How to Play Atlantic City Blackjack
Atlantic City Blackjack follows the same core rules as regular blackjack. That means a player must try and get as close to 21 as possible without going bust (exceeding 21). At the end of the round, if the player’s hand is stronger than the dealer’s hand, the player wins.
The number cards in Blackjack are worth their face values whilst picture cards (Jack, Queen and King) are all worth 10. As for Aces, they can be worth either 1 or 11. Thus, in order to form a Blackjack, players must combine a 10-value card with an Ace. Blackjack is the strongest hand and will beat all other hands.
A Round of Atlantic City Blackjack
Before any cards are served, the player is required to place their bets and optional side bets. In some versions of Atlantic City Blackjack, players can play several hands at once. Once all bets have been placed, the dealer serves two face-up cards to the player’s active positions and takes a face-up and face-down card themselves.
At this point, the dealer will check for Blackjack if they have either a 10-value card revealed or an Ace. If the dealer is showing a 10-value card, they will check for Blackjack, and end the round if they have Blackjack. If they are showing an Ace, the player will have the chance to place an Insurance Bet. This costs half the player’s stake and will pay 2:1 if the dealer has Blackjack. If the dealer does not have Blackjack in either scenario, the game continues as usual. The player will have the option to take one of the following actions:
- Stand – The player decides not to take any additional cards and is happy with their hand.
- Hit – The player decides to take an additional card. It is possible to take as many cards as you like, but keep in mind not to exceed 21.
- Double Down – The player doubles their bet but only receives one more card. In Atlantic City Blackjack, it is possible to Double Down on any hand, regardless of how much the hand is worth.
- Surrender – The player decides to forfeit the hand, reclaiming back half their stake.
- Split – The player has received two cards with the same value and decides to split them. In doing so, the player doubles their bet. In Atlantic City Blackjack, it is possible to split several times. However, after splitting Aces, player may only receive one more card. It is also possible to Double Down after splitting.
Atlantic City Blackjack Dealer Rules
Atlantic City Blackjack has a straightforward set of rules for the dealer to follow. Essentially, the dealer must always stand on any hand that is 17 or above. Likewise, they must always hit on a hand that is worth 16 or less, until it reaches at least 17.
Atlantic City Blackjack Payouts
Once all players and the dealer have finished, winning hands are paid out. If the player has won, they will receive even money. If the player has Blackjack, they are paid 3:2. If the player and dealer have the same value hands, the bet is returned as a push.
Atlantic City Blackjack Side Bets
Most Atlantic City Blackjack games will have a variety of side bets available. The most popular two are Perfect Pairs and 21+3.
In Perfect Pairs, the player will win if their first two cards form a pair. If the two cards have the same value but are from a different suit, the Mixed Pair will pay 6:1. If the two pairs have the same colour but are from a different suit, the Coloured Pair pays 12:1. If the two cards are identical, the Perfect Pair will pay 25:1.
The other side bet, 21+3 is formed with the player’s two initial cards and the dealer’s face-up card. In 21+3, players try and form poker hands. When forming a Flush, the player will receive a 5:1 payout. A Straight pays 10:1, Three of a Kind pays 30:1, a Straight Flush pays 40:1 and a Suited Three of a Kind pays 100:1.
Atlantic City Blackjack Basic Strategy
In Atlantic City Blackjack, it is possible to use basic strategy to boost your chances of winning. These strategies are formed with the use of mathematical formulas. When playing following Perfect Blackjack Strategy, players will reduce the house edge to just 0.39%.
Basic Strategy is displayed using charts. Players simply cross reference their initial two cards with the dealer’s up card and the chart tells them what action to take. It may be a little complicated to get the hang of at first, but after practice, Basic Strategy becomes second nature. Let’s take a look at a few examples of Atlantic City Blackjack basic strategy:
- Always Surrender if the dealer is showing a 9, 10 or A and you have 16.
- Always Surrender if the dealer is showing 10 and you have 15.
- If the dealer has 2 to 10 always Double Down if you have 11.
- If the dealer is showing 2 to 9, always Double Down if you have 10.
- If the dealer has a 3 to 6, always Double Down on hard 9s.
- If the dealer is showing a 5 or 6, always Double Down on soft totals A-2 to A-7.
- Always Stand on a hard total of 18 or higher.
- Always hit a hard total of 4 through to 8.
- Never split a pair of 5s or ten value cards such as 10-Q, 10-K, etc.
- Always split 8s and Aces.
These are just a few examples of basic strategy for Atlantic City blackjack. There are more scenarios and you should have no problem finding a complete Atlantic City Blackjack strategy chart online.
If you are dealt a 5 and a 4, whilst the dealer reveals a 6, you should always Double Down.
If you are dealt a 7 and an 8, whilst the dealer reveals a 10, you should always Surrender.
If you are dealt a Queen and a Jack, you should Stand, regardless of what the dealer is showing.
If you are dealt a pair of 8s, you should always Split, regardless of what the dealer is showing.
If you are dealt a King and a 6, whilst the dealer is showing a 9, you should always Surrender.
Atlantic City Blackjack Betting System
To enjoy Atlantic City to the full, you should also consider a betting system as it is the most effective way of managing your bankroll. It will help ensure that you do not run out of funds before you are ready to stop playing and at the same time, by being able to play for longer, you will have more chances to win.
There are three forms of betting systems, positive progressions, negative progressions and flat betting. Positive progressions will see you raise your bet after a win. Contrary to this, negative progressions will see you raise your bet after a loss. In Atlantic City Blackjack, many players tend to use the Oscar Betting System, which is a combination of both positive and negative progressions. However, for many people flat betting, in which you simply bet the same amount per hand, is the simplest option.
There is no guarantee that players using betting systems will win. However, when used correctly, they certainly help players manage their bankroll and ensure that they can play for an extended period of time.