Multi-Hand Blackjack – How to Play & Free Demo Game
The Pros and Cons of Playing Multiple Hands in the Same Blackjack Game
For some players at a blackjack table, playing just one hand might not be enough – and multi-hand blackjack was created for exactly this reason. Playing 2 or more hands against the same dealer hand – is an option in live casinos and online. In fact, there are many online games set up specifically for games where players play more than one hand simultaneously.
In this guide to multi-hand blackjack, first I have covered the key reasons for playing more than one hand at a time. Then the pros and cons of multi-hand blackjack are discussed. This guide ends with a look at how blackjack strategy can improve your overall game.
Why Play Multi-Hand Blackjack?
In a brick and mortar casino, one of the main reasons to play more than one hand is that a player can get more action in a shorter amount of time. Playing two or more hands will increase a player’s hands per hour and can be useful where the pace of the game is slower than usual. However, not all casinos will allow multi-hand play, especially if the player is playing for small stakes and potentially stopping someone willing to bet more from taking a seat.
Another reason for multi-hand blackjack is if a player wants to bet above the table limit. Some casinos will allow the player to bet the table limit on each of their hands, meaning the maximum bet size at the table can be effectively increased. This is obviously one for the high rollers only.
A third reason to play multi-hand blackjack is to lower the swings at a table. Consider that there are two players at a table – one playing one hand each time for $15 and another playing three hands at a time, each for $5. The player staking the entire $15 on one hand will have much wilder swings than the player betting $5 three times. It’s quite feasible that the one hand player could lose $90 in six quick hands, but it would be incredibly unfortunate for the multi-hander to lose the same $90 (they would have to lose all 18 hands played, as opposed to the six of the single hander).
The Pros and Cons of Multi-Hand Blackjack
Multi-Hand blackjack can be very good for the top players in the game, who have a complete knowledge of strategy and who are adept card counters. Playing more than one hand will enable them to see more cards as each hand is played out, making card counting that much easier. Good card counters will turn the house edge around, meaning playing more than one hand will see the positive return from that edge come much quicker.
Playing multi-hand blackjack for the average or poorer player, particularly those with little grasp of blackjack strategy, is not a good idea. Unless card counting, the house edge will always be there (even if playing with a perfect strategy), so playing more hands means that the house edge is only going to eat into your bankroll quicker. Yes, you might have a winning session, but in the long run, the house edge will erode your bankroll at twice (or more) the speed.
Perfect Blackjack Strategy
When playing multi-hand blackjack having the perfect strategy is more important than ever. The house edge at blackjack is relatively small in comparison to other casino games, but this edge can increase rapidly if the player is making bad decision after decision. A high house edge in combination with playing more than one hand can mean a player goes broke very quickly. This can be expedited if each hand also includes a high-edge side bet such as Perfect Pairs or Triple 7’s.
Fortunately, a good blackjack strategy is easy to find. Some casinos will actually give you an easy to follow chart to ensure that you are making the right move every time, but it can be an idea to find a chart online (simply google ‘blackjack strategy charts’ and you’ll find many) and learn it. At first the charts might seem tricky, but a large number of the decisions are basic common sense anyway – if you have 20 are you going to hit or stand? With this solid strategy in place, the house edge will be very low and you’ll have every opportunity of making any session a winning one. Only with this solid strategy in place should you even consider playing multi-hand blackjack.
Now you have the strategy right, it could be time to take the next step and try card counting. This is the only way you can make the game a truly profitable one and as discussed earlier, the only real reason to play multi-hand poker. If you are playing blackjack online however, card counting is not an option, as the cards are ‘virtually’ shuffled every hand by the random number generator.