21 Burn Blackjack is a variant found at online casinos, as it was developed by software provider Betsoft. It is played like standard blackjack except that the player is allowed to “burn” or reject, his second card and accept another card.
It’s similar to Burn 20 blackjack, reviewed here, but the player gets to burn the card, instead of the dealer. The player must make the Burn wager, equal to half the original bet.
- Six decks used
- Dealer hits soft 17
- Blackjack pays even money
- Can double any two cards, even after a split
- Pairs splits only once
- No surrender
- Insurance is allowed
- Cannot burn after a split
- Burn bet must equal half the original bet
- Dealer peeks at hole card for blackjack
- An ace and 10 after burning a card is treated as blackjack
Play of the Game
The hand starts with the player placing a wager onto the betting circle. Then two cards are dealt to the player and dealer, with one face up for the dealer. If the dealer has an ace up, player can take insurance, and then dealer checks for blackjack.
After any insurance bets are taken care of, the player decides if he wants to burn his 2nd card. If so, he places the burn bet and receives a random card.
At this point, play continues as in standard blackjack, with the options to double down, split or stand.
Once the dealer’s hand plays out, winnings are paid on the original bet and burn bet and then a new hand begins.
Burn Bet Paytable
The burn bet is a built-in side bet. If you receive an ace, it will pay 2:1 or 7:1 depending on the ace. If you receive any other card, that bet is lost.
- Ace of spades – pays 7 to 1
- All other aces – pay 2 to 1
- All other cards – loss
The overall play is similar to standard blackjack, but the burn bet should only be used in certain situations. By burning a card, you’re hoping to get lucky with a card that will improve your hand, for half the amount of your original bet.
As with most side bets in blackjack, the burn bet is negative. According to the experts, a player will lose 67.31% of the burn bet money they wager. With that in mind, the burn bet should only be used when:
- The first card is a 7, the second card is an 8 or 9, and the dealer shows a 7
- The first card is an 8, the second card is a 4 or 5, and the dealer shows a 7
- The first card is an 8, the second card is a 6 or 7, and the dealer shows a 7 or 8
- The first card is an 8, the second card is a 9, and the dealer shows a 9
- The first card is a 9, the second card is a 3, and the dealer shows a 9, 10, or ace
- The first card is a 9, the second card is a 4, and the dealer shows a 10 or ace
- The first card is a 9, the second card is a 5, and the dealer shows a 10
- The first card is a 9, the second card is a 6 or 7, always burn
- The first card is a 9, the second card is an 8, and the dealer shows an 8, 9 or ace
- The first card is a 10, the second card is a 7, except if dealer shows a 3, 4, 5, or 6
- The first card is a 10, the second card is a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, always burn
You can find a chart form of this strategy at The Wizard of Odds.com
While that may seem like a long list, you rarely want to burn your second card. You should notice that burning the second card should only be considered if your first card is 7, 8, 9 or 10.
Remember, the burn bet is highly negative and should be used sparingly, only when the odds of winning the initial bet are considerably improved.
Where to Play
Best online casinos to play this:
If you’re bored with standard blackjack, here’s another variant that will have you thinking and challenge your game play. Though the burn bet is enticing, remember it’s a sucker bet like most side bets, and you should only play it in certain situations. If you know basic strategy, you can have fun with the challenges of this variant.
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