Microgaming clients are very serious about
blocking illegal users from playing or in some cases even viewing
their games. A reviewer of Microgaming’s software claims that
players from certain states are not allowed to even log on to
websites displaying Micrograming software. Still other sites
featuring Microgaming’s games disallow all players from the United
States. Onling gaming is not illegal in the United States, but it
appears that even the slightly shaky legal status of certain online
gaming has scared Microgaming casinos and their customers into being overly
cautious. However, if you can log on and play these games, you’ll
find an enjoyable variety of blackjack options.
Microgaming has a few claims to fame — one of their slot games
paid out the largest jackpot in history (in the neighborhood of 1.5
million bucks) and they were pioneers in the online casino software
field. Microgaming’s slot machine innovations may outshine their
innovations in the blackjack world, but this is a solid company with
exciting material appearing on an almost monthly basis. This is the
company who claims to have invented the online casino in 1994, and
no one can argue that Microgaming’s material has been on the block
for a while. Microgaming was one of a few founding members of the
Interactive Gaming Council. This was 1997, when Microgaming’s games
were all downloadable versions of video poker, slots, roulette and
the like. Only a year later, they "invented" the online progressive
jackpot (called Cash Splash) and instituted the industry’s first
payout auditor, a step towards ensuring complete fair play at their
Over 50 major online casinos depend on Microgaming for their
software. Some of the bigger names: Jackpot City, Platinum Play,
Golden Riviera Casino, and UK Casino Club.
Microgaming offers games both for download and that run on Java
– in other words, you can play their games with or without
downloading and installing anything on your PC. Some users are
confused by Microgaming’s offering of "Standard" and "Gold" versions
of their games. The "gold" versions of games seem to have the same
rules as the standard games but offer a different view of the game
and different colors and graphics. It may sound strange, but the
standard games "view" is the traditional "top down" look, as though
the user were hovering over the game. The gold games offer a look at
the table from an angle that is more "realistic" — as if you were
actually playing the game.
Below is a short list of Microgaming’s blackjack offerings and
corresponding info on odds and the house edge.
Microgaming Classic Blackjack
Played with a single deck — dealer stands at a soft 17. The
Player will lose the total bet against a dealer’s blackjack,
including on doubles and splits. Players may split one time only,
and there is no doubling allowed after splits. This game does not
allow the "surrender" option now so popular in blackjack. This
version of blackjack is the best option Microgaming has to offer
serious gamers looking to win — played to perfection, the house has
an edge of just around 0.09 – 0.13%.
Microgaming European Blackjack
This is a two deck game that allows doubling on totals of 9 – 11
only. There is no "surrender" option, and just as in classic
blackjack the player loses total bet on a dealer blackjack. The
house edge, mostly due to the multi-decks and limited doubling, is
around 0.4%. Sounds low, and it is, but compared to the 0.09%
possible with Micro’s "classic" game, that’s an astronomical edge.
Microgaming Multi-hand Blackjack
Same rules as European blackjack, but featuring five decks
instead of two. The edge goes up a bit to around 0.6%.
Microgaming Vegas Strip Blackjack
Not as exciting as the name might imply, Vegas Strip blackjack
uses four decks. The dealer peeks for blackjack, occasionally
keeping the player out of losing his total bet – and doubling is the
name of the game here. Doubling is allowed after splitting, after
any first two cards, and users can resplit to three hands. A
relatively good game in terms of house edge — 0.36%.
Microgaming Vegas Downtown Blackjack
A two deck game where the dealer must hit on a soft 17 — still
the house edge is 0.4%.
Microgaming Atlantic City Blackjack
Eight decks of cards are used in Atlantic city blackjack, and
surrenders are allowed. House edge is just 0.365%.
Microgaming Bonus Blackjack
Identical to Vegas downtown blackjack, except a side bet is
available with odds up to 50:1. The side bet isn’t exactly
lucrative, featuring a house edge of about 7%.
Microgaming Triple 7′s Blackjack
Another identical game featuring a side bet — triple 7s is
multi-hand blackjack featuring a mandatory one dollar triple 7s side
bet. The house edge on this mandatory bet? A staggering 38%.