Progressive Blackjack

Blackjack has been one of the most popular games worldwide, with rules that are relatively easy to master. In this game, the aim of the player is to collect a total of cards that doesn’t exceed the dealer’s total without going bust. 

With the development of online casinos and technological advancements, players have finally got the chance to enjoy their favorite games without leaving their homes. They don’t have to go to brick-and-mortar casinos any longer to play and win their favorite games. Nowadays, online casino websites offer multiple blackjack variants, and some of them even feature progressive blackjack

It is true that when people think of a progressive jackpot, a slot game comes to mind. And they are not wrong — after all, they used to be reserved for slot fans. However, after realizing how popular they could be, game designers decided to combine slots and video poker machines.

Not long after that, progressive blackjack stepped onto the scene, thanks to software studios such as Microgaming, Playtech, and WGS Technology. And today, we have ultra-popular blackjack variations with accumulative pots. 

The prize pots can reach enormous amounts, which brings that exciting twist to the traditional blackjack game. Variants of progressive blackjack are available in many casinos using the platforms of the providers mentioned above. 

Progressive Blackjack Rules

Progressive blackjack is traditional blackjack with an additional side bet — a progressive jackpot. Apart from the main bet, this side bet is required to qualify for the progressive jackpot.

How does it work?

The side bet is usually a $1 bet that gives players a chance of winning the progressive jackpot. It must be placed prior to card-dealing for each hand, and every player is allowed to play five hands simultaneously. 

The values of the cards and the way they are dealt are the same as in a classic blackjack game. The players get two face-up cards, while the dealer gets one card face up and the other face down.

  • Note: In progressive blackjack, players also aim for a hand higher than the dealer’s but not exceeding 21.

Additionally, the dealer hits on 16 or lower and stands on 17 or higher.

Once a player wins the jackpot, it starts accumulating all over again. The pot is funded with a small portion of each player’s bet, while the rest of the sum is provided by a software vendor as an incentive for players. Hence, if someone wins the entire jackpot, the accumulation doesn’t have to start from scratch. 

How to Play Progressive Blackjack

With progressive blackjack variations, many casinos introduced eight decks containing 416 cards in total; however, six decks are used in most cases. Once the player is dealt two cards, they can either hit (draw an additional card) or stand (not take any more cards). Aside from that, players can also split or double down

The split option allows a player to split two cards if they are of the same value. When a player splits the hand, that still counts as one hand. This can be done only once. On the other hand, the double down option enables a player to double the initial bet. Then, a player draws one additional card and agrees to stand. Players can only double down when their hand totals are 9, 10, or 11 but not upon splitting.

In most progressive blackjack variations, the dealer will stand on soft 17. For instance, in Playtech’s variant, the dealer is required to stand on both soft and hard 17. Furthermore, most progressive jackpots don’t support the surrender option.

The side bet that differentiates classic from progressive blackjack variants is small, usually equal to a single bet unit.

In addition, there is not only one jackpot you can win — there are several. The jackpot amount is determined based on the number of aces a player collects in one hand. The goal is to collect as many as possible.

Progressive Blackjack Payouts

The payout is also affected by the suit and color of your aces, and players can receive up to 5,000x their wager. 

  • One ace (any suit): you get 50x your wager
  • Two aces (any suit): you get 50x your wager
  • Two aces (same suit): you get 100x your wager
  • Three aces (any suit): you get 250x your wager
  • Three aces (same suit): you get 5,000x your wager
  • Four aces (any suit): you get 2,500x your wager
  • Four aces (same suit): you win the jackpot

Every player can play five hands simultaneously and place five separate bets. Many progressive blackjack variants support this multi-hand mode, as it helps players increase their chances of winning the jackpot. Furthermore, they can use chips with different denominations on each hand. 

It is also essential to know that not all progressive blackjack variants accept side bets in multi-hand mode. Players can indeed participate with several hands; however, only main bets count. 

Progressive Blackjack Side and Main Bets

Note that both progressive and classic blackjack have a minimum and a maximum bet amount. The limit depends on the variation you have opted for — namely, the minimum amount can be as low as $1. 

The side bet is placed independently of the main wage. Still, some providers require you to place it to qualify for the progressive prize. A side bet is optional, and it’s usually around $1 or your currency equivalent. 

Which card combination pays out depends on the supplier. Playtech, for instance, awards 50% or 100% of the pot for a certain combination of aces, whereas the Microgaming version awards a specific hand of sevens.  

Who Makes Progressive Blackjack Games?

Some of the biggest names, such as Microgaming, Playtech, and WGS, are involved in designing progressive blackjack games.

Let’s take a closer look at each of their progressive blackjack options. 

Microgaming Triple Sevens

This UK developer is among the oldest ones in the industry and one of the first to manufacture the online progressive blackjack game.

The Triple Sevens game features five decks of cards and requires the dealer to stand on both soft and hard 17. However, there are a few exceptions to the standard blackjack. For instance, players are now allowed to split a pair of sevens.

The jackpot amount is mind-blowing since it’s linked across all casinos using this studio’s platform. Players need a specific combination of sevens to win the jackpot.

Triple Seven’s main bets range from $2 to $200, while the side bet is $1. Placing this side bet may give you a chance to win one of the prizes or even the jackpot. However, it depends on the suit of the sevens and their order of appearance. This is what you can expect:

  • Any seven: you get $5
  • Two unsuited sevens: you get $25
  • Two suited sevens: you get $50
  • Three consecutive unsuited sevens: you get $250
  • Three sevens of hearts, spades, or clubs: you get $1,000
  • Three sevens of diamonds: you win the jackpot

The house edge for Triple Sevens is 37.94%, but it gets lower by 3.34% every time $10,000 is added to the pot.

As soon as the jackpot reaches the colossal amount of $109,860, the house edge decreases to zero, and the players’ side bets have no house edge attached to them.

Playtech Progressive Blackjack

Playtech is another world-leading developer offering a multi-hand progressive blackjack game. Many players prefer this blackjack variation due to its realistic sound effects and visual presentation.

This is another soft 17 game played with six standard decks. Players can split any two identically ranked cards upon placing their initial bet and double down if they receive any 2-card total.

The main bet ranges from $1 to $300, while the side bet is usually $1.

The prize pot that goes over $170,000 additionally incentivizes players.

If the aces are dealt consecutively on a given hand, this is what you can expect:

  • One ace: you get 5x your wager
  • Two aces (any suit): you get 50x your wager
  • Two aces (same suit): you get 100x your wager
  • Threes aces (any suit): you get 250x your wager
  • Three aces (same suit): you get 5,000x your wager
  • Four aces (any suit): you get 2,500x your wager
  • Four aces (same suit): you win the jackpot

However, this is not all Playtech has to offer. It has developed a new blackjack game — All Bets Blackjack. In this game, players can switch on side bets on any game and choose either Perfect Pairs, Lucky Lucky, 21+3, or progressive jackpot.

WGS Progressive Blackjack

WGS has also developed its own progressive blackjack game that is now supplied to casinos worldwide. The bettors have the privilege of enjoying the game that boasts superb visuals and a modern layout and replicates the table down to the smallest detail.

Like the other two studios, WGS also features a side bet that gives players a chance to win the jackpot.

The main bet is suitable for all budgets since it ranges from $1 to $500.

The rules are the same as for the other two games we’ve described. The dealer stands on soft 17. Splitting and double bets are allowed, while surrender is not an option.

If your hand contains four unsuited aces, you will win 10% of the pot. However, if you are dealt four suited ones, you will hit the jackpot.

Progressive Blackjack Strategies

Whether you opt for a traditional or progressive blackjack game, there are strategies that may enhance your winning chances.

Here are a few situations when players should stand, hit, split, or double down:

  • Stand when holding a hard 12 or higher.
  • Stand when holding a soft 8, 9, or a pair of 10s (regardless of the dealer’s hand).
  • Hit when holding a soft 12 to 16 (while the dealer is holding a 7, 8, 9, 10, or an ace).
  • Hit when holding a soft 8 (while the dealer is holding a 9, 10, or an ace).
  • Split a pair of 9s.
  • Stand if the dealer holds a 7, 10, or an ace.
  • Hit when holding hard 4 through 11 (regardless of the dealer’s hand).
  • Hit when holding soft 3 through 7.
  • Double down when holding two 5s (unless the dealer is holding a 10 or an ace).
  • Split when holding pairs of 2s through 9s or aces (while the dealer is holding 1 through 10).

Keep Reading: How Does Insurance Work in Blackjack?

About the Author

Author Malik is one of the youngest members of our team and a relative newcomer to the gambling industry. His love for casino gambling came a few years ago when he got a job as a professional blackjack croupier at a local casino, while he also enjoys playing poker with his friends. Malik’s mission at CasinoUSA is to talk about the new casino sites on the block and tell you everything about their bonuses and promotions. His reviews go into the smallest of details so you can know what to expect from a given casino site before you start playing there.