31 Oct

Rules of Hi-Lo 13 European Blackjack

Learn how to Play Hi-Lo 13 Blackjack, a Microgaming Gold Series exclusive.

Learn How to Play Hi-Lo 13 Blackjack Gold, a Microgaming Exclusive

Hi-Lo 13 is a special version of 21 that follows most of the traditional rules of European Blackjack, but with an optional twist. The term Hi-Lo 13 refers to specific side bets that players can make before the game starts, betting whether the player’s first two cards will add up to a total above, below, or exactly 13.

Hi-Lo 13 is part of Microgaming’s extensive Gold Series of online blackjack games. Gold Series editions are a notch above the rest of the games on the Microgaming menu, offering cleaner HD-quality graphics, more realistic sound effects, and a more immersive experience overall. In fact, the games are so much better than the standard editions of old, most have been replaced entirely with GS upgrades.

How to Play Hi-Lo 13 Blackjack

The rules of Hi-Lo 13 European Blackjack are actually a mirror image of those incorporated into Microgaming’s standard European Gold Blackjack. The only difference is the presence of the optional side bet. If you do not intend to make the side bet, there’s really no reason to choose this game.

Specific Rules of Play

  • Decks: 2
  • Soft 17: Dealer Stands
  • Doubling: Yes, on 9 to 11 only
  • Splitting: Yes, 1x
  • Double after Split: No
  • Resplit Aces: No
  • Draw to Split Aces: No
  • Surrender: No
  • Dealer Checks for Blackjack: No
  • Blackjack Pays: 3 to 2

Hi-Lo 13 Side Bet

The Hi-Lo 13 side bet is self explanatory, really. Players are provided three extra betting circles to the right of the playing area. They are labeled Lo, 13 and Hi. Aces are always 1, Face Cards are 10, all others are equal to their numerical value.

Lo: A bet in this section is a wager that the player’s first two cards will add up to a value of less than 13 (2-12).

13: A bet in this section is a wager that the player’s first two cards will add up to exactly 13.

Hi: A bet in this section is a wager that the player’s first to cards will add up to a value higher than 13 (14-21).

Player’s First 2 Cards Total… Payout Edge
Lo (under 13) 1 to 1 10.08%
13 (exactly 13) 10 to 1 7.99%
Hi (over 13) 1 to 1 6.65%

Hi-Lo 13 Strategy

As previously mentioned, this game’s rules follow that of Microgaming’s European Gold Blackjack to a “T”. Likewise, the strategy charts for perfect play also mimic European Gold. With that being said, and knowing (based on the table above) that the side bets are all sucker bets (house edge of 6.65% to 10.08%), you would do just as well to play the standard EU version.

Then again, after all you’ve studied to this point, I can’t simply leave you hanging. Below is a series of basic blackjack charts that will guide your hand in making the right moves, all the time.

How to Decide a Hard Hand

Hard Total Correct Action by Situation
8 & Under Hit
9 Double against Dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
10-11 Double against Dealer’s 2-9; 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 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

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

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