One of the more popular variations of blackjack in live casinos is now making its way to online casinos. U Turn Blackjack is a game that was developed by Shuffle master, one of the leader makers of casino table games. The game puts a very important twist on the actions that a dealer is required to take in blackjack. That twist can help players determine if the blackjack dealer will make a hand or bust
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About U Turn Blackjack
In a standard game of blackjack the player is always compelled to act first on their hand. This is what gives the casino its advantage. The player must take the risk of busting before the dealer acts, and if the player busts it does not matter what the dealer does. The House wins and the bet is lost.
In U Turn Blackjack those tables are turned. The dealer is required to act first before players act on their hand. There is a catch, of course. The player only sees one of the dealers cards. All the information they have is the value of that upcard and the number of cards the dealer had to take before stopping.
As with all blackjack variations, the house introduces a novel way to play the game and keep players interested. Some of those players will also make the mistake of believing they have an edge in the game when they really do not. Most variations of 21 are actually developed to increase the house edge, not lower it. In the case of U Turn Blackjack, this is taken to the extreme.
How to Play U Turn Blackjack
Here are some of the basic rules which govern U Turn Blackjack. We’ll start by telling you that the game is played according to the basic rules of 21. This means that the player is trying to make a total closest to 21 without going over. Aces are valued at one or eleven, tens and face cards are ten, and all other cards have their face value. Players and the dealer are dealt two cards to begin the game. The player’s cards are face up and only one of the dealer’s cards are revealed.
Dealers are required to hit any total of 16 or less and stand on totals of 17 or more. Players are allowed to hit, stand, double, and split just like they can in a regular blackjack game. That’s pretty much where the similarities between U Turn Blackjack and regular blackjack disappear.
Here’s the wrinkle. When the dealer is dealt his cards, an electronic reader takes note of the hole card that both dealer and player cannot see. In an online game this is done automatically by the blackjack software. At that point the dealer must take the required number of cards to satisfy the rules for hitting or standing. Neither player or dealer can see these cards. They can only see how many have been taken.
Play then resumes as it does in a normal blackjack game. The difference is that now the player has added information to make their hand. They can see what the dealer has taken before they act on their own hand.
It may sound like an easy game to beat, but there is a wrinkle. As few as one card can bust a dealer or make the hand, so seeing how many cards the dealer has taken gives no specific advantage. Likewise, a hand that takes two, three, or four cards could be a 21 or it could be a bust. There is just no way to know.
Finally, there is another twist added which greatly shifts the advantage in favor of the house. If the dealer has a total of 22 the hand is a push. This means that the dealer has an extra cushion to prevent busting. The player still busts on a total of 22.
Is U Turn Blackjack a Good Bet?
Opinions vary somewhat on whether or not U Turn Blackjack is a good game for the player. Most serious blackjack players would tell you to stay away from the game as it does not offer an advantage for the player odds wise.
At Counting Edge we would recommend the blackjack player try U Turn Blackjack only as a diversion and not as a serious bet. The fact that the dealer cannot bust with a 22 is a huge advantage for the house. Why, then, would so many online players give the game a try and think that they could beat it? The answer is pretty simple. U Turn Blackjack appeals to those who like to gamble.
When players are making a guess as to whether or not the dealer has busted based on the number of cards they have taken, they are gambling. All one can do is make a guess, and making guesses is not the hallmark of a serious blackjack player. Those who count cards and play professionally know that making guesses will cause you to go broke.
So, we think players should opt for a compromise. There are some online casino platforms that allow players to try games for free without risking any money. If U Turn Blackjack is a game that calls to you and you just have to try it, why not play one of the free versions instead of spending your money on the real thing?
Remember, it is also a good idea to stick with the online casinos that Counting Edge has recommended for blackjack. These casinos can be trusted to treat you fairly and have a reputation for quick and accurate payouts.