategy below.
Players can Hit and Double their wager if they are confident in their hand, and they can also double their bet by splitting their hand. The dealer must stand on any 17s and hit on 16.
While 21 is the main goal of both the original wager and the side bet, the way to score any jackpot in the side bet is via sevens. Here’s how:
First jackpot: First card is a seven, players win 5 credits
Second jackpot: First pair of cards are sevens with different suits, players win $25
Third jackpot: First two cards are a pair of same suit sevens, players win $50
Fourth jackpot: First three cards are all sevens but different suits, players win $250
Fifth jackpot: First three cards are all same suit sevens, players win $1000
Major jackpot: First three cards are all of sevens of diamonds, players win the total of the current progressive prize pool
How much can I win on a blackjack progressive?
This ultimately comes down to what winning combination you have landed in association to the side bet and the game you are playing. It also comes down to what the progressive prize pool is at the time of winning. Some software developers offer huge jackpots over $50,000 while others keep it smaller. Additionally, there can be multiple winning combinations if you don’t draw the right one to score the progressive jackpot. This means you still have chances to win, even if you don’t get the top combination as indicated above in Triple Sevens.
Blackjack progressive strategy
As with every standard blackjack title and their variants, players can use a strategy when playing the progressive. It does depend on the title you are playing and how many decks you are using, but we are using the game Triple Sevens to show you how progressive blackjack strategy can differ from the standard basic strategy.
If you remember any tip from the strategy tips we list today it is that you should never ever split sevens in Triple Sevens if you are playing the side bet. This is the major difference in the basic strategy as it is advised to split sevens if the dealer has an up card of two to seven in standard titles. Your main aim is two make 21 via three sevens in Triple Sevens, namely three sevens of diamonds to win the jackpot, so splitting them up would be a silly move.
Other tips include:
- Always hit on a pair of sevens to try and get three sevens
- Only double down on a hard nine and if the dealer is showing a two to a six
- Stand if you are dealt two picture cards or two tens
Where to play progressive blackjack titles
Microgaming online casinos which we recommend all offer the Triple Sevens progressive for players to try. These include: