Atlantic City Blackjack is one of the major blackjack types in the gambling scene and, as you can already imagine, it traces its origin to Atlantic City, one of the largest casino cities in the United States. Atlantic City has become quite popular in the last few decades and now this is one of the most lucrative games for casinos on the East Coast. Moreover, online gamblers have taken a liking to the game and it is now one of the most sought-after versions of blackjack.
Where Atlantic City differs from forms of blackjack is that its rules are mandated by the New Jersey gaming authorities. So unlike other styles of blackjack, whose rules can be switched around by online casinos, Atlantic City Blackjack always features the same set of rules and anything that strays from the norm can be easily spotted. In this article, we will cover the basics of Atlantic City Blackjack, giving you some insight about how the game is played, as well as, about the rules that you will have to abide by.
How to Play Atlantic City Blackjack
Much like every other blackjack variant, Atlantic City Blackjack comes with its own set of rules and features, which can ultimately make or break the game. There are plenty of rules which you must follow if you are to play Atlantic City Blackjack, however, you will quickly come to understand how it works and you will doubtlessly have many hours of fun and excitement playing it. Below, we will cover the basic rules, insurance, surrender, doubling down and more.
Basic Rules and Payouts
Atlantic City Blackjack shares many of the rules featured in most blackjack games. For one, the aim of the game is to beat the dealer by having the hand with the greater value without going over 21 points. This game is played with up to 8 52-card decks, which are shuffled after every game. Splitting is available when you are dealt a hand of identically-valued cards. Additionally, Insurance and Late Surrender are both viable options to take when playing Atlantic City Blackjack.
As far as payouts are concerned, you will find that Atlantic City Blackjack is no different than most other variations in the genre. Winning a standard hand will net you the same amount of money that you first wagered. However, when you will be able to score higher winnings, whenever you hit a blackjack, which is a hand consisting of an Ace and any 10-value card. The payout for blackjack is the standard 3:2 ratio. However, you may encounter some games which feature a 6:5 payout for a blackjack, which significantly affects the house edge and you should avoid such titles.
Insurance and Late Surrender in Atlantic City Blackjack
Insurance is a common feature in the world of blackjack. It is a side bet which you can take whenever the first card of the dealer is an Ace. It is used as a precaution in the event that the dealer hits a blackjack in their opening hand. Buying into Insurance costs half of your initial bet and if the dealer does indeed hit a blackjack, you will be paid at a ratio of 2:1, thus negating the cost of losing your initial bet.
Insurance is meant to protect you from a dealer’s blackjack, however, it is advised that you do not take it. Generally, the odds of a dealer hitting a blackjack are lower than the opposite. It is much more likely that the dealer will receive a non-10-value card than a 10-value card. In more than half of all possible scenarios, an Insurance bet will be lost, causing you to lose a sum equal to 50% of your original bet. Furthermore, since you do not profit from this wager it gives you little incentive to place it, given that it will be lost more than half of the time. When playing with a shoe that contains 8 52-card decks as is the standard, the house edge on an Insurance bet will be around 8%, which is significantly higher than that of the base game. For this reason, we recommend that you avoid the Insurance side bet in general.
On the other hand, we also find that Atlantic City Blackjack features Late Surrender, which is much more favorable to players when compared to Insurance. Late Surrender becomes an option when the dealer has checked for blackjack once the cards have been dealt. When you decide to take advantage of this feature you will lose half of your bet and take back the other half. From this point on, you will be excluded from the rest of the game until the next draw. Late Surrender allows you to recoup some of your potential losses if you believe that your hand is not up to par. Experts recommend that you initiate a Late Surrender when your hand is totaling 15 or 16 points, while the dealer is holding a 9-value card or higher.
Double Down in Atlantic City Blackjack
Doubling down is one of the most important features not only in Atlantic City Blackjack but in the whole genre in general. When you double down, you increase the size of your twice, after which you will be dealt one card and you will stand. Whatever the sum of your hand is after that, is what you will be competing against the dealer with. This means that once you have chosen to double down you will not be able to interact with your hand any further.
Doubling down is a double-edged sword, in the sense that it can be very profitable for you when you do it right, but it can also drain your bankroll when you do it carelessly. It is recommended that you double down when holding a 9-, 10-, or 11-value card. Moreover, you can double down on any hand in Atlantic City Blackjack.
Splitting in Atlantic City Blackjack
Splitting is another major feature in Atlantic City Blackjack and it is paramount that you become familiar with it. Splitting will become available whenever you are dealt a hand of two cards with an identical value. The game will allow you to split that hand and form two new ones, each taking a single card from the original hand. When you do this, you will place an additional bet of the same size and each hand will be independent of the other. As a result, you will get to play each hand as if the other one does not exist, which includes hitting, standing, doubling down, etc. When playing Atlantic City Blackjack you can only split hands up to 3 times and when you split a pair of Aces, you will only be dealt only one card for each hand.
To take full advantage of the Split option you have to know to actually split a hand. For example, when you are dealt a hand of 10s or 5s, it is in your best interest to keep that hand intact. However, when you receive a pair of Aces, you should always split them into two hands. The same goes for any hand of 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, and 8s.
House Edge and RTP in Atlantic City Blackjack
The house edge and the return-to-player percentage play a large role in determining which games are worth playing in the long run. The RTP percentage is what a game is expected to pay out over the course of hundreds of thousands of hands. The house edge is the statistical advantage that the casino has over the players in the long run and it indicates the amount of all money that it is expected to keep as profit.
In the case of Atlantic City Blackjack, you will find that this is one of, if not the most favorable games to players in terms of odds. The approximate house edge of Atlantic City Blackjack is just shy of 0.40%. Blackjack is known for its low house edge and high RTP percentages, but Atlantic City Blackjack takes it even further, giving you one of the fairest games on the market. Playing Atlantic City Blackjack is fun and exciting, as well as fair.
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