Blackjack Rule Variations
Blackjack is the one casino game where the rules vary from
casino to casino. Although gameplay remains the same, differences in
rules affect playing strategy and house advantage. Listed below are
the rule variations and their effect on house advantage.
OF DECKS USED
Variables � 1, 2, 4, 5, 6,
or 8 decks
Blackjack games can be found using anywhere
from 1 to 8 decks. The more decks that are used, the greater the
house advantage. Before �Beat the Dealer� was published, the
standard Las Vegas Strip Blackjack game was played with one deck.
Although single deck games can still be found, other rule changes
are usually instituted to ensure a higher house advantage.
DEALER DOES WITH A SOFT 17
Stand or Hit
It is advantageous to a player when the
dealer Stands with a Soft 17 [see above right]. This rule is common
in Atlantic City and Las Vegas Strip casinos. It is advantageous to
the House if the dealer Hits with a Soft 17. This rule is common
with 1 or 2 deck games.
C. DOUBLE-DOWN VARIATIONS
� restrictions: 9�11, 10/11, or None; Doubling after a Split: Yes or
Limitations on what combinations a player can
Double-Down on increase the house advantage. In some games players
are only allowed to Double-Down on a 10 or 11, or they are not
allowed to Double after Splitting.
D. SPLITTING VARIATIONS
Variables � 1, 2, or 3 Splits allowed
games players are not allowed to resplit cards (Splitting after a
Split) � this is advantageous to the house. In some games
resplitting Aces is not allowed which is also advantageous to the
Variables � Late Surrender
allowed: Yes or No
Late Surrender is only available on an
intial 2 card hand. When a player chooses to Surrender, they forfeit
half of their bet without playing out the hand. With Late Surrender,
a player can only Surrender after the dealer checks for blackjack.
PEEK VS. DEALER NO PEEK RULE
Peek, No Peek, Full No Peek
In most games the Dealer will
check for Blackjack when her upcard is an Ace or a Ten. This is
advantageous to the player. In some games the Dealer will not check
for a Blackjack when her upcard is a Ten or not even check when it
is an Ace (Full No Peek). This is advantageous to the house. �No
Peek� rules are advantageous to the House because a player may lose
more than his original bet (through Splitting or Doubling Down)
against a Dealer�s Blackjack.
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