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How far might Empty the Rack spread?

How far might Empty the Rack spread?

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I last checked in with Brent Weiss two years ago when he was having early success with his table game Classic 31.

Weiss is president of Money$uit Industries LLC, and I contacted him again recently when I found a demo for his new bonus wager, Empty the Rack Blackjack. It was first installed at Bear River Casino in California and is just waiting for tribal approval to install at a second California casino. If player reaction is favorable, we'll see how far it spreads.

Empty the Rack is optional. You can play blackjack at the same table without making the side bet.

Payoffs on initial two-card hands make good starts even more special, rewarding blackjacks, 20s, double-down hands of 11 or 10 and the always-split pairs of Aces or 8s.

Several pay tables are available. The best looks like this: Player and dealer both have suited blackjacks, 30-1; other blackjacks vs. blackjacks, 9-1; player 20 vs. dealer blackjack 7-1; player blackjack 3-1; player double (hard 10 or 11) 3-1; player split (Aces or 8s) 2-1; player 20 (2-1).

That carries a 6.24 percent house edge in a six-deck game or 6.16 with eight decks.

Other pay tables go as high as 50-1 on player vs. dealer suited blackjacks, but player 20s pay only even money. That leads to higher house edges.

Players after the lowest house edge will play blackjack without the side bet, but Empty the Rack is easy to play for those who find excitement in chasing bigger one-hand payoffs.

**Another recent innovation from Weiss and Money$uit is Advantage Play 3-Card Fury.

Players start with equal ante and 3 Card Monster bets, and may make optional 4 Card Royal Family Bonus or 7 Card Bonus bets.

Using a single 52-card deck, four cards are dealt face down to each player and three cards to the dealer.

Players then must either make a "play" wager equal to their ante, or fold. If they fold, they lose their ante, 3 Card Monster and 4 Card Royal Family bets. Any 7 Card Bonus bets remain in play.

You must beat the dealer to win on ante and play. Your four cards and the dealer's three are turned face up. If the dealer qualifies with a King or better, winning ante and play bets are paid at even money. If the dealer doesn't qualify and you beat the dealer, the ante is paid at even money and you get your play bet back.

There's the potential for bigger wins on the other bets. Several pay tables are available, but examples in Money$uit's game description top out on the 3 Card Monster based on dealer cards at 50-1 on a spade mini-royal if you beat the dealer and 500-1 if you do no more than push; 250-1 on suited Ace-King-Queen-Jack on the four-card royal family, based on the four player cards; and a whopping 3,000-1 on a seven-card straight flush with player and dealer cards combined.

BMM Test Labs house edges on optional bets as low as 2.79 percent on Four Card Royal Family and 4.53 percent on 7 Card Bonus. Reduced pay tables are available with higher edges.

On the required bets — ante-play combined with the Three Card Monster, the edge is 3.10 percent of the ante, with an edge on total action, or "element of risk," of 1.08 percent. That makes Advantage Play 3 Card Fury very competitive with other poker-based games and one of the better bets among newer casino games.

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).

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