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The game became increasingly popular due to its low house edge. If players apply basic strategy correctly, this variation gives them moderately good chances of winning. Aside from being enticing and challenging, it is available in many land-based casinos and online gambling platforms.
In addition to covering its basics and the rules, we’ll also reveal where you can play this blackjack variant and your odds of winning.
Atlantic City Blackjack Basics
In terms of basic rules and principles, Atlantic City blackjack is no different than its classic counterpart. The game’s goal is the same — reaching as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it. Otherwise, you’ll go bust and automatically lose.
Cards are valued in the same way: all cards are at face value, while the King, Queen, and Jack count as ten. The ace remains the most powerful card in the deck and is valued at either 11 or one.
However, this blackjack variation has subtleties and liberal rules that continue to attract players. To begin with, since hole carding is allowed, a dealer can peek for blackjack. They can look at both aces and ten-valued cards. In the case of blackjack, the dealer must expose the value of their hole card.
Unless players have a natural hand to push with the dealer’s blackjack, they will lose their wagers. Since you lose only your initial wager when trying to split or double down, the peek rule is definitely in the player’s favor.
Other special rules of Atlantic City blackjack that set it apart from the standard version are:
- A dealer stands on all hands whose sum is 17, including soft 17. This reduces the house edge and works to the players’ advantage.
- When you receive two cards with equal values, you can split them up to three times.
- A late surrender is an option in cases where the dealer has peeked at their hole card for blackjack and has an ace or ten face-up. Furthermore, you can surrender any two-card combination regardless of the dealer’s up-card.
- A player can split a pair of aces only once and receive one additional card for each ace upon splitting. In other cases, a player can split up to three times.
- You can double down on any hand, even after splitting, which significantly favors the player.
- The insurance bet is available, but taking it would be ill-advised.
Odds and House Edge of Atlantic City Blackjack
House edge is probably one of the biggest advantages of this game, as it is around 0.39%. This means that the RTP of this blackjack variation is 99.64%. For instance, if your wager is 100$, the casino will pay you $99.64.
As mentioned earlier, multiple rules of this game favor the player and reduce the house edge. Thus, a dealer standing on soft 17 lowers the house advantage by 0.22%. The opportunity to double down regardless of the player’s hand total gives them an edge of around 0.25% and doubling after splitting increases their advantage by approximately 0.14%.
With proper use, the late surrender option can reduce the house edge by 0.07%. Gambling enthusiasts can also re-split aces, lowering the house edge by 0.08%.
If the players stick to the following rules, the house edge for the Atlantic City blackjack variation will be around 0.39%.
Other things that also affect the house edge are payouts. If the payout ratio is 6:5, the house edge will jump significantly. In case the casino offers a 6:5 payout instead of 3:2, this is a red flag of a lower profit margin.
Obviously, this isn’t always the case, as casino rules might vary slightly, so players should double-check all the peculiarities before placing real-money bets. The good news is that Atlantic City blackjack, available in most online and brick-and-mortar casinos, pays at the odds of 3:2.
To familiarize yourself further with blackjack odds and probabilities, look at the tables below. You will have a better understanding of the factors that affect the game, such as card combinations, dealer’s final and up hand, and various hand values.
|Dealer’s up card||Dealer’s bust %||Player’s advantage|
|Natural 21||4.8%||An ace and a ten, King, Queen, or Jack|
|Hard standing (17–20)||30.0%||A pair of cards that sum 17-20, but neither is an ace|
|Decision hands (2–16)||38.7%||Any hard hand with the sum of 16 or lower and any soft hand|
|No bust||26.5%||Any soft hand or hard hand with a sum less than 11|
|Total (all two-card hands)||100%||/|
|Dealer’s final hand||Probability of getting final hand|
|21 (more than 2 cards)||7.36%|
|Non-bust (less than 21)||71.63%|
|Bust (more than 21)||28.37%|
|Hand value||Busting chances if hit|
|11 or less||0%|
Aside from being exciting and challenging, Atlantic City blackjack boasts an exceptionally low house edge. Thus, it is no wonder this casino staple variant is a real attention-grabber at land-based casinos and online gambling platforms worldwide. However, the game rules can vary from place to place, so it’s best to double-check them before playing.