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Last Updated: June 29, 2010

One Up

Introduction

One Up is the "world's easiest blackjack game," according to the rules card. The game plays mostly like blackjack, except both player and dealer start with a king of spades as the first card, and there are no face cards in the deck. I noticed it at the MGM in Las Vegas on June 28, 2010. I heard it was seen at the Casino Royale several years before that.

Rules

The game follows conventional blackjack rules, except as noted below.

  1. The game is played with six 40-card decks. Each deck has all face cards removed, so only A-10 remain.
  2. The player and dealer both start with the king of spades as the first card. It is printed on the felt for each player spot and the dealer.
  3. If both player and dealer have a blackjack in spades, then the player's bet will push.
  4. If the player has a blackjack in spades, and the dealer does not, then the player's bet will pay 2-1.
  5. If the player has a blackjack in hearts, clubs, or diamonds, and the dealer has any blackjack, then the player's bet will push.
  6. If the dealer has any blackjack, and the player does not, then the player's bet will lose.
  7. Dealer always peeks for blackjack.
  8. The player may hit or stand, as in conventional blackjack.
  9. The player may double down after two cards (including the king of spades).
  10. If the player's second and third card (counting the king of spades as the first card) are the same rank, then the player may split them into two hands, both starting with a king of spades. For example, if the player's second and third cards were both twos, then the player could split them into two hand of 12 each.
  11. I do not know the maximum splits allowed, but this analysis assumes an unlimited number.

Strategy

  • Hit on 16 and less, and stand on 17 or more.
  • The player should split 2's and 3's.
  • Never double

House Edge

Assuming an infinite deck, and infinite re-splitting, I get a house edge of 0.94%.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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