Vegas Strip Blackjack gets its name from the place it was invented – none other than Sin City itself. This well-loved variant of classic 21 can be found at land based casinos all over the Las Vegas strip and on the Web at the best Microgaming casino sites. Read on to find out more about the rules of Vegas Strip, how to play, and the best online casinos that offer this game to international players – unfortunately, Australians cannot play this online due to new online gambling laws banning online casinos as of September 2017.
How to play Vegas Strip blackjack
Vegas Strip blackjack is an American Hole Card game that’s very similar to classic blackjack, but with a few subtle exceptions.
The game is played with anywhere from four to six decks of 52 standard playing cards (minus the jokers), with numerical cards worth their face value, face cards worth 10 points and aces worth either one or 11. The objective of the game is to get a hand with a value as close to (but no more than) 21 while beating the dealers hand. Players are dealt two face-up cards, while the dealer receives one face-up and one face-down card.
When playing online, you select your chips to place your bet before clicking on ‘deal’ to receive your cards. You then choose how you wish to proceed by clicking on the split, stand, double or hit buttons to call your bet, with all wins automatically credited to your casino account.
The basic rules
Rules may vary slightly depending on the venue you’re playing at, but for the purpose of this article we’re using the rules of Microgaming’s Vegas Strip Blackjack as the general guideline. The basic rules for Vegas Strip are as follows:
- Blackjack is the strongest hand and automatically stands (blackjack is an ace and any card with a value of 10)
- Blackjack pays 3:2
- Both player and dealer can hit up to nine additional cards to make a total hand of 11 cards providing the total value does not exceed 21
- Players can accept insurance, which pays 2:1
- Dealer peeks for blackjack when showing a face-up ace or 10 card
- Dealer stands on all 17s (hard and soft)
- If both player and dealer have a blackjack or any other tied amount, the hand automatically pushes and your original bet is returned to your bankroll
- If the dealers hand is over 21, the player automatically wins if their hand is under 21
Rules when splitting hands
Splitting hands is allowed in Vegas Strip blackjack, within the following limits:
- Players can split two cards as long as they have the same denomination or value
- The bet placed on your second split hand is automatically equal to the value of your initial bet
- A maximum of three splits is available per game, allowing up to four hands in total
- Aces can be split once and can only receive one additional card, which automatically stands
- If upon splitting a pair of aces you receive a card with a value of 10 this is not considered a natural blackjack but instead a hand with a value of 21 (same goes if splitting two 10’s and receiving an ace)
Double down rules
Doubling down is allowed within these stipulations:
- The double down bet is equal to your initial wager
- Double down is only allowed on your first two cards
- Double down after a split is allowed
- When choosing to double down you will be dealt one card only and your hand automatically stands
Insurance is allowed in Vegas Strip, with wins paying 2:1:
- The insurance bet is equal to half your initial wager
- Wins and losses on an insurance bet are paid independently of your initial bet
- Insurance bets only cover your original hand, not any split hands or double downs
Vegas Strip blackjack strategy
The recommended strategies for Vegas Strip are similar to those for classic blackjack – we recommend reading our blackjack strategy article for further details. Microgaming has also provided a Vegas Strip strategy chart which gives players guidelines about which move to make based on your hand and the dealers hand, which you can view below:
Where to play real money Vegas Strip blackjack online
Microgaming has a great version of standard Vegas Strip blackjack available for online players, as well as Multi-Hand Vegas Strip and a Vegas Strip Gold edition. You can find this game along with heaps of other 21 variants at leading Microgaming casinos, including our favourites:
1/ All Slots Casino – sign up to receive up to $1600 in welcome bonuses
2/ Royal Vegas Casino – register to claim up to $1200 in matched deposits
3/ Jackpot City Casino – new players receive up to $1600 upon making an initial deposit
Each of these reputable casinos are protected by digital SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption security and accept deposits in your local currency using a range of payment methods like Neteller, Skrill, Visa, MasterCard and Paysafecard, making them ideal for real money blackjack games.