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Zappit Blackjack – Game Rules and Strategy Guide

Zappit is a blackjack variant invented by Geoff Hall. He also invented Blackjack Switch, among other table games. Zappit is distributed by Scientific Games.

The goal of Zappit is identical to other blackjack variants. The player wants to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. The player loses on a bust. If the dealer busts, the player wins.

Zappit has a couple of major rule changes when compared to the original blackjack game. This involves the ability to discard poor hands and receive a new one, as well as the dealer pushing on what is typically a bust hand.

Players will find Zappit at Bodog, Bovada, and Ignition Casino. It is spread live in Las Vegas at Luxor, Green Valley Ranch, and Red Rock.

Keep reading this Zappit guide to find out more.

How Zappit Differs from Traditional Blackjack

There are two major differences between Zappit and traditional blackjack.

In Zappit, a player can zap a hand that is 15, 16, or 17 at online casinos. At live casinos, 18 may also be discarded. This means that a player can dump one of these hands and draw a new one.

If a player receives a blackjack after zapping the hand, it counts as a 21 and does not win automatically.

All blackjack variants have a catch that offsets favorable rules. In Zappit, the dealer pushes all players still in the hand if the house makes a 22. Players that were originally dealt a blackjack keep their win. Those that busted before the dealer made a 22 still lose.

Being able to discard an 18 is not the only difference between online casinos and live ones. Bodog and Bovada pay 3:2 on a blackjack. Live casinos only pay 6:5.

This is a difference of 1.36% in terms of house edge. This is the tradeoff for permitting Zappit on 18, though the 6:5 payout makes the live version much worse in terms of returns to the player.

How to Play Zappit Blackjack

A Zappit hand starts with the player making a bet. This is placed in the betting circle. At a live game, place chips there.

At an online casino, click on the denomination of chips that you would like to use. After that, click the betting circle the number of times that equals the wager that you would like to make. Once the bet is determined, click the deal button.

All players and the dealer will receive two cards. The dealer places one card face up. If the dealer is showing an ace, insurance is offered. This is where a player can receive 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack.

Next, the dealer checks for blackjack if showing an ace or 10-value card. If the dealer has blackjack, the hand immediately ends. Players with blackjack push here. All other players lose. Insurance bets receive 2:1.

If the dealer does not have blackjack, players that have one are immediately paid. At online casinos, players receive 3:2. This means that a player wins $3 for every $2 bet. At Las Vegas casinos, players receive a 6:5 payout on blackjack. This means $6 for every $5 wagered.

Once blackjacks are resolved, players decide how to play their hands.

If players are dealt a 15, 16, or 17, the correct action is to zap the hand. Do this with 18 against a 9, 10, or ace, if permitted. Click the zap button at an online casino to do this. At a live dealer, use the surrender motion by dragging a finger in front of the bet.

Once the hand is zapped with a new one, the hand continues as normal.

If the player does not receive a Zappit hand, the options are to hit, stand, double down, split, or surrender. These choices are displayed as buttons on the screen of an online casino.

A player hits if he or she would like an additional card. Hitting is permitted until the player busts with 22 or more. Stand is the right move if you do not want any more cards.

If dealt a pair, you may split. This is where you double your bet and turn the pair into two hands, each containing one of the original paired cards.

Double down is where the player doubles the original bet and receives one more card. Double down is permitted after splitting.

Surrender permits a player to fold and give the dealer half the bet. Surrender is permitted after a zap. It is only available at online casinos.

Once all players have acted, the dealer shows the hole card.

  • If the dealer has 18 or higher, the hand stands
  • If it has 16 or lower, it is hit
  • A 17 that includes an ace and cannot bust, known as soft 17, is hit by the house
  • A 17 that can bust must stand. This is known as a hard 17

If the dealer draws, the house loses on a bust if the hand goes over 22. If the dealer makes 22, all players still in the hand push. Those dealt blackjack win. Hands that busted before the dealer made a 22 lose.

If the player has a higher point total than the dealer without going over 21, the bets on the table are matched by the dealer as a win.

If the point value is lower than the dealer, or the player makes a hand of 22 or more, the bet loses. If both the player and dealer have the same hand, or the dealer makes 22, the hand pushes. All bets are returned.

Zappit 21 Strategy

The rules of Zappit make the strategy different than a standard blackjack game.

We recommend studying the following chart as the best way to learn optimal strategy for Zappit.

Zappit Strategy Chart

If you prefer to learn through reading, here are the rules you need to try to remember.

Always take advantage of the Zappit feature if dealt 15, 16, or 17, except split 8s against a dealer 6 or 7.

Use the Zappit on a hard 18 against a 9, 10, or ace, if permitted. If dealt a pair of 9s, stand against a 2, 3, or 7. Split against 4, 5, 6, and 8. With soft 18, stand against a 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8. Double down against a 5 or 6 if on the first two cards. Otherwise, stand. Hit against a 9, 10, or ace.

Always hit 5 through 8. Hit on 9, except double down against a 6. Double down on a dealt 10 against a 2 through 8. Otherwise, hit. Double down on a dealt 11 against a 2 through 9. Otherwise hit.

Stand on 12 against a 5 or 6; otherwise, hit. Stand on 13 against a 3 through 6 and hit all other dealer door cards. Stand on 14, 15, and 16 against a 2 through 6. Hit it against all others. Stand on hard 17 or higher, regardless of the dealer’s door card.

Hit soft 13 through 15. Double soft 16 against an ace. Otherwise, hit. Double down on soft 17 against a 5 or 6. Otherwise, hit. Double down on soft 18 against a 5 or 6. Stand against a 9, 10, or ace. Stand against any other dealer card. Stand on any soft hand higher than 18.

Split 2s and 3s against a 5, 6, or 7. Hit it against other cards. Split 6s against a 4, 5, or 6. Split 7s against a dealer 3 through 7. Split 8s against a 2 through 8; otherwise, hit. Split 9s against a 4, 5, 6, 8, or 9. Never split 10s. Always split aces. Never split 4s, 5s, or cards with a value of 10.

Surrender is available at Bodog, Bovada, and Ignition Casino, even after the player zaps. This is where a player folds and receives half of the original bet back. Surrender 15 against a card worth 10 or an ace. Surrender 16 against a 9, 10, or ace. Also surrender 17 against an ace.

Where to Play Zappit 21

Zappit is spread at three online casinos. Those are Bodog, Bovada, and Ignition Casino.

Live casinos that spread the game include Eastside Cannery, Green Valley Ranch, Luxor, and Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas.

Our Pick

We recommend playing Zappit at Bodog, Bovada, and Ignition Casino over the live ones. That is because these online casinos pay 3:2 on a blackjack.

The Las Vegas casinos permit Zappit on 18. However, this does not come close to offsetting the 6:5 payout on a blackjack.

Summary

Zappit is a fun blackjack variant. It is one of those games that is better to play online than live in terms of paybacks.

It has a higher house edge than most blackjack games offered by casinos. For this reason, we do not recommend playing it for any serious level of action.

However, it is still a fun change of pace for blackjack players looking for something new.