A new variation of online blackjack is making its rounds in the online casinos. 21 Burn Blackjack gives the player an opportunity to burn a card and replace it in the hopes of hitting an ace. You may encounter this variation soon at your favorite online casino.
Counting Edge has taken a look at this version of blackjack. We wanted to find out if it is a good game for the player. Our review of the game turned up some interesting conclusions. Here are the important things you need to know about 21 Burn Blackjack.
The Basics of 21 Burn Blackjack
This online blackjack variation was developed by the team at Betsoft. Betsoft is one of the leading developers of online casino software. Many casinos run the company’s games, so any new offering from Betsoft is usually met with high hopes. 21 Burn Blackjack began appearing in a limited scale before emerging at multiple online casinos throughout 2019-2020.
The basic premise of the game that players can make a Burn Bet to replace their second card. This bet is made after the player has received both cards and the dealer has received cards and checked for blackjack if necessary. The player knows what the dealer’s up card is before making the Burn Bet. The Burn Bet must be equal to one-half the amount of the original wager.
Here is where things get a little bit strange with 21 Burn Blackjack. If the player makes the Burn Bet, the second card is replaced. The player only wins if this card is an ace. The ace of spades pays 7-1. Any other ace pays 2-1. Any other card besides an ace means that the player loses the Burn Bet. The player can then play out the hand with the second card and original bet as normal.
The house edge on the Burn Bet is insane. The player can expect to lose 67% of what is wagered on the bet in the long run. Only those who like to gamble would appreciate this bet. It is a game that was developed to help casinos find one more way to beat players out of their money. Of all the blackjack variations, this one has one of the worst odds for the player.
How 21 Burn Blackjack is Dealt
21 Burn Blackjack is a virtual version of the game. It is similar in almost every respect to standard online blackjack. Play begins with the player making a minimum bet that is determined by the casino. Many casinos offer the game at a minimum of $5 per hand. In time it would not be surprising to see the game offered at $1 per hand given the huge edge for the casino.
Once the player has made the starting bet, the virtual cards are dealt. The player receives two cards face up. The dealer receives one face up and one face down card. The dealer will check for blackjack if the face up card is a ten or an ace.
In all respects other than the Burn Bet, 21 Burn Blackjack is played according to the regular rules of blackjack with a couple of exceptions. There is no surrender. The dealer must hit a soft 17. Perhaps most important of the rule variations is that a player’s blackjack only pays even money instead of 3/2 as is customary in regular blackjack games.
Player Options in 21 Burn Blackjack
Once the cards have been dealt, the player then has a choice to make. The first of these is to decide if the Burn Bet will be made. If the player does not like the second card that they have been dealt, a Burn Bet of half the original wager is made. If the player made an original bet of $10, the Burn Bet will be $5.
In exchange for the Burn Bet the player’s second card is burned. A new card is then dealt. If this card is an ace, the player is given a special payout. The ace of spades pays 7-1. All other aces pay 2-1. If the card is any other card the Burn Bet is lost. Play then continues with the new card and original bet against the dealer.
An ace and a ten after the Burn Bet is made is still counted as a blackjack. If all of this seems complicated, it really isn’t. Here’s a simple example.
You are dealt a 10 and a 6 to begin the hand. The dealer shows an 8 as an upcard. You can make a Burn Bet and replace the 6. You are dealt the ace of spades and now have a blackjack, paid at even money. You also have a 7-1 win on the Burn Bet because your new card was the ace of spades.
That sounds great, but the example we gave is literally the best case scenario that you can achieve. In far more cases you are going to be dealt a non-ace and lose the Burn Bet. You will then have to play the hand by making the standard decisions. You can hit, stand, split, or double.
Dealer Options in 21 Burn Blackjack
The dealer is held to the standard rules of blackjack in this online variation of the game. The blackjack dealer must hit a soft 17 or any hand lower. Dealers must stand on all totals of a hard 17 or greater. A blackjack by the dealer on his first two cards is an automatic win for the house unless the player also holds a blackjack.
Should You Play 21 Burn Blackjack Online?
The truth of the matter is that this is one of worst blackjack variations for the player that has ever been devised. The odds are horribly stacked against the player, and most Burn Bet wagers will be lost. We suggest that players stick to the standard game of online blackjack for a better chance to win. Check out the two free blackjack games here on our website.
The good thing about blackjack variations like this one are that most players wise up to them sooner or later. A game with odds this poor usually doesn’t stick around for long.
If you are planning on trying the game anyway, we recommend only making the Burn Bet in a small number of circumstances. If you hold a ten and your second card is a 4,5, or 6, burn against any dealer up card of 7 or higher. If your first card is a 7 and your second card is an 8 or a 9, burn when the dealer has a 7 showing. In all other situations, avoid the Burn Bet.