What happens if you get blackjack will vary, depending on the value of the dealer’s upcard, as follows:
- If the dealer’s up-card is an Ace or a ten-card, they will check their down card to determine if the two will make a blackjack or a natural hand. A blackjack is a 21-value hand made up of two cards, an Ace and a ten-card (10, J, Q, or K).
- Your natural hand wins automatically if the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack. The payout for a winning blackjack varies based on the variant you are playing. You will get paid $3 for every $2 wagered or 1.5 times your stake in a 3:2 blackjack variant. If you are playing a 6:5 blackjack, your payout will be $6 for every $5 wagered or 1.2 times your stake amount.
- If the dealer also has a blackjack, the round ends in a tie. The bet is pushed, meaning you will get your stake back for the next game. Other hands that are not blackjacks lose automatically, and the next round of blackjack starts.
- Your blackjack hand is an automatic winner if the dealer’s up-card is not a ten-card or an Ace. You will get your 3/2 of 6/5 payout immediately. The dealer will only look at their down card once it reaches their turn to play.
Remember, a blackjack is a holy grail or the strongest hand you can have in blackjack. It has the highest value of 21; so naturally, one of the cards is an Ace. The other card that can complete a blackjack is a ten-value card, be it a ten, jack, queen, or king.
Do dealers count Ace 1 or 11?
In traditional blackjack, the dealers typically count the first Ace as 11, which means they must hit with 16 or less and stand on a total of 17 or up. However, this is only sometimes the case and not across all blackjack variants. Some blackjack games have table rules allowing the dealer to hit with a hand of 17
In blackjack games with the Soft 17 rule, the dealers can count an Ace as either 1 or 11 . If the dealer has an Ace-6, in particular, and must hit on Soft 17, the rules stipulate the Ace to be counted as a 1. It must be noted that Soft 17 rules are preset and not determined by the dealer in real-time.
An Ace is a paramount card in blackjack, and for a good reason. It can be counted as both 1 and 11, depending on the game rules, the order in which the cards were dealt, and the variant you are playing. A hand that consists of an Ace and a non-ten-card is called a soft hand since you can count the A as an 11 or 1.
What is the 5 card rule in blackjack?
The 5-card rule in blackjack is a special rule in some games that pay out automatically when you get five cards without exceeding 21 or busting. It is sometimes known as the 5-card Charlie rule and gives a slight edge to the players in the long run.
The probability of landing a five-card Charlie by getting five cards without going bust is just 1.96% or roughly once every 50 hands (50:1). Other factors like the rules of the game, numbers of decks in play, and use of basic blackjack strategy can influence the odds that you’ll collect 5 cards without surpassing 21.
A 5-card Charlie wins instantly, as long as your hand doesn’t bust. You will get paid even money or double your stake (2 to 1), depending on the payout rules of the game.
The only exception is when the dealer has a blackjack (a natural hand of 21). If that happens, all player hands that are not a blackjack, including 5-card Charlies, will lose.
It should be noted that most land-based casinos and gambling sites don’t offer the 5-card Charlie rule. That’s because the rule tends to reduce the house edge and ultimately swing the odds in favor of the players. It would be best if you always strived to find a casino or a blackjack table that accepts this rule.
How Other Blackjack Rule Variations Affect 5 Card Charlie
If you are lucky enough to find and play a blackjack variant with the 5 Card Charlie Rule, the game will undoubtedly incorporate some additional rules. The pay-table and the game’s basic blackjack strategy will also be slightly altered. A variety of other blackjack rules will also be applied, along with the 5-card rule, including:
- Side bet rules
- Blackjack insurance bets
- Splitting rules
- Doubling down after a split rule
- Soft 17 rule variations – For instance, your chances of reaching five cars are higher is the dealer stands on Soft 17.
For instance, if you split a pair, you will need to get 5 or more cards in each resulting hand to auto-win. Also, the 5 Card Charlie rule may not be able to work along with side bets, such as 21+3 and Perfect Pairs. After all, if you collect 5 cards without busting, the rule guarantees a win, and the round ends there. That means you won’t be able to win both by out-scoring the dealer and getting a 5-card Charlie. Only one can triumph in a blackjack round.
Why Casinos Hate 5 Card Blackjack Rule
At the end of the day, the 5 Card Charlie rule tilts the edge slightly toward the players, although a win comes only once every 50 hands. Blackjack is one game with a decently low house edge, and the rule can further reduce the casino’s advantage. Casinos don’t want that – they are in the business of making profits from their games, after all.
The blackjack house edge is around 0.5% for someone who follows the basic strategy down to the letter. When you incorporate an additional rule like 5-Card Charlie, you will push this house edge further down to around 0.1%. Your probability of forming a five-card hand of less than 21 might be 1.96%, but that is sufficient bias to swing the pendulum more in favor of the players.
As stated, gambling entities don’t want to cut their profits. If they don’t make money from their blackjack tables, casinos will eventually close shop, and everyone will suffer. Land-based casinos particularly dislike the five-card rule for that reason alone. You may be lucky enough to locate a variant that offers the five-card Charlie rule at online casinos, but they usually introduce other rules to offset the loss in the house edge.
Why 5-Card Rule Rarely Wins
The short answer is that casinos rarely offer the 5-Card Charlie Rule. It cuts the house advantage and would not increase the casino’s returns in the long. It could actually tilt the odds in favor of the player when combined with other rules and betting tactics like basic blackjack strategy, and side bet rules like perfect pairs side bets.
The 5 Card Charlie rule alone can add around 1.46% to a traditional blackjack game’s return-to-player (RTP) percentage.
The house edge is already hovering around 1% when the player sticks to the basic blackjack strategy. You will only see the rule in blackjack variants like 6/5 blackjack that offer lower payouts.
All in all, 5 cards rarely win because the more cards you take, the more likely your hand will burst. For instance, if you have a four-card hand already worth 15, taking another card is almost a sure road to busting.
Which Blackjack Variants Offer the 5-Card Charlie Rule?
You will need help finding a good blackjack game with the five-card Charlie rule. No brick-and-mortar casino offers this kind of profit-reducing rule. They cannot afford to do that.
- Blackjack Charlie 7 – This virtual blackjack game comes from the software developer Win Interactive. You must collect at least seven cards without busting for an automatic win. You can play it at PartyCasino.com
- Blackjack 5-Card Charlie
- Blackjack 6-Card Charlie
Of course, the number shows how many cards you must get without busting to get paid a Charlie.
The Downsides of the 5-Card Rule
- Unavailability – Games with 5 Card Charlie are nearly impossible to find, especially in land-based cases.
- It painfully prolongs the game – The five-card rule may become a hurdle when playing blackjack due to the time you need to collect 5, 6, or 7 required cards without busting. You can inconvenience all the players at the blackjack table chasing something that comes around only once every 50 hands.
- Winning a 5-card Charlie is difficult – Again, the odds of winning a 5-card Charlie are a meager 1.96%
- It is easy to mess up your basic blackjack strategy – You may compromise your basic blackjack strategy and make poor moves in an attempt to collect five, six, or seven cards. In the end, you will reduce your chances of winning.
Best Basic Strategy for the 5-Card Blackjack Rule
Every blackjack rule affects the gameplay and your odds of winning. Depending on the variant at play, the basics rules of Charlie can also affect how you play the basic blackjack strategy. That’s why you should adjust your strategy accordingly.
Here are essential strategies for executing the 5 card Charlie rule:
Don’t rely on the rule
The first strategy is to not count on the rule. You shouldn’t expect it to work instantly. Remember getting 5 cards without going bust only occurs 1.96% of the time. So, you don’t have to alter your basic strategy significantly when you play Charlie blackjack.
The only time you should seriously consider the rule is when you are nearly getting 5 cards, and your hand is still below 21. If you are not close to five cards, you’d better stick to your regular gameplay. You may profit more by focusing on other aspects of the game, such as when to double down, how to split pairs, the soft 17 rule, and the number of decks at play.
Know when to stand or hit
Recommend doing the following instead of relying on the 5 card Charlie rule:
- Hitting if you have 4 cards worth less than 21
- Hitting when you have a soft 17 or less
- Hitting if you have a 12-16 hand with no aces and cards 7 or higher
- Standing when you have a hard 17 or more
- Standing if all your four cards are worth from 2 to 6
Know when to double down
We recommend that you double down when…
- You have soft 15 through 18
- You have hard 10 or 11 with only low-value cards
Does 5 cards beat 21 in blackjack?
Yes and no. On the one hand, 5 cards that don’t bust can beat a non-blackjack 21, meaning a hand not made up of an Ace and a ten-card. However, a winning 5-card Charlie won’t beat a natural 21, which refers to a blackjack hand.
Does blackjack beat 21?
Yes – A player’s blackjack can beat a dealer’s regular 21. The only exception is that a player’s blackjack will tie with a dealer’s 21 that is a blackjack. For example, a player’s Ace-King will beat a dealer’s K-6-5.
However, a player’s blackjack, such as an Ace-10, won’t win over a dealer’s blackjack like Ace-Queen, Ace-10, or Ace-Jacks.
Is it smart to play blackjack by yourself?
It depends. If you enjoy playing blackjack in a secluded and quiet environment, it may be wise to play by yourself. However, if you are playing a recreational game at home, it will quickly become boring, as you will have to act as both the dealer and the player.
If you are playing at an online casino, you have no choice but to play alone, one-on-one, against the virtual dealer. Thankfully, the outcomes are unpredictable and fair because they are determined by autonomous random number generators (RNGs).
What does it mean when blackjack pays 3 to 2?
When blackjack pays 3 to 2, it means exactly what it sounds like – You will get paid $3 for every $2 you stake for a winning blackjack hand. In other words, your payout for a winning blackjack hand is one and half times (1.5x) your wagered amount. So, if you place an original bet of $10 and hit a blackjack, you should expect a payoff of $15.
This important table rule encompasses the payout or profit you should expect when you create a natural hand of 21. You will find the Pays 3 to 2 rule emblazoned in bold letters on top of the blackjack table felt. This payout rate is better than just beating the dealer’s hand without busting.
If you have a stronger hand than the dealer, but it is not a blackjack, the payout is even money or 1 to 1. From the example above, you will get a $20 payoff for your initial wager of $10. This doubles your stake, so you will get a profit equal to the amount you wagered. However, with a 3/2 blackjack payout, you will profit 1.5x your stake.
What are better odds: 3 to 2 or 6 to 5 blackjack games?
A game that pays 3 to 2 for a blackjack win certainly offers better odds than a variant with a payout rate of 6 to 5. That’s because you will take a profit of $15 and $12 if the casino pays a winning $10 blackjack bet 3 to 2 and 6 to 5, respectively. The difference in payout is $3, which can be pretty significant in the long run.
3:2 blackjack versus 6:5 blackjack – What’s the difference?
The difference between 6/5 blackjack and 3/2 is relatively straightforward. If you win a blackjack at 3:2 blackjack, the dealer pays $3 for every $2 you wagered or at the odds of 1.5:1. Meanwhile, in 6:5 blackjack, you will receive $6 for every $5 wagered or at the odds of 1.2:1.
The odds difference may look minuscule, but that can make a big difference in the expected value (EV) in the long run.
The changes in payout percentage can also have a significant impact on the house edge and RTP. Many factors can influence your expected outcome, but generally, the house goes up by a whopping 400 percent when you switch from 3:2 blackjack to 6:5 blackjack.
When you play 3:2 blackjack variants using the basic strategy, you can get the house edge down to around 0.5%, meaning you will lose an average of $0.50 for every $100 wagered over a long period. However, the house edge jumps to nearly 2% even if you use the basic strategy upon switching to a 6:5 blackjack game. That means you can expect to lose roughly $2 for every $100 you bet over an extended period of play.
What should you not do at a blackjack table?
You should not do the following things at a blackjack table:
Hand cash directly to the dealer – Instead, place your money on the table in front of your position, and the dealer will give you playing chips of equal value.
- Become too emotional
- Disturb other players
- Instruct others on how to play
- Touch the playing cards
- Forget to tip the servers and waiters
- Drink too much or become intoxicated
- Curse at or abuse the casino employees or other players
- Touch the chips once the cards have been dealt
- Verbalize your actions instead of signaling them to the dealer