Amaya Gaming blackjack are online versions of the classic
table game as produced by the Amaya Gaming Group. Amaya is a
Montreal-based gaming business that has products in both the
Web-based and land-based markets.
Amaya is a huge organization, difficult to pin down with a
few sentences – they’re technically a conglomerate of gambling
companies that came together to form what is now the largest
publicly-traded name in the industry. Amaya is publicly traded
on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and is best known in the gambling
business for its $5 billion purchase of PokerStars and Full Tilt
Poker back in 2014. With the company’s recent acquisition of
CryptoLogic and a few other small-scale competitors, they’ve
shored up their international presence, maintaining headquarters
in Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
We’ll get into the company’s blackjack offerings in more
detail further down the page, but first, some more background on
About Amaya Gaming
Amaya Gaming produces games and offers gaming industry
services to both online and land-based gambling businesses. They
offer services in multiple niches – casino, poker, sportsbook,
lottery, slot machines – you name it, they produce it. Amaya
Gaming is also famous in the industry for providing back-end
services for all the forms of gambling mentioned above. The
company now provides software to some of the biggest names in
the online gambling industry, and are in the middle of a spate
of new game releases.
With the purchase of CryptoLogic, Amaya Gaming expanded their
game collection as well as their online casino holdings. Their
collection of blackjack games now totals six variants, ranging
from standard Vegas rules to a micro-limit game and even a
version based on the rules found in Atlantic City. It’s an
interesting collection of blackjack games that doesn’t include
any unnecessary “expert” or “platinum” mode games.
A quick search of casinos hosting Amaya Gaming blackjack
titles reveals a four-tiered wagering system. Limit options for
blackjack games come in three tiers – $0.10 – $5, $1-$100,
$5-$250, and $15-500. Don’t expect these ranges to be standard
across all casinos that host Amaya titles – we include this
information here for educational purposes only. You should
always check the specific rules and restrictions of all online
games before you play them for real money.
The rest of this page focuses on Amaya Gaming blackjack
variations, including details like house edge figures for each
game and ideal strategy.
Here’s a list of the six blackjack games available via Amaya
Gaming’s online casino software:
Atlantic City Blackjack
Lucky 7 Blackjack
Perfect Pairs Blackjack
The best game in terms of house edge is (of course) Single
Deck Blackjack, at 0.26%. That’s not just low for Amaya, it’s
one of the lowest house edge figures we’ve found in reviewing
games from designers all over the world. The worst game on this
list, when ranked by built-in house advantage, is Lucky 7
Blackjack, with a 0.7% edge. It’s nice that none of Amaya’s
blackjack games are particularly long on odds, though 0.7% is a
little bit steep.
Bear in mind that all the house edges we report on this page
are based on a player following ideal blackjack strategy. If you
don’t play according to mathematically-ideal strategy, you’re
handing money to the casino. When you lose more money, you have
less fun. Thus, playing according to basic strategy means having
a better time playing blackjack. Basic game strategy isn’t
difficult to learn – we even cover basic strategy for one of
Amaya’s most popular variants further down on this page.
Here’s a quick guide to all six of Amaya Gaming’s blackjack
Atlantic City Blackjack
Atlantic City Blackjack is a variant based on the rules of
the game as played in New Jersey’s gambling hotspot. This is an
eight-deck game in which the dealer stands on a soft 17, players
can double any two cards, and a single split is allowed per
hand. Amaya Gaming lets its Atlantic City blackjack players
juggle up to five hands at a time.
Single Deck Blackjack
This game uses a single deck instead of the usual six. That
has a huge impact on the house edge. The rules are altered to
adjust a little for that decrease in the casino’s odds – the
dealer stands on a soft 17, doubles are allowed on 9, 10, and 11
only, and players can’t re-split aces or perform any kind of
surrender. The overall effect of the reduction to a single deck
is still a net-positive for the player, and the house edge is
among the lowest in the industry.
Lucky 7 Blackjack
Lucky 7 Blackjack is identical to Amaya’s Atlantic City
Blackjack, except that it includes a special side wager. That
side wager, which pays off for different combinations of 7s in
the player’s hand, is one of the worst side bets we’ve ever
seen, with a house edge just under 50%.
This game is identical to Amaya’s Vegas Blackjack, except
that it has a tiny wagering range. The minimum wager is $0.10,
and the maximum wager is $5. The house edge is 0.46%, exactly
average for online blackjack variants. It’s not a bad game, it’s
just not the best game available at casinos powered by Amaya.
Perfect Pairs Blackjack
Perfect Pairs Blackjack is identical to Vegas Blackjack
rules, except that it includes an optional side bet that pays
off based on the appearance of pairs in the player’s hand. The
house edge on the overall game is just over 0.5%, not bad for an
online blackjack game with an optional side wager.
This is the closest thing to a standard game of blackjack
available in Amaya Gaming’s table games collection. The house
edge is 0.4%, a bit below-average for Web-based games of
blackjack. It’s a four-deck game in which the dealer stands on a
soft 17, the player can double on any two cards, and splits are
limited to once per round.
Amaya Gaming Casinos
Amaya Gaming licenses their games to dozens of online
gambling sites all over the world. Because of the widespread
availability of Amaya Gaming Group titles, it’d be impossible
for us to review every single place that hosts their games on
the Internet. Instead, we’ve selected three sites to review in
brief, to give you an idea of the kind of websites that Amaya
does business with:
Betsson Casino has been open since 2003, is a major force in
the European market, run by the same people who operate Mr.
Smith, BetSafe, and Casino Euro. Betsson has one of the largest
libraries in the industry, hosting not just Amaya titles, but
also games by BetSoft, NetEnt, RTG, Microgaming, and pretty much
every other big name in the industry. Betsson’s 100% signup
bonus is maxed out at $100, and has very reasonable rules and
restrictions, making it easy for players to actually earn their
BetVictor Casino has roots in the industry that go all the
way back to 1946. It’s no wonder BetVictor Casino is a household
name in the UK where the company is headquartered. They host a
library composed of hundreds of games from a dozen different
game designers, including Amaya Gaming and others. At last
count, BetVictor hosts a half-dozen blackjack variants, all of
which are Amaya Gaming titles, which is a huge endorsement for
the blackjack lineup of this game designer.
InterCasino has been open since 1996, and it’s one of the
oldest online casinos still hosting real-money games. One
curious feature of InterCasino is the fact that they host just
one variant of blackjack – luckily, its Amaya’s Vegas Blackjack,
one of that company’s better blackjack variants. The welcome
bonus currently available is a 100% deposit match worth up to
$100. InterCasino is currently open only to the European market,
though Canadian players have reported successfully signing up
for a membership and making a deposit.
Strategy Tips for Playing Amaya Gaming Blackjack
The best advice we can give anyone playing Amaya Gaming
blackjack is to play the game that has the lowest house edge,
and to use basic blackjack strategy when playing it. If you do
both of these things, you’re getting the best possible odds and
risking the least amount of cash you can risk.
If you want to improve your odds of walking away a winner,
you should also consider putting a bankroll management strategy
in place. The simplest of these is to set two limits – one for
wins and one for losses. If your win goal is $200, you’ll walk
away as soon as you’re up $200. If your loss goal is $100,
you’ll walk away as soon as you lose $100. So long as you can
stick to this plan, you’ll never find yourself gambling with the
rent money or chasing losses.
Of course, putting a budget in place doesn’t do anything to
improve your actual chances of winning at the virtual blackjack
table. If you’re looking for help improving your actual
blackjack game, you’ll want to use basic strategy.
Since blackjack rules vary so much from one game to the next,
the ideal steps taken by a blackjack player (according to basic
strategy) are a little different from one variant to another.
Below, you’ll find a guide to basic strategy as it applies to
Amaya Gaming’s Single-Deck Blackjack. We’ve chosen to share
basic strategy tips for this game because it is by far the best
that Amaya offers in terms of the house’s built-in edge. If you
play every hand the way we recommend below, the casino’s edge is
just over a quarter of a percent.
With a hard total of 5-8, always hit.
With a hard total of 9, double down if the dealer is
showing 2-6; otherwise, take a hit.
With a hard total of 10, double down if the dealer is
showing anything but an Ace or 10; otherwise, take a hit.
With a hard total of 11, always double down.
With a hard total of 12, stand against a dealer’s 4, 5,
or 6. Otherwise, take a hit.
With a hard total of 13-16, stand against a dealer 2-6;
otherwise, take a hit.
With a hard total of 17+, always stand.
With a soft total of 13-17, always take a hit.
With a soft total of 18, take a hit against a dealer 9
or 10. Otherwise, stand.
With a soft total of 19+, always stand.
With a pair of 2s, take a hit against a dealer 8-A;
With a pair of 3s, split against a dealer 4-7.
Otherwise, take a ht.
With a pair of 4s, always take a hit.
With a pair of 6s or 7s, split against a dealer 2-7.
Otherwise, take a hit.
With a pair of 8s and Aces, always split.
With a pair of 9s, stand against a dealer 7, 10, or A.
As Amaya Gaming increases its presence in online market, by
making big acquisitions and opening new casino websites,
gamblers around the world will grow more familiar with their
brand. Though they’re not one of the names that come to mind
when you think about online casino software, that’s likely to
Amaya Gaming is increasing its presence in some major
emerging markets – daily fantasy, online poker, and social
gambling are all on the shortlist of “the next big thing.”
Though most of Amaya Gaming’s products are still restricted from
the US market, as a consequence of the 2006 UIGEA bill, it’s
likely that we’ll see Amaya games in the North American
marketplace in the next couple of years, particularly as US laws
about daily fantasy evolve.
As for their blackjack games – if they were made available to
a larger audience, we think they’d be among the most popular on
the Internet. Amaya Gaming can be a bit of a bear to write
about, since they have their hand in so many different markets.
But that’s also a good thing. It means they’re adaptable, ready
to change to address new segments of the still-burgeoning online
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