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Last Updated: February 8, 2017

Burn 20 Blackjack

Introduction

Burn 20 Blackjack is a blackjack variant I first saw at Binion's in downtown Las Vegas in July, 2011. The game is based on regular blackjack, with a couple of twists. The concept is that the player never has to worry about playing against a hard 2-card 20. To pay for this, if the dealer busts with 22 points then any players left standing will push instead of win.

Rules

  1. Standard blackjack rules are followed, with the following specifics and exceptions.
  2. Six 52-card decks are used.
  3. Dealer hits on soft 17.
  4. Blackjack pays 3-2
  5. Player may double on any number of cards, except after splitting aces.
  6. Split aces get one card each.
  7. No surrender.
  8. Insurance pays 2-1.
  9. If the dealer has a 10 up, he will use the card reader to check the hole card, if that is another 10 then he will throw both cards away and take two new cards from the shoe.
  10. In addition, if the dealer has a 10 up, and the hole card reader reveals a suited ace, resulting in a suited blackjack, the dealer will also discard both cards and take the next two in the shoe.
  11. After any dealer discard, the dealer will repeat the process, until the dealer does not have a 2-card hard 20 or any blackjack. Note that the dealer discards all blackjacks only after at least one discard. The idea is that the dealer can never improve as a result of discarding.
  12. To compensate for the favorable rules above, if the dealer busts with 22 points then all players still standing will push instead of win.

Strategy

The following tables show the basic strategy, according to whether the dealer hits or stands on a soft 17:



House Edge

Under the Binion's rules above, and following the basic strategy, the house edge is 0.80%. Following are the effects on the house edge of some hypothetical rule effects.

Rule Variations

Rule Effect
Dealer stands on soft 17 -0.37%
Re-splitting aces allowed -0.07%
Eight decks +0.02%
Double on two cards only +0.20%
Blackjack pays 6 to 5 +1.37%


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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