With a whopping great clue in its title, Multi-Hand Blackjack is a Microgaming online Blackjack game that allows up to five hands to be played per game. Played with a five deck virtual shoe – shuffled before each and every game, naturally – Multi-Hand Blackjack’s table layout quickly confirms that Blackjack pays 3 to 2 (as it should) and its Dealer Rule is the common ‘Stand on all 17’ (or ‘stand on Soft 17’ if you’re used to the more traditional expression of this rule!)
The presentation of Multi-Hand Blackjack is pretty good, although we must express a preference for online Blackjack tables that show the layout more from the point of view of a seated player than the plan view used here. Anyway, aesthetic niggles aside, the user controls for betting and playing are very easy to understand and we found no problem playing any or all of the five hands possible per game – a handy pointer always keeps you aware of which hand you’re focusing on playing during your turn.
Microgaming run this online Blackjack version under what it terms its ‘Classic’ rules, but in more detail these are:
Splitting – This is available as an option on any initial player hand with two cards of the same denomination. You can only split once per game, to create two hands, however you can hit the split hands multiple times as strategically necessary without the commonly encountered exception for a split of two Aces.
Double Down – An initial deal with a hard hand count of 9, 10, or 11 may be doubled down, after which the hand must automatically stand after receiving one further card from the shoe. Doubling down is not allowed after a split.
Insurance side bets are allowed in situations when the Dealer’s upcard is an Ace. As is typical for this side bet, the Insurance stake is half your original bet and will pay out at 2 to 1 if the Dealer’s hand ultimately proves to be Blackjack.
Surrender is not offered in any form on this game.
Microgaming Multi-Hand Blackjack is a perfectly decent way to enjoy playing several hands of classic Blackjack in a single game cycle, and has a pretty respectable house edge of 0.59% (RTP 99.41%) for optimal play. However, we’re not convinced its ‘multi-hand’ facility is that much of a feature to persuade us to choose it over Microgaming’s Classic Blackjack game.
In our opinion the Classic game has nicer presentation overall, shares the same rules and, most crucially, offers a more favourable house edge due to its single deck format. With that in mind, we’re happy to stick to playing one hand at a time to gain all those advantages!