A 5-Minute Guide to Vegas Strip Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in both land-based casinos and online. Many newcomers will know the basic aim of blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it and going bust. However, what most may not know is that there are many variants of blackjack. These include European Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack and Vegas Strip Blackjack – among others. Each game is played with slightly different rules that require slightly different strategies to win.

The basic blackjack rules are still the same in Vegas Strip Blackjack. You need to not go bust and try to beat the dealer’s hand. If you or the dealer exceeds 21, you automatically lose the hand. As in almost every blackjack game, you will have the choice to Hit, Stand, Double Down or Split.

What makes Vegas Strip Blackjack different to other variants is some minor rule changes. The game is played with 4 decks, as opposed to the more common 6 decks used in other versions of blackjack. The decks are shuffled into a shoe at the start of each round. And, as usual, at the end of the round, you will only win if your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand is and you have not gone bust. If the dealer busts and you do not, you automatically win. Likewise, either you or the dealer will have blackjack by combining a 10-value card (10, Jack, Queen, King) with an Ace. The Ace can be worth either 1 or 11.


At the start of the round, you are dealt two face-up cards to each of your hand positions. In some versions of Vegas Strip Blackjack, you are able to take up more than one position at the casino table, meaning that you are playing more than one hand simultaneously. The dealer will receives one face-up card and one facedown. At this point, if the dealer’s face-up card is worth 10, then they will check if they have blackjack. This both speeds up the game and ensures you do not lose money betting on a hand that you cannot win. However, if you both have blackjack, you do not lose, rather, it is a push. This means that you receive your stake back and then move onto the next round.

If the dealer has a face-up Ace, you will be able to play with an insurance bet. The insurance bet will cost half of your initial stake and will win if the dealer’s facedown card is a 10 card – resulting in blackjack. If the dealer does have blackjack, the payout for the insurance bet is 2:1, ensuring that you break even on the round. The dealer will instantly check for blackjack – if they do not, the round will proceed as usual.

Vegas Strip Blackjack follows the same standard rules of the game as other variants. That means you can either Hit, Stand, Double Down or Split. Bear in mind, that splitting is only allowed if the value of both cards in a hand are the same.

  • Hit: This means to take an additional card to your hand. There is no limit to how many times you can hit, but it is important to keep within 21 and not go bust.
  • Stand: This means that you are satisfied with your hand and do not wish to take any more cards.
  • Double Down: This doubles your bet and allows you to receive one more card. This is only possible at the start of a round. You cannot Double after having previously hit. Likewise, after Doubling Down, you cannot take any additional cards. Essentially, you will double your wager, which means you will double the payout if it is a winning hand.
  • Split: This is only available if both of your cards have the same value. For instance, you may split a 9 of Hearts and 9 of Clubs. However, you may not split a Jack and King, even though they are both worth 10. Splitting a Jack requires another Jack, just as splitting a King requires a second King. If you split your hand, it will double your bet. Furthermore, you cannot split a split hand. Aces will only receive one more card after splitting.

Dealer Rules

The dealer has precise rules to follow in Vegas Strip Blackjack. Essentially, the dealer will have to stand on all 17s or higher. This is regardless of whether they have a soft 17 or hard 17. For your information, a soft 17 is made up of an Ace and 6, meaning it can either be 17 or 7. To keep things simple, Vegas Strip Blackjack ignores soft or hard stipulations and requires the dealer to stand on all 17s or higher.


Vegas Strip Blackjack follows the conventional format for blackjack payouts. When you are dealt a blackjack, the payout is 3:2. All other standard wins pay out even money, i.e. 1:1. If you and the dealer both have the same value hand, the result is a push, meaning you receive your stake back. Finally, if you place a successful insurance bet, the payout is 2:1.

Side Bets

Vegas Strip Blackjack usually offers one or two side bets when playing online. The most common of these are the Perfect Pairs and 21+3 side bets.

The Perfect Pairs side bet relates to a hand’s first two cards. If the two cards are pairs, they will pay out accordingly:

  • A pair of cards that are from different suits will pay out 6:1. An example of this is a 7 of Hearts and 7 of Clubs.
  • A pair of cards that are from different suits but have the same colour will pay out 12:1. An example of this is the 9 of Hearts and 9 of Diamonds.
  • Two identical cards will pay out 25:1. For example, two 10 of Spades.

The 21+3 side bet relates to the first two cards of your hand and the dealer’s face-up card. The requirement here is to form one of several poker hands with these three cards. It pays as follows:

  • A Flush pays 5:1, i.e. all three cards have the same suit.
  • A Straight pays 10:1, i.e. three cards in consecutive order – for instance 6, 7, 8.
  • Three of a Kind pays 30:1, i.e. three cards of the same value.
  • A Straight Flush pays 40:1, i.e. three consecutive cards from the same suit.
  • A Suited Three of a Kind pays 100:1, i.e. .three identical cards.

The side bets above are found in many games. However, they may not always have the same payouts as the ones listed above.

Vegas Strip Blackjack Strategy

One of the biggest reasons why players love Vegas Strip Blackjack is because it is played with only four decks of cards. This means that it is slightly easier to predict the next card that will be drawn when compared to games that are played with six or eight decks of cards.

As a beginner, it is best to take the time to study a Vegas Strip Blackjack strategy chart. This is the easiest way of ensuring that you are always making the best decision. If you do not feel comfortable with a hand, the blackjack chart will always have the best answer based upon the statistics. Some players will memorise the chart, but it is actually completely legal to have it with you when playing, even in land casinos. It is very easy to look the chart up online and after using it for a little while, you will find that it becomes second nature.

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