KAW Newkirk, Oklahoma


Well-Known Member
Oklahoma recently passed legislation allowing the table game, Blackjack, to be played in their Revervation Casions. The thing is, they require an ante on every hand! In all but one casino that I've been in, the ante is $.50 up to $50 and then $1 after that. Most of the games I observed were 6-deck with $5 ante. At the Cherokee casino outside of Tulsa, the minimum is $10 and the game is dealt from a CSM. Their $15 minimum tables used a Shuffle Master. The table rules were pretty consistant, DOA (up to 4 hands), DAS, RSA, H17. There is no surrender and you cannot rehit Split Aces.

However, at the Kaw Casino in Newkirk, the ante is $.25 and the table is set up for $2 to $25 bets and the 6-deck shoe is hand shuffled. Table rules are just slightly different. DOA (up to 4 hands), DAS, H17. You cannot resplit Aces. However, if you get a ten after splitting your aces, you are paid 3:2 immediately! If you push a hand, you do not have to re-ante. Nor do you re-ante if you break even on a split hand.

There is no doubt about it though...the ante is a killer in a game where the house advantage is around .62% without the ante. If you play at Kaw, and make the minimum bet, you are effectively playing at a house edge of 13.1%. However, if you play at $15 per hand, you are playing at something around 2%. At $25 per hand, it is on the order of 1.6%. At 2%, Kaw Blackjack is still better than most games in casinos, but prolonged play will eventually eat your lunch unless you are playing "advantage."

Rumor has it that they will be offering a series of tournaments for regular players. That will compensate somewhat for the disadvantage the ante causes and may make it worthwhile. The Kaw tribe just recently bought a section of land on the northeast corner of the exit for Braman off of I-35 just south of the Kansas-Oklahoma border. Speculation is strong that the tribe will construct a new casino at that location and pretty much shut down the Newkirk casino except for it's Bingo Hall.