Elimination Blackjack

Elimination Blackjack was invented by Russ Hamilton, the main event champion of the 1994 World Series of Poker.  It is a tournament style of blackjack and is the format used by many casinos today for blackjack tournaments.

BASICS

The game is played like regular blackjack.  There is a dealer, representing the house, who deals using a six or eight deck shoe.  The difference for players is that they are competing against each other, as opposed to just trying to beat the dealer or house, in order to win a guaranteed prize amount.

Players pay a “buy-in” amount for the tournament (similar to a poker tournament) and are given a set dollar amount of chips.  Every player is given the same amount in starting chips.  The players then work to increase their amount of chips, hoping to have the most chips at the end of the tournament, so they’ll be declared the winner.

Dealer and player options, such as hit, stand, double, split, are the same as in regular blackjack.  Depending on the tournament, dealer may have to hit on a soft 17.

STANDARD RULES OF ELIMINATION BLACKJACK

The following list of rules can vary by casino, but most casinos do abide by these for tournament play:

  • The house must hit 16 or less, and stand on 17 or more.  Some houses do hit soft 17’s
  • A player can split pairs up to four times, with the exception of aces.  Aces can only be split once and only receive one additional card. Ten-value cards may be limited to splitting only identical pairs
  • A six or eight deck shoe may used, though usually six deck
  • A player’s bet must be within the table minimum-maximum, and if unable to make the minimum bet, the player is eliminated from the tournament
  • Surrender is allowed for half the bet
  • Insurance is allowed if the dealer shows an Ace
  • Double down is allowed on any two cards
  • A maximum of seven players per table is allowed
  • A player has 25 seconds to make a decision in a normal hand, and 45 seconds to make a decision in an elimination hand

ORDER OF PLAY

Once a player has bought in, they are given a random assigned seat at the table.  Cards are dealt in the same manner as regular blackjack.

There is a pre-determined specific number of hands dealt.  The number will vary depending on the casino, however, it’s usually at least 30 hands.

After the last hand is dealt, the remaining players chips are tallied and the player with the most, is declared the winner.

THE ELIMINATIONS

Players are eliminated through the following:

  • If they lose all their chips
  • If they don’t have enough chips to make the required minimum bet
  • If they have the fewest chips after an elimination hand

Elimination hand:  A pre-determined hand, by number, where at the end, player chips are counted and the player with the fewest chips is eliminated.  As stated, they are pre-determined and usually in a 30-hand tournament, the elimination hands are numbers 8, 16 and 25.

Of course, the elimination hands are a key part of the game.  Betting strategy can definitely be affected and used deftly with elimination a possibility.

SECRET BET

Usually only in professional tour tournaments and high-profile games, players are allowed one secret bet during the course of the tournament.  As in the name, the bet is not revealed to the other players at the table, and it can be of strategic importance.  A player can elect to make a secret bet in order to force a smaller or larger bet from another player close in chip count.

PLAYING STRATEGY

Most important to remember is that you are competing against the other players, not the house.  You may need to make moves in an effort to cause your table opponents to bust when they make a big bet.

You also need to be aware of the approximate number of chips your table mates have, so you can stay close or get ahead.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Elimination blackjack became popular due to the popularity of Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments and casinos realized the possibility of doing something similar with blackjack.  As with poker, this gives the player an opportunity to win a large amount of money with a relatively small “buy-in” amount.

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Multiple Action Blackjack

Multiple Action Blackjack has been around since 1992, being developed and patented by The Four Queens Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. It is probably more prominent at online casinos now. The difference in this version is that the player has one hand that is played against 3 different dealer hands.

First, you will notice a different table layout in this version compared with regular blackjack.  There are three betting circles for the player and three rectangular spots marked 1,2 and 3 in front of the dealer. The rectangle spots are where the dealer will play his/her 3 different hands.

HOW TO PLAY

The player is dealt two face up cards and the dealer is dealt one face up card.  For online versions, the same face up card of the dealer is shown in all three rectangles.

The play proceeds the same as regular blackjack at this point.  The player can hit, stand, double down or split, depending on casino rules.  As rules permit, the player can surrender or take insurance.  If a player decides to split, the bet must be double the original bet. If a player decides to double down, it can be done on 1 or all three bets.  If the player does go over 21 and busts, all bets are lost.

Once the player stands with a total of 21 or less, the dealer plays his first hand in rectangle 1.  If he busts, the player receives an even money payout on his first bet. If the dealer does not bust and the player wins, the player receives an even money payout.  If the player loses, the first bet is lost. If the player does get blackjack, it is paid at 3 to 2, unless the dealer also has blackjack, which results in a push and the player’s bet is returned. 

After discarding all cards, except the original face up card, the dealer plays out hand number 2, with the same rules as above.  Once hand number 2 is completed, all cards except the original face up card are discarded and hand number 3 is played out, with the same rules.

STRATEGY

Strategy for Multiple Action Blackjack should be the same as in regular blackjack because all the rules are the same.  What changes with this version is that games are completed quicker because the player plays only once in every three games.  So, it’s preferred by players who like a quicker paced game play.

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Three Card Blackjack

This is a very simple version of Blackjack that was started at casinos in the state of Washington in 2010.  You can find it at many online casinos now.

RULES

  • Played with a single deck of cards
  • Cards are shuffled after every hand
  • No drawing rounds and players do not have the option to hit, double down or split
  • Players only decide to play or fold
  • Hands are scored based on the best blackjack hand derived from any 2 or 3 cards
  • Dealer must have at least 17 points to open
  • Aces can count as 1 or 11
  • Possible Ace Plus optional side bet

HOW TO PLAY

Play begins with the players making their Ante bet in the assigned Ante betting circles on the table.  Once all players have made their bets, the dealer deals three cards to each player and then three cards to him/herself.  All the player’s cards are dealt face down, but the dealer is dealt two face down and one face up.

The players then look at their hands and decide how to form their hands. They decide which two or three cards will give them the best blackjack hand, closest to 21 without going over.  Therefore, it’s impossible for the player to bust, because they can choose their best 2 or 3 cards.

The first player to the dealer’s left starts by deciding to raise their ante by placing an additional bet, equal in size to the original ante, in the “play” betting area.  If they choose not to “play,” they must fold.  If the player opts to “fold,” the ante is lost.  In order to play against the dealer, a raise must be made.

Once all players have decided to play or fold, the dealer then reveals his/her face down cards and looks to form the best blackjack hand possible.  However, the dealer’s hand must total at least 17 to “qualify” to play.  If the dealer does not have 17, the active players win, regardless of their total.

WIN DETERMINATION

There are only three ways for a hand to end, once the dealer has formed a hand.  First, if a player has a 2-card blackjack, both the player’s ante bet and the raise (play) bet are paid even money.  The player wins no matter what the dealer has, even if the dealer has blackjack.

Second, if the dealer does not qualify, all players’ ante bets are paid even money, but their play bet is considered a push and that bet is returned.

Third, if the dealer does qualify, the best hand wins. If the player beats the dealer, all bets are paid even money.  If the dealer wins, the player loses all bets.  If there is tie, except for blackjack, it’s considered a push and all bets are returned.

ACE PLUS OPTIONAL BET

Pays only based on the player’s hand.  The bonus of at least an even money payout is paid if the player’s hand contains an ace.  This bet must be at least one unit and is placed in the Ace Plus betting circle before the hand is dealt.

ACE PLUS BONUS PAYOUTS

  • 3-to-1 payout for Ace plus any card 10 through King
  • 5-to-1 payout for Ace plus any pair of 10’s through Kings
  • 15-to-1 payout for any Ace pair
  • 25-to-1 payout for any Ace pair plus any card 10 through King
  • 100-to-1 payout for 3 Aces

STRATEGY

The game is said to be simple because to play, you either raise or fold.  Since you can’t bust, you might think you would try to play almost every hand.  However, to truly make your playing session profitable, a best strategy for raising has been determined, as follows:

  • Raise (Play) With a player’s hand of:

16 or less: Never

17, against Dealer 2

18, against Dealer 2-8

19, against Dealer 2-9

20-21, against Dealer anything (Always play)

It is best strategy to only bet the Ante, to minimize loss, but many players feel making the Ace Plus bet is “where the money is.”  The bonus payouts are enticing, but once again, as in most side bets in any game, it really is a sucker bet because of the true rarity of hitting it.

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POKER TERMINOLOGY

While you can certainly sit down at a poker table and start playing without knowing all the terminology you’ll hear, it would probably be a good idea to be aware of what you might hear.

Betting Round Actions

BET – When a player makes a wager

CALL – When a player pays the same amount of the previous bet

RAISE – When a player bets higher than the previous bet (call plus an additional amount)

RE-RAISE – When a player makes a third bet, higher than the raise amount, after a bet and a                                                                                          raise

FOLD – When a player tosses in his hand without making a bet

CHECK – When a player passes the action to the next player without making a bet

3-BET – The third bet in a betting round, also a re-raise

CAP – The last possible raise in a betting round, in a fixed-limit game.  Players usually can raise up to 4 times in a single betting round and then the action is “capped.” Once a player has capper, the remaining players can only call or fold, no raising is allowed until the next round.

CHECK BEHIND – When a player checks after the previous player checks

Made Hands

BOTTOM PAIR – When you pair the lowest card on the board

MIDDLE PAIR – When you pair a middle card on the board

TOP PAIR – When you pair the highest card on the board

OVER PAIR – A player’s pair that is higher than any card on the board

BOTTOM TWO PAIR – When you pair your cards with the lowest two cards on the board

TOP TWO PAIR – When you pair your two cards with the highest two cards on the board

TWO PAIR -When you pair your two cards with any two cards on the board

SET – 3 of a kind

STRAIGHT – 5 cards in numerical order

FLUSH – 5 cards of the same suit

FULL HOUSE – a pair and a set together, 2 of 1 number and 3 of another

Incomplete or “Draw” Hands

This is when you don’t have a made hand, but can end up with a strong made hand, if the right cards come up on the board.

BACKDOOR DRAW – A drawing hand that needs help from the turn and river.  Hitting on the turn opens a backdoor to hitting again on the river.

OVERCARDS = Cards that are higher than cards on the board

GUTSHOT – When you are missing a card in the middle of a sequence

OESD – Open Ended Straight Draw.  When you have 4 cards in numerical sequence, that will end up in a straight with the 5th card added to either end

FLUSH DRAW – When you have 4 cards of the same suit

Additional Terms

POCKET PAIR – When you are dealt a completed pair

UNRAISED POT – When no one raises before the flop

RAISED POT – When there is a raise before the flop

PRE-FLOP – Refers to everything that happens before the flop is dealt

POST-FLOP – Refers to everything that happens after the flop is dealt

UNIMPROVED – When your hand doesn’t improve with the next card dealt

CONCLUSION

These are the most common poker terms.  Don’t be afraid to ask about a term if you can’t remember or don’t understand when playing. 

All players were beginners at one time and didn’t know the terms either.  They might be happy to answer a question because it will signify that you are a novice and therefore, they might be able to easily take your money!  Play responsibly!

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Why Hit a Soft 18

Novice players will stand with a soft 18, against a dealer’s 9, 10 or Ace, because they figure that there are only 3 cards that will help the hand, 4 card will keep it the same and the remaining 6 cards will make it worse.

Unfortunately, though it is logically correct in that thought, it is flawed because it is only thinking in terms of one additional hit!  Statistically, when you hit a soft 18, you’ll improve your hand with the first hit only 23 out of 100 times.

In that same vein, you’ll make 38 stiffs (12 thru 16), which you will continue to hit!  With the continued hitting, you’ll improve your hand, to 19 or better, 10 more times out of the 38. So, you’ll improve your hand almost 33 out of 100 times.

Statistically it’s been shown that based on 100 hands, 34 times you’ll hit a hard 18, 32.5 times you’ll hit a 17 or bust, and 33.5 times you’ll hit a 19 thru 21.  So, you can figure only 32.5 times out of a hundred, you’ll lose against a dealer’s 9, 10, or Ace.

If you hit a soft 18, you will improve your hand a little more often than not hitting it.  It is a slightly improved chance, but by hitting a soft 18, against a dealer’s 9, 10 or Ace, your chance to win goes up more than it goes down, when you don’t.

For example: If you stand with a soft 18 against an Ace, you’ll win 5 out of 13 hands.  If you hit all 13 hands and turn them into 17’s, you’ll win only 3 hands. However, if you hit and make all 19’s, you win 8 out of 13 hands.   So, you’ll have more wins by taking the chance to improve your hand, than by sticking with it.

It’s been figured out that when a dealer has a 9, 10, or Ace, and has to hit a soft 17, if you stand on a soft 18, your win percentage is 39-41%.  If the dealer has to stand on a soft 17, and you stand on a soft 18, your win percentage goes to 41-45%.

If you hit a soft 18, when the dealer has an 9, 10 or Ace and must hit a soft 17, your win percentage is 42-45%.  If you hit a soft 18 and the dealer has a 9, 10 or Ace and must stand on a soft 17, your win percentage is 43-45.5%.

As the basic strategy charts tell you, you should hit a soft 18 against a dealer’s 9, 10 or Ace, because testing proves it to result in slightly more wins.  Trust the charts and you’ll win more in the long run!

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Caribbean 21 Blackjack

This game was developed by Real Time Gaming, an online casino software developer. It is a variant of standard blackjack that has many differences that make it a challenge.  The first and biggest difference is that an Ace is only and always counted as 1.  It is never valued at an 11, so there is never a two-card “21” in this game.  A hand comprised of two 10-value cards and an Ace is the Caribbean 21.  As in standard blackjack, the objective is to beat the dealer’s hand, without going over 21.  Caribbean 21 beats all other hands totaling 21.

RULES

  • All cards are valued the same as in standard blackjack, except for the ACE, which is, at all times, valued at 1
  • The game starts with the player making a bet
  • Two cards are dealt face up to the player and one card is dealt face up to the dealer
  • The dealer does not take a hole card
  • The dealer does not take his final cards until the player has completed all his plays
  • The player can take insurance on whether the dealer will hit a Caribbean 21 if the dealer has an Ace up
  • Insurance can be taken at any time, up to half of the total amount bet at the time
  • The insurance bet pays out at 9 to 1 if the dealer gets two ten value cards as his 2nd and 3rd cards
  • The insurance bet is paid out at the end of the hand
  • The stand and hit moves are the same as standard blackjack
  • The player can double down at any time, even with more than 2 cards, this includes re-doubles, as well as doubles after splits
  • The player can split any two cards
  • The player can surrender at any time, forfeiting half of his total bet at the time

PAYOUTS

  • Dealer wins all ties
  • If the player is dealt a Caribbean 21, the payout is 3-2
  • If the player busts, he loses his bet
  • If the dealer busts, the player wins even money on his bet

HOUSE EDGE vs. STRATEGY

Following a basic strategy developed by Michael Shackelford, a top authority on casino game probabilities, for this version, the house edge can be as low as 0.19%, which is lower than many other blackjack variants.  To be noted though, the house edge on the insurance bet is 5.38% in this version, so that bet should not ever be taken, despite the tantalizing 9-1 payout.

ONLINE PLAY

Being a property of RTG (Real Time Gaming), Caribbean 21 blackjack can be found at many of the top online casinos, as RTG is considered a leading industry software provider.  Take a look at the list below for a few of the most reliable online casinos where you can enjoy a true game of Caribbean 21 blackjack.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The challenge and thrill of play Caribbean 21 lies in the player’s ability to split any two cards and re-doubling.  Because of those extreme player-friendly rules, the house gets a slight advantage back by ruling that all ties go to the dealer.  In other words, without the possibility of a “push,” Caribbean 21 blackjack makes for a more up and down game playing experience, sure to appeal to thrill-seeking players who prefer out right gambling on every hand, instead of a back and forth grind out with pushes.

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Texas Hold’em-Beginner’s Outline

Texas Hold’em Poker is definitely the most popular variation of poker played around the world.  In fact, many people not familiar with poker, think this is the only type of poker played.  More and more people want to learn the game because of it’s popularity on TV.  It’s well known that the top professional players earn millions playing a simple looking game, so why can’t the average person win a few bucks also?  It seems like such a simple game.

Starting Rules

  • In casinos and card rooms, the dealer doesn’t play.  In home games, the dealer duty usually changes clockwise with each hand
  • The player to the immediate left of the dealer acts first.  The player to act first is at a definite disadvantage because they have no idea as to what the other players may do
  • At casinos, there will be a “dealer” button that moves with each hand played, so play will rotate fairly
  • There are 2 forced bets called blinds.  They are the small blind and the big blind.  Games begin with the two players left of the dealer making these predetermined blind bets.  This is to insure there is always something (a pot of money) to play for  in each hand.  This is also why the dealer button moves every hand, because it wouldn’t be fair for the 1st two seats to always have to put in the two blinds
  • The small blind is usually ½ of the minimum bet and the big blind is usually the full minimum bet.  So, when you see a $1/$2 Hold’em table, that means the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2.

The object of the game is to combine your hole cards with the 5 cards eventually dealt in front of the dealer, known as the “board,” to make the best poker hand at the table.  The hand can contain your 2 hole cards and 3 board cards, 1 hole card and 4 board cards, or neither hole card and just the 5 board cards.

PLAY OF THE HAND

The Deal

Each player is dealt 2 cards face down, called the “hole cards.” You cannot let the other players see your cards and therefore they are to be checked discretely.  No board cards are dealt yet.

First Betting Round

The 1st player to act is the 1st player left of the big blind spot, because the blinds have already bet in that sense.  The player may fold, call or raise.

To fold, the player pushes his cards face down towards the middle of the table, called a muck, and is out of the hand.

To call, the player matches the big blind bet.

To raise, the player bets at least double the big blind bet.  If he decides to bet all his remaining chips, it’s know as “all-in.”

Play continues clockwise around the table, with each player making the choice of fold, call or raise, with the same rules in play.  As betting continues around the table,  a raise is actually called a re-raise at that point.

THE FLOP

After the end of the 1st round of betting, the dealer “burns” (discards) the top card of the deck, just in case it was accidently seen, then proceeds to place the next 3 cards face up on the table in front of him.  This is the flop.

Second Betting Round

This starts with the 1st player to the dealer’s left, since there are no more forced bets.

After the flop, the option of “check” is now available.  This is like taking a pass.  You can stay in the hand without betting additional money.

If everybody checks, that round is over and everyone gets to see a free card.

If someone bets, then all players must either fold, call or raise.

You cannot check if a player has made a bet before you.  If a bet is made before you, you must fold, call or raise.

THE TURN (4th Street)

Once again, the dealer burns the top card and deals the next card to the table, called the turn or 4th street. 

Third Betting Round

The betting again begins with the player immediately to the left of the dealer.  The same betting rules used in the second round, apply in the 3rd round.

THE RIVER (5th Street)

The dealer burns the top card and deals the next (and last) card to the table in front of him, called the river or 5th street.

Fourth Betting Round

Same betting rules apply as in the previous betting rounds, with the player to the dealer’s left, starting.

THE SHOWDOWN

This is where it gets exciting.  The last player to bet or raise shows their hand first and the highest five-card hand wins the pot. In case of a tie, the pot is evenly split among the winning hands.

Hands don’t always reach the showdown.  In any betting round, if a player bets and everybody else folds, that betting player wins the pot without having to show his hand.

HANDS RANKINGS

  • Royal Flush — five cards of the same suit, ranked ace through ten; e.g., AKQJ10
  • Straight Flush — five cards of the same suit and consecutively ranked; e.g., 98765
  • Four of a Kind — four cards of the same rank; e.g., QQQQ4
  • Full House — three cards of the same rank and two more cards of the same rank; e.g., JJJ88
  • Flush — any five cards of the same suit; e.g., AJ852
  • Straight — any five cards consecutively ranked; e.g., QJ1098
  • Three of a Kind — three cards of the same rank; e.g., 888K4
  • Two Pair — two cards of the same rank and two more cards of the same rank; e.g., AAJJ7
  • One Pair — two cards of the same rank; e.g., 1010942
  • High Card — five unmatched cards; e.g., AJ1052 would be called “ace-high”

FINAL THOUGHTS

Texas hold’em poker is not very difficult to learn, but it is quite difficult to master.  I’ve only given the basic outline and rules of the game here.  There are a vast number of possible game situations that can challenge players of the highest levels.  Even the winningest pros say they are always learning to play better. Remember it is a game of chance, you can’t win all the time. Play responsibly.

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Easy Money Blackjack System – Review

This system was developed by an avid blackjack player who was frustrated with his inability to consistently win at blackjack.

He wanted a easy, practical system that anybody could master, to win at blackjack, without the need of deep concentration or card counting.

THE PROGRAM

Easy Money Blackjack System is an 80-page digital manual, giving step by step directions on how to make your blackjack sessions profitable.

WHAT YOU GET

  • Several different charts and tables for easy visual learning
  • A simple strategy, with only a few rules,  that doesn’t require a lot of concentration
  • Additional bonuses that include, Vegas coupons, online house edge calculator for any game, printable pocket basic strategy cards
  • A 100%, no questions asked, 60-day, money back guarantee

The program teaches the following:

  • Methods of tracking favorable tables, to decide which table to play at
  • Proper chip stacking, to make betting easier and more routine
  • How to manage your bankroll by maximizing profits and minimizing losses
  • How to play within your limits and disguise your winning patterns, in order not to bring attention from pit bosses
  • Different strategies for playing at land-based casinos vs. online
  • Different strategies based on the number of decks being used
  • How to take advantage of liberal rules at different casinos
  • How to recognize tricks casinos will use to take your money and avoid falling for them
  • When it is a good time to take insurance
  • When is the proper time to surrender, how to use it for your benefit

SUMMARY

This is a highly comprehensive and valuable course, with enough information to start making your blackjack sessions profitable on a more consistent basis.  It is clear and very easy to understand.

Easy Money Blackjack System is based on personal secrets and information amassed from many years of play and thousands of computer simulated hands played. 

It would be informational for even the most avid player, as it does point out many things that a typical blackjack book doesn’t give you.  It’s an easy to grasp system that will take your game to the next level.

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21st Century Blackjack

21st Century Blackjack is probably one of the most unique variants of blackjack  It was invented, by an Irvine, California company called Casino Gaming Concepts, to “get around” the 1860 California law that made it explicitly illegal to play the game of “Twenty-One,” among other gambling games where the player bets against the house.

It is similar enough to standard blackjack for players to want to play, but also varies enough to not be considered an illegal game under the California law.  It is mostly played in California, as you might imagine.

It is also sometimes called 21st Century No-Bust Blackjack, because one variant is that there is no “busting” in this game.

The Differences

While the list of differences may seem lengthy and complicated, the basic goal of the game remains similar to blackjack, in that, as a player, you try to get closer to 21, than the dealer, without going over.

  1. The game is played with multiple decks of cards, from 2-8 decks, with 1 joker included, per deck of cards.
  2. The maximum hand is 22, also called a natural
  3. The joker is considered wild and helps a player get a hand of 22
  4. Players are allowed to bet on other hands
  5. There is no house dealer.  There is a “dealer/bank” button that moves around the table, giving players the chance to act as the dealer as the game goes on. (This may vary depending on the casino)
  6. There is no bust…a player/dealer with a hand value over 21 that is also higher than a player’s hand, results in a push
  7. A player/dealer with a hand value over 21, but lower than a player’s, over 21 hand, results in a loss for the player
  8. The player/dealer does not actually receive cards for that round, but “acts” as the bank for the round.  The player/dealer gets the money if the dealer wins, but also must pay the players if the dealer loses.
  9. The casino usually charges a fixed amount to play, usually $1 to play and $2 to act as the dealer.  This is how the casino makes money on this game.
  10. The casino may or may not provide an employee or a player with a large bankroll, (detected by the large bankroll in front of them) to cover all bets on the table.  If a player chooses to act as the dealer, but doesn’t have enough money to cover all bets, the large bankroll person will step in and cover what remains, and then splits all wins and losses with the dealer.
  11. A player can place up to 3 bets on his hand, designated by 3 betting circles on the table in front of his hand. 
  12. A player may also bet on another player’s hand by placing a wager in one of that player’s betting circles.

RULES OF PLAY

  • The maximum hand value is 22, or a “natural”
  • A “natural” beats all other hands
  • A “natural” is formed with 2 Jokers,  a Joker and an Ace, or 2 Aces
  • In some casinos, a “natural” of 2 Jokers, pays extra
  • A “natural” for both a player and the player/dealer, results in a push
  • Other than when paired with an Ace or another Joker, a Joker paired with anything else results in a hand value of 21
  • There is a dealer/bank button that moves from player to player as the game progresses.  The button stays with 1 player only a specified number of hands
  • There is usually a bet limit, but players may bet that limit in each of the 3 betting circles
  • A player does not bust if his hand totals more than 21, play continues until the dealer’s last move and then rules will determine wins and losses
  • Player may double down on  and receive 1 additional card
  • Splitting is allowed
  • Surrender is allowed after first 2 cards
  • Player must hit 12 or less
  • Player must stand on hard 20 and up, and hard/soft 21, 22
  • Player may double down on 11 or 12 and draw up to two additional cards
  • A player may not double down, split or surrender if they have a Joker
  • If a player and the player/dealer tie with hands less than 21, it is a push
  • A player cannot hit if the player/dealer’s up-card is a joker
  • Player/dealer hits soft 18 or less
  • Player/dealer stands on hard 18 or more
  • When a player and player/dealer go over 22, it’s a push if the player’s hand value is lower than player/dealer’s
  • When a player and player/dealer go over 22, a lower dealer hand results in a win for the dealer.
  • Card values are the same as regular blackjack, except for the joker, which has no value except to pair with any other card to value 21 or 22.
  • Some rules may vary depending on the casino

How to Play

  • Player’s place their initial bet and one of them opts to be the player/dealer (or bank)
  • Two cards are dealt to each player, each face up, with the dealer receiving his first card face down (the hole card) and the 2nd card face up
  • If the player/dealer has an Ace or 10up, the hole card is checked to determine if he has a natural.  If he does have a natural, all players hands lose, except if a player also has a natural and that player pushes
  • If the player/dealer doesn’t have a natural, play continues with each player deciding to hit, stand, double down, split or surrender
  • The player/dealer is last to play and either hits or stands.  When his play has ended, winners and losers are decided and payouts are made

PAYOFFS

  • All payoffs are to the extent the player/dealer has the money to cover all bets
  • Order of payoff or collection is determined by the player/dealer’s hole card and is in clockwise order. The player/dealer will place an action button in front of the first hand and go clockwise from that point.  If the hole card is an Ace, the payoffs start with the player immediately to the left of the player/dealer.  If the hole card is a two, payoffs start with the second player to the left of the player/dealer, and so on.
  • Order of payoff can make a big difference if the casino doesn’t offer the “large bankroll player” or employee who would cover any bets the chosen player/dealer can’t pay.  If the player/dealer doesn’t have enough money to cover all bets, the players whose bets weren’t covered, would get no action, no matter if they would have won or lost.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned in the beginning, though the rules and differences may seem great, the game play is not that different from standard blackjack.  If you’re an avid blackjack player, it’s a game that will challenge you a little more, having enough difference to keep you from getting bored with play.  Also, if you’ve ever thought that being the “bank” or “dealer,” would be cool, this game gives you the opportunity to do that!  Different can be fun!

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Blackjack Superstitions

As you sit at a blackjack table, you’re bound to hear all kinds of hype about what brings good luck or bad luck at a blackjack table.  Unfortunately, believing in any of that hype can actually harm your game.  Let’s go over some of the myths and facts:

MYTH:  Novice or Bad players will make you lose

FACT:  It’s true novice players can negatively affect the outcome of a hand, because they’ll stand when they should hit and hit when they should stand.

When a bad move happens like that, it’s easy to blame the novice player for costing you a hand (especially if that novice is in the 3rd base seat), taking the dealer’s bust card, but the reverse can also happen.  The player’s bad choices can help you just as often, evening things out. 

MYTH:  A new player entering in the middle of a shoe, ruins the flow of the cards

FACT:  There is no way to know the order of cards, so you can’t say there’s a certain flow for you to know what card is supposed to come next.  Once again, as with playing with a novice, the addition of a new player can change your luck for the better, just as well as “ruin” the flow.

The Superstition: Face cards always follow face cards—so if a face card is dealt, don’t hit your stiff hand.

FACT:   Keep the facts in mind.  If you include the 10’s with the face cards, there are 16 out of 52, 10-value cards in a deck, meaning 31 percent of the deck.  If you see two face cards in a row, the chance of another face card coming out drops to 28 percent.  Because there are now fewer face cards, you’re actually in a better position to hit a “stiff” hand (12, 13, 14, 15, 16).  Looking at it this way, that superstition would be a detriment to your game. 

The Superstition:  You will always bust if you hit a 12

FACT:  Many blackjack players feel that if you hit a 12, you will almost always get a 10-value card.  However, remember the point that  a non-10-value card is more likely to come up, than a 10-value card.  You have to trust the basic strategy charts and hit a 12 when the chart tells you to do so.

Final Fact

If you let superstitions direct your blackjack playing decisions, you can bet it will cost you more money!

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