Sette E Mezzo: How Does This Italian Card Game Work?

Thinking Man On Left with Two Cards And Sette E Mezzo on Right

Sette E Mezzo isn’t a casino game that you commonly see in most parts of the world. Nevertheless, it’s slowly increasing in popularity.

If you’re tired of the usual card games, then you’ll appreciate Sette E Mezzo. It combines an unusual deck that uses clubs, coins, cups, and swords as suits. It uses a cavalier in place of the queen, too.

The following guide discusses the basics of Sette E Mezzo, including rules, strategy, and RTP. It also covers where you can find this game, including Playtech’s live dealer version, which is the main variation online.

Similar to the strategy of blackjack, this Italian card game is sure to bring excitement and variety to your gambling experience.

Overview of Sette E Mezzo

The object of this game is to beat the dealer. The hand that’s closest to 7.5 wins. Not coincidentally, Sette E Mezzo is the Italian term for seven and a half.

If you’re used to common card games, you may be immediately puzzled about the 7.5 score. After all, traditional card decks don’t allow for half points.

This game uses a Neapolitan card deck, which originates from Naples, Italy. The Neapolitan deck only contains 40 cards (as opposed to 52) and includes the following:

  • Four suits: clubs, coins, cups, and swords
  • 10 cards of each suit: ace, cavalier, jack, king, and 2-7

Scoring

The scores of every card include:

  • Ace = 1
  • Cavalier, jack, and king = 0.5
  • 2-7 = Numerical value

Wild Card

The king of coins is a wild card that provides whatever score is needed to reach 7.5 points. If your first card is a cavalier, for example, then the king of coins would be worth 7 points.

How to Win

You beat the dealer and win a hand under the following circumstances:

  • Get 7.5 points on the first two cards (i.e. a natural or “reale”) without the dealer also receiving a natural
  • You achieve a higher score than the dealer without going over 7.5
  • The dealer draws additional cards and exceeds 7.5

How Is Sette E Mezzo Played?

Each round begins with the dealer shuffling a single deck of 40 cards. Because the deck is shuffled every round, the casino doesn’t need to use multiple decks to eliminate card counting like with blackjack.

After the betting round, you and the dealer both receive one face-up card. From here, you might automatically receive another card or have a choice on hitting or standing.

Close up of Sette E Mezzo Table

Using Playtech’s version as an example, you automatically get a second card under the following circumstances:

  • Your score is lower than the dealer’s point total; you automatically hit until tying or surpassing the dealer’s score
  • The dealer receives a king of coins; you automatically hit until getting a 7 or higher
  • Your first card is the king of coins
  • You and the dealer are tied at 5-5

Collectively, these situations happen frequently. With that said, you’ll automatically receive cards more often than you get to hit or stand.

Hitting and Standing

You have the option to hit or stand when your first card is equal to or higher than the dealer’s card. The one exception is in the case of a 5-5 tie, at which point, you auto hit.

The dealer, meanwhile, always hits with a score of 4.5 or lower and stands with 5 or higher. This aspect is similar to how a blackjack dealer hits until at least reaching 17.

Busting Out

Yet another similarity between Sette E Mezzo and blackjack is that you and the dealer can bust out. In this case, you bust when your score exceeds 7.5. This is why you must carefully decide when to hit and stand if the option is available.

The highest that your score can be on the first card is a 7. Therefore, it’s impossible to bust out after receiving just one card.

Unfortunately, you’re sometimes forced to hit until busting out. In these cases, you lose without ever getting to make a decision.

Payouts

You’re normally paid 1:1 on a win. However, you can earn a 3:2 payout by getting a Sette E Mezzo hand (i.e. 7.5 points).

A Sette E Mezzo can be made up of either:

  • King of coins & 7
  • King of coins & face card (king, jack, cavalier)

Unlike with blackjack, only one player can receive a perfect hand each round. After all, the deck contains just a single king of coins.

Here’s the main pay table for this game:

  • Sette E Mezzo = 3:2 payout
  • Winning hand = 1:1 payout
  • Tie on 5.5 points or higher = Push
  • Tie on 5 points (after two cards) = Loss

Sette E Mezzo Side Bets

The Playtech variation offers two side wagers in the form of Partita Perfetta and Mano Di Poker. Partita Perfetta is based on a combination of your first card and the dealer’s first card. Mani Di Poker revolves around your first two cards and the dealer’s first.

Sette E Mezzo Hand

Here are the pay tables for each:

Partita Perfetta Pay Table

  • Pair of 7s = 55:1 payout
  • Pair of Face Cards = 10:1 payout
  • Pair Ranging From 1s Through 6s = 5:1 payout

Mani Di Poker Pay Table

  • Royal Flush = 150:1 payout
  • Straight Flush = 75:1 payout
  • Three of a Kind = 50:1 payout
  • Flush = 6:1 payout
  • Straight = 5:1 payout

Different Versions of This Game

Lottomatica, which runs Italy’s national lottery, has some rule differences compared to the Playtech version referenced earlier. Lottomatica Sette E Mezzo contains the following nuances when compared to Playtech’s variation:

  • No side bets are available
  • A 5-5 tie after two cards is a push; not a loss

Some Spanish casinos offer “siete y media,” which differs in certain ways from both Lottomatica’s and Playtech’s Sette E Mezzo. Sette y mezzo contains the following unique rules:

  • No wildcard is available
  • All hands pay 1:1; no 3:2 bonus payout is available for Sette E Mezzo hands
  • Multiple decks can be in use, thus eliminating the need to shuffle in between every round
  • Players aren’t forced to hit under any circumstances

Where Can You Play Sette E Mezzo?

The best place to find this game is in Italy, where Sette E Mezzo originated. You can enjoy it in plenty of Italian casinos.

Of course, Sette E Mezzo has branched out over time. Therefore, gaming establishments in other European countries also offer this game to some degree.

As covered earlier, Spain even has their own version called siete y media. You may be able to find the game live in Austria, France, Germany, and Switzerland, too.

Playtech is the lone live dealer gaming supplier that currently offers this game. Their version comes with a few unique rules that were covered earlier.

Sette E Mezzo House Edge

The Sette E Mezzo house advantage varies based on the specific rules in play. With the Playtech version, though, it offers 99.31% RTP.

This payout percentage is very respective when compared to the gaming world. For comparison, many live dealer blackjack variations pay around the same figure.

Of course, you need to use correct strategy (covered next) to achieve the 99.31% RTP. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at lower payback.

The Lottomatica version offers 99.72% RTP, which is outstanding. The drawback, though, is that you can only play this variation in Italy.

Sette E Mezzo Strategy

The following strategy is optimal for both the Playtech and Lottomatica variations:

Your Score Hit Agaisnt the Dealer Stand Against Forced to Hit Against
0.5 0.5 1-7
1 0.5-1 2-7
1.5 0.5-1 2-7
2 0.5-1 2 2.5-7
2.5 0.5-2 3-7
3 0.5 1-3 4-7
3.5 0.5-1 2-3 4-7
4 0.5-4 5-7
4.5 0.5-1 2-4 5-7
5 0.5-4 5-7
5.5 0.5-5 6-7
6 0.5-6 7
6.5 0.5-6 7
7 0.5-7
7.5 0.5-7

Should You Make Side Bets in This Game?

In relation to all side bets, Partita Perfetta and Mano Di Poker aren’t bad. They offer 96.15% and 96.32% RTP, respectively.

These payout percentages are akin to what you’d face with real money online slots. However, they’re a far cry from the 99.31% RTP in Playtech’s game or 99.72% payback in Lottomatica’s game.

You might consider placing the occasional side wager if you’re bored. But you’re better off from a long-term perspective by sticking with the main action.

Our Final Thoughts on Sette E Mezzo

Sette E Mezzo may not be as prevalent as blackjack across the world. However, it includes many of the same exciting elements.

It involves strategy and really high RTP. You don’t even need to use as much strategy as with blackjack to achieve this high payback.

The main downside with Sette E Mezzo is that it can be hard to find. Assuming you don’t live in Italy or surrounding countries, then you probably won’t be able to play it in land-based casinos. Provided you have access to Playtech software, though, then you can try live-dealer Sette E Mezzo online.