Evolution Free Bet Blackjack Review

Evolution Gaming Free Bet Blackjack is a rapid, feature-rich blackjack variant based on the popular Infinite Blackjack.

As with its predecessor, an unlimited number of players can bet on a single common hand at any one time but there’s a twist to this title. You needn’t risk your own money on selected Double Down or Split bets, because you’ll get them for free. Additionally, there’s the Six Card Charlie rule and four great optional side bets that add more to your game.

Offering freedom, fun and convenience for your players, this title is yet another must-have addition to your roster of live casino tables. Before you play, read through our Free Bet Blackjack review to see what it pays, when you’ll receive those free bets, whether there’s a winning strategy and more.

This casino game was initially reviewed in May 2019.

Image source: Evolution Gaming
Evolution Gaming Free Bet Blackjack Review Quick Facts
RTPFree Bet Blackjack: 98.45%, Any Pair: 95.90%, 21+3: 96.30%, Hot 3: 94.12%, Bust It: 94.60%
ProviderEvolution Gaming
TypeLive dealer
EnvironmentStudio
Bespoke tableNo
Live dealersOne
Opening hours24/7
Minimum bet€1
Maximum betTBC
Special betsAny Pair, 21+3, Hot 3, Bust It
StatisticsPayouts, Account history
Favourite betsNo
AutoplayNo
Instant chatYes
Camera anglesSingle
Video settingsMedium, High, HD
CompatibilityDesktop, Tablet, Mobile

What is Free Bet Blackjack?

Free Bet Blackjack by Evolution Gaming is a brand-new, richly featured version of their Infinite Blackjack game. Just like its earlier version, this can be played by an unlimited number of players as all participants are dealt the same hand which can be acted on independently.There are, however, a few distinct features. First, there are the free bets – on selected Double Down and Split bets – that are added automatically if your hand qualifies. Then there are four optional side bets – Any Pair, 21+3, Hot 3 and Bust It -, the Six Card Charlie rule (which we’ll explain further down) and a rule which states that a dealer hand of 22 results in a push. Other than these differences, the core blackjack game remains the same.

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How to play Free Bet Blackjack

How to play Free Bet Blackjack can be explained as any other online variant of the game would, so if you require the full induction, leaf through our introduction to how to play blackjack first.When betting time closes, all players at the table are dealt one universal hand. Following this initial deal, you’re able to act independently based on your preferred blackjack strategy, using the four decision buttons:
  • Hit using the + button.
  • Stand using the – button.
  • Double Down using the 2x button.
  • Split using the opposing arrow button.
  • Insurance via a pop-up if the dealer’s upcard is an Ace.
Note that if you fail to make a decision before betting time ends, your lack of response will be interpreted as a wish to stand with your current hand.

Free Bet Blackjack Free Bets

This title isn’t limited to your main bet alone thanks to two Free Bet Blackjack free bets, namely:

Doubling Down including ‘Free Double’

If your first two cards total a hard 9, 10 or 11, you’ll automatically get a Free Double. This means that your original wager is matched with a free bet once you click/tap the Double Down option. You’ll then receive just one more card as you try to beat the dealer’s hand. In all other cases, you can still choose to click/tap the Double Down button to double your main bet and receive just one more card.

Split including ‘Free Split’

If your initial hand is a pair of cards of equal value, you can decide to split the pair to create two separate hands. If you choose to split, you’ll get a Free Split on all pairs except for 10s which means that your original wager is placed on the first hand and the Free Bet of the same amount is placed on your second hand.

After a second card is dealt to both of your hands, you can improve the value of these two hands by choosing to Hit. Again, you can choose to Stand once you are satisfied with the value of your two hands. However, if you split an initial pair of Aces, you’ll receive only one additional card per hand with no option to hit. Note that no doubling is allowed either.

Free Bet Blackjack Side Bets

You can place four different Free Bet Blackjack side bets alongside your main bet. You’ll find their explanations below followed by their respective payouts further down.

Any Pair

A bet placed on the first two cards of your hand being a pair of the same value, for example, two Queens, two Aces, two 10s, etc. You can choose to bet on a Suited Pair or Any Pair.

21+3

A bet placed on your first two cards and the dealer’s upcard comprising poker-style combinations including Suited Trips, Straight Flush, Three of a Kind, Straight and Flush.

Hot 3

A bet placed on the total/combination of three cards comprising your first two cards and the dealer’s upcard. Again, there are several combinations for this bet.

Bust It

A bet placed that the total value of the dealer’s cards will exceed 21, i.e. he/she will bust. Similarly, there are several combinations for this side bet.

Free Bet Blackjack Game Rules

The Free Bet Blackjack game rules are identical to any other twenty-one game you may have played in the past. It’s played with eight 52-card decks that are shuffled after four decks and standard card values apply which we cover in our Live Dealer Blackjack page. Just note that when the dealer’s upcard is a 10 or a face card, you won’t be given the option to purchase insurance, and the dealer will not peek at his/her downcard to check for a blackjack.There are also four rules emblazoned across the felt, namely:
  • Dealer pushes on 22
  • Free Split on 2-9, Aces
  • Free Double on Hard 9-11
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
Aside from the rules related to the free bets you saw explained above, there’s the Six Card Charlie rule. If you wind up with a hand made up of six cards with a total card value of 21 or less, then you’ll automatically win your main bet, even if the dealer has a Blackjack. Note that in the case of a split hand, each hand is evaluated individually.

Free Bet Blackjack RTP and Payouts

As the premise of this game centres around a variety of side bets and rules, there are many potential Free Bet Blackjack payouts and RTPs, depending on how you bet. You’ll find far more information listed below than is typically included for most games, but don’t worry – you needn’t know any of it off by heart to play Free Bet Blackjack optimally.

That being said, take your time going through the Free Bet Blackjack payout tables listed below – first the main bet followed by the side bets (Any Pair, 21+3, Hot 3 and Bust It).

Main Bet and Insurance Bet

  • Blackjack pays 3:2
  • Winning hand pays 1:1
  • Six Card Charlie hand of 21 or less pays 1:1
  • If the dealer has Blackjack, insurance pays 2:1

The overall RTP for this title is 98.45%, based on the first hand in the shoe.

Any Pair

BetPays
Suited Pair25:1
Any Pair8:1
The RTP for the Free Bet Blackjack Any Pair side bet is 95.90%.

21+3

BetPays
Suited Pair100:1
Straight Flush40:1
Three of a Kind30:1
Straight10:1
Flush5:1
The RTP for the Free Bet Blackjack 21+3 side bet is 96.30%.

Hot 3

BetPays
7-7-7 (three sevens, unsuited)100:1
Total 21, unsuited4:1
Total hand value 21, suited20:1
Total hand value 20, suited2:1
Total hand value 19, suited1:1
The RTP for the Free Bet Blackjack Hot 3 side bet is 94.60%.

Bust It

BetPays
Bust with 8 or more cards250:1
Bust with 7 cards100:1
Bust with 6 cards50:1
Bust with 5 cards9:1
Bust with 4 cards2:1
Bust with 3 cards1:1
The RTP for the Free Bet Blackjack Bust It side bet is 94.12%.
Remember that any malfunction whilst you’re playing will void the round in question including all its eventual payouts.

Can you play Free Bet Blackjack for free?

While it’s possible to play many RNG blackjack games without laying down your own cash, it’s not possible to play Free Bet Blackjack for free. It’s not without good reason, though. Large initial investments are made from the R&D stage to develop unique titles with added features that others don’t venture into. On top of that, there’s the day-to-day running costs that need to be accounted for too. It’s for this reason that you’re unable to bet on live casino for free.

You can, however, take a virtual seat at the table, witness the game rounds and familiarise yourself with the interface for as long as you wish to. We recommend that you spend some time doing so before you play. It’s what the pros would do!

Free Bet Blackjack Strategy & Tips

Are you wondering “What’s the Free Bet Blackjack winning strategy?” yet? When a new casino game is released, it’s only natural to want to master it.By now you’ll know that the game is a typical blackjack one, so popular strategies developed by Thorp, Hall and others can be used to your advantage here. Before you try your hand at card counting or shuffle tracking, take your time to learn the ins and outs of basic blackjack strategy. All this and much more is covered on our Blackjack Strategies page.A major plus of playing with a shared hand is that you can view the statistics of how others choose to play their hand. If you’re unsure on what your next move should be, don’t act blindly. Instead keep an eye on the counter to the right of your screen and bet as the majority do. Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win but it’s worth doing until you get the hang of things.Ultimately, the best Free Bet Blackjack strategy is one that keeps you within your gaming budget, so remember to always play within your means.

The table

Evolution Free Bet Blackjack - 17

Image source: Evolution Gaming

The Free Bet Blackjack table offers another nod to its prototype. The large, semi-circular table is covered in patterned infinity-symbol felt and sits in the centre of the screen. In addition to the rules that are printed on the table, you’ll see the dealing shoe to the right and the discard rack and new shoes to the left.

In contrast, all other elements of the table are digital overlays. The main betting area sits in the middle with two side bet options. These areas rise when betting time opens and lie flat at all other times. Another similarity to Evolution’s earlier release is how your hand is shown. While the dealer uses real cards from a dealing shoe, they’re slid through a sort of trapdoor in front of the dealer and come out the other side as digital cards. As every player is acting on the same hand, there’s not much need for physical cards – plus it saves time on clearing the table.

The environment

Evolution Free Bet Blackjack - 19

Image source: Evolution Gaming

Free Bet Blackjack is based out of a normal Evolution blackjack studio whose main colour is a rich red hue with accents of the game’s gold and bright silver spotlights. For the most part, it’s a traditional look with a twist with the table sitting in the middle and other aspects such as lighting remaining consistent throughout each game round.

The dealer

Evolution Free Bet Blackjack - 20
Evolution Free Bet Blackjack - 22

Image source: Evolution Gaming

As this isn’t game show live casino, its live dealers are quite composed in their interactions with players. They’re not distant by any means, they welcome new players to the table and congratulate the winners but they’re not as talkative or outgoing as the presenters of Dream Catcher or Monopoly Live. To complement the feel of the game, female dealers wear gold cocktail dresses while male dealers keep it traditional in a well-fitted tux.

What it looks like and how it works

Now that you know how to win on Free Bet Blackjack, let’s take a closer look at what it all looks like and how it works.

Interface

Evolution Free Bet Blackjack - 3

Image source: Evolution Gaming

Free Bet Blackjack naturally uses the game provider’s conventional interface with a few tweaks here and there.

At the bottom of the interface, there’s a virtual betting area that expands and collapses as described above. On the left, you see an overview of your balance and current bet amount (should you have an active bet) while off to the right you’ll see two buttons – one to the lobby and the other to play up to 3 additional Evolution Gaming tables concurrently.

To the top right, you’ll find portals to various settings including access to the chat system and multiple audio and visual settings. Also, there’s an overview of your Evolution account history via the clock icon, game information behind the ? icon and a button that puts the game in full screen.

On the left, there’s the payouts table you saw above as well as the minimum and maximum wager limits for each bet type. You can keep this pinned in place until you become accustomed to the payouts of the side bets, but our recommendation is to keep this page open on another tab to avoid cluttering the interface.

Functionality

Evolution Free Bet Blackjack - 6
Evolution Free Bet Blackjack - 8

Image source: Evolution Gaming

When the 15 or so second betting window begins, the main betting area rises up and your chips become highlighted. Once you place your primary bet, the four bonus bet areas rise up so you can place bets there too should you wish to. You can undo, double or repeat your last bet if you’d like to do so.

Once the cards are dealt to the table, they’re pushed through the small door and transformed into digital overlays. This is achieved through advanced Evolution software that combines the dealing of physical cards and virtual cards directly to each individual player. You then have the complete freedom to act on your hand as you please using the buttons that we described above, with the possibility to refer to the betting decisions of others too.

Audio and Visuals

Evolution Free Bet Blackjack - 4
Evolution Free Bet Blackjack - 2

Image source: Evolution Gaming

Evolution Gaming Free Bet Blackjack keeps things simple in terms of audio. There’s no loud music, distracting sound effects or any other noise. Instead, all you’ll hear are the sounds of the cards across the table and the dealer shuffling the cards in between rounds. Despite this, the dealer’s voice remains audible throughout. There’s not much to keep track of from the dealer’s verbal cues, so you can choose to mute the table altogether if you prefer. Do this from the speaker and cog icons on the interface.

The game is set in a state-of-the-art studio with a premium camera rig that captures the dealer head on. You’re only given a straight-on view of the dealer and table but you can choose to switch your interface view between the Immersive Video View and the Small Video View. The former shows the video in full-screen whilst the latter suits a poorer bandwidth. Similarly, video quality can be set to auto-adjust or low, medium, high and HD as best for your connection.

Mobile and Desktop

Evolution Free Bet Blackjack - 1

Image source: Evolution Gaming

Much like other new titles from this provider including Deal or No Deal and Super Sic Bo, this new release plays exceptionally well on both PC and smartphone. Developed in HTML5 specifically for each device, its UI perfectly adapts as best suits each device’s capabilities. The game’s integral live video feed harnesses HTML5 built-in native video support to ensure image quality is assured throughout too.

On mobile, the game plays in both landscape or portrait orientation, switching automatically between the two while the Player Orientation Lock is turned off on the phone. On the other hand, the game is optimised for play in landscape orientation on tablet. No matter the device you choose to play on, you’ll benefit from all the same game features and a familiar look-and-feel.

What do you think about Free Bet Blackjack?

Have you placed your chips in Free Bet Blackjack yet? Did you prefer it to your usual favourite blackjack game due to the free double down and split bets? What side bets did you choose to play and did you succeed in benefitting from the Six Card Charlie rule? No matter your story, send it to [email protected], we’d love to hear from you. And if you’ve yet to play it, take what you’ve learnt above, apply it to your bets and see what happens. Good luck!

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