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Wagerworks Power Blackjack

• Rules and house edge
• The "Power double
• The "Power split"
• Basic strategy charts
• A note on the "power double"
• When do you excercise your "replace" option?
• Recommended casinos
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Wagerworks power blackjack

Power Blackjack is part of the Wagerworks blackjack package; it's a basic European multi-deck game with advantageous doubling and splitting rules, which are slightly offset by the fact that if the dealer makes twenty two any active player hands push rather than winning. In this regard the game has similarites with the Playtech Blackjack Switch game, where the dealer push on twenty two compensates for the player-advantageous "switch" option.

Rules and house edge

The rules for Power Blackjack are:

• Six decks
• S17
• No peek
• "Power double"
• "Power split"
• Dealer twenty two pushes against any active player hands

The house edge is 0.23%.

The "Power double"

If your two-card total is nine, ten or eleven you have the option of discarding the card you receive and choosing an alternative one - the "power double". This leads to many more doubling opportunities and a much greater success rate on those hands. To give an example of the process:

Power double on 9 against dealer 9
I was dealt a nine against dealer nine; normally this is a hit, but with the option to select a second card if we don't like the first one, the correct play is to "power double":

Power double button

The eight I received, for a total of seventeen, needs to be discarded in order to shoot for a better total. As such, we choose the "replace" option...

Power double on 9 against dealer 9
...and the eight was replaced with a ten, for a much better total of nineteen - which went on to win the hand after the dealer bust.

The "Power split"

If your initial two-card total is fifteen or sixteen you can choose to "power split", or split two cards of different values. This is almost always the correct option, as fifteen and sixteen are the two worst initial totals in blackjack.

Here is an example of the "power split":

Power split 16 against 3
I was dealt a ten and a six, for a sixteen total, against dealer three. Normally you would have to stand and hope the dealer busts, but here you can "power split":

Power split button

Power split result
...which resulted in one good hand, a twenty, and the other a fifteen.

The dealer obligingly bust again, so both hands won from a situation where, in a standard blackjack game, you would expect to lose.

Basic strategy charts

H = hit
S = stand
D = both ordinary double and "power double"
PD = "power" double if available, otherwise hit
P = split

Hard Totals
Wagerworks Power blackjack hard totals

Soft Totals
Wagerworks Power blackjack soft totals

Wagerworks Power blackjack pairs
Top )

A note on the "power double"

It's easy to make mistakes with the "power double" if you aren't careful - I've made a few myself. For example, note that nine against any dealer card apart from six is a "power double"; as such, if you cannot power double, ie. if you have a split hand, and you receive a two-card total of nine against a dealer three, four or five, you should only HIT, not double. This is contrary to standard basic strategy.

Another such play is ten against dealer nine; in this game, if you cannot power double, just hit, don't double.

Note also the soft doubles, ace/eight and ace/nine; doubling on soft nineteen against a dealer nine takes a bit of getting used to.

When do you excercise your "replace" option?

The rules for selecting a second double card - the "power" aspect of the power double option - are as follows:

• Don't replace any total 19 or greater, UNLESS you power double eleven against ten and receive an eight.

• Always replace if you have a score of 18, UNLESS the 18 results from any of the following, in which case keep the eighteen:
    • Two-card ten or eleven against dealer seven.
    • Two-card nine against any dealer upcard other than nine.
    • Two-card soft nineteen against dealer upcards two, three four, six, seven and eight.

• Always replace any total of seventeen or less.

  ♠ Blue Square Casino ♠


The above basic strategy charts and rules for "power doubling" were generated by The Wizard Of Odds; however, I would like to add a personal thank you here: poster "nk5505" from the Rpoints website in fact developed the strategy a few months before Michael Shakelford published his; nk5505's work was almost perfect - I believe there was just one reasonably insignificant error in his calculations.

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