American Blackjack in US Casinos

American blackjack is a popular version of blackjack, or 21. It is played in casinos throughout the world, with many people unfamiliar with the game confusing it with other variations. It’s hard to fault them though, there are subtle differences between American blackjack and other versions of 21.

american blackjack cards

When referring to American blackjack, several versions of blackjack can be categorized as American blackjack. These include Atlantic City blackjack, Spanish 21, Vegas Strip blackjack, and many more. Finding purely American blackjack is difficult, with each online casino adding its own rules and flair. Below, we’ll explain to you the basic rules of American blackjack, how it’s played, and a basic strategy you can use.

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American Blackjack Rules

As mentioned, there are a wide range of blackjack games that fall under the ‘American blackjack’ category. But US players will find that these games have the same fundamental American blackjack rules.

  • Games use six to eight decks of cards.
  • If the dealer’s up card is a 10 or an Ace, they can peak at their hole card (the face down card).
  • Dealers must always stand on a soft 17.
  • The payout can either be the standard 3:2 or 6:5.
  • Players splitting Aces means they can’t get blackjack.
  • Players can double down on any hand total.
  • After splitting, doubling down is allowed.
  • Splitting is allowed up to three times.
  • You can only split Aces once.
  • A late surrender is allowed.

How to Play American Blackjack for US Players

The point of any game of blackjack is to beat the dealer by getting a score as close to 21 as possible without going bust (scoring over 21). Each card in the deck has set value, while the Ace can either be a 1 or an 11, depending on what works for you. The numerical cards count as much as their number. However, face cards – i.e. Q; K; J, count as 10 points. A basic game of American blackjack goes like this:

  1. Each player receives two face-up cards and the dealer gets two face-down cards.
  2. The dealer checks their cards but doesn’t show them to the players unless it’s a blackjack (an Ace and a 10-point face card).
  3. Players then place their bets depending on the cards they have.
  4. They can then choose those to stand (keep their cards) or hit (get another card from the dealer). Players can ask to be hit as much as they like.
  5. Once the player rests his hand, the dealer will begin dealing they have 17 points.
  6. The winner is determined if their first two cards equal 21. Alternatively, if the player’s hand totals less than 21 points but is still more than the dealer’s hand, they win.
  7. Furthermore, if the dealer goes bust (gets over 21) while the player remains under 21.
  8. If there’s a tie – a push – no one wins.

Basic American Blackjack Strategy

These are some general strategies players can use when playing American blackjack.

  • If the dealer has a hand that’s between 2 and 10, and your hand is between 4 and 8, we suggest you hit.
  • When your hand scores 9 and the dealer’s hand is lower than yours – around 2 – up your bet.
  • If you’ve got a score around 12 and 16 and the dealer’s is low, stand as the dealer is more likely to go bust.
  • A score between 17 and 21 means you can stand – the chances of going bust are higher in this situation.

For more tips and strategies, visit our online casino games guide.