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Last Updated: June 25, 2006

Ties Win Blackjack

Introduction

Background

After doing math analysis and consulting on about 200 games for game inventors I learned a thing or two. One is that games that are totally out of left field have almost no chance. If you can't explain the rules of a game in under 15 seconds players won't have the patience to learn it, dealers will make errors, and casino management likely won't give it a chance in the first place. Games that have the best chance to succeed are blackjack and poker variations, because players already understand the basic rules of those games. With the exception of Casino War all successful new table games have taken blackjack or poker and introduced just one major rule twist.

Most blackjack variants I have tried let players do something they couldn't do before, meanwhile turning some wins into ties or ties into losses. In my opinion the market is saturated with such games but the door is open for the opposite, a game that turns ties into wins by taking away some choices. That is why I created Ties Win Blackjack. The game pays 1 to 2 on all ties, mostly by taking away the option to double and split. The game is easy to learn, easy to deal, and the strategy is almost the same as regular blackjack. It is also a better bet for players than most blackjack games. I'm not saying every player will like it but hope players looking for a simpler or less volatile version of blackjack will like it.

The game completed a field trial at the Edgewater casino in Laughin Nevada in May 2005. Currently it is not available in any land casinos but previously could be played online at Red Lounge Casino.

Rules

The rules are the same as blackjack except as noted below.

  1. All ties pay 1 to 2.
  2. Player may only hit and stand.
  3. Winning blackjack pays even money.

Strategy

The following tables show the strategy according to whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17. These tables are correct for any number of decks.

The player will get a tie about 8.75% of hands.

House Edge

Following are the effects of the changes to regular blackjack, based on infinite decks.

  • Player may not double: loss of 1.47% to the player.
  • Player may not split: loss of 0.58% to the player.
  • Winning blackjack pays 1 to 1: loss of 2.25% to the player.
  • Player wins 1 to 2 on ties: gain of 4.37% to the player.

Over all this adds up to a loss of 0.07%. It is actually a little bit less at 0.02% because of an interaction effect.

The following table shows the house edge for various number of decks and whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17.

Ties Win Blackjack House Edge

Decks Dealer Hits on
Soft 17
Dealer Stands on
Soft 17
1 0.247% 0.003%
2 0.400% 0.150%
3 0.445% 0.193%
4 0.467% 0.214%
5 0.480% 0.226%
6 0.489% 0.233%
7 0.495% 0.238%
8 0.500% 0.242%
¥ 0.531% 0.269%

Java Game

Play my on Ties Win Blackjack Java game.

Harrods Casino

Ties Win Blackjack was available for play in U.K. pounds at the Red Lounge Casino. The Red Lounge used one deck and the dealer hit a soft 17, for a house edge of 0.247%.



Written by: Michael Shackleford

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