Free Bet Blackjack is one of the most popular blackjack variants in casinos. This blackjack game isn’t new. It was introduced in 2012. Free Bet Blackjack has been able to withstand the heat of many new variations of blackjack that have hit casinos over the past seven years.
The popularity of Free Bet Blackjack is sort of surprising. The house edge can be relatively large compared to both good and bad blackjack games. The Las Vegas Blackjack Survey shows games with a house edge between 0.98% and 2.42% depending on where you play. The Wizard of Odds shows various house edges depending on the type of bet and rules.
Playing Free Bet Blackjack
Much like Blackjack Switch, there is usually at least one Free Bet Blackjack table in most casinos. Free Bet Blackjack is played similar to traditional blackjack with a few twists to keep it interesting.
Free Bet Blackjack is a “push on 22” game similar to other blackjack variants. If the dealer ends with exactly a 22 they will bust but all players still in the game push their bet. Players that bust are not eligible for the push on 22.
Like all blackjack games, the object of Free Bet Blackjack is to have or make a hand total that will be closer than the dealer to 21, but not exceeding 21. Simple enough. How you get here might be a different trip.
Pairs may be split three times for a total of four hands. However, there’s a FREE SPLIT available. Players may split any pairs except 10 (10, J, Q or K) value cards without making an additional wager. The dealer will place a Free Bet “lammer” next to the player’s original bet indicating the free split.
Free re-splitting up to four hands is allowed. There can be four outcomes from a free split:
- The player wins the free bet hand and will be paid the same as the original wager. The dealer will then collect the lammer.
- The player loses the free bet hand. And the dealer will collect the Free Bet lammer and place it back into the tray.
- The player’s free bet hand ties the dealer’s hand and the dealer will push the free bet hand. The dealer will then collect the lammer.
- If the dealer draws to 22, all wagers will push, and the 22 side wager will be paid.
Free Double Down
There are also FREE DOUBLE DOWNS in Free Bet Blackjack. Players may double a two-card hard count of 9, 10 or 11 without making an additional wager. The dealer will then place a Free Bet “lammer” next to the player’s original bet. Here are the four possible outcomes:
- If the player wins the free double down hand, the dealer will pay the player for the original bet and an equivalent amount for his free double. The dealer will then collect the lammer.
- If the player loses the free double down hand, the dealer will collect the player’s original bet and the lammer.
- If the player’s free bet hand ties the dealer’s hand, the dealer will push the player’s original bet and collect the lammer.
- When the dealer draws to 22, all wagers will push, and the 22 side wager will be paid.
There’s almost always a side bet available for blackjack games and Free Bet Blackjack is no exception. There’s a “push 22” side bet. Here are the payouts:
- 50-1: Dealer has a suited 22
- 20-1: Dealer has same color 22
- 7-1: Dealer has any 22
- Loss: Dealer doesn’t finish with 22
Electronic Free Bet Blackjack
Free Bet Blackjack has become so popular that there is even an electronic version of the blackjack game in casinos. This is the first “Push on 22” electronic table game.
Scientific Games now has a Table Master Fusion game featuring Free Bet Blackjack available.
What you give up in house edge with Free Bet Blackjack you gain in entertainment. There are enough twists to make the game interesting if you’re looking for a break from traditional blackjack.