Mastering the Blackjack Surrender Game

If you’re like most blackjack players, then you’re the type of person who isn’t just content with being decent at a game. Instead, you want to learn everything that there is to learn about a strategy until you master it. With Blackjack Surrender by Playtech, you’ll have two main incentives for doing so. The first is that this is the blackjack game with the highest payout rate in any Playtech-powered online casino. Second, the strategies aren’t exceptionally in-depth and difficult when compared to some of the more convoluted titles out there.

The main feature of this game is that you have the ability to use a late surrender meaning that you can surrender on any number of cards. However, this is largely a trap for a lot of players who will surrender entirely too often. To clarify, you should only surrender if you have a hard 16 against a nine, ten or ace. You should also surrender with a hard 15 against a ten only. Do not surrender a hard 15 against an ace or a nine. Once you understand this aspect of the game, then you can move forward to the more intricate parts of strategy.

We’re going to cover a handful of different points to know about this game in no particular order. These points are how you should customize standard blackjack strategies specifically for this game. To begin with, you’ll double hard nines when facing a three, four, five or six. You’ll also double hard totals of ten when facing a nine or lower and hard totals of eleven when facing a ten or lower. For doubling with soft hands against a six or lower, you’ll double when your total plus twice the size of the dealer’s card is 23 or higher as long as you have an 18 or lower. Also, you’ll hit a soft 18 against a nine or ten instead of standing.

For paired hands, things are pretty standard with a couple of changes. First, you’re never going to split eights when you’re facing a ten or ace. However, you’re also not going to surrender. Instead, you will be hitting them. Along similar lines, you’ll only split fours if you’re against a five or six. Sevens should only be split against sevens or lower, and sixes should only be split against sixes or lower. Twos and threes are always split when facing any card …

Some Fun and Atypical Situations

Video poker is all about learning to play common scenarios with an extremely high degree of accuracy and looking for patterns to play off of to make learning strategy easier. With that having been said, there are some situations that aren’t very easily explained since they are often the exception to the rule, and we want to look at some of those situations here. Knowing the exceptions will allow you to get your payout rate as high as possible because it covers the scenarios that are not covered by the typical rule set.

The first situation that we’re going to look at is an important one because it sets the tone for our other examples. This example comes from Jacks or Better, and it’s when we have KQJTT with no flush or flush draw. In the vast majority of situations, the rule is that a small pair is better than an open-ended straight draw. However, the power of the high card draw here makes keeping TT for an average payout of 0.824x a mistake. Instead, you should keep KQJT for an average win of 0.872x, a noteworthy improvement. It’s worth pointing out that this is the only exception for this particular rule.

Another good example is also from Jacks or Better with AhKhJh5h5c. The relevant rule here that most people will know is that you’re going to always choose a flush draw over a low pair. While there are no exceptions for this rule, it can lead you to overlooking another important aspect of the hand. If you keep the four hearts here, you’re going to have an average payout of 1.340x. However, keeping the three cards to the royal flush gives you a larger payout of 1.387x which is a very important improvement. This exception comes up relatively often, and it’s a trap a lot of players fall into.

Our final example comes from Deuces Wild with the hand AsJs8s5s5h. A lot of people will look at this and immediately think that the right play is to go with the flush draw by discarding the five of hearts. However, this is a big mistake. You have to remember that pairs are all worth the same in Deuces Wild because there are no single pair payouts at all. A pair of 5s here is worth 0.560x on average, but the flush draw is worth slightly less at 0.511x.…

Kentucky Domain Name Seizure Case

From December 2008 Microgaming withdrew its online casinos from the American market. Microgaming is the largest software provider to the online casino industry. This act by Microgaming created an upheaval in the American online casino industry. Millions of American online players were stranded. This withdrawal was not of Microgaming’s own volition. It was pushed to the brink by a legal case that has come to be known as the Kentucky domain name seizure case.

On September 23 Governor Beshear of Kentucky obtained an ex-parte order from the court for the seizure of 141 domain names under Kentucky law. His argument was that online casinos were illegal and were eating into tax revenues the state obtained from land casinos and horse racing. The domain name holders under the umbrella of iMEGA went in appeal against this order.

The appeal was heard by Judge Wingate who on October 16 ruled against the domain name holders. He dismissed their argument that domain names were not “devices” and only devices could be illegal under Kentucky law. He held that Kentucky had jurisdiction over the domain names and that iMEGA had no standing to represent the domain name holders. Judge Wingate gave the domain name holders up to November 17 to disconnect Kentucky from their operations. The final order was to be passed on November 17.

There were Microgaming licensees in the domain name holders. In order to comply with the court’s orders Microgaming discontinued service to its Kentucky clients from November. But it was not comfortable with the prevailing legal environment. Right through the hearing Microgaming was being targeted by the state’s attorneys even though it did not operate online casinos and hence did not directly offer any gambling services to the residents of Kentucky. Further in November the revised UIGEA rules were passed surreptitiously. This compelled Microgaming to withdraw completely from America from December 2008.

Microgaming took this decision despite legal opinion that Judge Wingate’s order would not stand. On October 28 iMEGA filed an appeal in the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Judge Wingate’s final hearing was stayed. The three bench Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the domain name holders in a 2 to 1 decision. The assenting judges ruled that a device had to be mechanical in nature and therefore domain names were not devices. They also accepted that iMEGA had the right to represent the domain name holders.

Now …