Vegas Strip Blackjack
Vegas Strip Blackjack is a variant of the most popular casino banking game in the world. Its name comes from the Las Vegas Strip, a 4.2 mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South that contains a multitude of casinos and 15 of the 25 largest hotels in the world.
This article will teach you how to play Vegas Strip Blackjack, and it also includes sections on strategy and Vegas Strip Blackjack odds and probability.
How to Play Vegas Strip Blackjack
The object of Vegas Strip Blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over (or “busting”). The dealer will also be trying to do the same, and the player’s final card total must exceed that of the dealer while still being 21 or lower.
The game is played with four 52-card decks of cards shuffled together and dealt from a device known as a “shoe.” Cards from 2 to 9 are worth the value printed on their surface. The jack, queen, and king are worth 10 points each. The ace can be worth either 1 or 11 points depending on the choice of the player (or dealer).
If your hand manages to beat the dealer, you will be paid out at even money (meaning you’ll get $1 back for every $1 you wagered). If your initial hand is a “natural blackjack,” you’ll automatically win and be paid out at 3:2.
The dealer always stands on 17, whether it’s a soft 17 or hard 17. A soft 17 means the player cannot bust on their next card (due to the presence of an ace that can be reduced in value from 11 to 1). This rule decreases the dealer’s chances of busting, but it also provides more opportunities for the player to beat the house with scores of 18 or above.
Pairs can be split into as many as four different hands, while face cards may also be split.
Aces can only be split once per hand and you’re limited to just one more card. If players choose to split, they lose any insurance and must make an equal wager for each additional split hand. Splitting is only available as the first decision in a hand.
Depending on the rules of the casino, you may also be able to double down after you split pairs or face cards. You should, however, always be able to double down after splitting aces. If you split aces and then receive a 10-value card, the resulting pair is not considered to be a natural blackjack (although the value is still 21).
Vegas Strip Blackjack Odds and Probability
Playing perfect Vegas Strip Blackjack strategy will decrease the house edge to 0.36%.
Vegas Strip Blackjack Strategy
When playing Vegas Strip Blackjack, it’s important to use some form of strategy if you hope to come out a winner. Of course, the odds are always in favor of the house, so keep in mind that even the best strategy and careful play can still result in a loss (especially if the dealer gets a blackjack).
Learn the Rules – It’s hard to succeed at a game if you don’t know the rules. I’ve explained them in the section above, so it would be wise to read them repeatedly until they’ve been committed to memory. Once they become second nature, you’ll be able to play Vegas Strip Blackjack like a pro.
Practice – This may seem like common sense, but you would be amazed at how many players simply sit down at a blackjack table and expect the cash to come rolling in. As the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”
Find a Strategy Chart – This article doesn’t contain a Vegas Strip Blackjack strategy chart, but you can locate one online if you’re patient. A strategy chart will show you the best move to make based on the value of your cards and the dealer’s hand. While it doesn’t guarantee a win, it does give you the best mathematical chance of success. I used the Google search engine to find a strategy chart, but competitors such as Bing can also be utilized.
Pass on Insurance – Players can buy insurance against a dealer blackjack, but it’s recommended that you pass on this option. If you take it, the house edge increases to as much as 7 percent; you’re better off taking your chances. Blackjack insurance pays out at 2:1, and it’s available when the dealer’s upcard is an ace. Even a player with a natural blackjack can elect to purchase insurance against the house. This is called “taking even money,” and it guarantees the player of winning an amount equal to their initial wager.
Don’t Split 10s – If you have a pair of 10s, you’ll be tempted to split them. Unfortunately, doing so will increase the advantage for the house, so go ahead and be content with your score of 20.
Split Aces – Since an ace can count as 1 or 11, it’s impossible to bust on a two-card hand containing an ace. For this reason, I recommend always splitting a pair of aces to maximize your winning potential.