New blackjack games

29 October 2015
Blackjack has been the most popular casino table game for more than 50 years. So naturally, side bets and variations on blackjack are among the first places developers turn in creating new table games. Here are a few I sampled at the Sept. 29-Oct. 1 Global Gaming Expo that are available for casino operators’ consideration”
  • Double Draw Blackjack, Genesis Gaming: Former World Series of Poker champion Joe Awada returned to the Expo after a four-year absence and showed his new, revised version of Double Draw at the Genesis booth. It’s been simplified to make the game easy on players and dealers alike.

In addition to their regular blackjack bets, players may make a Double Draw side bet that must meet the table minimum. The Double Draw bet is a wager on whether or not the dealer will bust.
One good part for the player, and something that makes this different from past dealer bust games, is that the bet is only in action if the dealer has to draw. If the dealer’s first two cards make a standing hand of 17 to 21, the Double Draw bet is a push. It’s the dealer turning his hole card up plus taking another card that makes this a Double Draw.
Double Draw is the first side bet with a double down opportunity. If you have an 11 and the dealer has a 6 , for example, you might double down both on your blackjack hand and on the Double Draw.
  • Caribbean Blackjack, CRE8TV Games/Aces Up Gaming: Here’s a novel idea – a game with a built-in toke for the dealer. When you win, so does the dealer.

The base game is blackjack, except you play two hands at once. As set up at G2E, the tables accommodate only four players, but since each is playing two hands, eight hands are in action.
In addition, there’s an optional five-card bonus bet. It pays off on five-card poker hands consisting of the first two cards in each of your two blackjack hands, plus the dealer’s up card.
You push if you have a pair of 2s through 9s, then get paid even only on higher pairs, 2-1 on two pair, 3-1 on three of a kind, 4-1 on straights, 7-1 on flushes, 25-1 on full houses, 50-1 on four of a kind, 150-1 on straight flushes and 250-1 on royal flushes.
If you bet $5 or more on the five-card bonus, an Action Bonus kicks in for both player or dealer. In addition to the pay table return, you’ll get an extra $25 for a full house, $50 for four of a kind, $100 on a straight flush and $250 on a royal. The dealer’s Action Bonus is $5 on a full house, $10 on four of a kind, $20 on a straight flush, and $50 on a royal.
  • Zappit Blackjack, Scientific Games: No doubt you’ve suffered through a blackjack session with stiff hand after stiff hand, been dealt yet another 15, and felt like you’d just like to zap it. That’s just what Zappit does. If you’re dealt a two-card 15, 16, 17 or 18, you can toss the hand and get two new cards.

You’re not going to want to Zappit every time. A 15 vs. a dealer’s 10 is a very different situation than 15 vs. 6, and there’s no guarantee your fresh two cards will be any better than your starting hand.
As in Free Bet, the tradeoff is that dealer 22s don’t bust, they push any bets still in action.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at

John Grochowski

Articles by John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player. Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

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