Vegas Downtown Blackjack, an American hole card game, is similar to the traditional game of blackjack, although there exist certain differences. It is clearly one of the most popular casino blackjack games in the industry and players can choose between a single hand version and a multi-hand version.
The story goes that Vegas Downtown Blackjack was developed by several casinos in downtown Las Vegas who were looking for interesting variations of the game to draw players off the Vegas strip and into their establishments. As such, Vegas Downtown Blackjack was created, with differences in the number of decks used, the surrender rules and when the dealer needs to stand. Today it can also be played on the internet at online casino sites.
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How to Play Vegas Downtown Blackjack
- Vegas Downtown Blackjack is played with two decks of 52 cards each. The fact that two decks are used means that the odds of hitting certain cards are altered, in comparison to playing traditional blackjack with only one deck. The cards are shuffled after the end of each game.
- One of the dealer’s cards is dealt face down (aka as a hole card game). If one of the dealer’s face-up cards is an ace or ten, the dealer needs to check for a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, he automatically wins the game and the game is over.
- A blackjack always beats any other hand in the game.
- Face cards (ie. Kings, Queens and Jacks) have a face value of 10.
- As long as the total value of the cards does not exceed 21, players can draw up to 9 additional cards to create a hand of eleven cards. Once a player has 11 cards in total, the hand automatically stands and the dealer needs to play his hand.
- The dealer hits with an ace and six (a soft seventeen) and needs to stand on all other variations of seventeen.
- There is no late surrender is Vegas Downtown Blackjack.
- All players’ blackjack hands that are not matched by the dealer’s hands automatically get paid out 3:2.
- If a player gets two blackjacks at once, this is known as a push.
- Tied hands are also considered a push, with nothing being won as all bets are returned to the player.
- A hand of two aces may only be split once during a game of Vegas Downtown Blackjack. If this is done, one hit per new hand is allowed.
- A blackjack hand may not constitute a split ace and ten value cards. In other words, the player cannot be paid out 3:2 on hands that are made up by split aces and ten value cards.
- Vegas Downtown Blackjack allows players to split hands up to three times per game. This may not surpass four playable hands at once. The exception to this rule, of course, is the ace.
- Players can double down split hands.
- Players can take insurance only once it is revealed that the dealer’s upturned card is an ace.
- Insurance bets pay out 2:1
- Insurance is limited and only covers the original hand. It does not include double down bets or split hands.
- Players pay half the original stake to take out an insurance bet.
- If the dealer reveals the second card as a value of ten (ie. creating a blackjack), the insurance bet wins.
Vegas Downtown Blackjack is a fun and interesting version of traditional blackjack. It is similar enough to the original in order to understand the rules quickly enough, but with a twist that provides a new dimension to the game. Remember that is it advisable to learn the strategies and odds of this game before attempting to play for real money. Rules may vary from casino to casino. Free downloadable software is available at online casinos to provide you ample opportunity to practice Vegas Downtown Blackjack.
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