Blackjack players in Pennsylvania have a new casino to visit. Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia just opened its doors to customers. The new casino located in the stadium district of Philadelphia is operated by an affiliate of The Cordish Companies. The casino is connected to Live! Casinos in Pittsburgh and Maryland.
Live! Casino in Philadelphia has 2,200 slot machines, 150+ table games (including blackjack), a sportsbook, and a poker room. There are also 74 Dealer-Assist Electronic Table Games, including blackjack games.
This is a large casino and hotel. Altogether, Live! has 510,000 square-feet of gaming, hotel, dining, and entertainment space. There’s also an upscale, 12-story, 208-room luxury Live! Hotel with ample parking available.
Live! Philadelphia Blackjack
Live! Philadelphia has ample blackjack games for visitors. Upon opening, there are only six and eight deck blackjack games. Tables have different rules so there could be some 6:5 blackjack games mixed in with traditional 3:2 blackjack games.
Dealers stand on all 17’s. Players may double down after receiving any two cards. A player may split pairs three times for a total of four hands except for Aces which may only be split once.
Players may double after splitting a hand. Additionally, players may surrender after receiving their first two cards.
The house edge for this game is approximately 0.55% when a player is paid 3:2 for a natural blackjack from a six-deck shoe. This changes slightly with the eight-deck game. The game with more decks has approximately a 0.57% house edge.
The house edge jumps to 1.91% when a player is paid 6:5 for a natural blackjack. As always, make sure to read the rules before placing a wager.
Optional Live! Philadelphia Blackjack Bets
Live! Philadelphia has two optional blackjack bets – In BETween and Jackpot Party.
In Between Blackjack
The rules may read a little confusing. Let’s take the In BETween explanation straight from the manufacturer’s website to avoid confusion:
IN BETween is an optional Blackjack side bet which wins when the Dealer’s upcard falls between the Player’s initial two cards according to the rank order from low to high (2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A) and will lose if the Dealer’s upcard falls outside the Player’s initial two cards according to the rank order. However, if the Dealer’s upcard and the Player’s initial two cards are the same rank the Player wins the highest odds. This is called Triple Match.
Here’s the paytable for Live! Philadelphia:
- Any “in between”: 1-1
- Three card spread: 4-1
- Two card spread: 6-1
- One card spread: 10-1
- Triple match: 30-1
This side bet seems like a less interesting option of the two available at Live! Philadelphia.
Jackpot Party Blackjack
Jackpot Party Blackjack is an optional $5 progressive side bet based on the popular slot machine theme with the same name. This side bet uses the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s first two cards.
Every player who participates in Jackpot Party will win 3-1 ($15) if the dealer has an Ace showing and they do not have a blackjack. If the dealer does have a blackjack each player will win 5-1 ($25).
Other prizes for Jackpot Party will be based on the player’s two cards along with the dealer’s two cards. Together they will make a four-card poker hand. Here are the other Jackpot Party prizes available:
- Pair: $50
- All same color: $75
- Two pair: $150
- Flush: $250
- Straight: $350
- 3 of a kind: $750
- Royal Flush (clubs, spades, hearts): 10% progressive
- Royal Flush (diamonds only): 100% progressive
I’m not much of a side bet player but the Jackpot Party side bet seems easier and more fun. Live! Philadelphia looks like it will be one of the nicer east coast casinos.