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Multi Hand Blackjack

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The multi hand blackjack game variant is an offshoot of the original “Twenty-One”, which was first referenced in the 17th Century by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. Numerous incarnations of the game have since sprung up over the years. It is not exactly clear when or where the first game of multi hand blackjack was played, but it seems to have gained popularity incredibly quickly at various casinos around the world. Now it is a commonly-offered variant that particularly favors more experienced players, who are able to effectively multi-task. This is due to the fact that a player can play multiple hands in a round – hence the reason for the name.

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What is multi-hand blackjack and how is it different?

Multi-hand blackjack rules don’t differ all that much from the rulesets followed by more traditional variants. You are still competing against the dealer by trying to get a score as close to 21 without going over it. All the while, you are also trying to get more than the dealer without going bust – meaning to exceed 21. The big difference here is that players can choose to play up to five hands simultaneously, rather than the usual single hand. 

Each hand is treated independently from all others, no matter the owner. So, you can’t make a split from two separate hands for instance. This also goes for wagers, as you can only choose individual bet amounts for each of your hands. Each hand is played in the order it is dealt and it is important to be aware that certain player actions are usually removed, such as the option to surrender.

Multiple decks are used, as opposed to other variants that may only use one or two decks at most. This makes it more difficult for newer players to get into, as it becomes harder to predict which card may show up next. And this is something that needs to be managed on top of the extra hands that are in play. It is, therefore, advised that beginner blackjack players settle for a more standard and basic version, at least until they become more comfortable with the game and we can help them to get there with our in-depth blackjack guide that covers the best blackjack strategies and more.

How to play – multi-hand blackjack rules

There aren’t really any additional rules on how to play multi-hand blackjack from the other basic rulesets. If you know how to play blackjack, then you can think of multi-hand blackjack as pretty much exactly the same but with more hands to juggle at once. The benefit of this is allowing players to up their betting action during a single round. It’s also much more exciting for some! 

Players can also split up their bet across multiple hands, thereby spreading out the risk of each individual hand. The obvious negative to this is that players will generally burn through their funds much quicker, as the number of hands played per hour increases drastically when folding in multiple bets per round. This is why it is especially important that players are experienced and fully aware of the added risk that comes along with this increase in betting activity per round.


Payouts are also not affected by the addition of being able to play multiple hands. Players don’t get more of an edge by being able to play more hands. Therefore, there is little reason for a casino to further increase the odds in their favor. As such, you can expect the usual 3 to 2 payouts on a blackjack of 21. All other wins are paid out at 1 to 1, essentially doubling your original stake. Insurance bets can also be offered at the table. This pays out at 2 to 1. 

The above-mentioned payouts follow the standard ruleset. However, it is likely that you will come across a table with its own sets of rules. This may affect various mechanics of the game or even the payouts. Some blackjack variants only offer a 1-to-1 payout on all wins, for example, including a blackjack. It is, therefore, important that you make yourself familiar with the table’s specific ruleset before committing to any wagers. You can even watch a few rounds beforehand.

Multi-hand blackjack strategies and other helpful tips

The principles of a good multi-hand blackjack strategy follow the same path as standard blackjack strategies. A good way to think about it is that, if you are playing with two hands, you are essentially playing two separate rounds of standard blackjack. The same principles that you would apply to two separate rounds now instead go into these two hands in the same round.

GoodLuckMate’s best tips for playing multi-hand blackjack are:

  • Make sure you have a budget in mind before playing and stick to it
  • Stick within your comfort zone
  • If you are only familiar with handling two hands per round, don’t move on to three just because you feel you are on a roll
  • It is advised to avoid insurance bets, as the house edge on them is a whopping 5.9%
  • Always Hit on a 5, 6 or 7
  • Always Stand on a 17, 18, 19, or 20
  • Always Split on double Aces

House edge – what are your chances of winning?

The house edge for blackjack is very low when compared to other casino games like roulette and slots. While slots usually sit at a house edge of around 7%, blackjack is usually only less than half a percent. The exact edge depends on the variant being played, as European blackjack has a house edge of 0.40%, while American blackjack goes as low as 0.35%. Increasing the number of hands you can play per round doesn’t affect the house edge whatsoever. While card counters may have certain strategies based around a faster pace of cards being drawn, most players are recommended to stick with the basic strategies and principles of playing blackjack.  

Remember to be aware of any additional table rules that may be present. These can have a big impact on the house edge. Also, some tables may alter the payout, while others limit your splitting options. Be sure to double-check the rules of the table before committing to a wager, so that you don’t end up feeling cheated.

Play multi-hand blackjack at online casinos

It is easy to find multi-hand blackjack online. With countless choices between what casino to pick, let alone what table to sit at, the hard part is simply finding the right one for you. These sites provide welcome bonuses for newly registered customers, as well as regular promotions, loyalty programs, and large game collections. You won’t have any problems finding the right game variant or a seat at the table. Online casinos are not limited by the same physical constraints as their land-based counterparts. And all of this can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home or on the go with your mobile device of choice.

To make sure you find the right multi-hand blackjack casino, be sure to check out our casino reviews section. At GoodLuckMate, we provide concise reviews written by unbiased industry veterans. This makes it all the easier for you to find true quality and value online.

Live dealer games vs RNG games

Whether you prefer live dealer games or virtual RNG action, there are plenty of options for free multi-hand blackjack online. Virtual table games use RNG algorithms to create truly unique results each round, allowing players to duke it out against the computer. This is particularly great for beginners, who want to learn the game without distractions. You can even play with virtual funds, allowing you to nail down a strategy without taking on any financial risk. 

Live dealer games, on the other hand, do not allow you to play for free. They use innovative streaming technology to provide you with a direct feed to a studio housed by all of your favorite table games and professional dealers. Players can interact with each other and the dealer, while soaking in the immersive casino atmosphere. Whatever you choose, there are plenty of choices, just be sure to always check the specific rules of each table before going for blackjack.

Nerijus Grenda
Nerijus GrendaUpdated: 01 Jul 2022
Nerijus is one of our top writers here at GoodLuckMate, and he knows exactly what casino players want to read about. He got started in the iGaming industry as a player, more specif...

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