Chinese Blackjack is a popular blackjack variation played in the South East region of Asia. Chinese Blackjack is also known as ban-luck, ban-nag and 21-point.
Chinese Blackjack isn’t as common a variation as, say, Spanish 21, European Blackjack or live dealer blackjack. You can find it online, though, with a little research. You can also use our recommendations below. There are ban-luck apps that you can download to your Android phone or tablet, too.
Here’s a unique fact; Marvel Comics has created a character by the name of Ban-Luck. She is a citizen of China and member of G.R.A.M.P.A. The character and organization isn’t popular though, because as a Marvel fan I’ve never heard of either until today. But it’s interesting nonetheless.
How to Play Chinese Blackjack
Chinese Blackjack is played with 2 decks and 2-8 players. More players can participate, though.
To start you’ll need to choose a dealer. One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that this variation favors the dealer heavily. The dealer can flip over the players’ cards to decide whether or not to keep drawing. He’s also paid by the players whenever he makes a ban-ban, ban-nag and Pontoon. So if you decide to try this game out at home, you might want to consider taking turns being the dealer. Every 3, 5 or 10 hands would work. Whatever you want to do, really.
Chinese Blackjack starts out like traditional blackjack. The cards are shuffled and each player is dealt two cards. In this variation the players’ cards are dealt face down. Once the cards are dealt, the players’ will decide what to do with their hand, followed by the dealer. They’ll use the following rules and payouts.
- Players can hit or stand.
- Players can draw a max of 5 cards.
- Players must show their cards when they draw 5 cards and don’t bust.
- Players can show a card to psych out other players.
- Dealer hits 16 (or lower).
After the dealer has exceeded 16 points, he can flip over select player hands and make an immediate payout or collect based on the dealer / player hand values. The dealer can also choose to continue hitting his hand.
- Cards 2-10 are worth their face value.
- Face cards are worth 10 points.
- Aces are worth 10 or 11 points if the player holds two cards.
- Aces are worth 1 or 10 points if the player holds three cards.
- Aces are worth 1 point if the player holds 4+ cards.
There are additional hand combinations, too. These have special names.
Ban-Ban – A player holding 2 aces. Ban-bans are paid 3:1 by the dealer immediately. Dealer ban-bans are also paid 3:1 by players. The exception for either dealer or player is if the other has a ban-ban (push) or a free hand (15 points).
Ban-Nag – A traditional blackjack. This is paid 2:1, unless the other party (dealer or player) has a ban-ban (ban-nag loses), ban-nag (tie) or free hand (15 points).
15 Points – This is known as a free or escape hand. With a 15 point hand, the player has the option to continue with the hand or stand. The dealer has the same option. If the dealer chooses not to continue, the hand is over and the cards are reshuffled and dealt.
5-Dragon – A 5-card hand that doesn’t bust.
Chinese Blackjack Payouts
- Ban-Nag pays 2:1
- Ban-Ban pays 3:1
- 5-Dragon pays 2:1
- 5-Dragon 21 pays 3:1
- Dealer Busts pays 1:1
- Triple 7 – 21 pays 5:1 to 21:1
- Pairs pays 2:1