We’re always on the lookout for new and different ways to play blackjack. We prefer casino blackjack games that have a low house edge when possible. Sometimes we have to settle for a different kind of blackjack game that might not be in a casino. One of the newest blackjack variants to hit casinos is at Harrah’s in Las Vegas. Easy Jack is a simplified way to play blackjack.
Easy Jack is currently being tested at just one casino but it has a prime location on the Vegas Strip. The game is on the main casino floor at Harrah’s and will remain there for the rest of 2017. If the game tests well and is approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board it could become available at other casinos in 2018.
Unlike most new games that turn up on casino floors, Easy Jack isn’t distributed by one of the large casino gaming manufacturers. In fact, the game was created by Matt Stream, a student at UNLV. Once the idea for this unique blackjack game was conceived he worked with the UNLV Center for Gaming Innovation to hone the rules.
In a perfect world, the college would like the blackjack game will find a lot of homes so the Center for Gaming Innovation can generate revenue. The hope is that this will help other students create more new casino games. The publicity this game has generated might do that alone.
This game is a simplified version of blackjack – not 21. Eight decks are cards are used for Easy Jack. Players are dealt just one card with the goal of getting closest to 11. Similar to regular blackjack an Ace is equal to 11. Being dealt an Ace in Easy Jack is similar to being dealt a natural blackjack. Players dealt an Ace are paid 3:2 like traditional blackjack games.
Players may hit in order to reach as close to 11 without going over. Regular Easy Jack wins are paid 1:1. There’s a Dealer Bust side bet that stays alive even if the player’s hand is a bust. The side bet pays as much as 500-1 if the dealer somehow busts with six cards.
Unlike most new casino games, Easy Jack has a very low house edge. In fact, the house edge for this variation of blackjack is lower than 6:5 blackjack games you’ll find spread across the Vegas Strip. According to the Wizard Of Odds, the house edge for Easy Jack is just 0.94%. The website also says the Dealer Bust side bet has a whopping house edge of 9.51%.
You can visit the UNLV website to learn more about the International Gaming Institute.