Zero Blackjack | Playing 21's with no house edge

By: Gilberto Camron    

Zero Blackjack | Playing 21's with no house edge

Zero Blackjack | Playing 21's with no house edge

Zero Blackjack was introduced to Betfair Casino, the largest online betting website, in 2006. Zero Blackjack and a few other games like zero roulette and zero baccarat are grouped together in the Zero Lounge on their online casino. The Zero Lounge was created to give a place where games can be played with no house edge whatsoever.

The theory behind this is, players with a perfect playing strategy should have a 0% loss and a 100% return rate. This Zero Lounge is a unique concept to Betfair Casino.

How Zero Blackjack Works
The rules of blackjack are modified slightly to remove the house edge from the game. The aim of the game, however, remains the same. The object is for the player’s hand to reach 21 or as close to this goal number as possible. There are various ways this can be achieved, and different blackjack strategy that can be played throughout the game.

The values of the cards are as follows; the picture cards are worth 10 points, along with the 10 card. The ace works as a 1 or an 11, depending upon which number is most rewarding to your hand.

The modified rules mean the strategies in the game play and the payout odds change. A suited blackjack can be achieved in Zero Blackjack, which means that a total of 21 is achieved by the first two cards the player receives (like a natural blackjack, which is an ace and a picture card). The suited blackjack however, means the 21 is comprised of cards of the same suit. i.e. an ace of diamonds and a jack of diamonds. A natural blackjack beats a suited blackjack, but a suited blackjack will receive a payout of 2:1. A natural blackjack receives a 3:2 payout. A ‘push’ will occur if the dealer and player both have blackjack, regardless of which type of blackjack they have.

A five card 21 is also another variation that comes up in zero blackjack. If a player can get 21 in five cards exactly, they receive an instant payout of 2:1 odds. Five card 21 will always beat a dealers 21 unless it’s a Blackjack. The five card 21 rule isn’t applied to the dealer’s hand, the dealer will simply ‘push’ with a player that has 21 in total of less than 5 cards.

Other options in Zero Blackjack
Players have the option of taking even money if they have blackjack, and the card facing up in the dealer’s hand is an ace. It is basically an insurance to say that the player thinks the dealer may have blackjack as well. It means that if the dealer does have blackjack, the player will have even money returned. If the player refuses the acceptance of even money however, and the dealer has a blackjack, the hand is a tie. If the dealer does not have blackjack the player receives the usual 3:2 payout.

Players also have the option of splitting or doubling down. Splitting is offered when a player receives two cards equal to the same value (aces are exempt from this rule). The player can split the hand into two different hands and play both as normal. Even money is paid out for any split hands that win. Doubling down is offered to players whose cards add up to between 8 and 11. This means the original bet must be made and matched. Doubling down means the player believes they can win the hand and beat the dealer with one more card.


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