Playing Vegas Strip blackjack
Vegas Strip is an American game with "hole card" that shares most of essential features of classical blackjack. The differences between the classical blackjack and Vegas Strip blackjack variant depend mainly on the rules of Split and Double.
- The objective and the game process are basically the same with Vegas Strip blackjack and classical blackjack. The player is supposed to get a total hand value of 21 through making different decisions while playing blackjack, like Stand, Hit, Double and Split. The hand that exceeds 21 loses, or goes bust. The payout for "blackjack" (or "natural") rates 3 to 2 (for example, every $1 bet will pay $1.5). The winning hands will get even money.
- The dealer is supposed to check his or her cards for "blackjack" if the face-up card is an Ace or a 10-valued card. In such case the players won't have to make unfavorable decisions without knowing the dealer has the best hand.
- The player can choose to double down on any two cards, not only on 9s, 10s or 11s, as some games require.
- Vegas Strip blackjack is played with four decks of 52 cards. This reduces the odds for hitting a certain card because of the increased number of cards and, consequently, hitting possibilities. But if a player applies a good basic blackjack strategy, his or her odds of winning increase.
- The dealer is forced to stand on "Soft 17". In regular blackjack this rule usually varies, especially as the dealer's opportunity to hit on "Soft 17" increases the house edge by approximately 0.2%.
- All pairs can be split. The player is allowed to split and even re-split (if needed) his or her pairs into four new hands. Some casinos even allow doubling after the split, but this is a variable rule. However, it is not allowed to split Aces more than once, and only one additional card can be dealt to each of the split Aces.
- All 10-valued cards can be split. For example, if a player gets a King and a Queen each valued 10, it is possible to split the cards into two hands.
- The player who split his or her Aces and got a 10-valued card would not have a "natural". In fact, it would only be counted as 21 and paid even money.
- When the dealer's face-up card is an Ace, the player can make a blackjack insurance bet against the dealer's "blackjack" before playing the hand. In case the dealer has a "natural blackjack", the player is paid out at 2 to 1 and loses the original bet. Otherwise the player preserves the original bet and loses insurance.
While playing Vegas Strip blackjack it is important to note that according to the variety of splitting and doubling rules you might have to bet more money every time you split a pair or double down. But if you use appropriate strategies and follow instructions on your blackjack strategy chart, you will be able to reduce house edge and gain some substantial profit from gambling at the Vegas Strip blackjack table.