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Last Updated: July 2, 2017

Lucky 13

Question 1 - [00:04]

Mike: Hi. This is Mike Shackleford with the Wizard of Odds, and I'm at the 2014 Raving Table Games show at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. I'm here with Vinny with Lucky 13s. This is one of the most interesting games that I saw at the Global Gaming Expo a couple of months ago, and I'm back to see it again fortunately at the Raving show. Vinny, can you tell me the thrust of the game?

Vinny: Yes, it's quite simple Mike. It's basically blackjack but it's actually based on an alternate deck, and the deck includes cards with 11, 12, and 13. That's like 11 of hearts, 11 of diamonds, 11 of spades, 11 of clubs. That adds 12 cards to every deck. It’s generally played as a multideck game out of continuous shuffling machine and players can just sit down and play it straightaway. It’s played much the way a normal blackjack, just a few cool things can happen due to those extra high value cards.

What’s really interesting in this game, the dealer actually stands on 16 instead of 17 or more. That's actually perceived as a really player friendly rule, because just like, Mike then, if they've got anything that is 7, 8, or higher, those pat hands will just pay out.

Question 2 - [01:10]

Mike: Does this alternative deck with 11s, 12s, and 13s, help or hurt the player?

Vinny: In a lot of ways it helps the player. If you know anything about blackjack, more big cards in play, creates more dealer bust. It's a big advantage for the player being able to see a 12 or 13 in the hole, because those bust really often, even more than say a 5 or 6 in normal blackjack. Also, when the 13 is up in the dealer's hand, all those side bet payouts, they're multiplied by five. Something that normally wins 40 to 1, it will pay 200 to 1.

It has that dynamic where the smart player really feels like they're winning more often and creating more dealer busts. Dealer busts are great because it makes the table happy, and everyone has a good time.

Question 3 - [01:54]

Mike: Does the player get disappointed if they bust on their first two cards? Or is there any way the player can hedge against that happening?

Vinny: You actually hit the nail on the head there, Mike. Because one thing about the game is, yes, you can be dealt something over 21 with your initial two cards and that couldn't happen in normal blackjack.

Actually, there's this special bet you can make we call the protection bet. That's an optional bet the player can make before the deal, and it's just in the green circle there, and that will pay out if they got dealt anything over 21, which of course, is a busted hand on their main bet. But if it is a pair that's over 21, like a pair of 11s or 12s, or pair of 13s, they'll still win the bet for going over 21. But their hand is not dead because they could still split that, or they can choose to bust. That's a really new tough decision as well the player making a split or bust decision. It's really exciting and people quite enjoy playing so far.

Mike: All right. Thank you very much for showing me Lucky 13s.