G2E 2014 brought Australian blackjack to the table
October 21, 2014 3:01 AM
by Mark Mayer
One final bit of unfinished business from the recent Global Gaming Expo involves a blackjack table game called Lucky 13s. It is Australia based, which means plenty of shrimp on the barbie, unlimited beer and absolutely no worries.
Well, make that some worries when it comes to actually landing a casino deal for an untested game outside Nevada. But the fact there are still attempts to bring in new ideas that are not slot based or can be held in the palm of your hand from a smartphone or tablet is indeed a breath of much needed fresh air.
“It’s a variation of blackjack based on a slightly different deck of cards,” said Vinny Sandhu,” the game’s inventor. “It plays like normal blackjack except adding an 11, 12 and 13 of spades, diamonds, clubs and hearts.”
The game becomes very interesting when, let’s say, a player receives a pair of 12’s from the dealer. Instead of busting, the player can split the pairs and have two chances to win.
The opportunity also exists for players to double down on 12 and 13, hoping not to draw a face card. And if a face card is drawn, there is a sidebet option open that could make you some extra money.
“We call it the Protection Sidebet, which deals with 12 and 13 plus a picture card. It pays out if the first two cards are over 21,” Sandhu said.
Bigger cards can also create more dealer busts, which adds further drama to the game and improves a player’s chance of winning the hand.
“We designed the game for $10 tables or less,” said Sandhu, 33 and a native of Perth. “The reception for Lucky 13s has been extremely positive, especially by recreational gamblers.”
Some cruise lines have expressed some interest in the game, according to Sandhu, and there are shows in London and at Paris Las Vegas over the next month to further showcase the product.
“It’s something different for blackjack players and not intimidating at all,” Sandhu said. “I believe the game will sell itself.”
The idea behind the Lucky 13s involved Sandhu’s love for statistics.
“I just got a deck of cards in my hands and applied the knowledge I had from statistics to create this new form of blackjack,” he said. “I feel like my game gives players a better chance of winning. There’s no better place to get the word out Vegas.”
Apology: Last week’s Rampart 15th anniversary photo featured GM Michael Gaughan Jr. We sincerely regret the name slip-up.
Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at MarkMayer@GamingToday.com.