Playing 'Matchplay 21' Blackjack


Casinos everywhere know all about the popularity for any variety of “Blackjack”. The traditional card game asks a player to use face values on playing cards to come as close a possible to a total of twenty-one without exceeding the amount.

Players are pitted only against the dealer, who is working for the casino or the “house”, and not against anyone else seated at the gaming table. Because the game is one of the most played features at any casino, there are dozens of varieties for players to enjoy.

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Currently there are over one hundred ways to play the game. Some payout different amounts for different hands, some allow insurance and side bets to help players “break even” against the dealer, and some use dramatically different rules though rely on some standard features of traditional Blackjack.

One game that is built around the traditional rules is “MatchPlay 21”. This is one of the variants that issues varied rewards for different card combinations. While most of the rules are the same as traditional Blackjack, “MatchPlay 21” is played with two decks that have all of the “ten” cards removed.

By removing the tens it makes it difficult to hit “blackjack”, but it greatly increases a player’s chance of getting some sevens, and that is how the payouts are created.

While most of the standard rules apply around “standing”, “hitting”, “doubling down”, “splitting” and “surrendering”, for “MatchPlay 21” the rules state:

The dealer must stand on a “hard” seventeen. This means if the dealer’s initial hand is made up of a seven and a face card such as a Jack, Queen or King then the dealer cannot take any further cards.
The dealer must stand on a “soft” eighteen. This means that once a dealer reaches a total of eighteen through their initial hand and any “hits” they cannot take anymore cards.
“Surrendering” is available at any time, which is unusual in many casinos today, where surrendering is quite limited.
“Splitting” is allowed on no more than three hands, and no “blackjack” rewards are won from a split hand.
“Double down” is available only once per hand.
A player is allowed to “hit” after they have split, and splitting Aces is permitted.
The triple seven reward is not paid after a split or a double down.

The payouts for the game are substantial, but the likelihood of hitting some of the combinations is not that high. Good strategy and attentive play is the one sure way of winning in “MatchPlay 21” Blackjack. Players win on the following combinations:

Blackjack from two cards in the first hand wins a three to one return on the wager.
Three sevens for the player and a single seven in the hand of the dealer is the “MatchPlay 21” winning hand and returns a forty to one ratio.
Triple sevens in all spades win a three to one payout.
A six, seven, eight combination in all spades wins a three to one payout.
A total of twenty-one from seven cards or more pays a three to one payout.
Three sevens in the same suit deliver a two to one payout.
A six, seven, eight combination pays a two to one payout.
A twenty-one composed of six cards pays two to one.
Any combination of three sevens brings in a three to two payout.
Any six, seven, eight combination yields a three to two ratio reward.
A twenty-one composed of five cards pays three to two on the bet.
Any combination that creates twenty-one pays even money or a one to one payment on the wager.
A tie, or “push” between the dealer and player means no one wins or loses.