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Blackjack Variations

Vegas Strip Blackjack

There are many different variations of blackjack and Vegas Strip is just one of them. It's played with 4 decks of cards, the dealer always stands on soft 17 and you can double on any of the first two cards.

If the dealer gets a 16, for example, he MUST draw another card, which will either cause him to win, push him to keep drawing or make him bust. After the split, you ARE allowed to double and you may re-split after three hands.

The dealer is allowed to peek for a blackjack and this form is very commonly used and well known. The house advantage is about .35% with Vegas Strip blackjack which is pretty close to Atlantic city Blackjack.

Everyone knows you should stand on a dealer's 2-6th card and double if you have a face card and the dealer doesn't. Always double on an 11 against a 10. Even though the dealer may have a face card, your odds are better that you will as well and you will win with a 21.

Personally, I don't recommend buying insurance if the dealer has an Ace because the odds are with you that he won't. If you choose to insure yourself, it will cost you half your stake whether or not you win the hand. If you're new to blackjack, this would be the first one that you will most likely learn to play.

Multi-Hand Blackjack

Multi-Hand Blackjack is one of many variations and is played with 5 decks of cards. Most of the time, you'll get dealt all 5 hands and are playing them simultaneously but you may play one, two, three or four hands if desired.

The dealer always stands on soft 17 and you can only double on 9 and 11. You're not allowed to double after you split your cards and no re-splitting is allowed either. The player may draw to split aces but no surrender is allowed.

Some casinos will offer the player the option to surrender on their initial hand by forfeiting ½ their stake if the player doesn't like their prospects, but in multi-hand, it isn't possible. If you decide to purchase insurance against a dealer's Ace, it's not resolved until the end of the hand.

The house advantage is about .63 and you need a decent bankroll to be able to play multi-hand blackjack. You'll find this game primarily on Microgaming casinos, although Microgaming has a high house edge for blackjack.

Taking insurance is not recommended as it increases the house advantage once again. In online blackjack, card counting won't work because the deck is re-shuffled after each hand. With Multi-Hand Blackjack, your odds are good because you could win all of your hands or just some of them and win your bet back. The odds are low that you'll lose all your hands, that being if the dealer has a blackjack, beats your hands, or you bust them all out entirely.

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