Unusual Blackjack Games
- Over/Under 13 - This Blackjack game once gaining popularity
in Las Vegas and Atlantic City is now fading away as it can beaten by
card counters. You can bet that your first two cards will total 14 or
you may bet that the first two cards are under 13. The house wins all
totals of 13. Aces count as one for this side bet only. The bets are
resolved immediately after the dealer up card is shown and pay 1:1.
- Red/Black - This side bet is very like Over/Under 13 except
that you bet on whether the dealer upcard is red or black by placing
a bet in the "R" or "B" circle. The dealer wins
on all twos. Play is the same as with Over/Under 13 described above.
- Royal Match - This rule allows a different side bet on the
first two cards. You can bet that your first two cards are in the same
suit. If they are, the bet pays 3:1. If they are the Queen and King
of the same suit, this is a Royal Match which pays 10:1. The bet is
resolved as soon as the dealer up card is shown.
- Super 7's - This option exists in a few casinos with a few
variations. The version included here appears to be the most common.
You can make a side bet of only $1 that you will be dealt consecutive
sevens. If you are dealt two sevens, you will be dealt a third card,
even if the dealer has a Blackjack. If you split sevens, you will be
paid for only the first two sevens. Payoff occurs after the second or
third card is dealt according to the following table:
- First card any 7: $3
- First two cards any 7's: $50
- First two cards 7's same suit: $100
- First three cards any 7:'s $500
- First three cards 7's same suit: $5000
- Double Exposure - Also known as zweikartenspiel. In one of
the more unusual Blackjack games, both dealer cards are dealt face up.
Obviously, this gives the player an enormous advantage. To counteract
this advantage, the "No Blackjack bonus" and "Dealer
wins ties" rules usually accompany this rule. Also, there is no
Insurance bet in Double Exposure. This is a very different game with
entirely different playing strategies. I would not suggest this option
in a casino if you have not fully studied the game.
- Multiple Action - In this game, the player can place two or
three bets. Three betting boxes exist for this purpose for each seat.
You must place bets in at least the first two boxes. Relative bet size
rules vary by casino. Your play is normal, except that the dealer has
no hole card. After you have made all of your playing decisions, the
dealer gets three hands. First, the dealer hand is finished and the
first bets for all players are resolved. All dealer cards except for
the first are then discarded and the dealer hand is again completed
using the original first dealer card as a start. All player hands remain
as they were. Then the second bets are resolved. This process is repeated
again for the third dealer hand. If you double down or split your hand,
double down and split bets are added in all three bet boxes. If you
take insurance, then the insurance bet is placed in the normal spot
and resolved dealer hand by dealer hand. If you Surrender, then Surrender
bets are resolved hand by hand.
- Bust Out - This Blackjack side bet is rather like insurance.
After the dealer turns over the hole card, and before the dealer hand
is finished, this bet is available if the dealer has a stiff hand. A
dealer stiff hand is a hand that must be hit and will bust if the dealer
draws a ten. (Hard 12 through hard 16.) If the dealer then draws a ten,
you will be paid two to one. This game can be easily beaten by card
counters and, therefore, appears to have disappeared.
- Seven and 1/2 - Seven and 1/2 is not really a Blackjack game
at all, but an entirely different card game developed in Sicily. However,
as it has appeared in Nevada and Atlantic City, and it is similar to
Blackjack, it has been included. Seven and 1/2 is played like Blackjack
with the following modifications:
- The card deck has 40 cards with no eights, nines or tens.
- Aces always count as "1" and face cards count as "1/2".
- The goal is to get as close as possible to 7 1/2 without busting
instead of 21.
- The dealer and the players are each dealt one card face up instead
of two cards.
- Each player, in turn, can hit, stand, surrender, or double-down
just as in Blackjack.
- If the player draws a pair of three's, two's or Aces, they may be
- The dealer must draw to 4 1/2 and stand on 5.
- The dealer wins all pushes (ties).
- Super Fun 21 - This is a new variation of single deck Blackjack.
You may hit and double split Aces, double or surrender on any number
of cards, and Surrender after doubling. Several bonuses exist: player
21 with five or more cards pays 2:1, player hand of 20 or less with
six cards automatically wins, player BJ always wins and a diamond BJ
pays 2:1. However, all other Blackjacks pay even money. This last rule
is very expensive. The game requires a quite different strategy to play
- Spanish 21 - This Blackjack game has been around for a few
years and is lately becoming more popular. Six or eight decks are used.
A player 21 always wins, player Blackjack always wins, player can hit
and double split Aces, may surrender after doubling and double any number
of cards. Bonuses include: 678 pays 3:2, 2:1 if same suit and 3:1 in
Spades; suited 777 against a dealer 7 pays $1,000. However, all tens
are removed from the deck. This last rule is very expensive. The game
requires a quite different strategy to play correctly.
- 21 Madness - Yet another new bonus. This is a $1 side bet.
If you get a Blackjack, and the dealer doesn't, the side bet pays somewhere
between $5 and $1,000 by chance. The average payoff is $13.90.
- Blackjack Switch - The player plays 2 hands and places 2 identical
bets to allow for this. The main element of the game is that the player
is allowed to 'switch' the second cards around, if desired. To compensate
for this powerful feature, the dealer will 'push' players' hands on
a dealer's total of 22. However, Blackjacks will still win but Blackjacks
pay even money.
- Super Match - A Blackjack Switch side bet. This is an optional
bet which does not have to be the same amount as the 'Blackjack Switch'
wager. It can be higher or lower, if desired. Players who place this
bet are aiming to be dealt a pair or better from the initial 4 cards
- Blackjack Side Bet - At the Copa Casino in Gulfport, MS, several
of the tables have a sidebet available only on the first hand of a shoe.
The player can bet that the dealer will receive a natural and/or that
the player himself will receive a natural. A correct wager with a single
natural pays 17:1; if both the player and dealer receive naturals, then
the payout is 25:1 (for either or both bets).
- 21+3 - Bet the first two cards and the dealer up card make
a Poker hand
- Bonanza BJ - Bet on a 20 in the first two cards and a dealer
- Dare any Pair - Bet the first two player cards are a Pair.
- Lucky Ladies - A popular new rule betting on the first two
cards being a pair of Queens or 20. Can be beaten.
- Lucky Lucky - A side bet with a complex payoff on 678, 777,
21, 20 or 19 suited or unsuited.
- Pair Square - Bet first two cards are of the same rank
- Perfect Pairs - Bet the first two cards are a Pair with variou
- Sweet 16 - Bet the first two cards are a low pair, Ace or 16-21
- Streak - Bet on streaks of wins
Blackjack Game Variations
- Side bets not limited to main bets - Normally, a side bet
(e.g. Royal Match) cannot be larger than your main bet. Rarely, a
casino will allow a larger side bet.
- Multi-Action variations - Some casinos demand that you bet
all three spots in a Multi-action game and some allow only one bet.
- Pair of Aces pays 7 to 1 Under bet - With this rule, a pair
of Aces will pay 7 to 1 on an Under 13 bet. This rule exists in Britain
and greatly improves the value of the Over/Under 13 side bet.
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