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Last Updated: July 6, 2017

Easy Jack

Introduction



Easy Jack could loosely be described as a blackjack variant where the goal is to get closer to 11 than the dealer, without going over. It was created by Matthew Stream and went on field trial at Harrah's in Las Vegas on June 21, 2017. I saw and played it there on June 30, 2017.

Rules



  1. The game is played with eight 52-card decks.
  2. All cards are valued as in blackjack.
  3. Play starts with the player making an Easy Jack bet and optional Dealer Bust side bet.
  4. Each player shall receive one card face up and the dealer one card face down. The dealer does not peek at his card.
  5. If the player's initial card is an ace it counts as a blackjack and outranks all other hands.
  6. Players, in turn, may hit as much as desired, until they either stand or bust by going over 11 points.
  7. There is no doubling or splitting.
  8. If the player exceeds 11 points, then he busts and immediately loses his Easy Jack bet.
  9. After all players have acted, the dealer shall take his turn. The dealer will stand on a blackjack and otherwise hit until he has seven or more points.
  10. If the dealer busts, then any player bets still standing shall win.
  11. Otherwise, the player and dealer totals shall then be compared, the higher total wins.
  12. Winning player blackjacks shall pay 3 to 2.
  13. All other wins pay 1 to 1.
  14. Ties push.
  15. The Dealer Bust side bet pays according to the pay table below.


Following is the pay table for the Dealer Bust side bet. Pays are on a "to one" basis.

Dealer Bust Pay Table

Event Pays
Bust with 6 cards 500
Bust with 5 cards 50
Bust with 4 cards 10
Bust with 3 cards 4
Bust with 2 cards 3


If my rules were not clear, here are scans of the rule card. Click either image for a larger version.

 


Strategy



The basic strategy is the same as the dealer, hit on six or less, otherwise stand.

A total of six is very borderline. I show the expected value of a six as a starting card as follows:

  • Hit: -0.5745620516
  • Stand: -0.576524479


The expected value is 0.2% higher hitting on six as opposed to standing.

Analysis



The following table shows my analysis of Easy Jack, based on a player strategy of hitting with six or less. The situation of the player busting and then the dealer showing a blackjack is counted as a player bust. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 0.94%.

Easy Jack Analysis

Event Pays Probability Return
Player blackjack 1.5 0.071177 0.106766
Player beats dealer 1 0.175252 0.175252
Dealer bust 1 0.150934 0.150934
Tie 0 0.160241 0.000000
Player busts -1 0.212350 -0.212350
Dealer beats player -1 0.175252 -0.175252
Dealer blackjack -1 0.054793 -0.054793
Total 1.000000 -0.009443


To cut the house edge by 0.0066%, stand on a total of six composed of two or more cards.

Dealer Bust



The following table shows my analysis of the Dealer Bust bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 9.51%.

Easy Jack Analysis

Event Pays Probability Return
Bust with 6 cards 500 0.000001 0.000707
Bust with 5 cards 50 0.000100 0.004987
Bust with 4 cards 10 0.002599 0.025993
Bust with 3 cards 4 0.031892 0.127568
Bust with 2 cards 3 0.177757 0.533272
Dealer doesn't bust -1 0.787650 -0.787650
Total 1.000000 -0.095124



Written by: Michael Shackleford

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