How to Play Atlantic City Blackjack: Rules, Strategy & Odds
Atlantic City Blackjack is very closely related to the classic version of 21, but has a few rule variations that can make it more appealing to some players. As the name implies, this version of blackjack is played in all land-based casinos across Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. It can be found at most online casinos as well.
The most notable rule variation is the Late Surrender option, which gives players the choice of surrendering their hand at any time, after the dealer checks for blackjack (if applicable), so long as the player does not bust. To surrender a hand forfeits only half of the bet, allowing the player to retain the other half. This is handy when a player feels they simply cannot win the hand.
Variations in the rules of Atlantic City Blackjack include the following:
- Atlantic City Blackjack uses 8 complete decks of cards in the shoe. Please note that card counting is not applicable at online casinos since the software initiates a shuffle with each new hand dealt.
- A player may only double down on their first two cards, before or after splitting. The sum of the cards does not matter, so long as the player has not Hit. To double down, the player must double the original wager on that hand. The player is then dealt one additional card and must stand on the total, or volunteer a Late Surrender. If the hand busts, the full bet is lost.
- A player may split any exact pair of cards, including Aces. Splitting is allowed up to 3 times for a total of four hands per round; however, Aces may only be split once. When splitting Aces, only one more card will be dealt to each hand, after which they must Stand on their total (or Late Surrender). If split Aces are dealt a 10 or face card, the value is 21, not a natural blackjack.
- A player may use the Late Surrender option before or after hitting, doubling or splitting. The only time a player cannot surrender is if the dealer has blackjack, or if the player busts. When a player surrenders, half of their bet is returned, the other half is lost.
- The dealer will accord to the following rules: The dealer must hit any total of 16 or below, and must stand on any total of 17 or above, even a Soft 17 (any hand of 17 with an Ace valued at 11). Atlantic City Blackjack is a hole card game, meaning that the dealer will offer optional insurance bets at a rate of half the player’s bet if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, Face Card or 10. The dealer will then peek for blackjack.
- When the dealer has blackjack, it is revealed and the hand comes to an end. All insurance bets are paid. All other bets are lost unless the player also has a blackjack. The player always wins with a blackjack.
Atlantic City Blackjack Pay Table
- Natural Blackjack Pays 3 to 2
- Insurance Pays 2 to 1
- Beating the Dealer Pays 1 to 1
- All Tied Hands are a Push