Mult-Hand Blackjack is a proprietary Table-Comparing game designed by Players Suite.
The game has grown to some popularity, although it is not often played with physical cards. Instead, it is most commonly enjoyed digitally on gambling websites.
How to Play Multi Hand Blackjack?
Multi Hand Blackjack is played using six-to-eight copies of the Standard Anglo-American 52-card deck. These decks are combined into one large stock, known as the Shoe.
The Dealer will draw from the Shoe without shuffling until it is depleted. Once the Shoe has been completely emptied, the discards from previous hands will be reshuffled into a new Shoe.
The game starts with each Player making their Ante. However, Multi-Hand is very different from normal Blackjack in this regard.
Players still must make a wager, somewhere between the Table’s posted maximums and minimums.
However, Players have the option to place between three and five Antes, all equally valued. For each additional Ante a Player wagers, an additional hand will be dealt during The Deal.
Some games limit a Player to three simultaneous hands, while others allow up to five (though these five-hand games are most common online).
Players on their turn will choose their positions on their hands in order, starting from the rightmost hand, and moving left until they choose the position for their leftmost hand.
Players can take all of the same positions as they can in traditional Blackjack, and can even Double Down on their hands after they have Split. There is however an additional limitation to Doubling-Down that is not present in the traditional game.
Doubling Down Limitation
Players can only Double Down on a hard 9, 10, or 11. This means Players can only Double Down after their first card has been dealt. If that first card is a 9, 10, J, Q, K, or Ace, then and only then will Players have the option to Double Down.
After Splitting, when both Player’s Split hands are 9s, 10s, or 11s, Players may still Double Down.
Comparing Hands in Showdown
The other remaining basic procedures of Blackjack are unchanged. The Dealer will still only have one hand to compare all of the Player’s hands against, and aside from the multiple hands, the Showdown takes place in the same way.
Players compare each of their hands in order to the Dealer’s hand, and win or lose money independently on each hand, as though they were Split hands.
Following the Showdown, cards are collected and discarded as new Antes are paid out for the next round.
A short overview of the Multi Hand Blackjack rules can be found below.
- Blackjack pays 3:2, except when the Dealer also has it. Tied Blackjacks are pushed.
- Players may split up to three times for a total of Four hands at once. This is in addition to the Multi-Hands paid out by the initial Ante. Split Aces may only receive one card each, however.
- The game does offer insurance when the Dealer’s top-card is an Ace, though like most Blackjack games the insurance only pays out 2:1 and as such cannot result in a Player’s profit. Avoid the Insurance.
- All of the Antes a Player makes, as well as the additional wagers for Splits and Double Downs, need to be equal to each other.
How Does Strategy Change?
Overall, Multi-Hand is a slower game, with a higher potential payout, but also higher potential losses. This seems contradictory, but there is always the improbable but not impossible risk that every hand wins or loses.
Slower Losses and Lower Chance of Losing Every Hand
- Multihand Blackjack is generally considered safer in terms of losing money.
- With multiple hands in play, it’s less likely to lose every hand compared to traditional Blackjack.
- Unless the Dealer has Blackjack, even a losing hand can be offset by a separate winning hand.
Slower Winnings and Unlikelihood of Winning All Hands
- Winnings in Multihand Blackjack also come slower.
- It’s unlikely to win all hands.
- Wins can be mitigated by losses and vice versa.
Stability and Comparable House Edge
- Multihand is considered a more stable game than traditional Blackjack.
- The house edge is approximately 0.5%, comparable to the original game.
Basic Strategy Use
Players can still utilize many of the same strategies that they use in regular Blackjack play. They still work in Multi-Hand Blackjack. Simply play every hand as though you Split multiple times.
Altering Wager Amounts for Risk or Loss Mitigation
An additional gameplay element that is absent from the original game is tuning the risk or loss mitigation to the Player’s preference by altering the wager amount.
Although this is a strategy that is still technically possible in traditional Blackjack, the multiple concurrent hands offer a higher chance of a large payout or long-term safe play.
If a Player would normally place an Ante of $40, a loss-preventative Player might only bet 10 dollars per hand in Multi-Hand Blackjack.
- In the traditional game, there is essentially a 50/50 chance that the Player loses their 40 dollars, or wins 40 more dollars.
- Multihand however, can generate percentages in its returns and losses.
For example, if you play four hands, and 10 dollars per hand, and lose one hand but win three, you saw a 30% return on investment.
Players would see, in this scenario, a return of $60 on a total $40 investment, 10 dollars per hand, returns paid out on a per-1 basis. Such math is simply not possible in traditional Blackjack.
Players with a long bankroll and a particularly risky streak can also bet high, rather than low. If a Player would pay $40 to play a single hand in the traditional, they could pay $40 per hand in Multihand.
This could yield potentially disastrous results, if all hands lose. However, if all hands were to win, that Player would suddenly receive $320.
The proportion of money won is always the same, but with higher up-front investment, Players stand to win the equivalent of many hours of Blackjack play in just a few minutes.
Imagine that you are playing a game that allows five simultaneous hands, and you pay $20 per hand. The following are your cards:
- 8♥ 4♠
- 2♣ 8♣
- 8♠ 6♥
There are two single card hands here because you have the option to Double Down on hard 9s, 10s, and 11s (9 and Ace in this example).
As such, Players should always Double Down when available. Doubling Down twice increases the total wager from $100, to $140, and yields:
- 9♦ K♣
- A♣ Q♠
19 and 21, two great hands. Hitting where appropriate yields these remaining hands:
- 8♥ 4♠ 3♥ 3♠
- 2♣ 8♣ Q♦
- 8♠ 6♦ 7♠
All terrific hands, 18, 20, and 21. With two 21s, unless Dealer has Blackjack, you are guaranteed to win at least $60, mitigating the loss of your large up-front bet.
Dealer’s hand reveals:
5♣ K♣ 9♠
Dealer Busts! You win $380!
Pros and Cons of Multihand
Multihand isn’t the exact same game as traditional Blackjack, even though they share many of the same rules. There are, just like any variation, some drawbacks as well as advantages for the Player, over the original game.
- Players are able to adjust their betting strategy more finely because of the fractional nature of games of Multihand. Rather than just a straight 1:1 proportion on wins and losses, Players can express loss or gain in fractions of their original investment on the hand.
- Although rare, it is entirely possible for a Player to win every hand at once or for the Dealer to bust, and receive a large payout. The Example Play above simulates just one such scenario.
- Players are allowed to Split Aces, and can Double Down on those Split Aces. This is not available in every variation. This yields a significant advantage to the Player because Doubled Down Split Aces yield the highest chance of payout aside from Blackjack.
- Shoes are depleted more quickly. This is not necessarily an inherent advantage, but a Player sitting at a table during a Bad Shoe can at least take solace in the fact that the Shoe will be depleted quickly.
- The option to Surrender is not available in Multihand Blackjack. Although not every Blackjack game offers a Surrender, the Surrender option is still a good way to tip the Edge back into the Player’s favor that is absent from this game.
- It is possible to lose much more money than you intended if every hand somehow busts, or the Dealer has 21. If this catastrophic event occurs, even the insurance option will not save you unless you insure every hand you have, which might just end up doubling your losses!
- Some Multihand Shoes are reshuffled after every single game. While this might be helpful in Bad or Unlucky Shoes, it also prevents Counting Players from being able to maintain a proper running total of the remaining cards in the Shoe, due to this shuffling.
- Multihand Blackjack limits when a Player may Double Down. Although Players should only Double Down on 9, 10, and 11 anyway, Multihand only allows Doubles on hard 9s, 10s, and 11s. This means hands that are strong in Blackjack, such as 7-2 and 8-3 become much less powerful in Multihand, giving the Player fewer avenues to victory.