Diamond Blackjack is an interesting blackjack variation, that has several rules that change its gameplay. Players should review the different rules to see if this game is a good fit, as the house edge is affected by these alterations.
For those players that want to play at the Diamond Blackjack tables, this page should provide the information needed to join with confidence. First, you’ll find a detailed rundown of the rules for Diamond Blackjack, including explanations for each of the game’s deviations from classic blackjack. Next, we’ll provide you with a guidebook to help you locate Diamond Blackjack tables amid the crowded online casino marketplace, before finishing up with a helpful discussion on the game’s strategic elements, odds, and probabilities.
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Rules and How to Play
Diamond Blackjack is based on the foundation formed by traditional blackjack, so unless otherwise noted, the basic rules remain the same across both games.
This means that all players will begin the hand by placing a mandatory ante bet, the objective of the game is to reach a total of 21, or closest to it, without going over or “busting,” and landing a blackjack (any 10-value card plus an ace) results in an automatic winner.
The standard 52-card deck of playing cards is used in Diamond Blackjack Switch, and the game utilizes a six-deck shoe. Each card between 2 and 10 holds a value equal to its numerical rank. All face cards (J, Q, K) hold a value of 10, and all aces hold a variable value of either 1 or 11 depending on the situation.
Do not confuse this game with the live dealer Diamond VIP Blackjack, as this is regular live dealer blackjack with higher betting limits and does not use any of the rules that Diamond Blackjack has.
Diamond Blackjack Rules
Diamond Blackjack was created by installing a few critical adjustments to the rules of basic real money blackjack, so we’ll run through each change individually, explaining the rule itself before discussing how it affects the overall gameplay experience:
The Dealer Receives Only One Up Card to Begin
This rule is based on the “European” style of blackjack, which mandates that the dealer takes only a single up card to begin each hand. The dealer must then wait until all player actions have been completed before taking their second card to complete their starting hand. When the dealer’s second card happens to produce a blackjack, all player wagers will be claimed by the house (except for players holding blackjack themselves).
The Dealer Must Stand on Soft 17’s
Whenever the dealer’s hand reaches a total of 17, while using an ace (typically referred to as a “soft 17” because the value is variable at this time), the dealer will be forced to stand and take no more cards. This is an element common to “American” blackjack, and over the long run, the dealer standing on soft 17s benefits the player by a slight degree.
When the Player Makes a Blackjack, the Hand is Declared an Automatic Winner
Should the player’s first two cards combine to form a blackjack (any ace plus any 10-value card), the hand will be deemed an automatic winner. This means that even when the dealer manages to make their own blackjack, all player blackjacks will still be paid out.
Making a Blackjack in Diamonds Pays Out at 2 to 1
This rule gives Diamond Blackjack its name, as making a blackjack with two diamonds entitles the player to a payout of 2 to 1 on their ante wager.
Making any other Blackjack Pays Out at Even Money
Any blackjack formed with cards other than two diamonds will produce a payout of even money on the ante wager.
Players can Split Hands and Re-Split up to Four Times
In instances when the player’s two-card starting hand contains identical values, even a pair of aces, the player holds the option to split the hand and form two new hands. This move requires an additional wager equal to the ante bet be placed, and the dealer will then distribute a single card to each of the split cards to form two new two-card starting hands. Should any of the newly created hands contain identical values, players may elect to re-split by following the same Re-splitting can occur up to four times.
Players can Double Down Holding any Number of Cards
Most blackjack variants limit the double down option to two-card hands only, but in Diamond Blackjack, players may elect to double down when holding any number of cards. Should your first two cards produce a lowly 6 total, but the third card drops a 5 on the felt to bring your total to 11, you can now decide to double down given the favorable scenario. This move requires an additional wager equal to the ante bet be placed, and the dealer will then distribute a single additional card to complete the hand.
Players can Double Down After Splitting
If a player has previously split a hand to form two new two-card hands, they can then double down on either hand should the situation warrant.
Players can Surrender the Hand at Any Time, Even After Splitting or Doubling Down
Whenever the player faces an unfavorable situation based on their cards and the dealer’s up card, they may elect to surrender. This move results in all of the player hands being forfeited, in exchange for one-half of the original ante bet being returned. Players can even surrender after an unsuccessful double down, with the move referred to as the “double down rescue.”
As you can see, Diamond Blackjack doesn’t really deviate all that much from traditional blackjack, except for relying on a more liberal rule setup regarding player and dealer actions.
Differences Between Games
The main point of difference between the two games concerns the role of blackjacks, as Diamond Blackjack only pays a premium for making the game’s best hand when it happens to come in suited diamonds. By reducing the payouts for all other blackjacks to just even money, the game builds in the necessary house advantage to offset the more favorable rules listed above.
In addition to the base game, Diamond Blackjack also offers a pair of side bets to entice players.
The first side bet is simple enough, as players wager that the next hand they receive will form a natural blackjack. With this bet in place, landing a blackjack of any suit on your first two cards will result in a payout of 19 to 1 on your ante bet.
The second side bet is based on landing consecutive 7’s, as players will be paid out based on the number of 7-value cards their hand contains. The side bet is based on the player’s first card, so when that card happens to be a 7, the bet will be paid off at 8 to 1 odds. Should the player receive a second 7, the payout climbs to 40 to 1, while making three consecutive 7s will produce a massive 250 to 1 bonus.
Information on the odds against and house edge for these Diamond Blackjack side bets will be included in the strategy section which concludes this page.
Best Places to Play Diamond Blackjack
As a property of Gamesys N.V., the game of Diamond Blackjack can only be found at online casinos running the company’s software suite.
Known to be a niche company within the industry, Gamesys N.V. has eschewed the usual approach of blanketing the landscape with dozens of cookie-cutter online casino skins. Instead, the software developer has focused on providing world-class security and game randomization integrity, while devoting the bulk of its resources to powering a choice group of online casino platforms.
Below you will find a list of Gamesys N.V. powered online casinos which currently host Diamond Blackjack tables:
As of now, Diamond Blackjack has yet to be converted for live play in brick and mortar casinos, so the only option for playing the game at the moment is to bring your bankroll to one of the online casinos listed above.
Diamond Blackjack Strategy
When assessing the relative worth of playing hybrid table games like Diamond Blackjack, the first step is to compare the new game’s house edge with that of its predecessor.
Comparing the House Edge
In this case, traditional blackjack carries a house edge of about 1.5 percent – and that’s for players who have little to no knowledge of basic strategy, relying on their gut instinct to make decisions instead. When a player learns the optimal plays for blackjack and successfully employs basic strategy at the table, the house edge on ordinary blackjack drops all the way to under 0.50 percent – making it one of the most favorable games found in any casino.
The overall house edge on Diamond Blackjack stands at 1.24 percent, so simply based on the numbers alone, the best strategy for playing this game is to avoid playing it all. When you consider the fact that every Gamesys N.V. powered online casino out there today also includes classic blackjack among its table games menu, there’s really no reason whatsoever to spend money on this alternative version.
By skipping the Diamond Blackjack table in favor of a regular blackjack game, you will instantly improve your overall expectation by nearly 0.75 percent. This may not seem like all that much, but in terms of statistical probability and game theory, willingly sacrificing this much of your overall expectation to the house should be considered “bankroll suicide.”
Stay Away from the Side Bets
As the for the pair of side bets offered at the Diamond Blackjack tables, both carry high enough house edges to be considered “sucker bets” that should always be avoided by sharp players.
The Blackjack side bet offers a probability of winning equal to 4.75 percent, and a house edge of 5.02 percent. In effect, you have the same odds of winning this side bet as you do spinning a double-zero roulette wheel and landing on the correct number.
For the Sevens side bet, you’ll receive no 7’s in your hand 92 percent of the time, a single 7 will appear 7 percent of hands while two or three 7s will appear less than 1 percent of the time, respectively. Overall, this side bet offers a house edge of 4.09 percent.
Play it for Fun, not Profit
Of course, even though you’ll face better odds simply by playing classic blackjack in lieu of this new version, some players simply can’t resist the temptation of a new gameplay experience. After all, grinding away at traditional blackjack can become a bit boring at times, especially if you’re sticking strictly to proper strategy.
Learn the Basic Strategy
So if you must play Diamond Blackjack, take care to consult this useful basic strategy chart for the game which was developed by Michael Shackleford of Wizard of Odds fame. The renowned game theorist and mathematician crunched the numbers to build a basic strategy chart used specifically for Diamond Blackjack.
According to Shackleford’s advice, players should only exercise the “double down rescue” option by surrendering a 16 total when facing the dealer’s 8, 9, 10, or Ace; or surrendering a 17 total when facing the dealer’s Ace.
Diamond Blackjack Developed
The hybrid table game known as Diamond Blackjack was designed by online casino software developer Gamesys N.V.
Although this company shares a similar name to the U.K.-based online casino software firm Gamesys, for all intents and purposes, Gamesys N.V. operates as an independent entity. The company exists as a limited liability corporation (LLC), holding a license from the government of the Netherlands Antilles.
The flagship platform for Gamesys N.V. software is the online casino BetVoyager, and the company also provides software servicing to online casinos like BetRaiser, BetVictor, Goldfishka, and Ice Casino.
Modifying Regular Blackjack
Like most hybrid table games, Diamond Blackjack is based on the foundation of a traditional game format, in this case, classic blackjack. By modifying a few crucial aspects of the rules and gameplay structure, the game designers at Gamesys N.V. were able to create an exciting update to an age-old gambling pursuit.
The game shares a similar spirit to another blackjack variation, Super Fun 21, adding a few choice wrinkles to the way winning hands are paid, while liberalizing the rules for player and dealer actions.