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Playing Multi-Hand Blackjack
Multihand Blackjack is the ultimate blackjack game if playing just one hand in the casino is a little bit boring for you. With Multihand Blackjack you play different hands simultaneously with all the dynamics that come with it. Time to elaborate a little bit on this snappy blackjack variant.
Basic rule for Multihand Blackjack
Multihand Blackjack allows you to play multiple hands (3 or even 5) in parallel. That sounds complicated to many people and as we will see it is quite demanding from a concentration point-of-view. Still, the common blackjack rules apply. And the key objective of blackjack – come closer to 21 than the dealer does – remains the same.
The game rules for this blackjack multihand version
With Multihand Blackjack you get multiple seats at the table. For each hand you receive two cards from the dealer which are open on the table. After dealing your cards, the dealer also deals two cards to himself, of which one (the hole card) remains closed until it is the dealer’s turn. After receiving your cards, you play multiple rounds of blackjack, one for each hand. Each round, you have the following options:
- If you have 21 points in a hand, that’s called blackjack and your round is finished. Blackjack gives a pay-out of 3:2 unless the dealer also has blackjack. That’s called a tie or push, and in that case you don’t win or lose.
- If you don’t have a natural blackjack, you can decide to hit. Hit means that you ask the dealer for an additional card in order to come closer to 21 points. In blackjack an Ace is 1 or 11 points (whatever suits better). King, Queen and Jack are 10 points and all other cards have their own face value.
- You can hit one or more times, but if you accidentally pass 21 points, you bust and immediately lose your bet for that hand.
- You can also decide that you have enough points and don’t need more cards. That’s called a ‘stand’ and it means that you keep your current number of points. At the end of the game they will be compared with the dealer to see who came closer to 21.
- There are some specials. One of them is Double Down. You can use this option and double your bet if you are optimistic about your chances for that specific hand. After Doubling Down you receive one additional card. Check the Double Down rules in your casino, since they may differ per casino, also in online and live casino’s.
- If you received two cards with the same value, you can split them. Each card is the starting point for a new hand, and you must add a bet for the new hand. If you start with 5 blackjack hands, you can end with 10.
- There are also a few options to reduce the risk in case the dealer has a big chance for a blackjack. These options are insurance and even money. Easy to remember is that you don’t need them since they even decrease your Return-To-Player (RTP).
So, each blackjack round for a hand in Multihand Blackjack is played separately. After you played all hands (which means that they either have blackjack, stand or busted), it is time for the dealer.
The dealer blackjack round
The dealer plays a single round of blackjack. He follows the casino rules as written down on the live blackjack table. A typical rule is for example ‘dealer must stand on 17 and draw to 16’. The dealer first turns the hole card and then the following steps are possible:
- If the dealer has a natural blackjack, all player hands without blackjack lose. Player hands which also have blackjack push and keep their bets.
- In case the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, he can take additional cards following the beforementioned casino blackjack rules, until he stands or busts.
- If the dealer busts, all remaining player hands win and receive a 1:1 pay-out. If a player hand has blackjack, this pay-out is 3:2.
- Finally, when the dealer stands, his hand is compared with all remaining player hands. Hands with blackjack receive their 3:2 pay-out. If a hand has more points than the dealer, you receive a 1:1 payment. Hands with the same points as the dealer push and keep their bet. Hands with fewer points lose their bets.
Multihand in the online and live casino
In a real live casino you can simply take more blackjack positions and play multiple hands. Also in a live casino this is possible. In the online casino there is a specific blackjack option called Multihand Blackjack especially targeting people who want to play several hands at the same time. Still, you can decide to just play a single hand. Whatever you prefer. There is also a version called Blackjack 5-hand. Where Multihand Blackjack is often limited to 3 hands, this version extends your options to 5 hands.
The benefit for playing online is that the casino does a lot of thinking for you. You automatically see all playing options for each hand when it is your turn for that hand. Options like Doubling Down or Split. Very easy and one of the many benefits of online and live casinos.
What is your Multihand Blackjack strategy
One of the psychological tricks that multihand plays with your mind is that people think their win chances are bigger. That’s not true. Since blackjack is an even money game where you statistically win nearly one out of every two games, you on average win at least one hand during each multihand game. This could give you the impression that you win a lot more compared to regular single hand blackjack.
There also isn’t a dedicated strategy for multihand blackjack. Each hand in Multihand Blackjack is entirely isolated from the others. There is no difference between three players playing a single hand, and one player playing three hands. Which means that you can follow the basic blackjack strategy which works for single hand blackjack.
What can be nice however, is to experiment. You can use different blackjack approaches for different hands and check your results at the end of your session. Are you not convinced for example by the benefit of Doubling Down? Just use one hand (hand 1) where you never use this option and another (hand 2) where you always Double Down when possible. In the end you can easily compare the results of hand 1 and hand 2. It is not a theoretical perfect experiment, but nice to execute anyway. Although the real blackjack experts immediately will tell you that the outcome already is defined by the clear strategy rules. But who cares, it is your game.
The house advantage of Multihand Blackjack
What are your chances when you play Multihand Blackjack? That’s a question with a pretty straightforward answer. Since each hand represents as a separate game of blackjack, your chances are identical to standard blackjack.
In regular blackjack, the casino house advantage (or house edge) is very low. It is slightly over 1% and if you play following strict blackjack strategy rules, you can even drop below 1%. Or in other words, your RTP is over 99%. So, also with Multihand blackjack, your chances are relatively fine.
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