Down Under Blackjack is a Table-Comparing Game based on the traditional gambling game of Blackjack. It was developed by 4-D Gaming.
While it may seem the game refers to Australia, the title of the game actually refers to the “Scanning” gimmick of the game.
How to Play Down Under Blackjack?
Down Under Blackjack is played using four to six copies of the standard Anglo-American 52-card deck pattern. Like many table games, it can be played with 2-8 Players at a time.
The procedures and mechanics of Down Under are largely borrowed from the traditional version of Blackjack.
At the start of the game, Players will each make an Ante. The Ante must conform to the posted betting minimums and maximums.
Optional Side Bet
Once each Player has made their Ante, there is an optional Side Wager that Players may participate in.
The “Match the Dealer” side bet offers special payouts based on the number of matching cards between the Dealer and Player’s hands.
Cards are matched both on rank and suit. A Paytable for the number of matching cards will be provided in the “Payouts and Side Bets” section below.
Once Players have made their chosen betting positions, normal Blackjack play proceeds.
- Two cards are dealt to each Player.
- Two cards face-up are dealt to each Player.
- The Dealer will receive one face-down and one face-up.
Dealer’s Face-Down Card
The Dealer’s face-down card will be dealt into a special electronic scanner. This scanner will look at the card, and then display to the Players at the table one of three categories. The card will be considered a Low, Medium, or High card.
- Blue/Low cards are ranked 2-5.
- Red/Medium cards are ranked 6-9.
- Gold/High” cards are 10s, Face Cards, and Aces.
After being provided with this information, players are given the normal Player Positions of traditional Blackjack. Hit, Split, Double Down, Stand.
- Players are allowed to Split a total of 4 times, but Players may not re-split Aces.
- Further, Players may Double Down on any two-card hand, even Split Aces.
- There is no surrender option in Down Under Blackjack.
Although Players cannot know the exact hand of the Dealer, Players can be certain the hand exists within a definite range of values.
For example, if the Dealer’s top card is 6♦, and the Scanner reads “Low”, then the Dealer must have a hand of 8-11. The Low Cards are 2-5.
Players make their position known, and the Showdown begins. Players compare their hands to the Dealer’s fully revealed hand, payouts are made where appropriate, and cards are collected and discarded. New cards are dealt, and a new game begins.
Payouts and Side Bets
Blackjack will either pay out 3:2, or 6:5. The House Edge on 3:2 Blackjack is 0.57%. 6:5 has an Edge of nearly 2%, almost 4x as high. Play 3:2 when possible.
The normal Ante, and any further Doubles or Splits, pay out on a 1:1 basis.
There is a special table for the Match the Dealer side bet. The payout table for this side bet is based on the number of decks used during the game, offered below:
|# of Decks, Suited and Unsuited
|Four Decks, Suited
|Four Decks, Unsuited
|Five Decks, Suited
|Five Decks, Unsuited
|Six Decks, Suited
|Six Decks, Unsuited
Note that each payout is on a per-card basis. Players receive a payout for each individual card that Matches the Dealer.
If the Player has two identical cards, and they have a suited match with the Dealer’s card in a six-deck game, then they would win 22x their side wager.
Down Under Blackjack Rules
An easy summary of the game rules can be found below:
- Cards may be re-split up to four times, except for Aces. Aces may be split only once.
- Players may Double on any two-card hand.
- Down Under Blackjack involves a Push-22 mechanic in order to make up for the overwhelming advantage given to the Player by the Scanner. If the Dealer busts on 22 exactly, all hands and wagers are pushed except for Match the Dealer bets.
- Blackjack pays out 3:2, or 6:5 depending on the casino. 3:2 Blackjack offers the best edge for the Player.
Suppose that the Dealer’s top card is 10♦.
Now suppose that the Electronic Scanner is reading off the Dealer’s Down Under card as High.
This means the Dealer can only have a 20. The Dealer is permitted to peek for Blackjack in Down Under.
As Dealer Blackjack would cause the game to immediately end, and this has not happened, Players can assume safely the Dealer’s bottom card is not an Ace. This means it must be a 10, or a Face-Card according to the Scanner’s range.
If the Dealer has a 10, and the Scanner says High, then one can always be certain the Dealer has 20.
You can try the game out yourself for free here.
Strategy and Tips
Make use of the Scanner
Since there is no surrender option, players must always try to play optimally to maximize their chances of winning.
Use the Scanner to plan your next move. You know generally what the Dealer has. Play that to your advantage.
Avoid Matching the Dealer
The Match the Dealer bonus may seem appetizing, but like most casino games, one should avoid this bonus.
Consider the math: In a six-deck game, the odds of getting a single-suited match is about 2.9%. The payout is 11x for a suited match.
One would expect to win the Match Bonus about 1 in 50 games. This means you’re statistically going to pay 5x the amount you stand to win.