We’re coming up on the annual Global Gaming Expo (G2E). This expo and conference has panel discussions on the casino business. It’s also a venue for gaming manufacturers to show off their new games to casinos. While this largest gaming expo of the year, there are other smaller shows where gaming manufacturers present their games for casinos.
I’ve noticed Down Under Blackjack at G2E for the past few years. Their booth at the shows is easy to find thanks to a dealer in a “Crocodile Hunter” uniform and a koala hanging out at the table. This year marks the first time that I’ve seen this blackjack game in casinos.
Playing Down Under Blackjack
Down Under Blackjack is another unique “Push 22” blackjack variant. Check out the demo from 4D Gaming:
As you can probably figure out by the name, you’ll have a “down under” experience with this blackjack game. However, this game has nothing to do with Australia. The twist on the game is that players are told if the dealer’s face-down card is low, medium, or high. This gives the player a chance to better estimate what the dealer might be holding.
- Low (Blue): Cards 2-5
- Medium (Red): Cards 6-9
- High (Gold): Cards 10-Ace
After dealing all hands, the dealer will check their bottom card with a unique card reader. The reader will light up one of the three colors and the dealer will move their hand to the appropriate color square. When the dealer has a Gold card they flip over both cards since the hand is either a 20 or 21. They call this the “Golden Rule” hand.
If the dealer has a blackjack, the dealer will collect losing bets. If they have 20, the players will very likely change their gameplay. Typically, a player will stay on a 17 with the dealer showing a 10. In Down Under Blackjack, the player knows that the dealer has a 20 and will take a hit on a 17 since staying will guarantee a loss.
Down Under Blackjack Rules
Here are the Down Under Blackjack rules most players will want to know before jumping into a game.
- Dealer hits on soft 17
- Blackjack pays 3:2
- A player may split three (3) times
- The player may double on any two (2) cards
- The player may double after splitting
- No insurance
- No surrender
All hands push when the dealer has a 22 except for “Golden Rule” hands. If a player has 21, they will be paid as a winner if the dealer has a 22. If the original two cards of the player’s hand are both Gold cards, the player will be paid as a winner if the dealer has a 22.
The rules might make the game sound a bit more complicated than the game is played. Even though the gameplay isn’t difficult, it’s not as easy as regular blackjack. The optimal strategy for Down Under Blackjack isn’t a traditional basic strategy. Wizard Of Odds has more information on the best Down Under Blackjack strategy.
Down Under Blackjack House Edge
Wizard of Odds says the house edge for Down Under Blackjack is 0.57% if a six-deck game pays 3:2 for a natural blackjack. If the game pays 6:5 for a natural blackjack, the house edge is 1.92%. Much like other blackjack variants, the game appears to be a fun twist for recreational players looking for a different blackjack experience.