Zero: Combining Blackjack and Baccarat
Zero is a card game that combines elements of blackjack with baccarat. The object of the game is to win by having a point total closer to 0 than the dealer.
The game was offered at the Golden Nugget in August, 2011.
- The game is played using 6 or 8 standard 52-card decks. Six decks are used at the Golden Nugget.
- The game uses the same point system as baccarat. Tens and face cards are worth 0 points, aces are worth 1 point, and cards 2 through 9 are scored at face value. The point total of a hand is the last digit of the sum of its cards.
- To begin, the player makes a Zero wager.
- The player receives two cards face up. The dealer receives one card face up and one card face down.
- If the player's first two cards form a pair that adds to 0 points, a Zero Pair, the player automatically wins and is paid 3 to 2 on his wager. Zero Pairs apply to the player's hand only.
- If the player does not have a Zero Pair, the player will play out his hand using any of the following options:
- Stand with his two cards.
- Hit and draw a third card.
- Double down on any three-card hand by making an additional wager equal to the original wager. Players may not double down for less.
- Split any two cards totaling 8 or 9 points by making an additional wager equal to the player's original Zero wager. (Unlike blackjack, the two cards do not have to be a pair). The player may split once only. A split hand is treated like any other Zero hand, except Zero Pairs do not apply.
- After all players have acted, the dealer reveals his hole card and draws an additional card if his two-card total is 5 or more. The dealer will hit again on three-card totals of 5 or more. The dealer must stand on a four-card hand.
- The dealer compares his total to the player's total.
- If the player's total is lower than the dealer's total, the player wins and is paid even money on his wager and double down wager (if made).
- If the dealer's total is lower than the player's total, the player loses his wager and double down wager (if made).
- If the totals are equal, the player's wager(s) push.
The house edge of a Zero wager is 2.2637% in a 6-deck game and 2.2421% in an 8-deck game. These values were calculated using combinatorial analysis assuming optimal play.
The following table shows the basic strategy. In a 6-deck game, the basic strategy produces a house edge of 2.2697%, which is 0.006% higher than optimal play. In an 8-deck game, the basic strategy produces a house edge of 2.2463%, which is 0.004% higher than optimal play.
Zero Pays is an optional side bet that wins if the player's first two cards add to 0 points or if the player?s first two cards plus the dealer?s up card add to 0 points. The following two tables show the pay table and the probability of being dealt each winning hand for a 6 and 8 deck game. The lower right cells show the corresponding house edge of 7.75% for six decks and 7.43% for eight decks.
Zero Pays — Six Decks
|3 of a Kind Zero Flush||50||960||0.000064||0.003191|
|3 of a Kind Zero||25||23,328||0.001551||0.038777|
|3 Card Zero Flush||10||98,496||0.006549||0.065490|
|2 Card Zero Flush (w/ the player's two cards)||5||495,528||0.032947||0.164737|
|3 Card Zero||3||1,418,688||0.094328||0.282984|
|2 Card Zero (w/ the player's two cards)||2||1,162,512||0.077295||0.154590|
Zero Pays — Eight Decks
|3 of a Kind Zero Flush||50||2,688||0.000075||0.003761|
|3 of a Kind Zero||25||56,832||0.001590||0.039758|
|3 Card Zero Flush||10||236,544||0.006619||0.066191|
|2 Card Zero Flush (w/ the player's two cards)||5||1,185,056||0.033161||0.165805|
|3 Card Zero||3||3,369,984||0.094301||0.282903|
|2 Card Zero (w/ the player's two cards)||2||2,757,888||0.077173||0.154346|
I'd like to thank Cindy Liu for the math analysis of Zero, and SquareJack Gaming for sharing it with me.
Official Zero page by the game owner.
Written by: Michael Shackleford