15 Oct

Crazy Blackjack Rules for Real Risk-Takers

How to play Crazy Blackjack, a risk-loving side bettor’s delight.

Learn How to Play Crazy Blackjack, a Side Betting Risk-Takers Delight

There’s something to be said for the old cliché, ‘It’s all in the name!Crazy Blackjack has some interesting twists, but nothing that will blow your mind. In fact, the game itself is quite standard. It’s the eclectic range of available side bets that give it a crazy undertone.

Crazy Blackjack was introduced a few years back by a digital games publisher called Dragonfish. Therefore, you will only find this title at online casinos employing the Dragonfish platform. How good is it? Well, if there’s anything worth commending the company for, it’s not for developing such a fantastic game, but rather being the first to patent a 21 variant under such an interesting name.

I don’t mean to be cynical, but I’m not a huge fan of side bets. Quite the opposite. All side bets are sucker bets, if you ask me (or anyone else wise in the ways of blackjack RTP). But for true risk takers – those who don’t mind taking a bigger risk in hopes of unlocking a vast reward – Crazy Blackjack does have its advantage.

How to Play Crazy Blackjack

If you don’t consider yourself a big risk taker, don’t worry. You can still play Crazy Blackjack without placing any side bets. Doing so will afford a reasonable return to player (RTP) of 99.56% (house edge 0.44%), with basic strategy applied. (See Crazy Blackjack Strategy below.)

One of the games biggest draws is its multi-hand option, offering players the chance to compete in 1, 2 or 3 hands at once. The other attraction is the game’s three optional side bets, although these do come with far a greater house edge. (See Crazy Side Bets below.)

As I mentioned above, only Dragonfish-powered online casinos offer this particular game. Registering an account with any associated casino will give you access to Crazy Blackjack on PC or Mac computers, or any Android / iOS mobile device. Canadian players can enjoy the game for free in practice mode, or make a deposit to play for real money.

With that said, let’s take a look at the specific player/dealer rules of the game.

Base Game Rules of Crazy Blackjack

The following rules apply to Dragonfish’s Crazy Blackjack:

  • Decks: 4
  • Soft 17: Dealer Stands
  • Doubling: Yes, on any two cards
  • Splitting: Yes, 2x
  • Double after Split: Yes
  • Resplit Aces: Yes
  • Draw to Split Aces: No
  • Surrender: No
  • Dealer Checks for Blackjack: Yes
  • Blackjack Pays: 3 to 2

Trio of Crazy 21 Side Bets

It is the side bets that give this variant its name. There are three of them available, and they have absolutely nothing in common. In the order described below, they offer a progressively larger house edge of 1.73% up to 34.46%. Ouch!

Highest Hand

In order to place the Highest Hand Side Bet, the player must compete in at least two hands at once. With 2 or3 hands active, the player can wager on which of those hands (only the player’s hands, not the dealer’s) will have the higher and/or highest total when the hand is over.

Hand values follow the same ranking as blackjack (Aces = 1 or 11, highest without busting). Don’t just keep hitting to win this sideline wager, either. If you bust the hand, you lose.

The pay tables below show the 2-hand and 3-hand payouts for correctly picking the highest hand, the bonus payout for the higher hand being a blackjack, and the house edge with 4 decks.

Highest of 2 Hands Pays Highest of 3 Hands Pays
Blackjack 2 : 1 Blackjack 7 : 2
Highest 1 : 1 Highest 2 : 1
House Edge 1.73% House Edge 2.49%
Safe Bet

Everyone hates being dealt a stiff hand, and sure seems to happen a lot! This side bet let’s players wager on receiving a stiff hand – that is, a two-card hard total, non-pairing hand, without the benefit of any Aces, that adds up to 12, 13, 14, 15 or 16. These hands don’t happen as often as you may think, though. Even with a 3 to 2 payout, the house edge is 7.84%.

Safe Bet Pays
Stiff Hand (2-card non-pairing hard total of 12-16) 3 : 2
House Edge 7.84%
777 Jackpot

This is a simple $1 side bet that requires the player to achieve a hand of exactly 7-7-7 to win. You must be playing at least two hands to access this bet. If either of those hands qualify, the bet is won. That’s the only plus side, since the house edge against a single hand is a walloping 34.46%!

You would really have to be crazy to make this Crazy Blackjack side bet. If you get that lucky, though, you can win a 1,500x payout. Get even luckier, achieving a 7-7-7 in all spades, and you’ll score a super-satisfying $30,000 jackpot!

First 3 cards in player’s hand Pays
7-7-7 in all Spades $30,000
7-7-7 in any suits $1,500
House Edge 34.46%

Strategy for Crazy Blackjack

This crazy game has a very basic strategy that, when applied perfectly, will afford a 96.56% RTP (0.44% house edge). That doesn’t include any side bets, which I do not recommend making in the first place. Only the Safe Bet side wager has a reasonably low house edge of 1.74% with two hands in play, and even that is a far greater edge than the base game affords.

The following three charts depict how best to play any hard hand, soft hand, or paired hand situation.

How to Decide a Hard Hand

Hard hand totals do not contain an Ace valued at 11, and can bust in a single hit on any total of 12+. The proper strategy for these hands, based on the dealer’s up-card, is as follows:

Hard Total Correct Action by Situation
8 & Under Hit
9 Double against Dealer’s 3-6; otherwise Hit
10 Double against Dealer’s 2-9; otherwise Hit
11 Double against Dealer’s 2-10; otherwise Hit
12 Stand against Dealer’s 4-6; otherwise Hit
13-16 Stand against Dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
17-21 Stand

How to Decide a Soft Hand

Soft hand totals will contain an Ace valued at 11, and therefore cannot bust in a single hit, regardless of the current total. The proper strategy for these hands, based on the dealer’s up-card, is as follows:

Soft Total Correct Action by Situation
13-14 Double on dealer’s 5-6, otherwise Hit
15-16 Double on dealer’s 4-6, otherwise Hit
17 Double on dealer’s 3-6, otherwise Hit
18 Hit against 9-A; Double on 3-6; otherwise Stand
19-21 Stand

Conditions for Splitting Pairs

This last chart will show you how to play Crazy Blackjack when dealt any pair.

Pair Correct Action by Situation
Ace-Ace Split
2-2 Split against 2-7; otherwise Hit
3-3 Split against 2-7; otherwise Hit
4-4 Split against 5-6; otherwise Hit
5-5 Double against 2-9; otherwise Hit
6-6 Split against 2-6; otherwise Hit
7-7 Split against 2-7; otherwise Hit
8-8 Split
9-9 Split against 2-6 and 8-9; otherwise Stand
10-10 Stand

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