New Lucky 13 Blackjack AnalyzedBy: Adam Richards, Wednesday July 22nd 2015
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Lucky 13 Blackjack is a new variant of blackjack developed by an Australian gaming company in 2014. It is now available at a few land based casinos. Lucky 13 Blackjack is not yet offered at any online casino. This blackjack variant is played with decks consisting of 64 cards. Apart from the usual cards there are 11s, 12s and 13s, which are designed like the non-picture cards and have their face values.
The base game rules are very similar to the standard online blackjack rules. The player’s rules are as follows: player can double on any first two cards and after a split; player can re-split pairs, including aces; insurance is available but no surrender. If the player gets a pair of 11s, 12s, or 13s, then he has to split and make the extra wager or bust and lose the bet. The dealer has to stand on a hard 16 or above and a soft 17 or above. The dealer is not dealt a hole card. The payouts are the same as in standard blackjack variants. If the player wins then he gets paid even money and if he wins with a blackjack he gets paid 3 to 2. The house edge under these rules is between 1.3% and 1.4%, depending on the number of decks used. This is about a percentage point more than for the best online blackjack variants. If this game is to become popular some rules will have to be tweaked in favor of the player in order to reduce the house edge.
Lucky 13 Blackjack offers two side bets. Because of the extra cards are valued at 11 to 13, the chance of the player busting on the dealt cards is higher. Therefore a Protection Bet is available, which pays if the player busts on the first two cards. If the total of the first two cards equals 22 to 25, the payout is 5 to 1. If the first two cards are both 13 then this bet pays out at 40 to 1. In the event the dealer shows 13 then these payouts are multiplied five times. This is why the blackjack variant is called Lucky 13 Blackjack.
The other side bet is the Pairs Bet, which is similar to the side bet in Perfect Pairs online blackjack variant. However, it pays a flat 12 to 1 for any pair in the player’s first two cards. The payout is increased to 60 to 1 if the dealer shows 13. The house edges for these bets are about 8% and 6% respectively.
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