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Last Updated: May 27, 2019

3 Card Blitz

Introduction

3 Card Blitz is difficult to compare to anything already on the casino floor, except maybe Money Suit 31. It follows a familiar fold or raise structure from games like Three Card Poker and a Blind bet from games like Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em. Briefly, the goal is to have total points in any one suit more than the corresponding such total in the dealer's hand.

I first heard of 3 Card Blitz in January 2019, when somebody mentioned it in my forum, saying it had a placement at Foxwoods. Later, in May 2019, I heard it had another placement at the SLS in Las Vegas.

Rules

  1. A single 52-card deck is used.
  2. Card are ranked as follows:
    • Aces = 11 points
    • Face cards = 10 points
    • 2 - 10 = Pip value
  3. Play begins with the player making equal bets on the Ante and Blind. The player may also make Flush Bonus and Progressive side bets at this time.
  4. Both player and dealer get seven cards each.
  5. The player should identify the greatest number of points in any one suit, using three cards or less.
  6. The maximum possible points is 31. If possible to make 31 multiple ways, the player should play a suited A-K-Q, called a Royal Blitz, if he can.
  7. After examining his cards, the player must raise or fold. If the player folds, then he will lose his Ante and Blind bets, but any side bets will remain in play. If the player raises, he must make a Play bet equal to his Ante wager.
  8. The dealer will turn over his cards and also play the most points in any one suit using three or less cards.
  9. If the dealer has more points, then the Ante, Blind and Play bets shall lose.
  10. If the player and dealer have equal points, then the Ante, Blind and Play bets shall push.
  11. If the player has more points, then the Ante and Play bets shall pay even money and the Blind bet according to the pay table below.
  12. The Flush Bonus pays according to the most cards in any one suit in the player's hand.
  13. At the time of this writing, there are two known progressive side bets. I am not entirely sure of the rules of either progressive bet, so am postponing an analysis of them for now.

Example

3 Card Blitz

In the image above I had 26 points in clubs (11+10+5). A maximum of three cards can be used, thus the two of clubs didn't help me. The dealer's best hand was 19 points in diamonds. Thus, I won. The Ante and Play paid even money. The Blind was one point short of the 27 needed to pay anything, so that pushed. For the four clubs, the Flush Bonus paid 2 to 1. Finally, at least 29 points are needed to win the progressive, so that lost.

Strategy

Following is my Wizard's basic strategy for 3 Card Blitz. To use it, I'll have to introduce the term of a penalty point. It is a borderline case to raise or fold with 19 points. With 19 points, the player should count the number of points in the other three suits in his hand. It it good for the player if these are high cards, because it will leave more low cards for the dealer. I call this total points in the other three suits not played in the player's hand "penalty points."

  • 18 points or less — Fold
  • 19 points — Raise with 20 or more penalty points, otherwise fold.
  • 20 points or more — Raise

Analysis

The following table shows the result of a simulation based on the basic strategy above. The return is the product of the probability and pays columns.

3 Card Blitz Analysis

Event Pays Count Probability Return
Win with Double Blitz 52 45,365 0.000068 0.003555
Win with Royal Blitz 10 4,061,696 0.006122 0.061216
Win with one Blitz 6 17,707,834 0.026689 0.160131
Win with 27 to 30 3 109,005,563 0.164289 0.492866
Win with 26 or less 2 171,446,471 0.258397 0.516794
Tie 0 35,806,783 0.053967 0.000000
Fold -2 131,440,537 0.198102 -0.396204
Loss -3 193,985,751 0.292367 -0.877102
Total   663,500,000 1.000000 -0.038743

The lower right cell shows that the ratio of the expected loss to the Ante bet is 3.87%. This is what I would call the house edge. However, it is a bad reflection of the game's value to the player. The final wager will average 2.802 times the Ante bet. What I feel is a good expression of the value to the player is the ratio of the expected loss to the average amount bet, known as the Element of Risk, which comes to 3.874%/2.802 = 1.383%.

If the player plays a simple strategy of raising with any 19 points or more, then the house edge increases to 3.915% and the Element of Risk to 1.395% (it is a coincidence both have the name numerals, but in a different order).

The following table shows my analysis of the Flush Bonus bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 4.49%.

Flush Bonus Analysis

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
7 200 6,864 0.000051 0.010261
6 50 267,696 0.002001 0.100047
5 8 3,814,668 0.028514 0.228108
4 2 26,137,540 0.195370 0.390741
2 or 3 -1 103,557,792 0.774064 -0.774064
Total   133,784,560 1.000000 -0.044906
  • Demo game, I presume by the game makers, In Bet Gaming
  • Discussion about 3 Card Blitz in my forum at Wizard of Vegas
  • Combinatorial Analysis by forum member MrBrain. It shows that with perfect strategy, the house edge is 3.850%, 0.024% lower than that if the Wizard basic strategy.

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