Celebrating Chinese New Year is nothing without a good blackjack game! The Asians believe that this helps predetermine the luck for the rest of the year. Blackjack is one of the best examples for diving into the cultural diversity of South Asia and to see what is so special about this game.
Known as Ban-Luck or Ban-Nag this game was popular in rural areas of China and Malaysia. As big cities developed, it seeped into the playing houses and became one of the most popular forms of entertainment. However, the biggest spike in playing always happens during the Chinese New Year. Apparently, this is due to the influence of traditions and superstitions found in the cautious nature of the locals.
Nevertheless, this version of the game has spread on the Internet; now even those who search for the “online blackjack real money USA” can enjoy the Chinese version of the game.
Chinese Blackjack is played the same as the traditional version. Usually, it is played two decks of 52 cards. Sometimes a dealer can be represented by one of the players. As the game is frequently played in informal settings, the dealer is rotated every three hands. In the brick-and-mortar casinos, there are obviously no dealer rotations.
The number of players should be from 5 to 6 to start the game. The cards’ values are similar to standard blackjack, apart from aces. In Chinese blackjack, an ace can be 1 or 10. If a player has four or more cards then the ace will be valued as 1.
The bets are placed before the game. The dealer shuffles the cards, and he also chooses whether to deal the cards clockwise or counterclockwise. Sometimes the dealer may ask players to “cut the deck” before the start, which means taking out several cards from the deck and putting them aside. The dealer receives his cards the latest.
After everyone receives their cards, the player to the left of the dealer has the right to act. According to the basic strategy, you can either hit or stand with your hand. However, Chinese blackjack wouldn’t be what it is without some minor quirks that might decide the outcome of the game. This refers to the hands that can stop the game immediately.
Ban-Ban – If a hand consists of two aces it means that it is a winning hand and the player gets 3:1 payout. If the dealer has the same, it becomes a push.
Ban-Luck – This winning combination will double your bet and the dealer’s bet too. It should be a combination of an ace and 10 or higher. A hand is a tie if the dealer has ban-ban, ban-luck, or an escape hand. The payout is 2:1 in the case of a win.
Escape Hand (Free Hand) – Getting two cards that add up to 15 allows you to continue the game or reclaim the initial bet and quit. The dealer has the same right to choose between these two options.
Dragon – This applies to the 5-card hands that total 21 or less. In the first option, the payout is 3:1, and it is 2:1 in the second one.
When it comes to the dealer’s options, Chinese blackjack differs from the original one, which lowers gambler’s odds significantly in the case of a hard hand. The pitfall is hidden in the rule that allows dealers to reveal some players’ hands. They can then decide whether to hit or stand in case the hand is somewhere between 16 and 20. However, there is a strict obligation for the dealer to hit if the hand is below 16 in order to improve the situation (there is still an option to use an Escape Hand).
Players should be aware that everyone loses their wagers if the dealer gets 21 points without a bust! If the dealer is bust by going over 21 each player gets paid equally.
If the dealer gets a Dragon without totaling 21, then hide your money! This is when all the players pay a double bet to the dealer. God forbid if he scores 21, then they have to pay triple the initial bet!
Despite the fact that the house edge is pretty high, there is always a possibility for players to earn. If you play the game in the informal setting, then you may step into the dealer’s shoes and increase your odds. Double and triple payouts to the dealer are what make this game special.
The odds of getting different hands are the following:
Going over 21 can be put in the following way:
This shows that the chances of busting are quite high. Especially when you get 16, which is the most likely combination for a start hand in the game. As you see, the chances to beat the dealer are not that high.
If you want to become a blackjack player and have no time to wait for Chinese New Year before coming to hit tables in land-based casinos, then switch to its online version. Many people play online blackjack for real money all over the world without leaving their homes. If you are not sure about this, you can always try free online blackjack to improve your skills.
The rules are the same as in the real world and the view of the casino game can be adjusted in any way you desire. You can ask for a live dealer to bet against or make a one-to-one game, without any other players at the table. What is more, there are some very lucrative offers that will make you stay in the game, such as additional bonuses, free rounds, etc. These things can’t be found in brick-and-mortar casinos. Yet another reason to play online blackjack!
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