Multi-hand blackjack: Rules, strategy, and how to play

Profile Picture: Simon Young

January 12th, 2021

You know how frustrating it can be when slow players hold you up when you’re playing blackjack. There you are, sitting in seat five, and the guys in seats two, three, and four seem to take ages to make their decision on every hand. Wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if somehow you could speed all the action up?

Well, now you can.

With multi-hand blackjack online, you get to sit in more than one seat, playing more than one hand on every round. Now, the action falls on you not once but two, three times, or more. It’s you who determines the pace of the game.

Thanks to the virtual nature of online blackjack, you can sit at the same table – live dealer tables are best – and face the same dealer and his cards, but with different starting hands of your own.

Multi-hand blackjack is excellent entertainment for those who know what they are doing – but can be fraught with dangers for the unawares.

What is multi-hand blackjack?

When you play at one of the cool live dealer blackjack tables at BetAmerica Casino, you occupy one of the seven seats. Usually, the rest are taken by other players, but now and again, someone leaves, and the seat remains empty. Nothing is stopping you from hopping over and occupying that seat as well as your current one. You can do this at as many free seats as you wish unless the casino rules forbid it.

Now at the start of the next hand, you must place your starting stake on each of your seats. You can mix the stakes up if you wish, so long as you stick to the table limits. You must play each hand in turn, according to the cards you are dealt. Once you’re done, along with any other players at the table, the dealer plays out his hand, and wins and losses are determined as normal.

Multi-hand blackjack strategy

At first glance, you might assume that your blackjack strategy does not change just because you are playing more than one starting hand – and you would be right to a certain extent. After all, each hand is independent of the other, and the goal remains to beat the dealer’s score or hope the dealer busts.

However, playing more than one hand does have certain nuances that you can use to your advantage and perhaps increase your chance of making a profit over your blackjack session.

The first thing to stress is that playing multi-hand blackjack can be more volatile if you play with your normal stake on each hand. Imagine you have $100 to play with and usually bet $5 a hand. This is reasonably safe within your bankroll. But if you sit in four seats at once and bet $5 on each, you are exposing $20 of your $100 bankroll every round. You risk going bust with a poor run of cards.

If the table minimum bet allows, you can counter this by reducing your starting stake across your multiple hands.

Now comes the better news. Playing more than one blackjack hand means you can mitigate potential problems and take advantage of good spots. Let’s give you some examples.

If the dealer shows a 5 or a 6 upcard, both good spots for you, you can rightly expect to win your hands. You can double down on many starting hands and decide to stand on just about any combination from 12 upwards.

However, if the dealer shows strength, perhaps with a nine or a 10, you should expect his other card to be a ten, finishing in a strong position. With this in mind, you can mitigate your own hands. Say you have starting hands of 14, 15, 13, and 9 – only one of which shows promise. You should decide from the beginning that you will stand on the 14. This might be odd, but you then move on to the 15 and take a card. Get lucky, and you can stand on a high score. But if you bust, you move on to the 13 – perhaps this time you take a card and stand whatever the result (unless you bust), and then play the nine hand in a similar fashion.

Now, at least if the dealer busts, you win by standing on the first hand, with 14, and potentially on the third and fourth hand. If the dealer turns over a 10 and has 20, well, that’s just bad luck – unless you got lucky and made 20 or 21 with your 15, 13, or 9 starting hands.

Think of the first hand as your safety hand, standing so you can win should the dealer bust.

You can play many variations of this strategy, of course, but it's perhaps a bad idea is to play the same way with each hand. Doing so risks you losing every hand in a round. Of course, you might win every hand – but while winning is brilliant, losing can end your game rather quickly and is infinitely worse.

Whichever way you decide, always play with a basic blackjack strategy, and watch how much you’re laying out every round. You don’t want to expose too much of that precious bankroll.

Play live dealer blackjack today

When you sign up with BetAmerica Casino and claim your welcome bonus, you can head to the live casino section and take a seat at a blackjack table. Keep an eye on the other seats, and take one if it opens up. Experiment playing with two hands first, and if you get comfortable, add a third or more. Good luck at the tables!