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Blackjack is a great game for the gambler because the game is conducted according to a specific set of rules. Read about how to play blackjack here. The game becomes even more profitable when the player is able to take advantage of more liberal blackjack rules.

Finding out which casinos and online blackjack sites have the most liberal rules is something every serious blackjack player should do.

What Are Liberal Blackjack Rules?

Liberal blackjack rules are those which lessen the house advantage against the player. These changes in the way blackjack is played give the player an added edge, but why would the casinos want to do that? The answer is to lure more uneducated blackjack players to the tables. Many liberal rules are just a gimmick to draw players, and the casino knows that the most liberal rules in the world won’t make a winner out of someone who does not understand basic strategy and doesn’t know how to count cards.

Not all so-called liberal rules are a great deal for the player. Some of them look appealing, but on closer examination they offer the player a small edge at best. Here is a list of some of the most beneficial liberal rules for the player:

Surrender. If you can find a casino, either online or live, that offers this option you should take advantage of it. Surrender is an excellent rule for the player. It is so effective in the hands of a trained card counter that many casinos no longer offer it at the blackjack table. In addition, many casinos that do offer it will not tell you about it unless you ask and do not have it written on the felt. An example of this is the Sam’s Town Casino in Shreveport, Louisiana. Sam’s Town is the only casino in the area which offers surrender but they do not advertise the fact. Whenever you sit down to play blackjack always ask the dealer if surrender is permitted.

Double on any two cards. This is a big advantage for the player and a very liberal blackjack rule. Some casinos will only allow a player to double down on a total of 9, 10, or 11. Being able to double down any two cards is great because the player can really hammer the dealer when he/she is weak by doubling down soft hands that contain and ace or even doubling down a blackjack for a bigger payoff. Read more about double down at blackjack.

Doubling down after splitting. Always look for a blackjack game which offers this option. If a favorable total is reached on a split hand the player should be able to double down, especially when the dealer is weak. Read more about splitting in blackjack.

By the same token, here is a list of liberal blackjack rules which are really just a gimmick to draw players:

6-Card Johnny. It is known by many different names, but a 6-card Johnny pays the player when they receive a total of six cards without going bust. This liberal rule is often found in specialty blackjack games like Spanish 21. The thing is, players are tempted to hit when they should stand. This rule actually encourages poor blackjack play.

Side bets. Side bets are games which offer a separate wager, like Royal Match 21, which pays the player in a special circumstance. Once again, these occurrences are too rare to merit serious consideration

The Most Powerful Liberal Blackjack Rule

The best liberal rule for the player actually has nothing to do with the actual play of the game. It is the number of decks used.

A single-deck blackjack game is the most liberal game for the player. A card counter can destroy the casino at a single-deck game. Of course, the casino knows this and it is almost impossible to find a single-deck game today.

In Las Vegas, the best single-deck games can be found at the Horseshoe (now Binion’s Gambling Hall) or the Golden Gate.

Playing single-deck blackjack is great but there are some serious drawbacks. The first one is that the table limits are much higher. You can expect a minimum bet of at least $50 per hand. The second drawback is that more scrutiny will be leveled on players by casino security. A player can easily be branded as a card counter when playing a single-deck game.

The Golden Rule Of Liberal Rules

Whenever you see a promotion on the marquee which promises a fantastic liberal blackjack rule for the benefit of the player, always apply the following maxim: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Casinos offering blackjack are not in business to lose money. Everything they do is done with a profit motive. It might seem like a good thing but usually it does not benefit the player at all and only encourages them to make bad decisions at the blackjack table.

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2 Response Comments

  • Jordy LewisOctober 7, 2015 at 12:58 am

    What about free bet blackjack? Dealer pushes on 22 but you get free double down free split & free double down after split . Am I just crazy or does this give the perfect advanced player an incredible advantage? Any thoughts or comments on this subject would be great

    • countingedgeOctober 13, 2015 at 3:01 pm


      Thanks for being a Counting Edge visitor and for asking a great question! In fact, your question made us realize we had not covered this variation of the game. We now have an article that should answer many of your questions. https://www.countingedge.com/blackjack-variations/free-bet-blackjack/

      You are right in thinking that a skilled player could definitely garner an advantage in this game, but the trick is discipline. The game works in the casino’s favor because it appeals to the concept of greed. Novice players can be tempted to bet more than they should when the deck is cold because they are chasing a double down or split hand. If a player knows how to count and can practice self-control, there might be some chances to make a profit with this game.

      We really appreciate your comment. Good luck at the tables!


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