How to Play Multi-Hand Blackjack: Rules, Strategy & Odds

Posted By: Date: 07/24/2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Multi-Hand Blackjack was devised as a variation of the classic game of blackjack wherein the player is able to play up to five hands at once, instead of the usual single hand. For all intents and purposes, it is favored by fanatical fans of the game of blackjack. Hence, if one hand just isn’t enough, multi-hand blackjack is the game for you! However, you won’t find it at any land-based casino as those seats are reserved for additional players. Multi-hand blackjack is only found in online casinos, where the seats are virtually unlimited.

To explain it in a more simplistic manner, imagine that you are seated at a blackjack table all by your lonesome self; only you and the dealer. There are four other open seats, but no one has claimed them. Now imagine that you are able to clone yourself four times over and occupy all four seats, playing all five hands. That’s essentially what is happening. You are playing up to five individual hands at a time, just as if there were five players at the table.

The rules are pretty simple. With each hand, you are striving to achieve a total that is as close to 21 as possible without exceeding 21, aka busting. So long as your total is higher than the dealer’s total, and neither hand busts, you win. And if the dealer busts, you win automatically.

The game begins with the player placing a bet for each hand. They may choose whether they want to play one, two, three, four or five hands by placing a bet in the appropriate betting circle, then clicking the Deal button when ready. All bets must be placed within the limits of the table’s minimum and maximum stakes, and do not have to be equal to one another since they are being placed on separate hands. However, most players will place equal bets just because it makes more sense to do so.

With all bets placed, the deal will begin. Each hand is dealt two cards, including the dealer’s. All player cards are dealt face up. The dealer’s hand is dealt one card down, the second face up.

If the dealer has an Ace showing, insurance is offered. The player must choose whether to purchase insurance for each hand they are playing. Insurance is typically purchased at half the price of each hand’s original bet. If the dealer has blackjack, all insurance bets are paid 2 to 1, but the original bet is lost, thus each hand that purchased insurance essentially breaks even. If the dealer does not have blackjack, all insurance bets are lost and the game continues.

Each hand is played out individually, meaning that the result of one hand has no bearing on another. The standard rules apply.

The player may do one of the following, based on their hand strength.
Stand: To keep the current total, taking no additional cards. When a player stands, the dealer moves on to the next hand.
Hit: Take an extra card. A player may hit as many times as they wish until reaching a total of 21 or busting.
Double: To double is to place an additional, equal bet on the hand and take one extra card, instantly standing on the total.
Split: If the first two cards are a pair, the player may split them into two new hands. An extra, equal bet is placed on the second hand and each is dealt an additional card. Both hands are then played in normal fashion, one at a time.

Once all hands are complete, the dealer will play out his hand. He must hit a total of 16 or below and stand on a total of 17 or above. He must also hit a Soft 17 (a total of 17 with an Ace counted as 11). If the dealer busts, the player automatically wins all bets on all of his hands that did not previously bust. If not, the hands are compared.

To win, the player’s hand must be closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand without busting. All winning hands are paid accordingly. A winning hand is paid 1 to 1. A natural blackjack is paid 3 to 2.