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Lucky 13s Blackjack


The concept of Lucky 13s Blackjack is simple. It is blackjack with four 11s, 12s, and 13s added to each deck. Otherwise, the rules are the mostly same as standard blackjack.

You can play Lucky 13s at the following casinos:

  • Grosvenor G Casino, Manchester, UK.
  • Grosvenor Casino, Northampton, UK.
  • Royal Caribbean cruise ships (effective March 2015).


The rules are the same as standard blackjack, except as noted.

  1. Each deck is composed of 64 cards — the usual 52 plus four 11s, 12s, and 13s.
  2. An ace still counts as one or eleven points while an 11 card is always eleven points.
  3. The dealer stands on a hard 16 or above and a soft 17 or above.
  4. The dealer shall not take a hole card. If the player doubles or splits and the dealer gets a blackjack, then the player shall lose everything (except a blackjack tie is a push).
  5. Player may double on any first two cards and after a split.
  6. Re-splitting pairs is allowed, including aces.
  7. No surrender.
  8. If the player gets a pair of 11s, 12s, or 13s, then his choices are to split or bust.
  9. There are also two side bets — the Protection Bet and Pairs Bet. The rules of those are explained below.


Please enjoy my basic strategy chart below.



Based on an infinite number decks and infinite re-splitting, I get a house edge of 1.32%.

According to calculations by the game owner, the house edge is slightly higher for a finite number of decks. Compared to an infinite deck, he says the house edge is 0.02% higher with eight decks, 0.03% with six, and 0.04% with four.

Protection Bet

The Protection Bet protects the player against a hand over 21 points in the first two cards. It pays 5-1 for a 22 to 25 and 40-1 for 26. For purposes of this bet, aces always count as one point. Any win is multiplied by five if the dealer is showing a 13. The following table shows my analysis based on four decks. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 8.45%.

Protection Bet

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Player 26, dealer 13 200 1,680 0.000203 0.040528
Player 26, dealer A-12 40 28,800 0.003474 0.138953
Player 22-25, dealer 13 25 51,200 0.006176 0.154392
Player 22-25, dealer A-12 5 790,048 0.095295 0.476474
All other -1 7,418,832 0.894853 -0.894853
Total   8,290,560 1.000000 -0.084505

A reader asked how often the player will have an unwinnable hand of 22-25 points that can't be split. The answer is 9.4% of the time.

Pairs Bet

The Pairs Bet pays 12 to 1 if the player's first two cards form a pair. Much like the Protection Bet, the win is multiplied by 5 if the dealer has a 13. The following return table is based on four decks. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 5.88%.

Pairs Bet

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Pair, dealer 13 60 30,480 0.003676 0.220588
Pair, dealer A-12 12 457,200 0.055147 0.661765
All other -1 7,802,880 0.941176 -0.941176
Total   8,290,560 1.000000 -0.058824


Enjoy my video interview with Vinny Sandhu, the creator of Lucky 13s Blackjack.

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