bgriffin
bgriffin
Joined: Feb 9, 2010
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February 4th, 2013 at 6:55:55 PM permalink
I apologize if this has been covered elsewhere (if so please point me in the right direction) but didn't see it -- at the Star Casino in Sydney, Australia I recently came across a Blackjack variant that I'd not seen before called Blackjack Challenge. Full rules are here:

http://www.star.com.au/sydney-casino/Documents/guides/STARGAMEGUIDE_TheStarBlackjackChallenge.pdf

Highlights are that player blackjacks pay 2:1 or better, player 21 wins automatically (and beats dealer blackjack thanks to the no-hole-card rule, similar to in Australian Pontoon), and 5-card charlie (i.e. player 5-card non-busting hand wins automatically -- and again beats dealer blackjack), but player loses ties. Looking at the Wizard's long list of rule variations it appears this game likely still has a terrible house edge, but could anyone confirm that more rigorously? Any idea of the basic strategy for this game? I'm guessing 17s are hit pretty aggressively given the potential ways to win a guaranteed payout combined with the potential to lose on a dealer tie.
bbvk05
bbvk05
Joined: Jan 12, 2011
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February 4th, 2013 at 7:02:37 PM permalink
Seems funish. I played a 5 card charlie promotion in regular blackjack a few years ago, and it was fun. 5 cards without busting and you automatically win. Decent EV, but it only lasted for an hour and 100 was the max bet.

There was a guy with a four-card soft 18 vs a dealer 7 who signaled that he wanted to stay. I rarely speak up, but the man had a $100 bet out. I told him he should hit. "I HAVE EIGHTEEN" was the reply. So I just shut up and resigned to let him lose. The dealer piped up though, saying "Sir, please tap the table for me." The man complied but was confused. The dealer gave him a 7, payed his $100 bet, and threw his cards in the discard tray.
Venthus
Venthus
Joined: Dec 10, 2012
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February 4th, 2013 at 7:13:29 PM permalink
Quote: bbvk05

Seems funish. I played a 5 card charlie promotion in regular blackjack a few years ago, and it was fun. 5 cards without busting and you automatically win. Decent EV, but it only lasted for an hour and 100 was the max bet.

There was a guy with a four-card soft 18 vs a dealer 7 who signaled that he wanted to stay. I rarely speak up, but the man had a $100 bet out. I told him he should hit. "I HAVE EIGHTEEN" was the reply. So I just shut up and resigned to let him lose. The dealer piped up though, saying "Sir, please tap the table for me." The man complied but was confused. The dealer gave him a 7, payed his $100 bet, and threw his cards in the discard tray.



Hope the dealer got a tip for that one?

I think it's more that people have no idea what they are or how to take advantage of them. I rarely see Charlie rules in effect and, when they are, the result is like that. Personally, I rather like them. Was at a Dealer's Angel unit and saw a guy get a 7-card 20 for a horrible, horrible push.
lamby130
lamby130
Joined: Aug 11, 2013
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August 11th, 2013 at 6:14:09 AM permalink
Sorry for bumping up an old thread but I searched for any discussion on Blackjack Challenge here and I haven't seen any. I tried it out at The Star Casino, Sydney, Australia today but I was bummed how there was one play where I double downed and ended up with an 18 and the dealer proceeded to draw to 18 himself and I lost my whole bet. Then I lost my whole bankroll for the night rather quick.

I was wondering if Blackjack Challenge is a lot better than regular Blackjack? One or the other must have better odds or such.
Wizard
Administrator
Wizard
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December 18th, 2014 at 9:08:09 PM permalink
Okay, I'm finally responding to this thread. I played this game for about two hours at the Star City and have started on an analysis. Please consider my results very preliminary. That said, please preview my new page on Blackjack Challenge.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
dwheatley
dwheatley
Joined: Nov 16, 2009
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December 18th, 2014 at 9:23:57 PM permalink
12. in the event of a blackjack against a [non?] blackjack...
Wisdom is the quality that keeps you out of situations where you would otherwise need it
Wizard
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Wizard
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December 18th, 2014 at 9:26:34 PM permalink
Quote: dwheatley

12. in the event of a blackjack against a [non?] blackjack...



Thanks, I meant both player and dealer have a blackjack. Copy and paste error.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
v8fazz
v8fazz
Joined: Jun 27, 2015
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June 27th, 2015 at 5:49:22 PM permalink
Hi guys.

To dig up an oldish thread - my local casino (Queensland, Australia) has recently removed the low minimum regular Blackjack games and introduced Blackjack Challenge instead. Ive been very reluctant to play but after finding the Wizards Challenge strategy (house edge of 2.53%) it has given me a little more confidence, and unless I want to play with a higher minimum I unfortunately have no choice.

While most of the Challenge strategy looks pretty straight forward, Im wondering if someone in the know could explain the reasoning behind a few of the basic strategy decisions -

Why stand on hard 16 vs dealer 10?
Why hit hard 17 vs dealer 8 or A?
Why stand on hard 3 card 16 vs dealer 9 or 10?

Not that Im questioning any of the above, but if I understand the logic behind the strategy I'll feel more confident to follow it!

Cheers.
charliepatrick
charliepatrick
Joined: Jun 17, 2011
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June 27th, 2015 at 6:29:19 PM permalink
(1) Normally hitting 16 vs 10 is a toss up - however the hitting part includes getting standoffs; thus if you lose standoffs the hit value isn't so good. On the other hand you do win 21s, but presumably this effect isn't sufficient (as you'd probably win most 21s in any case), so it is best to stand on 16.
(2) I assume you're familiar with free-bet ( http://wizardofodds.com/games/free-bet-blackjack/ ) - if not, when you have split the second hand is "free" so will payout but only if you win. The strategy is to hit 17s vs 7 8 9 and A. Thus I'm slightly surprised the same logic doesn't apply here, especially as all 21s win. Essentially on 17 the only way of winning is for the dealer to bust, especially against a 7 where there's a good chance of the dealer getting 17, so totals 18-21 are a good bet and so it's better to hit 17 than stand.
(3) The automatic winner with 5-cards is another factor, so with 4-cards you tend to hit 16s (and some 17s), but my gut feeling is (infinite deck) you would be more likely to hit 3-card 16s than 2-card 16s - however as it's finite decks perhaps that you have low cards affects the decision.
(I haven't done any analysis of this game but some of the strategies do seem different to my gut feeling - however that may be the same as A7 vs 9.

It looks a fun game, but rather like the 6:5 BJ games that Australia also has, I should avoid any BJ that has such a high House Edge.
v8fazz
v8fazz
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June 28th, 2015 at 7:41:03 AM permalink
Thanks for your reply.

What you said definitely makes sense and does shed some light on the logic.

Anyone else have some thoughts?

Cheers.

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