Empiriana Black Axe

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Black Axe is a game available to Empiriana players that is based on the modern game of Black Jack. To play Black Axe, you must go to the Gambling Hall in the castle and select the Black Axe table from that room. This will take you to the Black Axe Lobby. From the lobby you can see other players and select a table at which you want to play. When in the lobby, any non-private messages you type will be sent to all other players in the lobby. You may also send private messages from the lobby to players anywhere else in Empiriana.

To select a table to play at from the lobby, simply select the table by clicking on it (it will turn white when it is selected) and then click on the Go To Table button. Each table can accommodate 5 players. When playing at a Black Axe Table, non-private messages that are typed are sent only to the other players at your table. You may also send private messages to others anywhere in Empiriana.

Rules of the Game

Black Axe is a game played primarily between a player and a dealer. The dealer in this game is played by the Empiriana server. The object of the game is get a higher score than the dealer without going over 21. While you get to play at the same table with other players and see each others cards for the purposes of winning your bet, only your hand and the dealers hand are used.

NOTE: When playing Black Axe in Empiriana, you are playing with your current character's gold. Any wins and losses will be reflected upon your character's gold.

The score of a hand is calculated as follows:

Card Points
Ace
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Jack
Queen
King
1 or 11 points (see below)
2 points
3 points
4 points
5 points
6 points
7 points
8 points
9 points
10 points
10 points
10 points
10 points

To find out the score of a hand you simply add the point totals for all the cards in your hand. For instance, a hand with a 3, 6, and a Jack would have a score(count) of 19 (3+6+10=19). Aces can count for either 1 point or 11 points. The game will automatically calculate whether to use the ace as a 1 or 11 when it displays your hand count.

If you go over 21, it is called a BUST, taking another card is called HITTING, ending your turn by declining any more cards is called STANDING, and a tie with the dealer is called a PUSH.

While the player has many options available to play, the dealer follows a strict set of rules:

If the dealer has less than 17 he must hit (take another card). The dealer will continue to hit until he has 17 or greater.

The players cards are all dealt face up. The first dealer's card is dealt face down, until all player's turns are over. All other dealer's cards are dealt face up.

Insurance - Insurance is a side bet with the dealer that you can take when the dealer is showing an ace after dealing. When you take an insurance bet, you are betting that the dealer has Black Axe, or essentially that the dealer's down card is worth 10 points. The insurance bet is automatically 1/2 the amount of the bet on your hand and pays 2-1. (ex. you bet 10 on your hand, dealer shows an ace, and you take the insurance bet which is 5 gold, the dealer's down card is a Queen so the dealer does have Black Axe, and you win the insurance bet at the rate of 2 to 1 which means that you win 10 gold.) The insurance bet has nothing to do with your normal bet, if the dealer has Black Axe and you don't, you will still loose your original bet, but if you win insurance, it will make up for the loss and you break even.

Doubling - Doubling is allowed on all hands. Doubling simply doubles your bet on the current hand and gives you one card. You hand is then over.

Splitting- When you have a pair of cards at the beginning of your hand, you can opt to split the pair into 2 hands (which forces you to make an identical bet on the second hand as you placed on your first hand) the dealer gives each of your new hands a new card and you then play each hand individually.

Black Axe- This is simply a hand which equals 21 and has only 2 cards which is always an Ace and a 10 card. Black Axe beats all other hands.

Winning/Loosing - If you bust(go over 21) on your turn you automatically loose your bet. If the dealer busts and you don't, you win. If the dealer has Black Axe you loose unless you also have Black Axe (in which case it's a PUSH). Otherwise, whoever has the highest hand (you or the dealer) wins. If you have the same score as the dealer, you tie or PUSH. If you win with a Black Axe, it pays 3-2, i.e. a 10 gold bet would pay 15 gold in profit.

Commands:

Here is a summary of the command buttons available for Black Jack. The options will only when they are applicable (i.e. the hit button is only displayed when it's your turn, etc.)

+ - Increase the Bet amount by 2 gold
- - Decrease the Bet amount by 2 gold
HIT - take another card
STAND - indicate that you don't want to take any more cards for this hand
DOUBLE - Double your hand (only available at the beginning of your turn)
INSURANCE - Take the Insurance Bet.
NO INSURANCE - Decline the Insurance Bet.
DEAL - Start a new hand with a bet in the amount of your current bet setting.
PASS - Sit out a hand while watching others play.
LEAVE TABLE - Exit the table and return to the lobby.

There can be a total of 5 players at a table.

For players familiar with Black Jack, the table rules for Black Axe are as follows:

The dealer uses a 5 deck shoe.
Dealer shuffles when less than approx. 20% of cards remaining in deck at start of hand.
Dealer notifies card counters.. er.. players when he shuffles.
Dealer does not burn any cards.
Dealer stands on 17.
Players may split any pair of cards including Aces.
Double after split is allowed.
Players can only split once per round.
Surrender is not allowed.
Black Axe (Ace+10 card) pays 3-2.
Insurance pays 2-1.
Player must stand on 7 cards (after 5 hits).
Minimum bet: 2 gold
Maximum bet: 30 gold (this may change in the future)

These rules are almost identical with many of the tables found in casinos on the Las Vegas strip, (with the possible exceptions of the 7 card stand, Ace Split, and Double any card. Also, dealers in Las Vegas usually shuffle long before the 20% remaining mark. For basic strategy players this has little impact, but for card counters, the 20% cut point is more favorable.)

 

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