WSR 99-13-102



[ Order 374-- Filed June 15, 1999, 1:44 p.m. , effective August 1, 1999 ]

Date of Adoption: June 11, 1999.

Purpose: Amendment makes the following changes to the game of Washington blackjack. The use of house dealers is no longer allowed; the maximum number of decks that can be in play at one time is reduced from six to two; and a $500 maximum limit is placed on the bank.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 230-40-125.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 9.46.070.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 99-09-096 on April 21, 1999, with a publication of May 5, 1999.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0. Effective Date of Rule: August 1, 1999.

June 15, 1999

Susan Arland

Rules Coordinator


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 95-23-109, filed 11/22/95, effective 1/1/96)

WAC 230-40-125
Washington blackjack--Rules of play--Wagering limits.

(1) Fees to play Washington blackjack shall only be assessed on a time basis and collected using the direct method as defined in WAC 230-40-050. Washington blackjack is a nonhouse banking card game permitted in Class A and E card rooms.  Washington blackjack shall be played in the following manner:

(((1) Up to six)) (2) No more than two standard fifty-two-card decks shall be used with suits disregarded and each card valued numerically only as follows: Ace equal 1 or 11; face cards (King, Queen, Jack) equal 10 each; others according to their spots, 10 to 2.   The number of decks used shall be established by house rule.  The cards shall be dealt from a shoe at all times.  The game is played with ((either a house dealer and a player/banker or)) a player who ((is a)) deals the cards and banks the game (dealer/banker).

(((2))) (3) When starting a new table the cards are cut to determine who the first banker will be.  The dealer/banker shall announce the amount of money that he or she will put into the bank. If a minimum bank ((may be)) is established as per individual house rule, it shall not exceed five hundred dollars.  ((If a house dealer is used, the banker delivers the bank to the dealer and the dealer shall place a marker reading "banker" on the bet line in front of the banker.

(3))) (4) Once the bank has been established, the player to the immediate left of the dealer/banker places his/her wager on the bet line and the dealer/banker covers that wager by matching it with a like amount of chips.  Each player makes their wager in turn and each wager is immediately matched by the dealer/banker.  The maximum and minimum wager may be set by house rule but in no event shall the maximum wager exceed twenty-five dollars.  If the bank runs out of money (tapped out) prior to the commencement of the deal, then only those players with a wager covered will be dealt a hand.  

(((4))) (5) The play begins with the dealer/banker dealing one card face up to each covered player including himself/herself, one more card face up to each covered player, and then one down card to himself/herself.  A player may be dealt more than one hand by house rule.  ((When a house dealer is used, no cards are dealt to the banker.))  If a player holds an ace and a face card or a ten, it is a "natural" 21 and the player collects ((1.5)) one and one-half times the amount of their bet from the dealer/banker, unless the dealer/banker also has a natural which results in a tie (push).  All ties result in the players and the dealer/banker recovering their wagers.

(((5))) (6) If the dealer/banker's face-up card is a ten, face card or ace, he/she shall look at the face-down card to see if he/she has a natural; if the face-up card is anything else, he/she may not look at the face-down card until his/her turn to draw. If the dealer/banker has a "natural," he/she collects the wagers from players who do not have a "natural." If the dealer/banker does not have a "natural," he/she pays off any player with a "natural" starting with the first one to the left of the dealer/banker.  Should the dealer/banker not have enough money in the bank to make up the ((1.5)) one and one-half for one payoff due on a "natural," then those hands and wagers will be frozen in place until the additional wagers are made up or the hand is over.  If after the hand is over, a dealer/banker cannot cover the ((1.5)) one and one-half for one, the player shall get the amount of wager that was covered by the dealer.

(((6))) (7) If the dealer/banker's face-up card is an ace, the licensee, by house rule, may allow the player banking the game to offer an "insurance" bet against losing to the dealer/banker's possible "natural." The dealer/banker, before looking at his down card, inquires if any player wants insurance. A player who desires insurance places an amount equal to half his/her present wager on his/her own hand. When this bet is made, the dealer/banker looks at his/her down card. If it is a 10 count, the dealer/banker turns it face up and announces a "natural." The insurance bettor is paid off at a rate of 2 to 1 and, unless they have a "natural," lose their original wager. If the dealer/banker's down card is not a 10 count card, the player loses his/her insurance bet and continues playing on their original wager.

(8) If the dealer/banker does not have a "natural," play continues with the player on the dealer/banker's immediate left.  The dealer/banker deals cards face up, one by one, as that player calls for them.  The player's aim is to total 21 or as close to 21 without going over.  When a player is satisfied with their total, they shall declare "stand." If the player wants more cards, the player declares "hit." If a player goes over a 21 point count, the hand is a "bust" and they must turn the hand down, while the dealer/banker collects the bet.  The dealer/banker does the same with each remaining player.  Any player who stands must wait while the dealer/banker draws his or her cards.  If the dealer/banker goes bust, each standing player is paid the amount of their wager.  If the dealer/banker "stands," the down card is turned up and players whose totals are higher than the ((dealer's)) dealer/banker's are paid.  The dealer/banker collects from any player whose total is less.  Action is always to the left of the dealer/banker.  Any frozen wagers needing to be "made up" will be done in order, to the left of the dealer/banker from losing wagers the dealer/banker collects.

(((7))) (9) Should the dealer/banker not be able to cover all frozen wagers then those frozen wagers are released to the winning players and the deal passes immediately to the left at which time the new dealer/banker shall announce the amount of the bank and shuffle the cards.  The same shall apply if the dealer/banker has no money in the bank.  The dealer/banker may, if allowed by house rule, add to their bank in between hands.

(((8))) (10) Upon completion of the shuffle, the player to the right of the dealer/banker shall cut the cards.  After the cards have been placed into the shoe the dealer/banker shall insert a blank card approximately three quarters of the way through the deck(s).  A dealer/banker may deal from the shoe until he/she reaches the blank card.  After the blank card appears, the dealer/banker may continue dealing that hand, but will not start a new hand.  ((If a house dealer is used, he/she returns the remaining chips in the bank to the banker.))  The player on the dealer/banker's immediate left shall be offered the opportunity to be the next dealer/banker ((or banker)).  The discards may only be reshuffled to complete the last hand.

(((9))) (11) Once wagers are placed and covered on the bet line, no player, including the dealer/banker, may touch those wagers until the winner has been determined.  Any player touching the wagers may be ruled to have fouled and their wager forfeited.

(((10))) (12) Any player who lifts their cards up from the table or slides their cards out of their own playing area shall be ruled to have fouled and their wager may be forfeited.

(((11))) (13) No player may "buy" the bank.  The ((bank)) deal must pass around the table to the left and no ((player)) person can authorize ((anyone other than a house dealer)) another person to deal for him or her.   No player may be the banker for more than one consecutive shoe before passing the bank((: Provided, That when there are less than five players at a table a player may deal more than one consecutive shoe only when the remaining players have passed the deal)). A new player entering the game may not participate as the dealer/banker until at least two other players have dealt. If a player does not wish to deal and passes the deal, that player may not play in the first two hands conducted by the next dealer/banker. A dealer/banker may, after completing one full hand, pass the deal and be able to participate in the next hand.

(((12))) (14) The dealer/banker must stand on seventeen or above and must take hits on sixteen or below.  If a dealer/banker has an ace, it shall be counted as eleven if it brings his or her total to seventeen or more (but not over twenty-one).  Provided, That the ((house may elect to)) licensee, by house rule, may allow play of a "soft seventeen," which occurs when the ((dealer's)) dealer/banker's first two cards are an ace valued at eleven and a six.  If the ((house)) licensee elects to play a soft seventeen, house rules must specify that the dealer/banker must hit a soft seventeen, and must stand on a hard seventeen and any eighteen or above.  House blackjack rules must be posted in plain view to the players and the house must ensure they are consistently followed.

(((13))) (15) The conditions for doubling down shall be set by house rule, provided that the wager may be doubled and the player received only one more card.  The player must then stand on those three cards.  If the dealer's bank is insufficient to cover a double down wager, the player may wager an amount equal to the dealer's remaining bank.  The dealer must then cover that wager.  If the dealer has no bank then a player may not double down.

(((14) If the dealer's face-up card is a ten, face card or ace, he/she may look at their face-down card to see if they have a natural; if his/her face-up card is anything else, they may not look at their face-down card until their turn comes to draw.  

(15))) (16) If a player's first two cards are a pair, then that player may split the pair into two separate hands.  The amount of the player's original bet then goes on one of the cards, and they must place an equal amount as a bet on the other card.   If the dealer/banker does not have enough in their bank to cover the doubled bet, the dealer/banker must cover an amount equal to the value of their remaining bank.  The player then has the option to divide the wagers in any manner between the two hands, not to exceed the allowable limit per hand.  If the dealer/banker has no bank then the player may divide their wager in any manner between the two hands, unless the player's original bet was a minimum allowed in that game then they may not split their pair.  Additional splits shall be determined by house rule.

(((16))) (17) The dealer/banker will pay only on the value of the cards held by the player and shall not pay on the number of cards received or the card sequence.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070 (1)-(4), (7), (8), (11), (12), (14), (20) and 9.46.110 (3), (4).  95-23-109, 230-40-125, filed 11/22/95, effective 1/1/96.  Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070.  93-13-062 (Order 240), 230-40-125, filed 6/17/93, effective 7/18/93.  Statutory Authority: Chapter 9.46 RCW.  91-21-053 (Order 228), 230-40-125, filed 10/15/91, effective 11/15/91; 91-05-047 (Order 220), 230-40-125, filed 2/14/91, effective 3/17/91.  Statutory Authority: RCW 9.46.070 (11) and (14).  90-11-058, 230-40-125, filed 5/15/90, effective 6/15/90.  Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(4), [34.05].230 and 9.46.070 (11) and (14).  90-05-032 (Order 205), 230-40-125, filed 2/14/90, effective 3/17/90.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office