Numpkin
Numpkin
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June 21st, 2015 at 8:02:48 PM permalink
An off strip casino just started offering a new variation of blackjack. It's called "your way blackjack", it is essentially a cross between blackjack and pai gow. First, players make 2 identical wagers, then the dealer deals each player and himself 4 cards. Players then may arrange the 4 cards into 2 hands, a high hand and a low hand, the high hand must have higher or the same point value as the low hand. Dealer shows one of his 4 cards, and each player then play each hand according to regular blackjack rules. Lastly dealer reveals all 4 cards then split them into high and low hands according to "house way", then play his hands just like regular blackjack. Each high and low hands are won/lost/push just as usual. 1 deck was used for this game, dealer hits soft 17, DAS allowed, blackjack pays even money.

I played this game for about an hour, most hands ended up in a push just like pai gow poker. The interesting thing is by arranging the 4 cards anyway I wanted, I could create many more double down and split opportunities than regular blackjack.

What are your thoughts on this BJ variation? Are there any optimal arranging strategy and house edge analysis on this?
Numpkin
Numpkin
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June 21st, 2015 at 8:12:49 PM permalink
One more thing I forgot to mention. Blackjacks are treated as soft 21, so if the dealer hits to 21 the hand will push.
Deucekies
Deucekies
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June 21st, 2015 at 8:14:38 PM permalink
Quote: Numpkin

One more thing I forgot to mention. Blackjacks are treated as soft 21, so if the dealer hits to 21 the hand will push.



So there's basically no such thing as a player Blackjack in this game? It pays even money, and must beat the dealer?

Does a player blackjack push against a dealer blackjack, or is it like Pai Gow where the dealer wins ties?
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andysif
andysif
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June 21st, 2015 at 8:18:17 PM permalink
i will try to make my low hand into double down hands.
since my double down will be facing his low (or possibly stiff hands), I think this would be quite an advantage.

my gut feeling is that this game won't last long.
Numpkin
Numpkin
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June 21st, 2015 at 8:32:38 PM permalink
Quote: Deucekies

So there's basically no such thing as a player Blackjack in this game? It pays even money, and must beat the dealer?

Does a player blackjack push against a dealer blackjack, or is it like Pai Gow where the dealer wins ties?



Correct, there's basically no such thing as blackjack, but you probably still wanna arrange ace and 10 together as your high hand.

Ties are pushes, just as in regular BJ.
Numpkin
Numpkin
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June 21st, 2015 at 8:41:54 PM permalink
From my observation, the "house way" dictates that the dealer must make a pad hand as the high hand if he can, if he can't he will try to make the best non stiff as his low hand. For example, if the dealer has 10, 6, 5, 4, he will make 14 as his high hand and 11 as his low hand. However, if the dealer has 10, 7, 4, 4, he can not make 14 and 11, he must make 17 and 8.

So the low hand doesn't neccesarily mean the worse hand.
andysif
andysif
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June 21st, 2015 at 9:24:20 PM permalink
Quote: Numpkin

From my observation, the "house way" dictates that the dealer must make a pad hand as the high hand if he can, if he can't he will try to make the best non stiff as his low hand. For example, if the dealer has 10, 6, 5, 4, he will make 14 as his high hand and 11 as his low hand. However, if the dealer has 10, 7, 4, 4, he can not make 14 and 11, he must make 17 and 8.

So the low hand doesn't neccesarily mean the worse hand.


without doing any math, the strategy seems to be attack on his low hand (and go for a double if you can) if he is showing a high card, and attack on his hi hand if he is showing 2-6.
gordonm888
gordonm888
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June 21st, 2015 at 10:10:27 PM permalink
Quote: andysif

without doing any math, the strategy seems to be attack on his low hand (and go for a double if you can) if he is showing a high card, and attack on his hi hand if he is showing 2-6.



OP said that the dealer only shows one of his 4 cards before you play your hands, and you must arrange your hands without seeing any of his cards.

Interesting variation -hard to optimize your play without understanding the rules on how dealer arranges his hands. Your double down and split advantages are minimized because, with 4 dealer cards, the dealer's upcard doesn't signify as much as in standard BJ.

But, apparently, the only dealer advantage is that when player busts his hand, player loses even if dealer subsequently busts the opposing dealer hand.

Since dealer has 4 cards there are a high number of possible combinations for the dealer's hands - very difficult to analyze.
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andysif
andysif
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June 21st, 2015 at 10:22:54 PM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

OP said that the dealer only shows one of his 4 cards before you play your hands, and you must arrange your hands without seeing any of his cards.

Interesting variation -hard to optimize your play without understanding the rules on how dealer arranges his hands. Your double down and split advantages are minimized because, with 4 dealer cards, the dealer's upcard doesn't mean as much as in standard BJ.


Ah yes.
then i guess i would keep going for the double downs.
Numpkin
Numpkin
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June 21st, 2015 at 10:48:38 PM permalink
Just went and spent another hour or so at the table. Got clearfied on the "house way".

I made a mistake on my previous post, the dealer will actually always try to make 11 on the low hand unless he can make a 20 on his high hand. Example: 10, 9, 7, 2, the dealer will make 17 and 11 instead of 19 and 9. But if the cards are A, 9, 7, 2, dealer will make 20 and 9. Also, if the dealer has 2 aces, he will always split the aces, for example, A, A, 5, 6, dealer will make s17 and s16 instead of 12 and 11.

And the dealer up card seem pretty irrelevant compared to regular blackjack, but this is only from observation without any math.

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