Playtech Blackjack Software – Everything You Need to Know

Playtech blackjack is an excellent option for people outside
the United States who want to play 21 for real money online.
Unfortunately for USA based players, Playtech has a blanket ban
on real money Americans. They put this ban into place in 2008
when UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) went
into effect. So in this respect, Playtech is very much like its
competitor, Microgaming, who also has a blanket ban on United
States players.

Playtech has this in common with Microgaming, too—they’re
both practically dinosaurs in the online casino software
business. While not as old as Microgaming, Playtech has been
around a long time. They launched in 1999, only 5 years after
Microgaming. They’re a publicly traded company, too—you can find
them on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PTEC.

Another thing Playtech has in common with Microgaming is the
investment required to lease their software. We’ve written on
other pages about how inexpensive it is to open a casino using
RTG software, but companies like Playtech and Microgaming screen
out potential problem clients by charging top dollar for their
software. Another perk for Playtech is that they have a budget
for licensed slot machine games, which are a bigger draw with
players now than ever before. In fact, Playtech is probably as
well known for its superhero slot machines as anything else.

They offer some of the best odds on their blackjack games
online. Their best game is Blackjack Switch, which, when played
with perfect basic strategy, has a house edge of only 0.14%.
That’s one of the best return to player figures we’ve seen in
the online gambling industry. If you’re a serious blackjack
player, you’ll recognize right away what a great game that is.

Games Available

We provide a list of the available blackjack games at
Playtech powered casinos below. We also include a summary of the
rules for each of those games. You should keep in mind that the
listed house edge assumes that you’re playing the game with the
appropriate basic strategy for that variation. If you’re not
using basic strategy, you might as well add 1% or 2% to the
house edge. At that point, it doesn’t even matter which game you
choose—you might as well pick one at random.

Here’s the list.

  • Blackjack
  • Blackjack Pro
  • Blackjack Surrender
  • Blackjack Switch
  • Double Attack Blackjack
  • Lucky Blackjack
  • Perfect Blackjack
  • Pontoon
  • Progressive Blackjack


This is their plain vanilla version of the game. The dealer
stands on a soft 17 in this variation, and you are allowed to
double after splitting. You can also double on any 2 cards.
You’re only allowed to re-split pairs once, and you’re never
allowed to re-split aces. They also don’t offer a surrender
option. The game is played with 6 decks, and the house edge is

Blackjack Pro

Blackjack Pro has a similar house edge to their plain vanilla
product, 0.44%, but the rules options are slightly different.
This game is dealt from a single deck, but the dealer hits on a
soft 17. You’re not allowed to double after splitting, and
you’re only allowed to double on a 10 or 11. You can re-split
aces, though, but you’re only allowed to re-split once.
Surrender is not an option. (We’ve always wanted to say that.)
Blackjack pro also includes the “7 card Charlie” rule—if you get
7 cards totaling 21, you’re an automatic winner.

Here’s an example of how Blackjack Pro looks at an online

Screenshot of Blackjack Pro from Playtech

Blackjack Surrender

This game requires the dealer to stand on a soft 17. You’re
not allowed to double after splitting, but you are allowed to
double down on any 2 cards. You can only re-split once, and
you’re not allowed to re-split aces. Surrender, as you might
have realized from the name of the game, IS definitely an
option. The house edge on this one is a big improvement over the
previous 2 games on the list so far—0.35%. This is actually one
of the best blackjack games they offer—if you just hate the idea
of playing Blackjack Switch, then this is the game to play.

Blackjack Switch

Blackjack Switch offers better odds than any other Playtech
blackjack game. With perfect basic strategy, the house edge is
only 0.14%. Blackjacks only pay even money in this game. The
dealer hits on a soft 17. You’re allowed to double after
splitting, but you’re only allowed to double down with totals of
9, 10, or 11. You’re allowed to re-split once, but you can’t
re-split aces, and you can’t surrender. The game uses 6 decks.

Blackjack Switch is a non-standard variation of blackjack. To
play, you make 2 bets of the same amount, and you’re dealt 2
hands. The cards are dealt face up, and the dealer checks to see
if she has a blackjack. If she does, the player loses unless he
also has a blackjack, in which case it’s a push.

Here’s where the name “switch” comes in. The player has the
option of “switching” the 2nd card of both hands. Let’s say
you’re dealt a 5,3 in one hand, and you’re dealt a 10,5 in the
other hand. You could switch the 3 in the first hand for the 5
in the 2nd hand to get a 5,5 and 10,3, both of which are better
hands for obvious reasons.

You’re even allowed to do a switch that will create a
blackjack in one of your hands.

There’s one other catch, though—if the dealer has a total of
22, that’s not considered a bust. It beats any player hand of
less than 21, and it’s considered a push against a player hand
of exactly 21.

Double Attack Blackjack

This version requires the dealer to stand on a soft 17. This
is one of the only Playtech blackjack games that allow a player
to re-split up to 4 hands, too. It’s played with 8 decks and has
a house edge of 0.62%.

This is a non-standard blackjack game with several rules
variations, the most interesting of which is the option to
double your bet after seeing the dealer’s upcard. You have to do
this without looking at your cards, first, though.

Like many non-standard blackjack games, this one only pays
even money on a blackjack. But you can double down or surrender
at any point in the game. Insurance also pays at 5 to 2, which
is unusual.

The game also offers a side bet on whether or not the dealer
will bust with exactly 3 cards in her hand. The payout on this
bet varies based on what the dealer’s final hand was. For
example, if the dealer has a suited 888, the bet pays off at 200
to 1, but if the dealer busts with just a face card, it only
pays out at 3 to 1. The house edge on this side bet is almost
20%. Skip it altogether unless you don’t like money.

Lucky Blackjack

Lucky Blackjack is played with a single deck. It’s a
non-standard blackjack game where only a single hand is dealt by
the dealer. That hand is played according to the dealer’s
standard rules—she has to keep taking cards until she has 17 or
more. You bet on what the final total will be, and you get a
corresponding payout according to the following pay table:

The house edge on this game varies based on which bet you
make. The house edge for each bet is included in the 3rd column
of the table above. The best bet is on blackjack, but none of
these bets are good enough to make this game worth playing
except on a complete lark. The house edge is just too high.

Hand Payout House Edge
17 5 to 1 12.5%
18 6 to 1 3.35%
19 6 to 1 5.62%
20 4 to 1 12.1%
21 12 to 1 4.28%
Blackjack 19 to 1 3.47%
Bust 2 to 1 14.9%

Perfect Blackjack

Perfect Blackjack also requires the dealer to stand on a soft
17. You’re allowed to double on any 2 cards and to double after
splitting. You’re only allowed to re-split once, though, and
you’re not allowed to re-split aces. Surrender is not an option,
and you’re playing in a 6 deck game. The house edge in this
variation is 0.43%, making it one of the worst Playtech options
available. It’s called “Perfect Blackjack” because it
includes the “perfect pairs” side bet. We’ve written about that
extensively on our “Perfect Pairs Blackjack” page.


This game pays 2 to 1 for a blackjack instead of the standard
3 to 2. The dealer hits a soft 18, and you’re allowed to double
on any 2 cards and to double after splitting. This is one of the
only Playtech blackjack games that allow you to re-split aces.
The house edge is only 0.32%, and you’re playing against 8

Pontoon has a number of other rules variations. For example,
the dealer doesn’t show an up card, and any player hand with 5
cards or more that doesn’t bust is an automatic winner. This is
a fun game, but it takes a little getting used to, because it’s
different enough from standard blackjack for there to be a
learning curve.

Progressive Blackjack

Progressive Blackjack requires the dealer to stand on a soft
17. You’re allowed to double after splitting and to double on
any 2 cards. You cannot re-split aces. Surrender is not
available, either. The house edge is 0.43%, and you’re playing
versus 6 decks.

Recommended Playtech Casinos

Lots of casinos use Playtech software, but their quality
controls in place are not so stringent that you can just safely
play at any property using the software. Some Playtech operators
have been known to have customer service issues like slow
payouts. We recommend that you find recommendations for Playtech
casinos from a trusted site—like ours, for example. Here are a
few Playtech casinos we feel comfortable recommending to our

Titan Bet

Titan Bet is our top recommendation for a Playtech powered
casino. They offer a full suite of betting products, including
sports betting, poker, and bingo. Their cashout time varies but
is never more than 7 days. They’re also fully mobile-compatible.
New casino players get a 100% matching deposit bonus of up to
$100. Like all Playtech casinos, they turn away real money
players from the United States. They have a huge European player
base, though, and an excellent reputation.

Europa Casino

Europa Casino is one of the oldest and most well-established
Playtech casinos on our list. They launched in 2003. They’re a
casino for casino-lovers—you won’t be distracted by sports
betting, bingo, or poker options here. It’s all casino games all
the time. If that’s all you’re interested in, then this is
probably the property for you. But if you’re thinking you might
also want to do some sports betting and/or poker playing, you
might be better served by signing up for Ironbet or Titan bet.
Their bonus offer is also a 100% matching bonus of up to $100,
which is pretty standard for Playtech powered casinos.

Strategy & Tactics for Playtech Blackjack

We include strategy sections in all our software reviews, and
we always start them by pointing out the differences between
tactics and strategies. Most strategies are independent of the
casino software in play. Here’s why:

  • A strategy is an overall approach to something. In
    blackjack, that would include things like setting goals,
    deciding on a bankroll, and choosing an appropriate game.
  • Tactics, on the other hand, are individual decisions in
    specific situations. Deciding whether or not to double down
    if you have a hard total of 9 is a tactical decision.

To confuse things even further, we often discuss “basic
strategy” in blackjack. It’s unavoidable. Basic strategy, in
this context, refers to the correct playing decision in every
possible situation. Below we’ve included the correct basic
strategy for the lowest house edge game available at
Playtech—Blackjack Switch. Since the game has different rules
than most, the correct basic strategy is different from what you
usually see. If you follow the strategy below, the house edge
will only be 0.14%, which is better than almost anywhere else on
the Internet.

The first thing you have to decide is whether or not to
switch. You’ll find multiple different strategies for deciding
this, but the easiest we found is called the “Cindy Liu Simple
Switching Strategy”.

After you’ve decided whether or not to switch, you’ll follow
the basic strategy below:

Hard Hands

  • You’ll always hit a hard hand of 8 or less.
  • With a hard hand of 9, you’ll double down if the dealer
    has a 6 showing. Otherwise you’ll hit.
  • You’ll double down on a hard total of 10 unless the
    dealer has a 9, 10, or ace. In any of those 3 cases, you’ll
    just hit instead.
  • You’ll double down on a hard total of 11 unless the
    dealer has a 10 or an ace. In either of those cases, just
  • With a hard 12, you’ll almost always hit. The only
    exceptions are if the dealer has a 5 or a 6 showing, in
    which case you’ll stand.
  • With a hard 13, you’ll stand if the dealer has a 3 – 6.
    Otherwise, you’ll hit.
  • With a hard 14, 15, or 16, you’ll stand if the dealer
    has a 6 or less. Otherwise, you’ll hit.
  • You’ll always stand on a hard 17 or higher.

Soft Hands

  • With a soft 15 or less, you’ll always hit.
  • You’ll double down on a soft 16, but only if the dealer
    has a 6 showing. Otherwise, you’ll just hit.
  • You’ll play a soft 17 the same way, but you’ll also
    double down if the dealer has a 5 showing.
  • With a soft 18, you’ll stand versus a dealer 8 or less.
    You’ll hit versus a dealer 9, 10, or ace.
  • With a soft 19 or higher, you’ll stand.


  • You’ll split 2s or 3s if the dealer has a 5, 6, or 7.
    Otherwise just hit.
  • You’ll always hit a pair of 4s.
  • You’ll treat a pair of 5s as if it were a hard total of
    10. Never split 5s.
  • You’ll split 6s versus a dealer 4, 5, or 6.
  • You’ll split 7s versus a dealer 3 -7. Stand if the
    dealer has a 2. Otherwise hit.
  • You’ll always split 8s unless the dealer has a 10 or an
    ace showing. In either of those cases, you’ll hit.
  • With a pair of 9s, you’ll split versus a dealer 4, 5, 6,
    8, or 9. If the dealer has a 2, 3, 7, 10, or ace, you’ll
  • You’ll always stand on a pair of 10s.
  • You’ll always split aces.


Playtech offers some of the most generous blackjack games
online, and their casino licensees tend to have good
reputations. Their casinos don’t offer the largest bonuses
available, but since you usually can’t apply blackjack toward
your wagering requirements anyway, that’s no big deal.

Stick with the casinos we recommend, play Blackjack Switch,
and follow the basic strategy provided, and you’ll be playing
one of the best odds games on the Internet.

But if you’re from the United States, you can’t play here.