Guide to Card Games: Stravaganza

Guide to Card Games: Stravaganza
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If you’re a fan of blackjack and similar games, but fancy trying something a little different, then check out the Stravaganza card game. Available at plenty of online casinos, both to play for free and for real money, this is a fun online card game with a progressive jackpot. Stravaganza game rules are easy to master, giving this entertaining card game a shallow learning curve.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

History of Stravaganza

Stravaganza might not have the long and illustrious history of some card games, but it’s not as new as you might think. It was developed by gaming company Playtech around 1999 to offer an alternative to the traditional card games of blackjack and poker. It was designed to go straight into the virtual casinos so online Stravaganza is pretty much the original version and the Stravaganza game rules are uniform whichever site you choose to play it on.

Free Versions

Most casinos offer a free play or demo version of online Stravaganza, and it’s an idea to try out a few rounds and get a feel for the game before betting real money. Once you’re feeling more confident though then the low minimum bet options available make it definitely worthwhile having a flutter, and the Money Bet and Rescue Bet options should reassure the more cautious player.

Stravaganza Table

Table Layout, Card Values and Winning Combinations

The Stravaganza table is pretty similar to your blackjack version, though the play options differ.

Dealer’s cards face down

Player’s cards face up

Options to Play On / Sit / Money Back / Rescue Bet

Highest Value wins

Bonuses on 3 of a Kind / 3 Face Cards

Bonuses on 3 of a Kind 3 Face Cards

Rules of Stravaganza

Stravaganza game rules are similar to blackjack in that you’re aiming to get a higher value than the dealer, unlike blackjack though there’s no ‘going bust’ when you hit 21. The Stravaganza card values are pretty standard for card games, numbers are face value, face cards are 10, but aces are always low at 1.  You start with being dealt two cards face up, the dealer gets two cards face down. You now have a series of options, and this is where the game starts to become a bit more complicated. If the total of your cards is under 5 you can choose to take your Money Back, your full bet is refunded and the round is over.

If your cards add to between 6 and 9 then you can choose take a Rescue Bet where you get half your stake back and the round is over. Alternatively, you can be brave and decide to play on. If you have over 10 with your cards you’re more likely to choose to Play On, your initial bet is doubled and both you and the dealer are dealt a third card. Alternatively, if you have a high value from the first two cards and think the dealer may have less, you can choose to Sit. Your bet isn’t increased and you don’t get an extra card but you are still in the game.

The dealer shows their hand, whoever has the higher value wins. Just to add to things, if the dealer has a Red Ace in their hand then you automatically lose, regardless of the point score, unless you have a bonus hand or a progressive jackpot. Bonus hands are 3 face cards, which give you a 1.5:1 win, and 3 of a kind, which gives a 3:1 win. You can also place side bets on the progressive jackpot. 3 Kings will win you the pot, while various other combinations will net you a share of the winnings. Big bonuses can be won here and Stravaganza payouts can shoot up, especially when the jackpot gets higher.

Special Features and Free Tables

The good news is that the majority of casinos offer a free play or ‘play for fun’ version of online Stravaganza. The bad news is that if you’re looking for some variety between them you may be out of luck. Playtech is the only company that makes Stravaganza and they obviously decided that if it ain’t broke don’t make a new version. To be fair, you don’t get a lot of version of blackjack either, but the Stravaganza layout as well as the card rules and game play is pretty uniform wherever you decide to play. Since this is a card game with a progressive jackpot though, then it is worth keeping an eye on which site may have the highest jackpot going at the moment.

Stravaganza Strategy, Techniques and Odds

Stravaganza strategy can be debated but it’s generally agree on that you should always take the Money Back option is your cards are less than 5 and always take the Rescue Bet if your cards are between 6 and 9. There’s some argument as to if you only have 10 with two cards whether you should use the the Sit option (unless you have two 5s and then carry on in case you get 3 of a kind) or just Play On. Most guides will conclude though that anything over 10 is worthwhile to Play On, as the Stravaganza odds of winning with an extra card are worth the additional wager cost.

Stravaganza Conclusion

The Stravaganza card game offers a fun and interesting alternative to gamers who enjoy their online card games but may be getting a bit bored of blackjack and poker. It’s available fairly widely but only from games developer Playtech, so the table and layout is going to be extremely similar whichever site you may choose to play on. Similarly, the Stravaganza game rules seem to be uniform across the sites – the lack of variety may be offputting for some, but at least once you grasp the gameplay then you’re set wherever you go.

The rules are involved enough to keep players interested but not ridiculously complicated so as to put off the more casual gamer. There’s plenty of free play options for those who just wish to play for fun, but with the bonus hands and progressive jackpot available then more seasonable gamblers are bound to find them leading to some decent payouts.

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