Posts Tagged ‘blackjack variations’

Double Exposure Blackjack at Seminole Casinos

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Blackjack players in the U.S. state of Florida have a new version of the game to play. The Seminole casinos now have tables for the Double Exposure variant of the game. The game should be popular with less experienced players and those who are looking for something a little different.

The biggest change in the rules for Double Exposure blackjack is that, as the name implies, both of the dealer’s two cards are dealt face up, rather than having a face-down “hole card.” The advantage of those rules is obvious. With traditional blackjack, you don’t know what kind of hand the dealer has. You have to make all of your decisions – hit, stand, double, split, surrender – while only seeing one of the dealer’s cards and taking a guess about the hand. With Double Exposure blackjack, that guesswork is removed. To compensate for that player advantage, players only win even money for drawing a natural blackjack, rather than 3 to 2. Another rule change to the house’s advantage is that the dealer wins all ties, and the house limits the number of times players can split or double down.

According to, the blackjack game is being offered at three Seminole casinos in Florida, the Seminole Hard Rock, the Seminole Coconut Creek, and the Seminole Casino Hollywood Classic.

The house edge for Double Exposure is larger than with traditional blackjack, but it is still among the best in the casino. Players will enjoy having fewer decisions to make, which should make the games a hit. The blackjack variant will soon be available at all of the Seminole’s Florida casinos.

Double Attack Blackjack

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

There is a new blackjack variation getting some attention that allows players to be extra aggressive with their bets. The game is called Double Attack Blackjack and, according to the Lake County News-Sun, this blackjack game can be found at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.

The game has a bigger risk than in regular blackjack, because you are playing with less information. In this blackjack game, the dealer sets down his up card before dealing any player cards. You start by making your initial wager. The dealer’s up card is then laid down. At that point, you have the option of increasing your bet by up to your wager amount (meaning if you wagered $20 you can add up to an additional $20). In addition, you can place a Bustit wager, which is a side bet that the dealer will bust in three cards or fewer.

As with most blackjack variations and side bets, though this game may be fun to play, it is not as good as traditional blackjack in terms of payouts. Using a modified basic strategy, blackjack statistician Michael Shackelford (aka The Wizard of Odds) says that Double Attack Blackjack has a house edge of 0.62%. For the traditional game, basic strategy gives it a 0.5% house edge.

Aside from the risk of increasing your be knowing only the dealer’s up card and not seeing your own cares, another bad rule is that natural blackjacks only pay even money, rather than 3:2. The game also uses a 48-card deck, with tens removed. The good news is that the game allows late surrender and you can double on anything, including after splitting. Still, as the house edge shows, the game’s odds are worse than traditional blackjack. If you want to play for fun, that is fine, but I wouldn’t make it my regular blackjack game.

Former UNLV Star Invents Blackjack Game

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Bobby Florence has reinvented himself again, this time as the inventor of a new blackjack game. Florence was a star basketball player at UNLV and ranks 11th on the team’s list of career scoring leaders. After his college days, Florence made money as a blackjack dealer at the Gold Coast casino.

As a dealer, Florence saw that most players lose money playing the game (due to the house edge). Prompted by a second chance at life after surviving a massive stroke, Florence decided to create a more player-friendly game of blackjack that will appeal to players. “With my game, I feel players have a better chance,” he said. No house edge or other statistics were provided for Florence’s game.

Florence’s game is called Royal 20’s and you can find it at two different blackjack tables at the Gold Coast Casino. Florence created the game in 2010 and says that it is similar to combining blackjack with poker, where you can win even with bad hands. Florence compared it to being able to “win hands on the river” in poker.

After the player makes the first wager, they can then make a side bet ranging from $1 to $25. That bet is based solely on probability of drawing cards and pays out for player cards and dealer cards. The lowest payout for the side bet is a 5:1 payout if either the dealer or the player has a Royal 20. A Royal 20 is a hand that uses a combination of face cards (jack, queen, king) to make a total of 20. There is a 10:1 payout if either the player or dealer has Matching 20’s. That is a hand comprised of two face cards of the same suit, such as king of hearts and a queen of hearts.

The two big payouts require something of both the dealer and player. There is a 50:1 payout if both the dealer and player have a Royal 20. If both have Matching 20’s, there is a 100:1 payout.

So far, the game is only available at that one Las Vegas casino, but it has only been there for two months. In time, if the game is popular and/or popular, it could start appearing at other casinos across Vegas and the rest of the country.

Should I play single deck blackjack games?

Friday, May 6th, 2011

If you’re relatively new to blackjack, you might be overwhelmed by the different options that are available in casinos. There are different rule variations, different payouts and a different number of decks. Most Vegas casinos use six or eight decks, but you will sometimes find blackjack tables with a single deck. So should you play at those tables?

Probably not. You see, fewer decks tilts the odds slightly toward the player. The tilt is greater if you are counting cards, because it makes it easier to keep track of the cards that have been played. If a casino offers a rule variation, it’s usually not out of the kindness of their heart so they can give you more money. It’s simply a way to get more people playing. Therefore, if they have a variation that lowers their house edge, they usually change some other rule to compensate for that.

When it comes to single-deck games, the casino usually changes the payout for a natural blackjack. In normal games, a natural blackjack – an ace and ten in your first two cards – pays out 3:2. For single-deck games, the payout for a natural blackjack is usually 6:5. That’s a big difference.

To show how much of a change it is, let’s use an example of betting $10 per hand for an hour. On average, if you played blackjack continuously for one hour, you would play 100 hands. Statistically speaking, if you play a single-deck game that pays 3:2 for a blackjack, you will lose $1.80 in one hour of play. Not bad. However, if the single-deck game pays 6:5 for a blackjack, you will lose $14 in an hour. Big difference, right?

That is why it’s so important to know the odds of the different blackjack games and know how the number of decks and the payouts affect the odds. Playing at a casino has bad enough odds as it is; don’t help the casino out by playing games that don’t have the best odds for you.

Blackjack Side Bets

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

You’ve probably heard people say to stay away from blackjack side bets. Or maybe you’ve heard people say that the side bets are for suckers. Count me among those people. As I have said many times, side bets have a higher house edge than the traditional blackjack game, which with basic strategy can be lowered to 0.5%.

“But I really want to play some side bets,” you say. “Can’t you give me some advice?” First of all, you realize that you’re asking for advice on ignoring my advice, right? Okay, I will look past that and help you out. Here is my advice for blackjack side bets.

Blackjack side bets can come in the traditional game – such as taking insurance – or in blackjack variations – such as Triple Sevens. In either case, the side bet has a higher house edge than the normal game, meaning that the money you wager on that side bet is more likely to be lost than if you had bet it on the regular game. With that in mind, I have two pieces of advice.

First, if you simply want to play some blackjack side bets and variations as something different, try doing it for free. Most online casinos offer free blackjack games. I advise playing the free games if you simply want something new. You get to experience a different way to play blackjack without losing more of your money.

If you must wager money on the game to have fun, though, I suggest you follow my second piece of advice: Recognize that you are probably throwing your money away. You should treat side bets the same as progressive slots. They offer a worse house edge than regular slots, but if you win it will be worth it. You probably won’t win, though. People play progressive slots, knowing that they are unlikely to win anything, in the hopes that against all odds, they will hit the jackpot. The same should be your mindset for side bets. Wagering on a side bet will likely cost you your money, but if you do happen to win, it will be pretty exciting. Some side bets – those that have the lowest odds of occurring – pay out huge prizes. To some people, taking a shot at that big money is worth the likelihood of losing your wager. If you are okay with that, then it’s okay to spend money on a side bet. Just know the odds of the bet and the probability of being unsuccessful.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack tournament at InterCasino

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

InterCasino has a Perfect Pairs Blackjack Tournament going on right now and it’s a good opportunity to take a shot at prizes without risking much of your own money. The blackjack tournament only has a $250 prize pool, but the stakes are low – the entry fee is only $10.

If you only play the traditional blackjack game and are unfamiliar with the different blackjack variants, perfect pairs is a common variation with a side bet where the player earns extra money if their first two cards happen to be a pair. The payouts depend on the type of pair. A “perfect pair” is two identical cards, such as two aces of spades. Another type of pair is a “colored pair,” which is two cards that match in rank and color. An example would be a three of spades and a three of clubs, since both suits are black. The third type of pair is a “mixed pair,” which is a pair that matches in rank but is an opposite color.

InterCasino’s Perfect Pairs Blackjack Tournament is running now and ends Sunday, August 29. Until it ends, you can enter at any time. You just have to pony up the $10 buy-in. When you enter the tournament, the online casino gives you $500 worth of tournament chips with which to play. Your tournament lasts 30 minutes and you want to make as much tournament money as you can.

At the end, only the top six players in the blackjack tournament will win prizes. The tournament winner will earn a $100 prize. The second-place finisher will win a $50 prize. The players who finish in third through sixth place will win prizes worth $25 each.

To take part in the Perfect Pairs Blackjack Tournament, visit InterCasino before it ends on August 29.

Blackjack Games at Intercasino

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Online casinos tend to favor players of poker and online slots. It makes sense, since those are the two most popular games. Also, slots have a significantly higher house edge than blackjack, so the casinos make more money off of it. For online blackjack players, though, it can be hard to find a casino with a decent selection. Most casinos seem to have one or two blackjack games and that’s not enough variety for me.

Intercasino is different. They’re one of my favorite casinos for a reason. Intercasino has seven different online blackjack games. There are the standard games of Atlantic City Blackjack, Vegas Blackjack and European Blackjack as well as a game that you play using only one deck, ingeniously called Single Deck Blackjack.

If you like variations on the traditional blackjack game, there are plenty of options. Pontoon is one of the most common blackjack variants, and it is available at Intercasino. They also offer Progressive Blackjack for the big spenders going after a progressive jackpot. Super Fun 21 is available for when you’re in the mood for a blackjack game with wacky rules. They also offer Perfect Pairs blackjack, another common and fun variant.

For a blackjack game with a little more technology and better visuals, Intercasino offers Video Blackjack. Now they just need a live-dealer game and blackjack players will have pretty much every type of blackjack game they could ask for.

To sample the blackjack selection, visit Intercasino.

Online Blackjack Casinos: Aladdin’s Gold Casino

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Not all online casinos are created equally. Some are good, some aren’t worth your time and some are great. I would put Aladdin’s Gold Casino in the “good” category. The only thing that keeps it from being a “great” online casino is that, like every other casino that uses Realtime Gaming software, they no longer offer blackjack tournaments. As someone who loves playing in blackjack tournaments, that is a drawback for me. There is still a lot to like about Aladdin’s Gold, though.

For starters, Aladdin’s Gold Casino has the best-looking website in the industry. They have Disney-quality animation and fully-animated and interactive screens and menus. That may not be a big deal to some, but aesthetics are important when it comes to online casinos. The overall look of the website is like that of a Middle Eastern palace, with Aladdin, Jasmine and the Genie as central characters. Right now as I type this I’m being entranced by dancing harem girls. Like I said, the aesthetics are important.

When it comes to blackjack, though there are no tournaments, Aladdin’s Gold has a good selection of games. There is the standard Blackjack game in addition to the blackjack variations of Perfect Pairs, Face Up 21, Match Play 21, Pontoon and Super 21.

Aladdin’s Gold also offers a good number of promotions for blackjack players. For example, right now there is a weekly promotion that gives blackjack players a 45% match bonus of up to $1,000 on all deposits. The many online casinos, they also issue comp points for the money you wager and once you have accumulated enough comp points you can redeem them for a cash withdrawal or wager them on more games.

Because they use the respected Realtime gaming software, Aladdin’s Gold also features games that are certified to be safe and fair. They also have sophisticated security technology that protects players from cheats, hackers and more. Aladdin’s Gold Casino is also known for good customer service, should any problems, questions or concerns arise.

In all, I would say that Aladdin’s Gold Casino has almost everything I look for in an online casino. To join their casino, click here.

Online Blackjack Casinos: Lucky Red Casino

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Most online casinos cater to online slots for obvious reasons. Slots are the most popular casino games and they have an incredibly high house edge. Blackjack, on the other hand, has a low house edge that can be as low as 0.5% when the player sticks to perfect basic strategy. For that reason, slots are much more of a money maker for the casinos. There are some casinos that offer enough blackjack excitement to satisfy hardcore players like me, though. One such casino is Lucky Red Casino.

Lucky Red does have an abundance of online slots, as you might imagine, but there is also a good selection of blackjack games. There is a traditional blackjack game that is cleverly titled Blackjack, but there are also several blackjack variations. Such variations include Blackjack and Perfect Pairs, Face Up 21, Match Play 21, Pontoon and Super 21. Each of these blackjack games offers a different experience and different rules. I generally stick to the traditional game but do play the others on occasion for some variety.

Unfortunately, Lucky Red Casino doesn’t offer blackjack tournaments, which are becoming harder and harder to find. Along with the good variety of games, though, Lucky Red does offer comp points for players who play with them regularly. By earning comp points for every wager, players are rewarded for doing something they would do anyway: playing blackjack. Once you have enough comp points, you may redeem them for credits that can be wagered on more games or you may withdraw them as cash.

Lucky Red Casino also regularly runs promotions that give out bonuses for playing blackjack and other table games. It’s not a tournament, but it’s still nice to get rewarded for playing your favorite game. Lucky Red is also known for having good customer service that resolves issues in a timely and professional manner. Their software is developed by Realtime Gaming, which means their games have good animation, crisp graphics, fun gameplay and are safe and fair.

Right now Lucky Red is offering an unlimited 35% coupon for blackjack players. In addition, players who join the casino receive a welcome bonus of a 100% deposit match of up to $1,000. Players can also receive a bonus for referring friends to the site.

To visit Lucky Red Casino and begin playing online blackjack, click here.

Online Blackjack Casinos: Pure Vegas

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

It seems that there are more online casinos on the web than there are actors in Hollywood, so finding the right casino to join can be tough. How do you decide which casinos are the best? For me, the best online casinos are safe, fair, have a good selection of blackjack games and have good customer service. I decided to run a series of casino reviews offering casinos that fit the bill. One such casino is Pure Vegas.

Pure Vegas Casino has a good variety of blackjack games – certainly enough to keep you from getting bored of playing the same thing over and over. Aside from a regular blackjack game – simply called Blackjack – the casino offers Blackjack + Perfect Pairs, European Blackjack, Face Up 21, Match Play 21, Pontoon and Super 21. That variety means that you can choose whether to play a traditional blackjack game (e.g. Blackjack), a blackjack game with a side bet (e.g. Blackjack + Perfect Pairs) or a variant with totally different rules (e.g. Pontoon).

All of Pure Vegas Casino’s blackjack games (and all other games, for that matter) are designed by Realtime Gaming, which means that they have sharp, exciting gameplay, are fair to the players, and are safe from cheaters and hackers. Unfortunately, it also means that the casino no longer has any blackjack tournaments, which is something that RTG recently decided to abandon.

The blackjack games on Pure Vegas can either be played by downloading the casino software or by streaming the games on your browser using Flash. Pure Vegas Casino is new to the industry, launching just last year, but has already built up a solid reputation for good games as well as fast and helpful customer service. Pure Vegas also uses a system of Comp Points that reward frequent visitors to the casino. Each player is given one Comp Point for every $10 wagered and the comp points can later be redeemed for money, which can be wagered or withdrawn.

To join Pure Vegas Casino and play the wide variety of fun online blackjack games, click here.