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Multiplier Blackjack is a blackjack variant with two ways to bet on the same hand. One bet is the standard blackjack bet and the other is the Multiplier bet, which pays a premium if the player wins because the dealer busts.
At the time of this writing, the game has four placements in California and about a dozen in Oklahoma.
- Play starts with the player making a blackjack wager and/or the Multiplier wager. There are no restrictions about the ratio of the two bets, the player may bet as much as he wishes on both, subject to casino limits.
- After wagering, play then proceeds as in conventional blackjack.
- The rules and outcome of the blackjack wager are always the same as conventional blackjack, under the table rules.
- If the player gets a winning blackjack, both the blackjack and Multiplier Blackjack wagers will pay according to the posted table rules.
- If the player splits, then he must also match his blackjack and/or Multiplier wagers with an equal amount for the new hand.
- If the player doubles, then he has the option to double his blackjack and/or Multiplier wagers up to the original wagers on each bet.
- If the player loses, then the blackjack and/or Multiplier wagers for that hand lose.
- If the player and dealer tie, then the blackjack and/or Multiplier wagers for that hand push.
- If the player wins by outscoring the dealer, then the blackjack and/or Multiplier wagers for that hand win and pays 1 to 1.
- If the player wins because the dealer busts, then the Multiplier Blackjack wager shall pay based on the card the caused the dealer to bust, as shown in the following table. The blackjack wager shall pay 1 to 1.
- A winning blackjack is a win for both the blackjack and Multiplier wagers. How much each pays is a variable rule and up to casino management.
The following table shows the win for the Multiplier Blackjack wager when the dealer busts. Wins are on a "to one" basis.
Multiplier Blackjack Pay Table
|8 or 9||1.5|
If my explanation was not clear, here is the rack card. Click on the image for a larger version. This rack card is for a more liberal version that pays 2 to 1 if the dealer busts on an 8, while most, if not all, casinos pay 3 to 2.
Following is the basic strategy if the player makes the Multiplier bet only. This assumes the dealer hits a soft 17 and double after a split is allowed.
Key to the basic strategy table.
- H = Hit
- S = Stand
- D = Double if you can, otherwise hit
- Ds = Double if you can, otherwise stand
- P = Split
- R = Surrender if you can, otherwise hit
- Rs = Surrender if you can, otherwise stand
For purposes of analysis, I assume a winning blackjack pays 3 to 2, an infinite number of decks, dealer hits soft 17, double after split allowed, re-splitting aces allowed, and surrender not allowed. Under those rules, I get a house edge of 2.04%.
From analysis in blackjack, the difference between six decks and infinite is 0.10% the player's way. Making that same adjustment results in a house edge of 1.94%.
Effects of Rule Variations
The following list shows the effect on the player expectation (so positive is good and negative is bad) on those rules I have considered.
- Blackjack pays 1.2 instead of 1.5: -1.35%
- Surrender allowed: +0.12%
- Dealer busts with 8 pays 2 to 1*: +1.39%
*: Game literature mentions this rule option, but I don't think any casino has chosen this more liberal version.
- Best Games — Web site for the game distributor.
- Multiplier Blackjack — Web site by the distributor specifically for Multiplier Blackjack.
- Discussion — about Multiplier Blackjack in my forum at Wizard of Vegas.