Multi-Hand Blackjack is one of the most popular variants of the classic blackjack game. As the name suggests, it allows you to play multiple hands at the same time. You can have up to five different hands running, with each one competing against the same dealer hand. Other than that, the rules remain the same, so experienced players will have no issues becoming familiar with this version.
While Multi-Hand Blackjack is available in brick and mortar casinos, it is most popular at the online casino. This way, you can avoid a crowded table and always have the option to play up to five hands. Separate bets are needed for each hand you wish to play, and the stakes can be different.
The game of blackjack used to be known as twenty-one, reflecting the best value one can get from a hand. The card game has been used in casinos in Europe since the early 17th century, but it wasn’t until casinos adopted the game in the United States that the name blackjack came into existence. This title used to refer to a particular hand formed with any black-suited Jack and the valuable Ace of spades. Casinos used to offer a special prize of 10:1 when this hand was achieved, but the bonus feature was removed since it wasn’t profitable for the operators.
The name has remained to this day and blackjack is one of the most recognisable casino games in the world. It has been the main topic of several top films where the protagonists use strategies based on math and observation to beat the casinos and win vast amounts of money.
The ideal player for Multi-Hand Blackjack is one that is already familiar with the traditional version of the game. If you enjoy playing blackjack, be it online or in land-based casinos, you are a perfect candidate for the multi-hand version. Although you can bet on up to five hands, you can start by playing two or three to get used to the concept. Once you feel ready, you can efficiently use the other free spots to place your bets. You can even play Multi-Hand Blackjack if you only sometimes like to play more hands since you can just bet on one for most rounds and switch things up when you feel like it.
The thrill factor increases when playing more hands and so this version is more entertaining than just having one hand to work with for every round. However, the payouts remain low since winning only results in doubling the bet in most cases. Even if you get a total of 21 from the first two cards, the payout is only of 3 to 2. Gamblers who enjoy chasing bigger prizes are encouraged to try other casino games, like roulette, slots, and Sic Bo.
If you are entirely new to the game, the multi-hand feature should not discourage you from trying it out. You can still practice and learn the ropes with minimum bets or even for free if you are playing online.
The game of blackjack follows a set of rules, which you will need to know before playing. It is not like most other casino games where all you have to do is bet and then wait for the outcome to be determined. In blackjack, you can lose the bet if you make the wrong decision, like hitting until you go bust. This makes it more difficult to learn and play. The good news is that we have a quick guide for playing blackjack that can get you on the right track.
First of all, you need to know what the goal is and how to achieve it. Blackjack is a game played against the dealer, and the other player hands at the table do not influence your results. The winning side is the hand with the highest value, without exceeding 21. This value is determined by summing up the cards in hand, where paint cards (Jack, Queen, and King) are worth 10 points, and numbered cards are worth their face value. For the Ace, the value can be either 11 or 1, depending on which one is better.
Now, it is time to place a bet. For most casinos, the minimum value you can bet is of €1, but this limit can be lower when playing online. You have to set the casino chips in the designated box before a round begins. After all bets are placed, the dealer takes cards from the shuffled deck and deals two cards for each side. The player cards are visible while just one of the dealer cards is facing up. At this point, the player has to act. You can Stand or Hit. The former means that you do not want any other cards, while the latter will add another card to your hand. You can hit as many times as you want before you go over 21, also known as going bust.
If you bust, you lose the hand automatically. If you stand on a hand that is of 21 or lower, the dealer will turn his other card and then proceed to hit more cards with the goal of getting a higher value hand. If the dealer goes bust or if he has a lower final hand, the player wins 1:1. If you get 21 from the first to cards (Ace plus a card worth 10), you automatically get a 3:2 payout.
For Multi-Hand Blackjack, you can place your bets on up to five player positions at the table. You will then be dealt a different hand for every stake and play them individually one after the other. Each hand is played against the dealer's hand and not against each other.
Blackjack has been a target of many players trying to use skill and strategies to improve the house edge further and turn the odds in their favour. These techniques are known as advantage play, and although they are not illegal, they are frown upon in casinos. Advantage players that are discovered get evicted and blacklisted from the establishment.
The most popular strategy for blackjack is known as card counting. The concept here is that players can keep track of the dealt cards to establish what values are more likely to be dealt from the remaining stack. After a few hands, a count is determined, and the player then increases the bet and makes decisions based on the cards that are now more likely to appear. By using card counting, the house edge in blackjack can be changed from around 1% to -2%. In other words, players using this strategy actually have an advantage over the casino.
To prevent players from counting cards at the blackjack tables, casinos now use multiple decks of cards and shuffle the stack very often. This makes it impossible to put the strategy into practice. Online casinos are even better at this since they can easily reshuffle the deck after every hand.
On a similar concept, card counting can be used to some extent for every round in Multi-Hand Blackjack. If you are playing five hands at a time, you will get to see 11 cards out of the stack, which has typically five decks. This information can be used to make a decision, especially if multiple cards with the same value are shown on the table.
Optimal play in blackjack, also known as basic strategy, refers to making the right decision for every scenario. This lowers the house edge to under 0.5% even if the stack is formed out of eight decks of cards. It is highly recommended to use this strategy to maximise your potential winnings during a session. While the casino still has an advantage in the long run, it is reasonably small and can be easily turned with a bit of luck.
You will have to consider your cards and the one shown by the dealer. If you have 14 and higher and the dealer has one 6, you should stand. On the same hand but with the dealer having 7 and higher, the recommended approach is to hit, except if you have 17-20. For almost any 10 or 11, it is best to double down since 10 is the most common value card.
In many ways, Multi-Hand Blackjack is the better variant to play at your favourite online casino. If you like playing one hand, you can still do so without any issues. However, if you are feeling lucky and want to try more hands, you can quickly do it at any time. The luck element remains the same since the outcome is determined by random cards from the stack. It does, however, require a bit more skill since you have to direct your attention towards multiple hands.
The return to player rate (RTP) is the same, and it can be lowered by following the basic strategy mentioned above. It is slightly more difficult, but the payouts make it worth it. You are sure to have more fun by playing more hands, especially when all five of them are winners!