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Last Updated: February 7, 2018

Down Under Blackjack

Introduction

Down Under Blackjack lets players play against the dealer not just knowing one card but also something about the card "down under." To be more specific, the dealer will inform the players whether the down card is small, medium, or big. Of course, nothing is truly for free in the casino. The take back is that, most of the time, if the dealer has 22 points any players left standing push instead of win.

As of this writing in late January 2018, Down Under Blackjack is currently live in California at Barona Resort and Casino, Eagle Mountain Casino and Blue Lake Casino, as well in Washington state at the Emerald Downs Casino. I'm told more installations are coming soon in early 2018.

Rules

  1. The game is played with four to six standard decks.
  2. Cards have an additional color besides red or black. This additional is correlated to rank as follows:
    • Blue: 2 to 5
    • Red: 6 to 9
    • Gold: 10 to ace

    The player does not need to know about this second color. It is only used for the electronic card reader to determine if the dealer's hole card is low, medium, or high.

  3. Blackjack can pay either 1.2 or 1.5 to one, depending on casino management.
  4. The dealer peeks for blackjack when an ace or any 10-point card is the dealer's face-up card.
  5. Using the peeking device, the dealer shall then reveal to the players whether the hole card is small, medium, or high.
  6. Dealer hits a soft 17
  7. Player may re-split any pair, except aces up to four hands. Split aces get one card each with no re-splitting allowed.
  8. Player may double on any two-card hand, including after a split.
  9. Surrender is not allowed.
  10. If the the dealer reaches a score of 22, all wagers left standing will push except a player blackjack, any total of 21, or two ten-point cards shall win.

Strategy

There are three different strategies, according to whether the dealer's hole card is small, medium, or high.

Small Hole Card

Medium Hole Card

High Hole Card

Analysis

According to a math report by BMM, kindly supplied by the Down Under Blackjack game owners, the house is as follows, according to the number of decks and win on a blackjack.

Winning Combinations

Blackjack
Pays
Decks House Edge
1.2 4 1.88%
1.2 5 1.85%
1.2 6 1.81%
1.5 4 0.46%
1.5 5 0.49%
1.5 6 0.52%

The house edge in the table above is defined, correctly, as the ratio of the expected player loss to the initial bet. After doubling and splitting, the average final wager is 1.13 times the initial wager. To get the Element of Risk, divide the house edge by 1.13.

Match the Dealer

Down Under Blackjack also offers the Match the Dealer side bet. Please see my page on that for all the rules and analysis.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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