Comparison of Single and Multi-Hand Blackjack Games

Blackjack, though a well-loved and played casino game enjoyed all over the world, is traditionally a fairly slow-paced and strategic game. It is also known for being one of the only casino games that allows players to systematically and effectively reduce the casino’s house edge.

Furthermore, it is a game in which, despite special rules such as “splitting”, only a single hand is dealt to players at the start of play.

Over time, however, many professional blackjack players called for a more exciting, riskier, and more rewarding, variation of the game, and the answer came in the form of “multi-hand” blackjack.

The Difference In Rules

The basic rules of both single-hand and multi-hand blackjack are essentially the same:

  • Players must score a higher number than the dealer, not exceeding 21.
  • The standard play options and bets apply, eg. split, double down, etc.
  • Two cards are dealt for a single hand.

The major difference with multi-hand blackjack is as follows:

  • Players may choose to receive up to five separate hands at the start of play.
  • Each hand is played separately and simultaneously, with the standard play and betting options available for each.
  • The player can win independently with each hand.
  • The player can fold on any hand without effecting the others.
  • Some multi-hand variations have further side-bet options.
  • A generally much faster paced game.

Greater Risk Greater Reward

The faster pace and greater complexity of multi-hand blackjack forces the player to approach the game somewhat differently to that of single-hand blackjack.

Essentially it increases the difficulty, and therefore the risk of losing. However, because it also greatly increasing the potential to win, multi-hand players still generally enjoy much better odds than standard single-hand players.

Many of the common blackjack strategies can also be used in multi-hand, and with the added benefit of being able to choose a different strategy of play for each hand.

Online Vs Offline Multi-hand

Due to the space that is needed to lay out multiple hands of cards on a standard “live” casino blackjack table, multi-hand is often reserved for quieter periods when empty tables become available. The same limitation also usually only allows for one player per game.

Online multi-hand, however, being digital, has no table space restrictions, and also allows for multiple players to compete against the dealer, making it a far more popular way to play.

A Matter Of Preference

In the end, whether to play single-hand or multi-hand blackjack largely comes down to personal preference, and the sort of gambling experience that the individual players want. There are obviously a number of aspects, many of which are mentioned here, to weigh and consider.

Perhaps you enjoy the slower pace and complexity of traditional single-hand blackjack, or perhaps you too would like a little more excitement, risk, and reward, in your game? The best thing to do is therefore give each a try, and simply gauge for yourself.