Blackjack Card Handling Variations

  • Cards dealt face down - Typically, the cards are dealt face up in four deck and larger games and face down in two deck and smaller games. Exceptions exist.
  • No dealer hole card dealt - With this option, seen generally outside the U.S., the dealer does not receive a second card until after the players have played their hands. With this option, the dealer cannot peek to check for Blackjack. Four variations exist describing how bets are handled when the dealer gets a Blackjack:
    • Blackjack Wins All - This lousy option means that all split hands and DD bets will be lost if the dealer has Blackjack.
    • Original Bets & Busted - OBBO means that if you split, the original bet will always be lost and the split hand will be lost if it busts. Double-Down bets are not lost.
    • Original Bets Only (OBO) - The best version. Only your first bet is lost. DD and Split bets are returned.
    • Busted Bets + 1 (BB+1) - This Australian rule means that you will lose all busted bets, plus one other bet if it exists.
  • Double Down dealt face up - More and more casinos are dealing the double down card face up as this can reduce cheating.
  • Dealer shows burn cards - Some casinos discard (burn) one to five cards off of the top of the deck after shuffling. (Six cards in some Russian casinos.) Some of those casinos show them and some don't. In some cases, you can ask a casino to show them when they normally don't.
  • Dealer peeks on 10 - In many casinos, the dealer will peek at the down card to check for Blackjack when the dealer up card is a ten. This option is becoming more common as newly developed optical devices for peeking at the down card are being installed on casino tables.
  • Dealer peeks on Ace - Normally, the dealer will peek at the down card when an Ace is showing as there is a good chance that a Blackjack exists. Some casinos do not check to prevent cheating.
  • Burn card before each round - Some Asian casinos discard one card before each round begins. This is not a good rule for card counters.

Blackjack Rules main page






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