The blackjack rules for Three Card Blackjack (TCB) vary in that the
player is dealt three cards instead of two.
TCB is played with a 52 card deck. The objective is for players to make the best blackjack hand to beat the dealer using two or three of their cards. Players or dealers cannot bust. Standing, Hitting, doubling, and pair splitting are not permitted, but a player blackjack always beats a dealer blackjack, however a blackjack pays even money instead of the traditional 3/2.
There are three betting positions, Ante, Ace Plus (optional side bet), and the Play Bet. Players must first make an ante wager. Also the ace plus option if he or she chooses. The dealer pitches three cards face down to each player and three cards to his or herself. The two dealer cards are face down; one is face up.
The blackjack rules state that, based on the value of the dealer’s up card, players must make
one of two decisions after looking at their cards:
Fold – the ante wager is forfeited, but the ace plus wager if made will remain.
Raise – the player makes a play wager equal to the ante.
Here are some hand examples:
Player #1 – Has an A, 5, 4.
Player #2 – Has a 6, 7, and 9
Player #3 – Has an A, 3, A
Dealer – Shows an 8 up card and a 10, 6, are face down.
Note that player #1 has a total of 20 (11 for the Ace, + 5 + 4 = 20) this player chooses to raise against the dealer 8. Player #2 has a total of 16 (9 + 7, = 16. The 6 is not counted.) The player chooses to fold. Player #3 has a total of 15 (11 + 1 for the two aces, plus 3 = 15.) He or she also folds, but the ace plus bet remains.
The dealer has a total of 18, so player #1 wins even money for the ante, raise, and ace plus bet. Player # 2 loses the ante wager and ace plus bet if made, because no ace was dealt in that hand. Player # 3 loses the ante wager but is paid 10/1 for two aces.
Blackjack Rules also state that the dealer must have at least a 17 to open. If the dealer
cannot open, the ante and raise bets will push, unless a player has a
blackjack, for which even money will be paid. If the dealer can open, the
higher hand wins.
Here is an example of one pay table for the optional ace plus wager, which pays even if the player loses the hand:
Ace, any, any 1/1
Ace, ten, any 3/1
Ace, ten, ten 6/1
Ace, ace, any 15/1
Ace, ace, ten 25/1
Ace, ace, ace 100/1
The strategy for a player’s total to raise against the dealer’s up card is as follows:
16 or less - Never raise
17 – Dealer 2
18 – Dealer 2 – 8
19 – Dealer 2 – 9
20, 21, BJ – Always raise
The house edge for TCB is about 2% for the ante and play bets, but increases to between 2.5 & 7% for the ace plus bet depending on the jurisdictions’ pay table.
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