One ambitious student at UNLV could soon be raking in an unusual profit from the game of blackjack. Matthew Stream has developed a variation of 21 and sold his idea to Las Vegas casinos. The new blackjack game is currently being tested and is receiving favorable reviews. Stream has some experience in the gaming industry and is also using his college education to develop new games for people who like to bet on blackjack.
Easy Jack—The Simpler Form of Blackjack
Matthew Stream was attempting to impart some math lessons to a cousin in elementary school. Stream thought that a game of 21 would be a good way to convey some basic math. The problem was that the game was a little complicated. Stream decided that maybe playing the game to 11 instead of 21 would be easier for his cousin to comprehend. That’s how he developed the game of Easy Jack.
In Easy Jack, the player is trying to make a total closer to 11 than the dealer. Players and the dealer are given one card to begin instead of two. The player’s card is face up while the dealer’s card is face down. If a player receive an Ace on their first card this is an Easy Jack and pays 3/2 just like a blackjack.
The dealer is required to hit a total of six or below and required to stand on a total of seven or above. The idea is to keep the game as simple as possible, but what Stream didn’t realize was that he was creating a variation of blackjack with its own unique complexities.
Caesars Loves Easy Jack Blackjack
As Stream was completing a semester of his studies, a competition was announced to evaluate ideas for new games. The young student entered Easy Jack and was pleasantly surprised when the legendary gaming company Caesar’s expressed interest in adding the game to their lineup of blackjack variations. Caesar’s owns many hotels and casinos such as the Horseshoe and Harrah’s.
The Vice President of Gaming for Caesars told Stream that she was very interested in the Easy Jack concept and now the game is making its way through testing on the Strip. If the game is successful, Stream stands to gain a significant reward for his creation.
The process of getting a blackjack variation approved can be long and daunting, however. It remains to be seen how the game will fare. To be successful it must be both popular and profitable for the casino. Both elements are necessary.
An Interesting Blackjack Concept
One reason that casinos may love Easy Jack is that it introduces a very significant wrinkle to the game. The fact that players never see a dealer’s card until they have acted on their own hand is an interesting blackjack concept that may also serve the purpose of increasing the house edge and making the game more difficult for players to beat.
In a standard game of 21, players use basic strategy which is based on seeing the dealer’s up card. This basic strategy is what allows the player to increase their edge. Without being able to see what the dealer holds, a player will need to follow a more rigid blackjack strategy.
For example, if the dealer has a 6 it is common for players to stand on a wide variety of hands in anticipation of a dealer bust. But in Easy Jack, the player has no way of knowing if the dealer has a 10 or a 6. They must simply try to improve their hand in almost every case.
Over time one could expect that it would not be unusual for someone to invent basic strategy rules which apply specifically to Easy Jack. As soon as a game is invented there are those who begin the process of trying to beat it.
At some point you might even be able to find Easy Jack at your favorite online casino. In the meantime, you can create an account right now with an online casino and play blackjack for real money. Just choose one of the casinos recommended by Counting Edge and you will receive a generous welcome bonus for signing up.