This is the news section of a website dedicated to blackjack. We often cover new blackjack variations that are landing in casinos. We’ll discuss another new blackjack game being tested at Rio in Las Vegas shortly. I want to address something important for players regarding new casino games.
Many of these new blackjack games aren’t only new to players. The games are also new to dealers and pit bosses. It’s easy for dealers and pit bosses to misunderstand rules and payouts of all new casino games. Make sure you pay attention and know the rules of the game when you sit down to play any casino game – especially new casino games.
One of the best resources for casino games is Wizard of Odds. I’ve visited the website so often that I almost always refer to the movie “Wizard of Oz” as Wizard of Odds. They recently shared info on a game that’s under field trial at Rio Las Vegas named Twisted 21.
This is another blackjack variant but it’s a little different than other new blackjack games you may have seen. Twisted 21 does not only rely on a side bet to gain your attention. While there is a Stud Bonus side bet available, the single deck base game is different than any other 21 game you’ve seen.
Twisted 21 is the mandatory blackjack game wager. There is also an optional bonus wager. You will probably end up playing it if you’re experimenting with a new game. Get ready for some twisting now.
Base 21 Game
The dealer gives each player five (5) cards – two (2) cards are dealt face up and three (3) cards are dealt face down. The dealer also takes five cards but only one card is face-up while the other four (4) are face down.
If the dealer has a ten or ace showing they will check under the first face down card to see if they have blackjack. Here are some specific rules for the base game:
- Blackjack pays 6 to 5
- Player may double down
- Player cannot split
- Dealer hits on Soft 17
- Player and dealer may only take five cards
Now for the blackjack game. A player can hit, stand, or double on the first two cards. Wizard of Odds says the base game has a 1.92% house edge. I’ll explain the “twisted 21” in the next section. It’s time to get really twisted, y’all.
The Stud Bonus side bet is where there five cards dealt comes into play whether or not the player used all of them in the blackjack hand. The five card hand plays similar to a typical poker hand. Here’s the paytable:
- Royal Flush: 1,000-1
- Straight Flush: 500-1
- Four of a Kind: 200-1
- Full House: 75-1
- Twisted Stud: 20-1
- Flush: 15-1
- Straight: 6-1
- Three of a Kind: 4-1
- Two Pair: 3-1
- Jacks or Better: 2-1
Twisted Stud (20-1) is paid if the total of the player’s cards is 16 or less. Wizard of Odds says the house edge on the Stud Bonus side bet is 2.49%. While not the best bet in a casino, there are plenty of worse payouts for side bets at table games.
If you’re curious to learn more about the game there’s a useful thread discussing the math and actual gameplay here.