At the start of every round, the player will need to set a stake for their position. In some blackjack games, you will be able to set stakes for more than one position during a single round. Once the stake is set – and the side bets placed – the round will begin. This happens when the dealer serves two face-up cards to the player and takes a face-up and a face-down card themselves.
In Vegas Strip Blackjack, the dealer will check for Blackjack if they are showing a 10-value card. If they have blackjack, the round ends immediately with the dealer winning – unless you have blackjack as well. This saves time and prevents more money being wagered.
If the dealer reveals an Ace, they will also check for Blackjack, but prior to that, you can place an Insurance Bet. This bet will cost half your initial stake and pay out at 2:1. Thus, if the dealer has Blackjack but you have placed an insurance bet, you will claim back your bet. Should the dealer not have blackjack in either scenario, the game will continue as per usual.
Once the round has started, you will have three options for all hands – barring blackjack. Those options are to Stand, Hit or Double Down. In addition, you can also opt to Split, but that is only available if you have pairs. Let’s take a look:
- Hit: This means that you want to take an additional card to your hand. You can take as many cards as you like as long as you do not exceed 21.
- Stand: This means that you are happy with the cards that you are dealt and do not want to add any more to your hand.
- Double Down: This means you want to double your bet and take one more card. You may only double down after receiving your first two cards and cannot take more than one card.
- Split: This means you would like to split your cards to make two hands. This is only available if you have pairs. After splitting, you will double your bet. Splitting is only allowed once, and split Aces can only take one more card.
In Vegas Strip Blackjack, the dealer must also follow some strict rules. One of those is when to stand. This blackjack variant sees the dealer always stand on hands that are worth at least 17 and above. That includes soft and hard hands – i.e., those containing aces or not.
Once the round is complete, you will instantly know if you have won or not. All standard wins pay out even money at 1:1. If you can win with Blackjack, you will receive a 3:2 pay-out. In addition, Insurance Bet pays 2:1 but always costs a fixed half your stake. In any draws, the round results in a push, returning money to the player.
Vegas Strip Blackjack Side Bets
In most Vegas Strip Blackjack games, you will be able to use a side bet feature. The most common two are Perfect Pairs and 21+3. These side bets do not have any effect on the outcome of the base game – they are simply just another way of trying to win cash on the side.
Perfect Pairs is one of the most popular side bets. It relates to the first two cards dealt to a hand. There are three payouts available, namely, for Mixed Pairs, Coloured Pairs and Perfect Pairs:
- Mixed Pairs: a pair of cards that have different colours, resulting in a 6:1 payout.
- Coloured Pairs: a pair of cards that have the same colour but not the same suit, resulting in a 12:1 payout
- Perfect Pairs: a pair of cards that are identical, resulting in a 25:1 payout.
As for 21+3, this side bet requires you to form 3-card poker hands by looking at your initial two cards and the dealer’s face-up card. The resulting payouts are as follows:
- A Flush will pay 5:1
- A Straight will pay 10:1
- Three of a Kind will pay 30:1
- A Straight Flush will pay 40:1
- Suited Three of a Kind will pay 100:1
Vegas Strip Blackjack Strategy
If you want to boost your chances of winning at Vegas Strip Blackjack, you should find a blackjack strategy chart. The chart tells you which action to take based on your two initial cards and the dealer’s face-up card. When consulting the chart, you will know whether to Hit, Stand, Double Down or Split. With a bit of practice, you will familiarize yourself with the Vegas Strip Blackjack basic strategy chart. As long as you are carefully following the chart, you can be sure that you are maximising your returns.
Vegas Strip Blackjack Betting Systems
The strategy chart will ensure that you are always making the right decision. However, it is also advisable to use betting systems to aid with bankroll management. There are several betting systems to choose from, but here we will explain two of the most popular ones.
1-3-2-6 Betting Systems
The 1-3-2-6 is a positive progression betting system. It means that after every bet you win, you increase your bet. In doing so, you should follow this 1-3-2-6 system. The system takes its name from the multiples of the base bet you should be placing.
Thus, if you start off with a $10 bet, and win, your bet will increase to $30. After another win, your following bet would be $20. If you happen to win four in a row, the fourth bet will be worth $60. If you lose, you always return to the base bet (in this case $10).
Oscars Blackjack Betting System
This system is actually a combination of both a positive and negative progression. It was developed by the mathematician Allan N. Wilson and he published it in 1965.
The system’s aim is to win a single unit of profit from a series of bets, after which you start again. This means that if you win on the first hand, you start again.
Assuming your betting unit is $1, if you lose the first hand then you will need to bet the same as on the previous hand. If you win, you will have covered your losses but not made a profit. This means that you do not start the series again, rather you increase your bet by a unit to $2. If you win again then you will have made one unit profit and you start again.
The secret to this system is to never place a bet that results in a profit of more than one unit. For example, if you have won a bet with 4 units and you need to win 2 more to recover your losses. Then you would not make a 5 unit bet, rather a bet of 3 units is enough.
The system does take a bit of practice, but it is an excellent way of ensuring your bankroll remains under control at all times.