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HOME > > Zappit


31 July 2022

By John Grochowski

My old card-playing pal Blackjack Bob is a Midwesterner through and through, and online casinos remain illegal in his home state.

So when visiting relatives in New Jersey in June, he took advantage of the chance to check out a few sites. He found a blackjack game he'd never played and it intrigued him enough to play a short, low-stakes session.

"It's called Zappit," he said. "Ever hear of it?"

I had. In fact, I played a demo version seven years ago at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. It was invented by Geoff Hall, the same developer who devised Blackjack Switch. Shufflemaster, now part of Scientific Games, acquired Zappit from Hall.

"It seems like fun," Bob said. "If you're dealt a 15, 16 or 17 in your first two cards, you can 'zappit' or 'zap it,' whatever you want to call it. If you zap, you get the next two cards off the top of the deck to start your hand instead.

"I cut the session after about 20 hands. You know how I am with these games. I want to see what they're about, but not for serious money. Even if I like the game, I want to look up the strategy before I play more."

Bob and I are of one mind in that regard. Learning all you can before serious play is the smart way to go.

"There's always a tradeoff," Bob said. "Being able to zap a bad hand is cool. The tradeoff is that if the dealer draws 22, it's not a bust. The house gets a push on dealer 22s."
Just to get everyone up to speed, here's how Zappit works.

It's dealt as regular blackjack. The key difference is the Zappit option. Check the rules at your host casino, because different Zappit ranges are available. Some allow you to zap two-card hands totaling 15 to 17, while others allow 15 to 18.

You may Zappit only on your first two cards. Zappits are not allowed on the next two cards if you've already zapped, nor are they allowed after splitting pairs.

Dealer 22s push any player hands still in play. If you bust, you've already lost, but if your hand is active the 22 rule is in effect.

One key difference to watch is whether the dealer checks for blackjack before you're allowed to Zappit. It's to your advantage you can zap before the dealer checks.

At wizardofodds.com, Michael Shackelford found a house edge of 1.15 percent against a basic strategy player in an online version where zaps are allowed from 15 to 17 but you may zap before the dealer peeks. In the demo game in 2015, zaps were allowed from 15-18 but the dealer peeked before zaps were allowed. That increased the house edge to 1.24 percent.

Wizardsofodds.com also lists a zapping strategy along with complete basic strategy. Zap hard 15 through 17 against any dealer up card; zap hard 18 if permitted vs. 9 or higher; zap pairs of 8s against any up cards except 6 or 7; and if permitted to zap 9-9, do so against 9s or higher.

Once Bob had looked up the details, he was sure he'd be treating it as a change of pace game rather than a mainstay.

"I can get a lower house edge on regular blackjack, though online I can't count cards and get an edge," Bob said. "But Zappit could be one of my online games when I need a break."

Keep in mind Bob is a serious blackjack player. For recreational players, the fun features could move Zappit higher on their lists.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Zappit is republished from CasinoCityTimes.com
John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field. Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago.

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