Multi Hand Blackjack

Oftentimes, classic blackjack games lose their attraction, and players start looking for variants of the card classic that offer more exciting features. Fortunately for them, there are loads of options these days as software developers do their utmost in order to roll out attention-grabbing versions of the card classic. The online casinos where players can enjoy blackjack variants with a twist are by no means few and far between, which fans of the table mainstay will be happy to hear.

Most game-making studios go the extra mile to introduce blackjack variants that will give players the feeling that they are not placing their bets from the comfort of their surroundings but at a land-based casino. One of the best things about the blackjack versions software developers introduce is that a good deal of them allow players to bet on multiple hands during the same round. Read ahead to learn the ropes of multi-hand blackjack variants and find out which some of the most crowd-pulling options are.

Understanding Multi Hand Blackjack

Even if you have never played a multi-hand blackjack variant before, you should not be losing sleep about it, as the core blackjack rule is the same as with other versions of 21. As they chose their next move, players’ aim should be to get a better hand than the dealer’s hand without surpassing 21.

Reasons Why Players Prefer Multi Hand Blackjack Variants
Casinos where Multi Hand Blackjack Variants Are Offered

Reasons Why Players Prefer Multi Hand Blackjack Variants

One of the most obvious reasons why multi-hand blackjack variants are so sought-after is that they allow players to get more betting action within a shorter span of time. The reason why players are attracted by variants in which the option to play several hands at a time is supported is that they will play a considerably higher number of hands per hour than they would normally do, which they will certainly appreciate if the game is played at a slower pace.

Multi-hand blackjack variants are all the rage among high-stakes players who wish to place bets that go over the upper table limits. Even though it is not always so, in some land-based casinos, players are allowed to hit the ceiling on bets with each of the hands they are betting on.

Finally, betting on several hands at the same time will result in fewer swings in the table gambling aficionados are currently playing at. Thus, let’s presume that the blackjack table you have chosen accommodates several other players, and one of them invariably stakes $30. You prefer risking the same amount per round, but instead, you have decided to bet on three hands at the same time and stake $10 per hand. In such a scenario, it is perfectly possible for that player to part with $150 after five rounds while you will be less likely to lose the same amount during the same number of rounds.

Casinos where Multi Hand Blackjack Variants Are Offered

Players should bear in mind that some casinos have chosen to leave multi-hand blackjack variants outside their portfolios. This fully applies to land-based casinos where players might not be given the chance to simultaneously bet on several hands if there is another player who wants to join the table and who is willing to stake larger amounts. The same goes for the cases when players prefer to keep their bets rather low as the dealer is most likely to ask them to stick to a single hand at a time.

Common Ruleset in Multi Hand Blackjack Games

The main rules and principles of the chosen blackjack variant are the first thing to pay heed to in order to determine if it will fit your preferences. There is no reason for gambling enthusiasts to steer clear of multi-hand blackjack games simply because they feel intimidated by the idea of playing several hands at the same time. In fact, they do not need to memorize new rules as most of the time, they will need to abide by the principles of most regular blackjack variants.

Of course, the most outstanding difference is that they will be making multiple decisions at the same time. It is worth noting that the maximum number of hands players will be allowed to go for is not always the same, and while with some games they can bet on two or three hands, with others, it is possible to bet on up to five hands. No matter the case, gambling enthusiasts should know that when one of the hands win, this does not mean that the other hands also win and vice versa.

Doubling Down in Multi Hand Blackjack
Splitting in Multi Hand Blackjack
Insurance Bet in Multi Hand Blackjack
Dealer’s Moves

Doubling Down in Multi Hand Blackjack

Before they engage in a multi-hand blackjack variant, players should check the subtleties of the double down option. Normally, the button, which allows players to double down, becomes active as soon as they get their first two cards. When they decide to use this option, this means that they will draw one more card, and after this, their hand will automatically stand.

Usually, players will be allowed to use the double down feature after a split, but this will not be the case when splitting Aces. Thus, in Playtech’s Perfect Blackjack, which supports multi-hand play, for example, gambling enthusiasts will be allowed to double down on just about any hand they wish, and after a split. What blackjack fans should be mindful of is that the amount they will stake will become twice the amount they have originally put on the line.

Still, this is not the case with all multi-hand blackjack versions as with Red Tiger’s Blackjack, players will be permitted to double down, provided that their hand’s total is 9 through 11.

Splitting in Multi Hand Blackjack

As with all other blackjack games, with the ones that support multi-hand play, gambling enthusiasts can use the split option as soon as they get their first two cards. If the cards have the same value, gambling enthusiasts will be able to split them into two separate hands, and this will cost them an amount, which is equal to the bet they have initially made. Based on the version of the card classic, players might be allowed to use the split option just once or up to three times.

Thus, while playing Red Tiger’s Blackjack, gambling enthusiasts can use just one split per hand. Playtech’s Perfect Blackjack also does not allow players to split hands more than once.

Insurance Bet in Multi Hand Blackjack

Much like the regular variants of the card classic, multi-hand blackjack versions also give players the opportunity to take an insurance bet, on the condition that the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. In practice, when players take the insurance bet, they will preserve their original bet if the dealer shows a blackjack.

When the face-up card of the dealer is a ten-valued one, the dealer will check the face-down card but players will not be offered the chance to take an insurance bet.

As long as players accept the insurance and the dealer does not have a blackjack, the insurance bet will be forfeited, while their main bet will remain the same. Yet, if the dealer indeed has a blackjack, players’ main bet will be forfeited, while their insurance bet will bring them a payoff of 2 to 1. Of course, if blackjack aficionados decide to take the insurance bet, they should remember that an amount equal to half of the bet they have made at the beginning of the round will be placed separately on the table.

Dealer’s Moves

Whether the dealer needs to hit or stand on 17s is also a rule, which makes a huge difference in terms of the house advantage. As likely as not, you are perfectly aware that the blackjack rules dictate that the dealer needs to hit to 16, but whether he/she needs to stand on all 17s or is required to hit on soft 17s (hands that contain an Ace, the value of which can be 1 or 11) is game-specific.

Perhaps, at this point, you might be thinking that variants in which the dealer needs to hit on soft 17s are a better alternative for players simply because he/she will be more likely to go bust as extra cards will be dealt. Indeed, you have a point, but this does not mean that this rule is beneficial to players. Even though the chances of the dealer going bust are pretty high, players should still consider the fact that by drawing extra cards, he/she might improve his/her hand dramatically and thus win the round.

House Edge in Multi Hand Blackjack

There is a good reason why blackjack is such a fan-favorite casino game as, under normal circumstances, the edge the house maintains over players is exceptionally thin. If gambling enthusiasts play blackjack with high levels of accuracy, they can enjoy really good returns, which is exactly what draws the attention of most players.

Not to mention that using at least a basic blackjack strategy can help gambling aficionados flip the advantage in their favor, and thus enjoy a more fruitful betting session.

Even though blackjack is one of the casino games with the lowest house edge, players should consider that consistently making bad decisions will help the house gain a better advantage over them.

Remember that players will be much more likely to break in next to no time if they have chosen to try a blackjack variant with a high house advantage and continually make bad decisions or stick to multi-hand gameplay. All the more so when side bets, the likes of Triple 7’s or Perfect Pairs are used as they increase the house advantage further.

The house edge in blackjack varies based on the game conditions, and for this reason, players should always check the rules before they go ahead with their bets. Remember that the rules that have to do with splitting, doubling down, or surrender might differ considerably from one casino to another and from one blackjack table to another. The same also applies to the dealer’s standing rules, as well as the number of decks.

One of the factors that have an impact on the advantage the house maintains over players is the number of decks. No matter whether brick-and-mortar or virtual casinos are concerned, players are most likely to be up against blackjack games in which multiple decks are utilized, and this is done to thwart experienced players from using the card-counting technique. With this in mind, gambling enthusiasts are most likely to come across blackjack variants in which between one to eight decks are used.

Decks in Play House Advantage
1 -0.03%
2 +0.25%
4 +0.38%
5 +0.41%
6 +0.42%
8 +0.44%

In the event that gambling enthusiasts are allowed to double down after splitting a pair, this will improve the house edge. If blackjack fans decide to put a larger portion of their funds into play because they think that their hand is more likely to win, this is most likely to have a positive effect on their long-term winnings. This rule is good for the bottom line due to the fact that it helps players decrease the house edge by 0.15%, and because of this, it is unavailable with the majority of the blackjack variants that are available out there.

One more thing to consider is how relaxed the doubling down rules of the chosen blackjack game are. The greater freedom players are given, the higher the house advantage will be. While placing their bets over the Internet, gambling enthusiasts will come across variants in which they cannot double down if the total of their hand is not 10 or 11. There are also casinos where doubling down is possible also if the total of players’ hands is 9.

With some blackjack variants, there is also the opportunity to opt for the double down feature, no matter the total of your hand. If this is the case with the preferred blackjack game, this rule will remove another 0.2% of the house edge.

The Impact of the Surrender Rule
Odds of Winning Based on The Number of Decks
Some Land-Based Casinos Charge an Ante

The Impact of the Surrender Rule

The surrender rule also makes the difference when it comes to the house advantage, and based on the chosen blackjack variant, players will be offered the early or late surrender option. The early surrender option is much more beneficial to players as it cuts the house edge by 0.63%. If the late surrender option is supported, the house edge will dwindle only by 0.1%, which goes to show why this option is more widely available. One of the blackjack variants that offer the surrender rule is Playtech’s Blackjack Surrender. According to the game’s ruleset, players can give up on their initial hand, no matter the total of the dealer’s hand.

The surrender rule is not that widely used in online blackjack variants, but even if it is available, gambling enthusiasts should remember that the casino will make up for the edge it gives players with some of the other rules that apply to the specific table.

Odds of Winning Based on The Number of Decks

Let’s presume that just one deck is used in the blackjack variant you are playing and the first card you were dealt is an Ace. This means that the deck will now contain 51 cards in total, and the ten-valued ones will be 16 in total. Under these circumstances, the probability of getting a blackjack will be 16/51 or 31.37%.

Yet, playing a blackjack variant with eight standard decks will be a different matter as if you are dealt an Ace, the ten-valued cards that will remain the shoe will be 415 in total. Since the ten-valued ones will be 128 in total, the probability of getting a blackjack will be 128/415 or 30.84%. As you can see, the chances of getting a blackjack decrease when more decks are added to the shoe. Since players will be less likely to get a blackjack, this means that the house edge will be higher.

Some Land-Based Casinos Charge an Ante

Although this is only the case with some brick-and-mortar casinos in Oklahoma, players will be required to pay an ante of around $0,50 in order to start placing their bets. This portion of players’ bets goes to the house period, and it will not be paid back, no matter if their bet is a winning or losing one. Needless to say, the house edge shoots up if an ante is charged, which is the reason why players should consider taking their betting action to another table or casino.

Payouts and Table Limits in Multi Hand Blackjack


Table Limits

As likely as not, you have noticed that most blackjack tables say that a natural pays at the rate of 3 to 2, meaning that for each winning bet of $100, players should expect to get $150.

With some variants of the casino mainstay, a natural pays at the rate of 6 to 5, which is to say that instead of getting $150 for every $100 players stake, they will collect $120.

As you can see, the difference in the payouts is by no means negligible, and the house edge will swell by 2.3%. If this is the case, such blackjack variants are comparable to Casino War, which many players avoid, namely because of the high house edge.

View more...

Should You Play One or Multiple Hands in Blackjack

The main reason why gambling enthusiasts decide to go for betting on several hands at the same time is that they want to try to shift the flow of the cards, which, in their opinion, will turn the game in their favor.

This cannot be further from the truth simply because the house advantage will not turn in players’ favor, no matter if they choose to spread the action over two, three, or more hands. What happens instead is that the number of hands avid casino fans will be dealt for an hour will be significantly higher. Assuming that there are two more players at the blackjack table you have joined, the number of rounds that will take place over the course of an hour is most likely to be around 100.

If instead of playing just one hand at a time, you decide to spread the action over two hands, the number of rounds that will take place for an hour will be around 160 or approximately 80 rounds for each of the two hands.

Considering how dramatically the number of rounds per hour increases, it can safely be said that this approach is not suitable for low-stakes or faint-hearted players as they will be much more exposed to the house advantage and will therefore lose more money.

Let us say that instead of making a single stake of $20, you have chosen to bet on two hands at a time, and wager $20 per hand or $40 in total. Since the number of rounds that will take place per hour and the staked amount will be greater, the expected hourly losses of players will also escalate.

Something important most avid casino fans do not pay enough attention to is that when they bet on several hands at the same time, they should not treat these hands separately simply because whether they win or lose will be determined by the same hand of the dealer. In other words, the fluctuation in the bankroll of players will not be that pronounced when they staking $20 per hand when compared to the scenario when they make a single bet of $40.

Playing multi-hand blackjack over the Internet comes with a number of advantages, and the greater variety and freedom are what attract the majority of the players. The range of blackjack variants gambling enthusiasts can choose between is by no means limited, as games that offer multi-hand play are part of the gaming suites of most leading software developers. The versions we will focus on now are indeed worthwhile because of their visuals that are easy on the eye, mobile compatibility, and above all, the fact that they all support multi-hand play.

Multi Hand Blackjack by Pragmatic Play
Blackjack by NetEnt
Multi Hand Blackjack by Play’n GO
Classic Blackjack Multi Hand by Microgaming
Blackjack by Red Tiger
BonusInsider is a leading informational website that provides reviews of the latest casino, sports betting, and bingo bonuses. We also list guides on how to play some of the most popular casino games including roulette, slots, blackjack, video poker, live dealers.