Stadium blackjack is not necessarily a variant of classic blackjack, but a new way to play the game. It is sort of a combination of live casino blackjack and online blackjack. It is being added to more and more land-based casinos at a steady rate.
The name comes from the fact that up to 44 players (may vary by casino) compete with 2 live dealers, in a stadium setting. Each player has their own terminal and is able to choose which dealer they want to play against.
It is great for large groups, couples and people who don’t like the possible haggling at real tables. While the terminals are close together, there is much less interaction between players.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Once you sit at a terminal, you make a deposit and it is up to you to decide when you want to start to play.
The table minimum is usually $5 at these games, which is considered a bargain at most casinos.
All players place their bets first, you’re given 30 seconds to make the initial bet, all other plays (hit, stand, etc.) must be within 10 seconds. If you don’t make a play within 10 seconds, the game will automatically “stand” for you.
Three cards are then dealt, 2 community cards for the players and 1 card for the dealer. The community cards are called that because all players will use those same cards as their own first 2 cards.
Once the players receive their 2 cards, they have 10 seconds to decide whether to hit, stand, double, split or surrender(if available).
Now comes the interesting part. Since each player can choose their own action, additional community cards will continue to be drawn until all players either stand or bust. Once all player hands have been “locked,” additional community cards are drawn for the dealer to complete his hand.
Players get a Queen and a six, while the dealer gets a King. Some players will hit, (the proper play) and others will stand. Those that choose to hit will get the next community card on their terminal, those that stood will have their hand “locked” and unable to use any more community cards. Each player is able to make their own decision of play. Let’s say the next card is a two, giving those still in the hand a total of 18. Hopefully all of them stand at that point, so is a group with 16 total and a group with 18 total.
The dealer will now deal the next community card for himself and it’s a 7, so half the players win, half the player lose.
Once the hand is done, the cards go back to the shuffler and the next hand is dealt.
While there is a giant dealer’s display, players can watch the play of the game at their own terminal.
Of course each casino can have their own rules variations, such as allowing surrender or not. Most casinos will only pay 6:5 on blackjack in this game, instead of 3:2, upping the house edge.
There are additional side bets available like Royal Match 21 and Bet the Set 21. As in regular blackjack, these are considered sucker bets!
The appeal of this game lies in the low table minimum, the ability to play without hassle from other players, the ability to sit out a hand or two without getting up and that the machine will automatically total your cards for you!
It is regular blackjack that can be played without all the bad social interaction, yet in a very social environment. It’s like playing at home, but at the casino. Play is faster, which could be good or bad depending how you look at it. It’s a fun twist that gives classic blackjack a different feel.
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