The Internet gaming circuit is always looking for something new and this Christmas stravaganza is the toast of the season. The game is similar to blackjack and a good way to introduce it would be as blackjack’s country cousin.
Like blackjack, stravaganza is based on card values. However in this game aces count as only 1. Unlike blackjack, there is no upper limit and therefore no danger of busting. The objective for the player is to accumulate a hand of greater value than the dealer’s hand. After the player places his bet and clicks the DEAL button he is dealt two cards face up and the dealer is dealt three cards face down from five standard decks shuffled together.
The player’s options are dictated by the hand value of his two cards. If the hand value is 5 or less the player can withdraw the bet with full refund. If the hand value is between 6 and 9 then also the player can withdraw the bet but this time he gets a refund of only 50%. If the hand value is 10 on more the player has a choice to make. He can sit with the existing hand or ask for one more card. The additional card comes with a price tag, which is an additional wager equal to the original amount. After the player has exercised his choice, the dealer’s hand is revealed. If the dealer’s hand value is greater then the player loses both bets, if the player’s hand value is greater then both bets pay out at 1 to 1 and if there is a tie both bets push.
What makes stravaganza exciting are a number of additional conditions that provide bonuses or penalties for the player. If the dealer’s hand has a red ace then the player’s original bet loses and the raise is pushed irrespective of the totals. If the player has taken a third card and has three of a kind then he gets a bonus payout of 3 to 1. And if the player’s hand has three face cards then he gets a bonus payout of 3 to 2.
Stravaganza has all the requirements of Internet gaming – simplicity, speed, bonus payouts and proximity to blackjack and is bound to make an impact on the online gaming circuit.