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What is Rummy in Blackjack? Definition, rules, and payouts

Profile Picture: Simon Young

Simon Young

November 18th, 2021

Rummy is a popular card game that causes some confusion in relation to blackjack. Depending on where you are playing, rummy can refer to a popular form of blackjack side bet, commonly known as 21 + 3, or it could be a separate blackjack variant entirely enjoyed in places where blackjack is not allowed.

At most online casinos, like TwinSpires Casino, you can play side bets like 21 + 3. But in some countries, brick-and-mortar casinos do not allow blackjack as we know it, so a variation called rummy is available instead.

As you can most likely play blackjack legally, online or live, we’ll focus more on the side bet that uses rummy logic.

Rummy in Blackjack Side Bets

They are easy to miss, but when you play blackjack at TwinSpires Casino or at your local venue, you have the option of placing side bets alongside your main game action.

The number of different side bets will vary from one game, or one casino, to another, but a popular version is called 21 + 3.

21 + 3 is based on rummy, where you try to make a set or a sequence using your two starting cards and the dealer’s upcard. You’re looking to make a straight, flush, straight flush, three of a kind, and suited three of a kind.

Just like in every card game, the harder it is mathematically to make a hand, the higher the odds, so the more you win.

Blackjack Rummy Payouts

While there may be some differences according to where you play, these are the most common 21 + 3 payouts:

  • Flush 5:1
  • Straight 10:1
  • 3 of a kind 30:1
  • Straight flush 40:1
  • Suited 3 of a kind 100:1

As you can see, placing $5 on 21 + 3 and landing a suited 3 of a kind brings a bumper payout of $505, including your original stake.

It’s important to note that you can win on a blackjack rummy side bet even if your main hand turns into a loser. It’s one reason why many players like to bet on blackjack side bets – it gives them two bites of the cherry with every hand and raises the action.

With all that being said, betting on any of the available blackjack side bets is not recommended because they have a stronger house edge than the base game, meaning you will lose more money in the long run.

What is Rummy in Blackjack as a Main Game?

In countries like Costa Rica, live casinos cannot offer blackjack games. To get around this, many will offer what they call rummy instead. It’s essentially very similar to blackjack but with a few twists to get around the regulations:

  • There is no extra payout for getting a blackjack (ten plus ace)
  • Aces are only worth 11
  • You can double down on any hand, even after splitting
  • You can split and re-split
  • You can take up the early surrender option (if the dealer shows an ace, you can throw away your hand without playing and get half your stake back)
  • Dealer must stand on soft 17 (because aces are value 11)
  • You can get a bonus in the main game by making a rummy hand on your first three cards

The payouts in this blackjack rummy game differ from 21 + 3:

  • 3 of a kind 3:1
  • Straight flush 3:1
  • Suited 3 of a kind 5:1
  • Exact 21 total 5:1

Happily, the bonus pays out immediately for players, even if the third card they receive causes them to bust. You cannot, however, receive a bonus if you are playing out two hands after splitting.

Play Blackjack Rummy Side Bets Today

While you can’t play the Costa Rican blackjack rummy game at TwinSpires Casino, you can try your luck at the blackjack rummy side bet called 21 + 3, available on the blackjack table games including the live dealer tables.

To play, sign up for your account, make a deposit and claim your welcome bonus, then head to the blackjack tables. Good luck!