Blackjack is by far the most popular table game in Las Vegas. Some players prefer a change of pace.
That is when blackjack variations can be a great alternative. These games often have crazy rules to make the games more fun. Remember that for every player friendly change there is one that benefits the house.
Free Bet Blackjack
Free Bet Blackjack is the newest blackjack variant to become widespread throughout the Las Vegas Strip and downtown. The game has basic blackjack rules except that there is no surrender.
The Free Bet part describes how a player receives free double downs and splits. Players may double down on 9, 10 or 11 without having to put up any additional chips. If the bet wins, the player receives double his original bet. This means that players should double down on 9, 10 and 11 every time, regardless of the dealer’s door card.
Players may also split for free on any pair except 10-value cards. Pairs may be split up to four times, including aces. Players may also take advantage of the free double down on 9, 10 or 11 after splitting.
There is one big change that offsets the free bets. The dealer pushes any players still in the hand if he makes a 22.
Blackjack Switch is an unusual variant that requires players to bet on two hands. The two wagers must be equal. The player is then dealt two cards in each spot. The bettor may decide to switch a card from one hand and replace it with one in the other. The hand is then dealt as normal. Double down after splitting is allowed. A dealt 21 is paid even money. A switched hand that makes a two-card 21 is not considered a blackjack. The dealer pushes hands still in play if he makes a 22.
World’s Most Liberal 21
World’s Most Liberal 21 is a game that is spread by Plaza and Las Vegas Club, which are located downtown on the Fremont Street Experience. The game is not as liberal as it sounds as it has a house edge that is higher than most blackjack games. Players may double down on any number of cards. Split aces may be re-split. They may also be hit and doubled down. Surrender is available. A six-card hand of 21 or less automatically wins. A blackjack pays even money, unless it is suited, then it pays 2-1.
Triple Attack Blackjack
Triple Attack Blackjack may be found at Harrah’s on the Las Vegas Strip. The game uses eight Spanish 21 decks, meaning that there are no 10’s. Jacks, queens and kings are still available. The player starts the hand by making a First Attack wager. He then gets to see his first card. If the card is desirable, a Second Attack wager may be made. The dealer’s door card is then exposed. The player may then make a Third Attack wager. Players may make either a second or third bet, or make both. All bets must equal the required First Attack bet. The second card is then dealt to each player. The dealer receives the second card face down.
Other odd rules include insurance paying 2-1 as normal games do; however, a dealer’s suited blackjack pays 5-1. Keep in mind that the dealer will have fewer blackjacks with the 10’s out of the deck.
A player blackjack always wins but only pays even money. The only actions that may be taken on split aces are stand and double down. They may also be re-split in the event that another ace is received.
Triple Attack Blackjack automatically pays any player that draws six cards but does not bust. This is known as a six-card Charlie. Doubles and splits must match all attack bets.
Similar to Blackjack Switch and Free Bet Blackjack, the dealer pushes any hands still in action if he makes a total of 22 points.
Change it 21
Change it 21 debuted at Fremont Casino in downtown Las Vegas. It allows players to exchange a card for half of his original bet. This may also be done after splitting. Double down after splitting is not allowed and surrender is not offered. Blackjack pays 6-5, even if made after changing a card.
Power Blackjack is spread at Paris Las Vegas. The game allows players to receive a Power Double on a hard 10 or 11. This means that the player may replace the card that is received after doubling down.
Players may double down without this special rule on any other starting hand. Power Splits are also available. A player that has a 15 or 16 may split it, even if it is not a pair. A dealer 22 creates a push for all hands still in action.
Super Fun 21
Super Fun 21 may be dealt with any number of decks. All loose rules apply, including surrender, double down after splitting and re-split aces. The dealer hits a soft 17.
The Super Fun 21 rules allow players to double down after drawing cards. Players may surrender after doubling down and after hitting. The player always wins on a six-card Charlie. A five or more card 21 pays the player 2-1 instantly. All blackjacks automatically win but are paid even money. The exception is when the blackjack is suited diamonds, which pays 2-1.