Vegas Strip Blackjack – Rules and How to Play
Vegas strip blackjack is a variation of the popular casino game, blackjack. Its name is taken from the 6.7 kilometer strip in Sin City, Las Vegas. The strip houses various casinos like Caesars Palace, Harrah’s Casino, the Bellagio and Circus Circus. Any one of these casinos are a great choice for those who prefer gambling at an actual casino venue. Playing strip blackjack online gives you the Vegas experience from the comfort of your home or wherever.
Play Vegas Strip Blackjack Online
Las Vegas Blackjack vs Online Blackjack
Fortunately, with the development of online gambling, US players are no longer limited to playing Vegas strip blackjack in Sin City. Anyone can now access Vegas strip blackjack games at any online casinos in America today. The rules of the game stay the same regardless of the casino to choose to play at.
Most online casinos also have compatibility with various devices, not just desktops. You may also be happy to know that the house edge percentage in a Vegas strip blackjack game is quite low compared to the house edge found in other casino games. This provides more reason to play Vegas strip blackjack.
How to Play Vegas Strip Blackjack
Vegas strip blackjack is generally played with four decks of cards. Bets start at $5 in most Vegas casinos and can go up to $500. Here’s how to play:
- First all players are required to place their bets.
- Once all bets are placed, you’ll receive two cards handed to you one at a time facing upwards.
- The dealer will also receive two cards, one up and the other down.
- If the dealers up card happens to be an Ace, you will be faced with the decision to take ‘insurance’ which pays out at a ratio of 2:1 if the dealer hits 21 on the next round.
- If the dealer has an upcard with the value of 10 or an Ace, he or she is allowed to peek at the down card to check for blackjack. If the down facing card does in fact result in a natural blackjack, the card will be turned over and revealed to rest of the players. All the other players that also have a hand of 21 will recover their bets. Those who don’t have a similar hand will lose their bets. Players who managed to secure a hand of 21 with only two cards will receive a payout at a ratio of 3:2.
- But the game is not over yet. At this point every player will have the choice to either hit (which means you take another card), stand (which means you keep the hand you have as is), split (which involves dividing your cards to form two separate hands), or doubling down (which requires that you place another bet and receive another card). Vegas strip blackjack also features the surrender rule where you can give up your hand and lose half your bet.
- Once all decisions are made, the dealer will reveal all his cards and may or may not take another card. If the dealer decides to take another card and goes over 21, all the other players will get paid out at a ratio of 1:1
Vegas Strip Blackjack Game
If you are already familiar with the standard variation of blackjack then you should have no issues with Vegas strip blackjack. The objective of the game is the same where you need to secure the best possible hand that consists of the strongest combination of cards that do not exceed 21.
All cards from the number 2 through to 9 carry face value. Aces can take up one of two values. They can be either 1 or 11 and whichever value you choose for the card will depend on your hand and what you are trying to achieve. Kings, Queens, Jacks and the number 10 are all valued at 10.
Las Vegas Strip Blackjack Hands and Payouts
The best possible hand in Vegas strip blackjack is an Ace counted as 11 paired with a ten-value card which can be either a 10 or a King, Queen or Jack. We call this hand natural blackjack. It pays out at a ratio of 3:2, but some casinos on the strip have a different payout of 6:5. The 3:2 payout ratio is the better one of the two. Vegas strip blackjack games produced by Microgaming on the other hand pay out at a ratio of 1.5x your initial wager.
Vegas Strip Blackjack Dealer Rules
Here’s some of the other general rules in Vegas strip blackjack:
- The dealer stands on a soft 17
- The dealer is allowed to peek for blackjack
- You are allowed to double down on any initial hand
- You many also double down after splitting
- You can split your cards to form a total of four hands
- You can only split aces once
- A hand of 21 achieved by splitting Aces do not count as blackjack.
Types of Las Vegas Blackjack Games
- Single Blackjack
- Double Deck
- Six Decks
- Video Blackjack
- Many Other Variants
Las Vegas Blackjack Strategy Card
Blackjack is one of the few casino games where an effective strategy can help you win in the game. Having a strategy is especially important for those playing Vegas strip blackjack for real money. There are various strategy charts that you can use for this set of rules. Strategy charts indicate the best possible moves that you can make in the game and bases these optimal moves on the value of your hand as well as the dealers upcard. It’s important to mention that strategy charts do not necessarily mean that you are guaranteed to win. Blackjack strategy charts simply helps you increase long term profits and tries to reduce your losses in less than favourable game conditions.
Best Vegas Strip Blackjack Tips
Listing all the optimal moves that you can make in the game would be very time consuming. Instead, we’ve shortlisted some of the ones we think would be most beneficial to you. See what they are below.
Should you split 10’s or 10 value cards?
- It’s best not to split 10 value cards like the number 10, Kings, Queens, Jacks and Aces. Any two of these cards will give you a total hand value of 20. This is a fairly strong hand to have. The only way a dealer can beat your hand of 21 is if he achieves a natural blackjack. If you split the cards, you risk getting a weaker hand.
Should you split a pair of 5’s?
- Do not split pairs of 5. Cards with a face value five is a good enough start to forming tens and hopefully a hand of 20 and possibly even performing a successful double down.
Should you split pairs of 8?
- We do however recommend that you split all pairs of 8. A hand with a total of 16 is arguably the worst hand that you can form in Vegas strip blackjack. But, you can work with it if the hand consists of two 8’s. By splitting them you get the opportunity to form two new (and hopefully better) hands. This is a big improvement from an initial hard 16.
Should you split Aces?
- The next optimal move in Vegas strip blackjack suggests splitting all paired Aces. Splitting aces follows the same logic as splitting 8s. Two Aces gives you a hand of either 2 or 22. Either one of those options are not the best. However, if you split them and have them carry a value of 11, then this significantly increases your chances of securing a better hand when the next set of cards are dealt.
When should you hit in Vegas Strip Blackjack?
- We also suggest that you hit when you’ve formed a hard 16 hand, unless they consist of two 8s. You do this against the dealers stronger upcards like a 7 through to an Ace card.
When should you double in Vegas Strip Blackjack?
- This optimal move in Vegas strip blackjack says it’s best to double on totals of 9, 10 and 11. This should be done against the dealers upcards of 3 through to 6.