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 split.
    • 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 correctly.
  • 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 dealt out.
  • 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 Ten up.
  • 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 payoffs.
  • Sweet 16 - Bet the first two cards are a low pair, Ace or 16-21 points.
  • Streak - Bet on streaks of wins

Unusual 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.

Blackjack Games and Rules main page






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