Vegas Strip Blackjack - Basic Game Rules and Valuable Tips for Newbies
Vegas Strip Blackjack is one of the most popular variants of the American blackjack series. Others include Atlantic City Blackjack and Downtown blackjack. The blackjack variant is named after Las Vegas, which is believed to be the casino capital of the world. This article looks at this blackjack variant into details and how it differs from the classic blackjack. It also takes you through the rules and workable strategies that you can employ to increase your chances of winning big either online or while playing a land-based game.
Main characteristics of Vegas Strip Blackjack
As stated earlier, this Blackjack variant is one among many variants from the classic blackjack game. Therefore, you will find lots of similarities with the classic game and a few striking differences as explained below.
The variant is an American hole card blackjack game where the dealer peeks on the Ace and 10 value. On the other hand, players may double down on any first two cards they may be having. They are also allowed to double after making a split. Players can also split up to three times in order to have four hands. Besides, any 10 valued cards can be split. No surrendering of the hand is allowed.
Players are allowed to double once after splitting the Aces. The Ace is the most valuable card in any blackjack game and can be used as 1 or 11, depending on the number that is more advantageous to the playing hand. A hand that consists of a 10-value card such as Jack, 10, King or Queen and an Ace usually total to 21. These cards usually pay 3:2 except in cases where the Aces are split. Doubling down on the split Aces takes another .08% from the house edge.
The dealer stands on all 17 soft or hard in this Blackjack variant. This only creates a slight statistical difference. However, the difference is tangible for serious players. In this case, the dealer will burst more often, which is advantageous to the players. With everything being equal, the players’ odds are better when the dealer stands on the soft 17.
The game is played in four decks instead of two played in the Downtown Blackjack. Cards are shuffled between every game, making counting cards to be of no use when playing the game.
Basic strategy for Vegas Strip Blackjack
The chances of increasing the odds on a table depends on the ability to follow simple rules and being keen on the opponents and the dealer. Avoid playing in a table where one or more of the players are reckless. Moreover, you should know when to continue or stop, depending on the budget.
Here are basic tips when playing the game.
- You should hit if the total of your cards equals to 9 or lower
- Consider doubling down if you have a 10 or 11. However, if the total of your card is more than the dealer’s upcard, double the bet. On the other hand, if the total value of your cards matches those of the dealer’s upcards, just hit. Here is an example; if you have an 11 and the dealer shows 8, just double down. If the dealer’s upcard shows 11 too, just hit.
- When you have anything between 12 and 16, hit if the dealer’s upcard shows 7 or higher. However, stand if the dealer’s upcard shows figures smaller than 7.
- Stand when you have 17 or higher
- If your hand has a soft 13-18, a 6 and an ace, make a soft 17. However, if the dealer’s up card is either 5 or 6, double down.
- Stand at soft 19
- Hot at soft 17 or lower
- Always split 8’s or a pair of Aces
- Avoid splitting 10’s, 4’s and 5’s
- Split any pairs that you have if the dealer’s upcard goes below 6
- Do not take insurance. Insurance is a side bet that is treated differently with the main cash wagered. It has a payout of 2:1 (2 £ for every £1 wagered). It becomes available when the dealer’s exposed card is an Ace. It increases the house edge to 7.4%.
Vegas Strip Blackjack rules
Being a hole card game, this game follows the rules of a hole card game. Here are the rules.
- The game uses four decks of the standard playing card
- The dealer stands on a soft 17. This is a hand that is valued at 17 and has an Ace, which is valued at 11 points.
- When the face-up cards are an Ace and 10’s, the dealer peeks for a blackjack
- Players are allowed to double down on any two cards that come first
- Surrendering a hand is not allowed
- Players are allowed to split their card for a total of three times to give them a total of four playing hands
- Players are allowed to double down after splitting
- Aces can only be split once
- Cards that are valued at 10 points are allowed to be split. For example, a Jack and a Queen or a Queen and a 10.
- When a player hits 21 when splitting an Ace, it does not constitute to a blackjack
- Players with 21 in 2 cards get a payout at the ratio of 3:2
- After placing the bet, each of the players is dealt two cards, each at a time from the dealer’s left. These cards face up while one of the dealer cards faces up and the other down. If the showing card is an Ace, players will be given a chance to take an insurance side bet.
Where to play Vegas Strip Blackjack
What is the main difference of Vegas Strip Blackjack in respect to other blackjack types?
The Vegas Strip variant of Blackjack differs from the rest in several ways. First, the card game follows the hole card rule where the dealers immediately give two cards to themselves and open one of the cards immediately.
Second, fold is not possible in Vegas Strip variant but possible in the Atlantic City Blackjack. Third, the Vegas Strip variant is played with four decks while the Atlantic City Blackjack is played with eight decks and the Vegas Downtown Blackjack is played in two decks.
Fourth, in Vegas Downtown Blackjack, the dealer must hit a soft 17 points, which increases the house edge to about 0.2%. This requirement is not a must in the Vegas Strip variant.
The double after a split is allowed in Vegas Strip. However, some casinos disallow it while others only allow it after the Aces are separated. You may find a few deviations to the double and split rules, but some form of doubling and splitting is allowed.
In Atlantic City Blackjack, the dealer does not keep checking cards for blackjack. However, if there is a blackjack, the client loses the basic bet and the cash from splits. However, in Vegas Strip, hitting a 21 does not constitute a blackjack.
Why should I play Vegas Strip Blackjack?
The Vegas Strip variant is one of the best blackjack games that you can play and make some good cash out of it. Here is why.
The dealer will always stand at 17 whether a soft or hard one. This means the player cannot burst on the next card. However, it provides more opportunities for the payer to beat the house by scoring 18 or higher.
The variant gives players a chance to take an insurance side bet. While it, at times, seems to be a riskier decision as it increases the house edge, players stand to get a payout of 2:1 on every £ wagered.
Players have a chance to split pairs to as many as four hands which includes face cards. This increases the chances of getting a better hand and beating the house.
The game provides several chances of winning with various payouts. For example, when you beat the dealer, you will get even money (£1 for every £1 wagered). However, if the initial hand is a natural blackjack, you get to win at a rate of 3:2.
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