Zappit is brought to you by Scientific Games and is available both online and in a small number of land based casinos. The concept is a relatively simple one – if your first two cards total 15, 16 or 17 you can ‘zap’ them and replace them with new ones.
This can be done regardless of what card the dealer is showing, although if the dealer has blackjack and you’re showing a 15, 16 or 17 you automatically lose.
The trade off for the casino is that in Zappit blackjack the dealer pushes on 22 against all hands except blackjack. The exact house edge of the game has not been published, but under optimal strategy it is estimated to be between 1.15% and 1.25% depending on the rules being played.
The Game in Action
It’s often easiest to just show you how something works than explain it, so here we go. When you’re dealt cards that total 15, 16 or 17 you’ll see a ‘Zap’ button appear along side the cards:
If you want to get new cards simply click the button and after some flashy graphics you’ll receive new cards:
After you have zapped your cards you can play as normal as if the cards were dealt to you at the start of the hand. So doubling, splitting and blackjacks all behave as normal.
You Can Only Zap Once
Only one zap is allowed, even if your new cards are worse than the ones you originally zapped.
The decision has to be made before any other action is taken based solely on the first two cards. So if you’re dealt 15 and hit a 2, you can’t then zap your cards.
Whilst you can still achieve blackjack on your two new cards after zapping, the payout is lower for zapped cards compared to your first two cards. A blackjack made with zapped cards is paid out at 1:1 instead of the normal 3:2.
Dealer Pushes on 22
The ability to throw away a bad hand would massively push the edge in favour of a savvy player, but as we mentioned earlier the casino regains it’s edge by pushing on 22 against all hands except blackjack.
The specific rules could theoretically vary between casinos, especially in brick and mortar venues, but for the version we’ve played online the full rules are as follows:
- Blackjacks pay 3:2 except Zapped Blackjacks which pay 1:1.
- Dealer: The dealer must hit on soft 17 and pushes on 22.
- Zapping: Can be done on a hard 15, 16 or 17.
- Doubling: You can double any two cards, including cards that have been zapped.
- Splitting: You can split up to three hands.
About the Game
Zappit was invented by Geoff Hall, the same man who invented Blackjack Switch – another quirky version of the blackjack where two hands are played simultaneously and the cards can be swapped between the hands to make better ones.
The game is owned and distributed by Scientific Games and has been made available both online and in selected local casinos, although the rules to seem to differ between the physical and virtual versions – with the real life version of the game able to zap on 18 and also including extra features such as the Kings Bounty side bet and the Cash Spin Bonus.