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Blackjack Conditions in Australia

Editor Note: This page is for historical purposes only.  Last update 1999.

By Mike Van Emmerik

See also my general Blackjack NotesAustralian Casinos, and Blackjack Tournaments in Australia.

[Cut straight to the table]

In Australia, all casinos deal cards face up, and Double After Splits(DAS) is offered. The dealer stands on soft 17 (S17). Surrenderis not offered.

In the following table, DOA means Double On Any two cards. D9means that doubling is permitted on totals of 9, 10, or 11 only. If D9is in force, you may double on Ace-8 and Ace-9, but these are treated ashard 9 and hard 10 respectively (so if you receive a 2 to Ace-8 you have11, not 21). D10 means doubling is allowed on hard 10 and 11 only.
OBO stands for Original Bets Only, and is equivalent to "nohole card", because on doubled or split bets, when the dealer has blackjack,the player loses his/her Original Bet Only. OBBO stands for Originaland Busted Bets only. This is an expediancy measure - busted split handsdon't have to be kept to see if the dealer will get blackjack. I estimatethat this will cost 15% of the benefit of OBO for splits, but of coursedoubles are more common than splits, and they never bust. So OBBO has almostthe same advantage as OBO.
2 splits means the ability to split twice, for a total of 3hands.
RSA means the ability to resplit aces; some casinos do not allowyou to do anything with a pair of aces other than split them and take onecard on each.
O/U means the Over/Under13 side bet.
House Edge is the approximate advantage in percent that thecasino has over a player who plays perfect Basic Strategy (the correctstrategy varies with the house rules). The edge is based on the followingfigures, from Theory of Blackjack.The figures are relative to "Las Vegas Strip Rules", which ironically arealmost impossible to find these days, especially at the Las Vegas Strip.They are in terms of house edge, so positive figures are in the casino'sfavour. These figures are not rigorous, because of the dependency of onerule to another.

In previous versions of this table, I did not include the -0.02% factorfor Las Vegas Strip rules. This is because my simulation results (and theyagreed with simulation experts from around the world) agreed that the resultfor this is closer to zero, but I include it here to make the results consistant(i.e. all figures are now from Theoryof Blackjack, adjusted for 6 decks where appropriate).
 

Regular Blackjack 

Strip rules 

-.02%  

6 decks 

+.60%  

8 decks 

+.64%  

DAS 

-.14% -.12% if no resplit

No non-ace resplits 

+.04%  

No soft double (D9) 

+.09% +.13% for single deck

RSA 

-.07%  

No OBO 

+.13%  

OBBO 

+.01% (estimated)

Figures for double exposure are from BlackjackSecrets. "Multideck" is a sort of catchall that respresents a basefor standard double exposure rules, including S17.
 

Double Exposure 

Multideck 

+.5%

Resplits 

-.3%

D10 

+1.3%

Naturals pay 3:2 

-2.3%

Example: Crown Casino regular blackjack. We start with -.02%, and add -.14%for DAS. Working left to right in the table below, we add +.64% for 8 decks,+0.09% for no soft double, +.01% for OBBO, no penalty for resplits, nobonus for RSA, and this adds up to 0.58%. Rather average; they used tobe the best in Australia. No Australian casinos are great by world standards;most authorities suggest that games with a casino edge worse than 0.5%are not worth playing.

If anyone has update information for this table, please emailme .
 

Casino City #deck main #deck VIP Dbl OBO Splits RSA House Edge Comments
Adelaide Adelaide 8 8 D9 No 2 No 0.70%
Burswood Perth 8 8 D9 No 3 Twice 0.63% 40 tables; 4 tables multi action; crowded; pen 85%
Casino Canberra  Canberra 6 6 DOA No 3 No 0.57% Super SevensTM on most tables
Crown Melbourne 8 8 D9 OBBO 2 No 0.58% About 110 tables. Some with O/U (max $25). Pen 75%,a very few 87%.
8 8 D10 N/A 2 No 1.5% Double exposure
8 8 D9 OBBO 1 No 0.62% Triple action - make 2 or 3wagers
http://www.wps.com.au/travel/clients/diamond.htm MGM Grand Darwin 6 6 DOA No     0.61%?
Jupiters Gold Coast 6 6 D9 OBO 1 No 0.57% Pen 75-80%. Super SevensTM on sometables
Lasseters Hotel Casino Alice Springs 6 6 DOA No 2 No 0.59% Very small; at times, only one table ($5-$400) open.
Launceston Country Club Launceston 6 4 or 6 DOA OBO 1 No 0.48% Not confirmed for many years
The Reef Hotel Casino Cairns 6 or 81 
(see right)
6? D9 OBO 1 No 0.57% (6D) 
0.61% (8D)
18 decks used, except where Super SevensTMis avaialable (then 6)
Sheraton Breakwater Townsville 6 6 D9 OBO ? ? 0.57%?
Star City Sydney 8 8 D9 OBBO 2 RSA? 0.51%? Non smoking room; crowded
Treasury Brisbane 6 (upst) 6 D9 OBO 1 No 0.57% Pen 75-80%. Super SevensTM on sometables
8 (down)   D9 OBO 1 No 0.61%
Wrest Point  Hobart 8 6 DOA OBO 1 No 0.52%

robot

"Danger, Will Robinson!"

Eight Decks at Treasury!

Treasury casino have introduced 8 deck covered shoes downstairs, and atthe $2 training tables upstairs. (The latter have a $10 (per box) bettinglimit, and are intended for instruction only). This adds another .04% tothe already rather high house advantage of .57%, bringing these tablesto .61%. Only Adelaide and Perth have similar or worse conditions (accordingto current information). Dealers claim that they are merely falling intoline with other casinos, but of course most other casinos with 8 deckshave better rules (e.g. Star City, Crown).

All tables upstairs remain 6 decks, with similar rules and betting limitsto downstairs. Apparently, patrons are ignorant of the difference, as thereseems to be little difference in popularity of the tables upstairs versesdownstairs. The only saving grace is that Super Sevens (a side bet) isavailable at 3 tables with 8 decks, and this side bet is more favourablewith 8 decks than with 6.

See also Australian Casinos, and Blackjack Tournaments in Australia.

Last Update: 01/24/99 - No longer updated by original author