Unlike what its name implies, Vegas Strip Blackjack has nothing to do with the naughtier variations of the game that has players undressing! It is named for the fact that the game was developed in casinos of the famous Las Vegas Strip in the center of town. The game is similar to most variations of blackjack and probably most similar to Las Vegas Downtown Blackjack.
The main difference involves the number of decks used and the point in the game where the dealer stands. Experts regularly recommend that newcomers to the game of blackjack begin their practice with Vegas Strip Blackjack due to its simplicity.
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How to Play Vegas Strip Blackjack
The standard rules of Vegas Strip Blackjack may differ slightly between casinos – both online and off, and for this reason the house edge may also change slightly. However, these are the basic rules:
- Objective – To get closer to the number 21 than the dealer does, without going over this number.
- Card Values – 2 through to 9: these cards have their own values. Face cards (ie. Jacks, Queens, Kings): valued at 10. Ace: Either one or 11. Soft Ace: Refers to a hand that has an Ace whose value can vary in the game. Hard Ace: Refers to a hand where the Ace can only be counted as one.
- The game is played with four decks of 52 standard cards.
- The player is dealt two upturned cards.
- The dealer is dealt one card turned up and the other face down (as is usual in games known as hole games). If one of the dealer’s cards is valued at 10 or an Ace, he needs to check for a blackjack. The player has the option of taking insurance before the dealer checks. If the dealer has a blackjack, he wins and the game is over.
- In Vegas Strip Blackjack, the dealer needs to stand on all ‘seventeens’ (including soft seventeens).
- There is no surrendering allowed in this version of blackjack.
- There is no limit on the number of cards that can be dealt in this game, unless – obviously – the total card value exceeds 21, in which case the hand goes bust and the game is over.
- The player has the choice of doubling his bet – known as doubling down - after the first two cards are dealt. However, if this choice is taken, the player can only get hit with one more card after that in the course of the game.
- Blackjack hands stand and are paid out 3:2. Tied hands are pushed and all wagers are paid back to the player. If the dealer hits a blackjack, the player automatically loses all bets.
- Hand Splitting - Hand splitting is allowed in Las Vegas Strip Blackjack. All hands with the same denomination or value (eg. 2 face cards), can be split to form two separate hands. Four live hands can be held at once in the game, with a maximum entitlement of three splits per game. Players can double down on a split hand. Two Aces can only be split once and only one additional card per hand is allowed after that.
- As stated before, if one of the dealer’s first cards is an ace, the player can take out insurance (half his original stake) before the dealer checks for blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, the player gets paid out 2:1. However, the original wager is lost to the casino as the insurance bet is independent of all other bets.
As can be seen, the rules of Vegas Strip Blackjack are easy to apply and simple to follow. This is a more traditional variation of the classic game and for that reason is so sought after by new players or those who are looking for straightforward blackjack play. Vegas Strip Blackjack can be found at many online casinos and is hugely popular.
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