8 Jan

Vegas Blackjack Rules Twisted 21 Stud

How to Play Twisted 21 Blackjack w/ Rules, Odds & Side Bet

I find it rather amazing just how many different blackjack variants have graced the tables of casinos all over the world, both online and on land. You’d think they would run out of ideas after a while, but no – they just keep on coming! And I’m referring only to the ones that actually make it passed the trial phase; the ones people enjoyed enough to reserve a precious, long-term spot on a casino’s gaming floor.

How to Play Twisted 21 Blackjack – Rules, Side Bets & House EdgeI recently learned of a new blackjack game at the Rio Las Vegas called Twisted 21. The game has been present in the casino since its trial began in July 2019. From what I understand, it’s still undergoing review 18 months later, at time of writing. It’s an interesting game, and one that I believe will achieve introduction across a wider platform. Being so unique, it’s understandable that they’re taking more time to work out any kinks before an official launch can occur.

How to Play Twisted 21 Blackjack

The rules of Twisted 21 seem to be finalized a this point. We’ll know for sure if and when its creators at 21Stud Gaming move ahead with a full-scale license and launch. Until then, here’s what we know:

Object of Twisted 21

The object of the game is the same as any standard blackjack variant. The player strives to achieve a hand total higher than the dealer’s, without exceeding 21. However, no hand may exceed 5 cards, splitting is not allowed, and it’s possible for the dealer to stop short on 16 or below.

Let’s have a look at the rules set this blackjack game apart from the standard variety.

Unique Twisted 21 Rules

All of the usual blackjack rules come into play, except for these unique alterations:

  • Twisted 21 is dealt form a single 52-card deck.
  • The player is dealt 5 cards; the first 2 face up, and last 3 face down.
  • The dealer also receives 5 cards; first 1 face up, and last 4 face down.
  • If the dealer’s up-card is a ten or ace, he checks for blackjack. If the dealer has blackjack, bets are settled and the hand is over.
  • Player’s blackjack always wins, paying 6 to 5.
  • If the player chooses to Hit or Double Down, he must point to which one of his face down cards he wants to receive.
  • The player may only Hit up to 3 times, using the three face down cards he was dealt.
  • Player is not permitted to Split pairs.
  • The dealer’s hand is played by standard rules, hitting soft 17.
  • If the player or dealer hand reaches 5 up-cards without busting, the hand automatically stands on the total (even if the dealer’s total is soft 17 or below).
  • According to these rules, the theoretical return to player (RTP) for Twisted 21 is 1.92% (house edge 98.08%).

Twisted Stud Bonus Side Bet & Pay Table

This is where the game gets even more “twisted”. The Twisted Stud Bonus is an optional side bet that is determined by the player’s 5-card poker hand; comprised of all five cards he was dealt, irrespective of whether all five cards were used during play-through of the blackjack hand.

To put it simply, if you place the side bet, once the blackjack hand is over, you’ll pull all five of your cards together and make a poker hand out of it. Whether or not, and how much, you win is determined by the following pay table.

Note: A “Twisted Stud” is a 5-card hand in which the total is 16 or below (Aces count as 1), and is not eligible for any other Twisted Stud payout. For example, A-A-2-5-7 = 16, but only pays 2 to 1 for the Pair of Aces, not 20 to 1 for the Twisted Stud.

5-Card Stud Poker Rank
Royal Flush
1,000 to 1
Straight Flush
500 to 1
4 of a Kind
200 to 1
Full House
75 to 1
Twisted Stud
20 to 1
15 to 1
6 to 1
3 of a Kind
4 to 1
2 Pair
3 to 1
1 Pair, Jacks or Better
2 to 1
Anything Else
House Edge*

Notable Mentions

There are a few things you need to know before you play this game.

Where it’s at…

First of all, at time of writing, it can only found at the Rio Las Vegas in Nevada. It’s last know location was reported to be a single table, situated in the pit between the craps table and the hallway leading the convention center. Please leave a comment below and let us know if you find it elsewhere.

What it costs…

The game doesn’t come cheap. Then again, so few blackjack games do in Vegas anymore. The table stakes for Twisted 21 range from a minimum of $10, up to a maximum of $2,000. The

It pays to haggle…

Because this game is still in its trial phase, players have been known to successfully argue unclarified rules. For instance, more than one player has reported being paid twice on a single Twisted Stud Bonus side bet; once at 20 to 1 for totaling 16 or below, and again at 3 to 1 for having Two Pair. Other players have said they tried it, and were denied.

It would seem the dealer and/or pit boss in charge at the time has a lot to do with which rules are and aren’t adhered to. Such is the nature of trial-phase casino games like Twisted 21 Blackjack. My advice would be to read the current rules sheet provided and argue any point that’s unclear, should it benefit your bankroll to do so. don’t be a pest if you fail, but it’s worth a shot.

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