Blackjack is one of those eternal card games. Long before modern casino gaming arrived, variations of Blackjack existed throughout history. While the traditional form of the game is the one most accepted by online and brick-and-mortar casino fans, a growing segment of Blackjack players look for something new. The same old rules and odds of winning provide comfort, to a degree, but stagnation is also commonplace as well.
Lucky 13 Blackjack is a new game on the scene and checking it out is worth doing. Those who might be interested in something really new may very well now have the most perfect of all games to play.
A Limited Departure
The changes from traditional blackjack and this new variation are significant, but not so much that the original game is unrecognizable. The new version does have to maintain much of the feel, spirit, style, and rules of the original game or it won’t be able to attract long-time Blackjack fans. Totally changing everything is not the development of a variation. Instead, a totally new game arrives and has to start from the ground up to draw in new players. Endeavors such as this are difficult to achieve and most totally new games end up coming and going. Instead, a departure from the original game is made by making changes to the rules to alter the play sessions. Some Blackjack fans might really like the new version and become regular players.
The New Rules Spelled Out
The changes in the rules are intriguing and may take a little while to get a hang of. Picking up on the changes should not be all that hard for experienced players.The basic rules of the game focus on the usual Blackjack strategy for winning. You have to reach a total higher than the dealers and avoid breaking. The changes, however, are pretty eye-opening.
The most interesting of all changes to the game is the expansion of the traditional deck of 52 to even more thanks the inclusion of new cards. The total number of cards is now 64 as there are four cards of 11, 12, and 13 added. Yes, the numbered card now go beyond 10.
The inclusion of these new cards presents a major alteration in the strategic approach to playing the game. Doubling down with 8 becomes a more dynamic bet since the 12 and 13 open the door for getting a 20 or a 21 on the 8. Previously, the highest combination possible on doubling down on 8 would be 19. Actually, more chances of getting a 19 are present thanks to the addition of the 11 card.
Conversely, hitting on 10 becomes riskier since the 12 and 13 would cause a break. Players have to be very careful when making any double down decisions.
The Changes to the Dealer’s Approach
A dealer must stand on a hard 16 or above. Previously, the dealer was forced to hit. Now, the number figure has been lowered to 15. Again, the dynamic of the game is changed. It is harder to break on a 15 (although the inclusion of 11, 12, and 13 offsets this somewhat) With a soft 17, the dealer must stand. In a way, this is helpful to the player since the dealer no longer plays a soft 17 as a 7. No one knows that the eventually outcome of a particular deal will be, but the dealer is out of the decision making process with a 17. Playing the soft 17 as a 7 creates a path for the dealer to procure a better hand. No player wants that.
The dealer is also barred from taking any hole cards. When a player opts to double or split and the dealer pulls out a blackjack, the player loses. The only exclusion to this is when the player has Blackjack. This leads to a push.
The Unique Split
The 11s, 12s, and 13s make it easier to break, but a way out is provided in the new rules. Players who are dealt a pair of these new cards have the option to accept a break (bust) or choose to split them. Why someone would want to take the bust is going to depend on what the dealer is showing. Since there is no “surrender” option in the game (another rule change), this rule tweak allows for players to escape having to play against a dealer showing an Ace.
Although the surrender option is gone, two innovative new side bets have arrived. Both are worth learning about.
Two New Side Bets
The two new bets are placed before the cards are dealt. Consider it a form of insurance wagering.
The Protection Bet is designed to help players who end up with a hand over 21 points. The payouts are a massive 40 – 1 on a total of 26 and a much more modest 5 – 1 on cards totaling 22 to 25.
The Pairs Bet entails placing a wager on whether or not the first two cards dealt are pairs. The payoff is 12 to 1 and the win ends up being multiplied by 5 in the instance the dealer is totaling 13.
As with the game as a whole, some will like the side bets and others won’t.