Playing blackjack involves earning a hand value that is as close to 21 as possible while also beating the dealer. But what happens when you and the dealer tie? Well, with this article, you’ll find out!
WHAT IS A TIE IN BLACKJACK?
As experience blackjack players would know, there are a few ways one could win in a game of blackjack, including if the player gets a closer value to 21 than the dealer, the dealer busts, or the player earns a blackjack hand.
But, there may be a few scenarios where both the player and the dealer end up with identical hand values. This is known as a blackjack tie or a blackjack push.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU TIE IN BLACKJACK?
When a tie or push occurs, this does not mean that the player lost their hand, but it doesn’t mean that they won the round, either. Instead, the original bet would be returned to the player, and the dealer would move on to the next round.
BLACKJACK TIE RULES
The rules behind a tie are not as straightforward as you may think. Check out the following blackjack rules for earning a tie:
- The point total of both the player and the dealer hands should not be lower than 17 – the dealer would be required to draw another card.
- Both hand values cannot be higher than 21 – this implies that both hands would bust.
- If the player and dealer bust while having a tie, the player still loses their original blackjack wager – according to the blackjack rules, a dealer win occurs as soon as the player busts. .
- If a player doubles down and ties, the additional wager is also returned – if there is a tie without busting, according to the doubling and splitting rules, all wagers would be returned.
- The player and dealer would still tie if they both earn blackjack – the hand ‘blackjack’ ties if both opponents have a 10 and an ace as their starting hand. The original wager will be returned.
BLACKJACK TIE SIDE BET
When you go to play blackjack and take a look at all blackjack rules, you’ll find several betting options to choose from. Typical blackjack wagers include hit, stand, double down and split. Some blackjack games would also offer a side bet or two, including the 21+3 side bet or Perfect Pairs side bet.
However, the Blackjack Tie Win game, one of the many blackjack games available, introduces a rule that considers a tie a blackjack side bet. Often found at Las Vegas casinos, but still available nonetheless:
As a side bet, players would win a payout of 1:2 on tie wagers as long as the bet is not more than half of the original bet. Other blackjack rules in this variant also include no double down or split allowed, and when winning blackjack tables like this, ‘blackjack’ pays even money.
Here is the proper basic strategy for winning the tie side bet:
- When the dealer stands on soft 17, hit on 4-11, and stand on 14-21.
- On soft hands, hit on 12 to 17 and stand on 18-21.
The side bet rules also allow players to not only bet on a tie but also bet on the number they would tie with, allowing them to place multiple tie wagers at once. Here is how each tie bet pays out:
- A tie wager on 17 pays 50:1.
- A tie wager on 18 pays 45:1.
- A tie side bet on 19 pays 50:1.
- A tie side bet on 20 pays 25:1.
- A tie side bet on 21 pays 125:1.
Bear in mind that there is a separate strategy for each blackjack wager.
IF YOU TIE WITH THE DEALER IN BLACKJACK, WHO WINS?
As mentioned, in a typical version of this comparing card game, both the blackjack dealer and the player push, and the original wager is returned to the player.
That said, in more unique variants where a Tie is offered as a side bet, players could win a payout if they earn a tie on the number they wagered on. These variants often come with non-standard rules. Be sure to check whether doubling down, splitting and re-splitting aces is allowed, if winning ‘blackjack’ pays even money, if there are one or more decks and if the dealer hits a soft 17.
WHAT HAPPENS IF TWO PLAYERS TIE IN BLACKJACK?
No matter whether you play blackjack with six decks or one, you never go head to head against other players.
Each punter would go up against the dealer, so all players would bet against the overall house edge. Depending on the variant, the dealer hits on a soft 17, a player re-splits but splitting aces is not allowed, doubling down is available, etc.
PROBABILITY OF A BLACKJACK TIE
Typically, the probability of earning a tie is 8% of all hands played by the average player. However, things can get a little complicated with the basic strategy involved. When using proper basic strategy, assuming regular rules apply, this betting technique can reduce the house edge to less than 1%. Take the following example:
Suppose a player drew a hand with a value of 12 against a two-up. The basic strategy would state to hit, but others may choose to stand. It would be expected that players that chose to stand would lose 29% and 25% by those that chose to hit.
In the Blackjack Tie Wins variant, the probability of earning a tie is 8.75%. Probabilities may vary in this game, especially if players place the maximum side bet.
Whether you’re betting in Las Vegas, or giving blackjack a gander at online casinos, blackjack ties often have the same rules but may vary if you’re playing variants that offer tie wagers as a side bet. The Individual Ties version of Harrah’s Las Vegas allows players to bet on multiple Tie wagers, for example.
That said, be sure to read the game rules before you place your chips on the betting circle. In general, remember that:
- Re-splitting aces is not always allowed.
- The house edge varies.
- Earning blackjack may vary depending on the number of decks used — one deck, two decks, six decks, etc.