Would you rather
switch than fight?

Dec 16, 2003 2:52 AM

Players who feel they might like a change of pace from standard blackjack may want to check out Blackjack Switch, a variant of the classic game that is now in a field trial at the Four Queens in Las Vegas.

The initial license allows the game to be trialed at the Four Queens, and its creators said Saturday that the Palms, Rampart and MGM casinos are also considering adding the game to their floor.

In a nutshell, the new game allows players who play two blackjack hands to switch one card from one hand with a card from their other hand.

For this benefit, the game allows the dealer to push on 22. In addition, blackjack pays even money and the dealer can hit soft 17.

The game debuted in Europe and has spread to more than 20 European casinos in just eight months and, following the Nevada approval, the game has been earmarked for casinos in Missouri, Michigan, California and Atlantic City.

"It has been a long year waiting for the Nevada decision," said Geoff Hall, creator and managing director of the game. "During this time, we have seen success in Europe and this continues to grow.

"The original game has been developed into its current form due to great customer feedback and our ability to adapt to what the client and player needs," Hall continued. "Once the initial trial period is over we foresee a very healthy acceptance of Blackjack Switch Push 22 across Las Vegas and also many of the other gaming states."

Rules of play

Basically the player plays two hands and places two identical bets.

The main element of the game is that the player is allowed to switch the second cards around, if desired.

For example, if a player is dealt the following two hands: Ace-6 and Queen-5, he would, in traditional blackjack, have two pretty bad hands.

But in Blackjack Switch the player can switch the second cards, that is, the ace and 5 around, to make two hands that include, Ace-Queen and 5-6, two powerful hands (including blackjack!).

To compensate for this feature, the dealer will push players’ hands on a dealer’s total of 22. However, blackjacks will still win.

This still gives a considerable advantage to the player so two further rules are implemented to make the game an extremely fair proposition. The other two rules are: Blackjacks pay even money and dealer hits soft 17.

Super Match bet

This is an optional bet which does not have to be the same amount as the Blackjack Switch wager. It can be higher or lower, if desired.

Players who place this bet are aiming to be dealt a pair or better from the initial four cards dealt.

All Super Match bets are settled before any play of the hands.

And that’s all there is to it.

For further details of about the game, you can visit its web site, blackjackswitch.com.