Joined: Apr 15, 2016
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April 15th, 2016 at 10:01:17 AM permalink
Hi, I frequently have blackjack home games with my friends. The way we played, or rather most home games conducted in Singapore, are with variations to the standard rules, which actually increases the advantage of the dealer (I think).

The rules are as follows:
1. Cannot exceed 21, but must be more than 15. (No requirement to stand/hit on soft 17 too)
2. All cards are dealt face down (yes, for both dealer and players). Therefore, cards are played face down until dealer asks to show.
3. Maximum of 5 cards in hand - if bust at 5th, pay dealer double, if 21 or below (includes 15 and below) at 5th, dealer pay out double.
4. Upon dealer's turn, he has the right to open any player's card before hitting or standing. This end the round for the player, who's card was opened, and payout according based on the scoring of both parties at that point of time.
5. Dealers can choose not to play and reshuffle if his cards are exactly 15 (optional rule).

As seen from here, I believe the dealer gain a huge advantage as players do not have any information on the cards held by dealer, which prevent basic strategy from being used. At the same time, dealer can choose to play at 15 or even choose to minimise his risk by catching out players who bust (which is only known when he asks to open) and subsequently manage his risk upon the other players.

In such a scenario, is there any strategy or statistical advantage to be used or gained?

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