Blackjack No, Not That One
Blackjack may have started its life as a single game, but different people and casinos have come up with different ideas slightly tweaking the basic rules over the years. In blackjack, ‘soft’ hands are the ones containing an Ace, which means the total can be counted twofold. You can never go bust when taking a card holding a ‘soft’ hand.
Ask the players if they want “insurance” if your face-up card is an ace. If you deal your hand and the face-up card is an ace, you need to ask the players for insurance. Let the players pay up to half of their initial bet as their insurance. Look at your face-down card and reveal it if it’s a 10. If it is, take the initial bets from any players who lost against your hand. Then pay any players with insurance double the amount they paid.
This rule protocol is consequently known as “late” surrender. The alternative, “early” surrender, gives player the option to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack, or in a no hole card game. Early surrender is much more favorable to the player than late surrender. Another option open to the player is doubling their bet when the original two cards dealt total 9, 10, or 11. With two fives, the player may split a pair, double down, or just play the hand in the regular way.
Ok this one’s an extremely rare variation which I doubt you will see in any casinos today but I thought I’d mention. If the player draws 5 cards and doesn’t bust then he/she automatically wins the hand (this is called a “Charlie”). After splitting a pair, many casinos will allow you to double-down on a two-card hand that arises as a result of the split. For example, if you split a pair of eights, and draw a 3 on the first hand, it is valuable to be able to double-down on the resulting hand of 11. When surrender is available, make sure you know the correct strategy for using it.
Playing your pair of eights as one hand doesn’t leave you much wriggle room. Splitting them gives you a better chance of a competitive hand. If you hit you win on average 30% of the time and lose 70%.
The game consists of 2 or more players using a single pack of cards, jokers removed. Regular splits allowed up to three times for a total of four hands. All winning “Free Bet” buttons will be paid equal to the original wager.