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Quick Pay 21
IntroductionQuick Pay 21 is a blackjack that went on field trial at the Planet Hollywood in mid-2019. It is titled that because the game features options to accept a "quick pay" for initial hands of 18 to 20 or the player can take his chances against the dealer.
- All rules are based on conventional blackjack, which I assume the reader is already familiar with. This page shall indicate exceptions and configurable rules.
- Any number of decks may be used, but I would expect six or eight to be the norm.
- The dealer takes a hole card and peeks at it for blackjack, when necessary.
- The dealer hits a soft 17.
- If the dealer has or draws to a hard 17, then all player bets still standing shall push.
- Play starts with the player making two wagers — the "Bet" and "Surrender or Play."
- After bets have been made and initial cards dealt, any blackjacks shall be resolved, as follows:
- Both player and dealer have blackjack — Both bets push.
- Player only has blackjack — the Bet pays 6 to 5 and the Surrender or Play is a push.
- Dealer only has blackjack — the Bet loses and the Surrender or Play is a push.
- Otherwise, if the player has a total of 18 to 20, then he can accept a "Quick Pay," as follows, or play the hand normally:
- Total of 20 (including soft 20) — Bet pays 1 to 1 and the Surrender or Play is a push.
- Total of 19 (including soft 19) — Bet pays 1 to 2 and the Surrender or Play is a push.
- Total of 18 (including soft 18) — Both bets push.
- At this time, the player may make Hedge bets. These are side bets that the dealer will achieve a specific total from 18 to 21. The pays depend on the dealer's up card, which are shown below.
- If the player chooses to not accept a Quick Pay or isn't eligible for one, then both wagers are combined into a single wager and blackjack is played normally, with the following specifics:
- Player may surrender any initial two-card hand
- Player may double on any initial two cards
- Double after split is allowed
- Re-splitting pairs is allowed, except aces, which get one card each.
The following table shows what the Hedge Bets pay, according to pay table 1, which Planet Hollywood uses. The dealer's up card is in the first column. The other columns show what the Hedge Bet pays if the dealer draws to the total in the column heading.
Hedge Bets — Pay Table 1
The following table shows what the Hedge Bets pay, according to pay table 2. The dealer's up card is in the first column. The other columns show what the Hedge Bet pays if the dealer draws to the total in the column heading.
Hedge Bets — Pay Table 2
Key to tables:
- S = Stand
- H = Hit
- D = Double
- P = Split
- R = Surrender
- Q = Quick Pay
Base Game Analysis
Based on an infinite-deck analysis, I get a house edge of 1.33% in the base game. This is the ratio of the expected player loss to the two-unit initial bets. Analysis of conventional blackjack shows a reduction in house edge of 0.1% when going from infinite to six decks. Applying that adjustment, I will go with a house edge of 1.23%.
Hedge Bet Analysis
As a reminder, the Hedge Bets are four side bets that the dealer will draw to a specific total from 18 to 21. The odds depend on the dealer's up card.
The probability of the dealer drawing to any given total, given the number of decks, hit/stand soft 17 rule, and up card, may be found in my page on Dealer Odds in Blackjack under U.S. Rules.
The following table shows the house edge of the Hedge bets under pay table 1, assuming six decks and the dealer hits a soft 17.
Hedge Bets House Edge — Pay Table 1
The following table shows the house edge of the Hedge bets under pay table 2, assuming six decks and the dealer hits a soft 17.
Hedge Bets House Edge — Pay Table 2
Discussion about Quick Pay 21 in my forum at Wizard of Vegas.
Written by:Michael Shackleford