How to Play Vegas Strip Blackjack: Rules, Strategy & Odds
Vegas Strip Blackjack is aptly named for its prominence at land-based casinos along the Las Vegas Strip. It should not be confused with its closely related cousin, Vegas Downtown Blackjack. While these two blackjack variants are extremely similar, there are two slight disparities in the rules that give the Vegas Strip version a marginally better edge for the player.
The first difference is the number of decks used in the game. Vegas Strip Blackjack requires 4 decks in the shoe, while Vegas Downtown Blackjack utilizes only 2 decks. Strategically speaking, fewer decks is better for the player. However, because the dealer is required to Stand on a Soft 17 ““ the second rule difference in these two blackjack games – the house edge drops to 0.35% by Vegas Strip rules, whereas Vegas Downtown Blackjack has a slightly higher house edge of 0.39%. Vegas Strip Blackjack can also be found at most online casinos, especially those powered Microgaming, the industry’s leading developer of online gaming software.
Variations in the rules of Vegas Strip Blackjack include the following:
- As mentioned above, Vegas Strip Blackjack is played with a shoe of four standard decks of 52-cards each. Please be aware that card counting is not a viable option at any online casino. The software is designed to reshuffle the shoe every time a new hand is played.
- A player can double down on any two cards, even after splitting a hand. In order to double down, the player is required to raise their bet to double the original size. The hand is then dealt one more card and must stand on the total. If the hand busts, the entire wager is immediately lost.
- Players are allowed to split up to three times in a single round of Vegas Strip Blackjack, creating up to four hands. A player may split any two cards of equal value. This means that a hand of 10+J or Q+K could be split just as easily as 5+5 or 10+10. However, no proper blackjack strategy would ever recommend splitting up a hand that already totals 20. The splitting of Aces is also permitted, but players should be aware that split Aces will only receive one more card per hand, and cannot be hit or re-split afterwards. If a 10 or Face Card is dealt to a split Ace, the result is a total of 21, not a natural blackjack.
- The dealer will accord to the following rules: The dealer is required to hit any hand total of 16 or below. The dealer will stand on any total of 17 or above, including a Soft 17 (any hand of 17 with an Ace valued at 11). Vegas Strip Blackjack is a hole card game, thus the dealer will peek for blackjack if his exposed card is a 10, Face Card or Ace. Before peeking, all player’s are given the option to buy insurance.
- When the dealer peeks for blackjack, if he has it, he will show it and the hand comes to an end. All insurance bets are paid 2 to 1. If a player also has blackjack, the player wins. All other bets are lost.
Vegas Strip Blackjack Pay Table
- Natural Blackjack Pays 3 to 2
- Insurance Pays 2 to 1
- Beating the Dealer Pays 1 to 1
- All Tied Hands (except Blackjack) are a Push