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Vegas Downtown Blackjack

There is an old American saying that goes ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Fortunately, that is not always the case. Vegas Downtown Blackjack can be found outside the outskirts of Nevada; on one of the many online casino platforms spread around the web. If you are looking for a sure bet (as sure as any bet is in Vegas), this variation of the game does boast the least house edge, but that is only I you believe the official reports. I would have to say that the game doesn’t differ significantly from all the other Blackjack variants, but there are some things that a player must keep and eye on, if he wants to beat the odds.


The game is played using 2 full decks (52 cards each; 104 cards total). Aces can be either 1 or 11; number cards (2-10) are counted as they are and face cards (Queen, King, Jack) are regarded as 10s. Vegas Downtown Blackjack is a hole Game, meaning that the dealer will have one of his 2 cards facing down. The player will also be dealt 2 cards, but his will be facing up. The player must then match his total value against the total of the dealer as described above. If the player has a total of 21 or less (but more than the dealer) then he wins.

If the player goes over 21 or has a total less than that of the dealer, then the player loses. If the player and the dealer both have equal sum totals, the move is called a ‘push’ (which is the same things as a draw), and all bets that pushed are handed back to their respective owners. After you are dealt your two face-up cards, you can then implement the following strategic moves.

Hit – Hitting is when you need another card. Simply scratch the surface of the table if you are playing in an offline casino, or press ‘hit’ if playing online. You will be dealt an additional card (*note that you can hit as much as you like, as long as you don’t go over 21).

Stand – If you don’t want anymore cards, just wave your hand over your bet to indicate this to the dealer. The move is called stand.

Double Down – If are not satisfied with your current bet, you can always double it, in exchange for being dealt one additional card (instead of ‘however many you need”). The third and final card is placed horizontally over your original two cards.

Split – If you have two cards of equal value (either a pair or two face cards) you can ‘split’ your hand (and wager) into two separate hands. *Note that you don’t separate the cards yourself! The dealer will then give you one additional card for each hand, so you have 4 cards divided into 2 hands.

Surrender – If you don’t feel like you can take the dealer, you can forfeit the game in exchange for half your bet.

The Dealer – Unlike the players, the dealer rarely uses any strategies when playing. The rules plainly dictate how the dealer should behave throughout the course of the game. Usually the dealer can either hit or stand when he reaches 17. As we know, an Ace can be either 1 or 11, so if the dealer gets an Ace and a 6 (11+6=17), this hand is called soft 17, because even if the dealer draws a card higher than 4,(11+6+5=22) he can switch the Ace 11 for Ace 1, and get 12 (1+6+5=12). A dealer can stand on all 17s, meaning that even if the dealer has an Ace, he cannot draw any more cards as long as he has 17 or higher (without going 21 of course).


In Vegas Downtown Blackjack, the dealer is obligated to hit on Soft 17s. A player can split his hand 3 times (making a total of 4 hands maximum). You can double down on any two cards (some casinos only allow doubling down on totals between 9 and 11), as well as doubling down after a split. Splitting Aces is allowed, but it would get the player one one additional card per Ace.

More Articles Covering Blackjack

Blackjack Basics
Blackjack Rules
Blackjack Variations
Multi Hand Blackjack
Single Deck Blackjack Rules
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
Vegas Strip Blackjack Rules
Atlantic City Blackjack
How to Hit a Hand
Splitting Hands in Blackjack
Insurance in Blackjack
Surrender in Blackjack
Standing a Hand
Blackjack Double Down
Splitting Hands in Blackjack
Blackjack Odds
Blackjack Strategy for Playing Hands
Blackjack Cards and Hands Value

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