Charlie Rules In Online Blackjack

Published: March 29, 2013

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print

Online blackjack players may come across the phrase “Charlie rules”. This is an innovative feature available in certain blackjack variants with respect to certain five-card, six-card or seven-card hands. These hands provide additional benefits to the player and also introduce a novelty into the otherwise monotonous blackjack game. The Charlie rule also challenges the player because it calls for a reformulation of basic blackjack strategy. It is because of such innovations that online blackjack is much more fun than land casino blackjack. The six-card Charlie is most commonly used for reasons explained later. This article describes the salient features of the six-card Charlie rule.

A six-card Charlie hand is a hand of six cards dealt to the player, whose hand value is not over 21. A six-card Charlie hand is an automatic winner. Once the player is dealt this hand he does not have to take a call on whether to hit or stand. Even the dealer’s hand is not played out. The player is immediately awarded the six-card Charlie payout, which is usually 3 to 2, the same as that for blackjack. The cards and the hands are valued in the usual blackjack manner. The six- card Charlie rule increases the average return by 0.16%. This is not a small increase. For online players who spend long hours at the blackjack tables it counts for a lot. Normal blackjack variants have a return of about 99.5% and the six-card Charlie rule does not take the return above 100% and hence online casinos will still make money in the long run. Therefore they need not tweak any other rule in the dealer’s favor.

The optimum blackjack strategy changes with the six-card Charlie rule. Players have to be more aggressive and take greater risks in order to try for the 3 to 2 Charlie payout. In normal games players are advised to stand on hand values of 14 or 15 rather than risk busting. But when the Charlie rule is in force, players who have a hand value of 15 with five cards dealt have to take the chance with the sixth card. Players need not memorize the strategy for six-card Charlie online blackjack variants. The best software providers include it with the games in the form of strategy cards. These strategy cards also factor in the number of cards dealt to the player along with the player hand value and the dealer face up card.

As stated earlier, the six-card Charlie rule is the most commonly employed one. A five-card Charlie hand increases the average return by about 1.5%. Since blackjack variants usually have an average return of 99.5%, the five-card Charlie rule will increase the return to over 100%. This situation is not viable for online casinos. Some online blackjack variants do offer the five- card Charlie rule, but compensate the dealer in other ways and balance the average return. Reducing the blackjack payout to even money or having the dealer blackjack beat the player blackjack are some of the options used. A seven-card Charlie hand increases the average return by only 0.01%, because the likelihood of seven cards totaling 21 or less is very low. Therefore a seven-card Charlie offers no real benefit to the player. Even if online blackjack variants include the seven-card Charlie rule, expert players discount it.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Other Recent Articles