1998 Blackjack Conditions in Australia

ArchivedEditor Note: This page is for historical purposes only.  Last update 1999. Some links may not work. 

By Mike Van Emmerik

See also my general Blackjack NotesAustralian Casinos, and Blackjack Tournaments in Australia.

[Cut straight to the table]

In Australia, all casinos deal cards face up, and Double After Splits(DAS) is offered. The dealer stands on soft 17 (S17). Surrender is not offered.

In the following table, DOA means Double On Any two cards. D9 means that doubling is permitted on totals of 9, 10, or 11 only. If D9is in force, you may double on Ace-8 and Ace-9, but these are treated as hard 9 and hard 10 respectively (so if you receive a 2 to Ace-8 you have11, not 21). D10 means doubling is allowed on hard 10 and 11 only.
OBO stands for Original Bets Only, and is equivalent to “no hole card”, because on doubled or split bets, when the dealer has blackjack,the player loses his/her Original Bet Only. OBBO stands for Original and Busted Bets only. This is an expediancy measure – busted split hands don’t have to be kept to see if the dealer will get blackjack. I estimate that this will cost 15% of the benefit of OBO for splits, but of course doubles are more common than splits, and they never bust. So OBBO has almost the same advantage as OBO.
2 splits means the ability to split twice, for a total of 3hands.
RSA means the ability to resplit aces; some casinos do not allow you to do anything with a pair of aces other than split them and take one card on each.
O/U means the Over/Under13 side bet.
House Edge is the approximate advantage in percent that the casino has over a player who plays perfect Basic Strategy (the correct strategy varies with the house rules). The edge is based on the following figures, from Theory of Blackjack.The figures are relative to “Las Vegas Strip Rules”, which ironically a real most impossible to find these days, especially at the Las Vegas Strip.They are in terms of house edge, so positive figures are in the casino’s favor. These figures are not rigorous, because of the dependency of one rule to another.

In previous versions of this table, I did not include the -0.02% factor for Las Vegas Strip rules. This is because my simulation results (and they agreed with simulation experts from around the world) agreed that the result for this is closer to zero, but I include it here to make the results consistent (i.e. all figures are now from Theory of Blackjack, adjusted for 6 decks where appropriate).

Regular Blackjack 

Strip rules 


6 decks 


8 decks 



-.14%-.12% if no resplit

No non-ace resplits 


No soft double (D9) 

+.09%+.13% for single deck









Figures for double exposure are from Blackjack Secrets. “Multideck” is a sort of catchall that represents a base for standard double exposure rules, including S17.

Double Exposure 







Naturals pay 3:2 


Example: Crown Casino regular blackjack. We start with -.02%, and add -.14% for DAS. Working left to right in the table below, we add +.64% for 8 decks,+0.09% for no soft double, +.01% for OBBO, no penalty for resplits, no bonus for RSA, and this adds up to 0.58%. Rather average; they used to be the best in Australia. No Australian casinos are great by world standards;most authorities suggest that games with a casino edge worse than 0.5%are not worth playing.

If anyone has update information for this table, please emailme .

CasinoCity#deck main#deck VIPDblOBOSplitsRSAHouse EdgeComments
BurswoodPerth88D9No3Twice0.63%40 tables; 4 tables multi action; crowded; pen 85%
Casino Canberra Canberra66DOANo3No0.57%Super SevensTM on most tables
CrownMelbourne88D9OBBO2No0.58%About 110 tables. Some with O/U (max $25). Pen 75%,a very few 87%.
88D10N/A2No1.5%Double exposure
88D9OBBO1No0.62%Triple action – make 2 or 3wagers
http://www.wps.com.au/travel/clients/diamond.htm MGM GrandDarwin66DOANo  0.61%?
JupitersGold Coast66D9OBO1No0.57%Pen 75-80%. Super SevensTM on sometables
Lasseters Hotel CasinoAlice Springs66DOANo2No0.59%Very small; at times, only one table ($5-$400) open.
Launceston Country ClubLaunceston64 or 6DOAOBO1No0.48%Not confirmed for many years
The Reef Hotel CasinoCairns6 or 81 
(see right)
6?D9OBO1No0.57% (6D) 
0.61% (8D)
18 decks used, except where Super SevensTMis avaialable (then 6)
Sheraton BreakwaterTownsville66D9OBO??0.57%?
Star CitySydney88D9OBBO2RSA?0.51%?Non smoking room; crowded
TreasuryBrisbane6 (upst)6D9OBO1No0.57%Pen 75-80%. Super SevensTM on sometables
8 (down) D9OBO1No0.61%
Wrest Point Hobart86DOAOBO1No0.52%


“Danger, Will Robinson!”

Eight Decks at Treasury!

Treasury casino have introduced 8 deck covered shoes downstairs, and at the $2 training tables upstairs. (The latter have a $10 (per box) betting limit, and are intended for instruction only). This adds another .04% to the already rather high house advantage of .57%, bringing these tables to .61%. Only Adelaide and Perth have similar or worse conditions (according to current information). Dealers claim that they are merely falling into line with other casinos, but of course most other casinos with 8 decks have better rules (e.g. Star City, Crown).

All tables upstairs remain 6 decks, with similar rules and betting limits to downstairs. Apparently, patrons are ignorant of the difference, as there seems to be little difference in popularity of the tables upstairs verses downstairs. The only saving grace is that Super Sevens (a side bet) is available at 3 tables with 8 decks, and this side bet is more favorable with 8 decks than with 6.

See also Australian Casinos, and Blackjack Tournaments in Australia.

Last Update: 01/24/99 – No longer updated by original author. 07/14/21 – Link updates / corrections.

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