home | about us | contact | site map | credits | disclaimer | bookmark

Online Casino News


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blackjack in the UK: an unexpected turn for the better


(This article deals with the subject of blackjack rules; if you're unfamiliar with them, you'd do worse than to read the blackjack rules section of my main blackjack page.)


I was in a London casino recently, reacquainting myself with my old hobby of standing behind a blackjack table and watching the play.

On an immediate sidenote: this is a non-participatory activity with no adherent cost, and one which I wholeheartedly recommend. It would, of course, if practised by gamblers nationwide, result in the bankrupting of the casino industry.

But I digress.


At one point, a player had and ace and a five, for a total of soft 16. The dealer had a four. As doubling in UK casinos is restricted to initial two-card totals of 9, 10 and 11 ("D9"), I expected the player to hit.

He doubled.

Hmm.

Had the rules changed? Can we now double down on any initial two-card total, the "DOA" rule common in US casinos?

I sought out an otherwise unoccupied dealer and raised the question; she told me that the rules had indeed now been changed, with doubling allowed on any two cards, and splitting also similarly derestricted.


After some initially frustrated Googling, I found the relevant documents.

In September 2006, a consultation document was published by the Gambling Commission, Types and rules of casino games, which gives the background to the proposed changes and notes the new doubling rule in particular:


The draft also proposes to allow players to double down on any hand. Currently, doubling down is only allowed when the first two cards dealt give a total of 9, 10 or 11.



The new rules were fully laid out, and enshrined in law by default under the auspices of the 2005 Gambling Act, in the rules of casino games in Great Britain, in July 2008.

Here are the new doubling rules:


Doubling down

4.24 - Management may decide which of the following options will apply:

a) the double down option will only be offered where the player has a score of 9, 10 or 11; or

b) the double down option will be offered when the player has any score.

Where option b) is used, this must be displayed on a sign or notice at the table.



Note that it's down to the individual casino whether to offer DOA or D9.


As far as pair-splitting goes, here is the relevant paragraph:


Splitting pairs

4.25 - Management may decide which of the following options will apply:

a) the option to split a pair will not apply when the player has a pair of 4s, 5s or 10s; or

b) the option to split will apply to any pair.

Where option b) is used, this must be displayed on a sign or notice at the table.



Again, the option for full splitting is again down to manager.

Note that in terms of optimal play there are only two splits that this rule change brings into effect, 4/4 v. 5 and 4/4 v. 6. Neither tens nor fives should ever be split.


There is one more point to bear in mind - take a look at the rules governing the dealer's play on soft 17:


4.15 - Management may decide which of the following two options will apply to the dealer's hand:

a) The first Ace dealt to the dealer in a game shall have a value of 11. If this
gives a total of between 17 and 21 inclusive, the dealer must stand. For
example, an Ace and 6 equals a score of 17. Alternatively, if this would give a
score of more than 21 at the end of the game, and subject to that, an Ace
shall have a value of 1;

b) 'Soft 17' - an Ace dealt to a dealer's hand will count as 11, unless this gives a score of more than 21, or a total of 17, in which case it will count as one.
Therefore, an Ace and 6 will equal 7, and not 17. If it gives a total of between
18 and 21 inclusive, the dealer must stand.

Where option b) is used, a notice must be displayed on the table clearly stating
this fact.



Option b) is actually "hard 17", not "soft 17".

Hard 17 is substantially detrimental to the player. Check before playing.


At best, with S17 and the new DOA rule, the house edge is 0.55% for blackjack in UK casinos, with correct play - the derestricted doubling shaves a little under 0.1% off the house edge.


Whatever the Commission's reasons for altering the rules may be, it's quite unusual for casinos to change for the better. This was a positive turn of events for the UK blackjack player.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment


May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | August 2006 | October 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | December 2011 | February 2012 | May 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | March 2016 | April 2016 | June 2016 | November 2016 | December 2016 | March 2017 | May 2017 | June 2017 | August 2017 | Atom feed
© 2005 hundred percent gambling

ONLINE CASINO NEWS

• Online casino news


2016

• Can't split 10s?
• Overbetting
• EV charts
• The IPCA
• Basic strategy master
• Back to the future
• Site hack

2015

• Better comp value
• Pit bosses are a pest
• 32Red buys Roxy Palace
• Winneronline is gone
• Paradise Win Casino
• Blackjack simple strategy

2014

• Court refuses Ivey winnings
• Phil Ivey versus Crockfords
• 32Red does the right thing
• Wizard Of Odds sold
• Gambling addict sues Ritz
• Better blackjack conditions
• FL: the beat goes on
• Phil Ivey and the Borgata
• LadbrokesFOBT profit
• Chat with the Met
• "Bonus abuse" and the Met
• Casino industry crooks.
• Debate to curb the FOBTs
• Labour idea to ban FOBTs

2013

• Ruby Fortune: terms buried
• Royal Vegas: bad outcome
• Russia illegalises gambling
• RV: player breaks no rules
• Gib casinos and UK laws
• The GGC (GRA) useless
• BetFred rigged games 9
• BetFred rigged games 8
• Betfred rigged games 7
• BetFred rigged games 6
• BetFred rigged games 5
• BetFred rigged games 4
• Phil Ivey: is he entitled?
• BetFred rigged games 3
• Betfred rigged games 2
• BetFred: rigged games 1
•  UK GLA Act 2013
• 888.com and Facebook
• Crockfords denies Phil Ivey
• Bad dealers
• Betfair Blackjack test
• Playtech software update
• Cheap blackjack
• Hippodrome Casino

2012

• The UK's FOBT addiction
• Conan Casino beware
• Intercasino misleading
• Fortune Lounge
• UK Gambling Commission

2011

• Small Claims Court
• Gamcare
• Full Tilt Poker saved
• Full Tilt ponzi scheme
• Casino Barcelona
• Irakli Kacharava
• Betfair processor no pay
• Full Tilt licensing meeting
• UK Gambling Commission
• Full Tilt Poker investors
• Full Tilt license suspended
• Twitter
• Betfair resolution
• Casino Web Scripts 2
• 32Red bonus marketing
• Casino Web Scripts 1
• Poker domains seized
• eCOGRA independent?
• Easystreet Sports theft
• Betfair to Gibraltar
• Rigged blackjack 2
• Betfair responses
• Rigged blackjack
• 888.com theft
• Betfair poker problem
• UK gambling controls
• Harry Reid

2010

• eWallet Xpress
• Kevin Stillmock
• Blog back up
• Betfair happy hour
• Ladbrokes bonus increase
• Absolute Poker tricks US
• Absolute Poker rigged
• Last position no difference
• Basic strategy simplified
• Online casino bonuses
• Righthaven LLC
• Ladbrokes bonus rules
• Malta LGA nonsense
• Purple Lounge theft
• UK affiliates issue
• Online casino problems
• GPWA code of conduct
• One Club Casino problems
• Rushmore theft resolved
• Realtime Gaming cheats
• Absolute Poker Ultimate Bet
• Rushmore Casino theft
• Ask gamblers service
• Intercasino bonus terms
• Profitting from poverty
• Gambling dooms UK to ruin
• Want To Stop Gambling
• Gambling Therapy
• Gordon Moody Association
• Breakeven
• Online gambling jobs
• Gamblock
• Gamble Aware
• Gamblers Anonymous
• Gamcare
• Video poker auto hold
• Gambling Wages help offer
• Blackjack double down
• Intercasino rules
• Tradition Casino warning
• Tradition Casino problem
• Be The Dealer
• eCOGRA approved casinos
• UK underage gambling
• iGaming Super Show
• eCOGRA reputable portals
• eCOGRA exposed
• Slots Oasis warning
• Slots Oasis problem
• HR 2267 comments
• HR 2267 proposed bill
• Search fully functional
• Gambling hearing delayed
• Betfair download blackjack
• Betfair blackjack
• The Federal Wie Act
• Casino Rewards warning
• Kahnawake dumps GP
• GP dumps Microgaming
• UK online gambling
• Gambling checklist
• Online casino problems
• Gambling Grumbles
• Casino Rewards
• Brian Cullingworth
• Casino Wager Tracker
• Grand Prive affiliates
• Jackpots Heaven Casino
• Kahnawake commission
• UK gambling problem
• eCOGRA and Grand Prive
• Bet365 misleading bonus
• Mastercard and Visa
• Online gambling rules
• 32Red sign up bonus
• Ladbrokes data theft
• Ladbrokes unfair settlement
• Palace group bonus rules
• Grand Prive and eCOGRA

2009

• Blackjack in the UK
• Seminole Hard Rock
• The APCW and MG
• Sportsbook.com
• Slot beaters slot strategy
• Rushmore Casino theft
• Paddy Power affiliates
• Slots
• 888.com problem
• The UIGEA
• Neteller contest winner
• 888.com bonus problem
• Casino Club meeting
• Online casino directory
• 32Red debit card bonus
• Blue Square Casino
• Budapest Affiliate Expo
• Rushmore payment issues
• Modern Blackjack volume 1
• Eurolinx certain insolvency
• Buzzluck winnings theft
• PaddyPower removed
• 32Red lawsuit
• William Hill Casino Club
• Betfair video poker
• APCW underage children
• Odds page updates
• VP Genius
• Video poker page updates
• Blackjack page updates
• Progression page updates
• Single deck page updates
• Betfair Playtech license
• Cherry Red Casino
• Online gambling debate
• William Hill & Teddy Sagi
• Rogue casinos section
• Pontoon correction
• Microgaming poker scandal
• Casino Club confiscation
• Casino Club steals €8000
• Villa Fortuna Casino
• Grand Prive affiliate issue
• CAP and Cardspike 2
• Virgin Casino bad results
• CAP and Cardspike 1

2008

• iNetbet removal from site
• Mario Galea and Malta LGA
• Cold Mountain Resort
• The AGCC
• Moneybookers privacy
• Virtual Casino rebranding
• Captain Jack Casino
• Royal Ace Casino
• Ringmaster Casino
• Catseye Casino
• Lucky Palm Casino
• Pharaohs Gold Casino
• Goldstream Casino
• Plantet 7 Casino
• Betfair bonus confiscation
• Malta LGA worthless
• The GIA
• Interwetten theft of £5000
• Lucky Ace winnings stolen
• The KGC and Absolute

2007

• HippoJo Casino
• Microgaming All Aces VP
• Neteller issues
• Lou Fabiano responds
• Lou Fabiano selling stats
• Betfair Zero Lounge
• ICE 2007 brief visit
• RTG cancels ICE visit

2006

• Crystal Palace Casino theft
• eCOGRA & Jackpot Factory
• English Harbour cheating
• Boss Media single deck
• Bella Vegas / Grand Prive
• The KGC worthless
• Gambling Federation
• Playtech sued
• Meeting Andrew Beveridge
• Playtech confirmed listing
• African Palace Casino
• G-Fed ICE discussion
• Playtech ICE meeting
• Playtech issues escalation
• Chartwell hands off

2005

• Crystal Gaming silence
• Price Waterhouse Cooper
• Crystal Gaming flotation 2
• Vegas Frontier
• Crystal Gaming flotation 1
• Playtech public listing
• African Palace & Indio
• Kiwi Casino
• Rochester Casino
• G-Fed theft 2
• Warren Cloud best avoided
• Golden Palace stupidity 3
• Golden Palace stupidity 2
• G-Fed theft 1
• Golden Palace stupidity 1
• Russia online expansion
• Wan Doy Pairs Poker
• Microgaming CPU usage
• Net Entertainment RNG
• Cryptologic & William Hill
• Casino growth slow
• English Harbour paying
• Fraudster or not
• Blackjack surrender
• Integrity casino group audit