Free Bet Blackjack: What It Is, How It Works and Rules

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Tired of playing blackjack the traditional way? Why not try something new on the casino table? Free bet blackjack is an interesting version of blackjack that lets you explore new opportunities to win big!

Free bet blackjack is an exciting casino table game that was introduced in 2012 by the famous casino game inventor Geoff Hall. It was first played at Golden Nuggets, Las Vegas.

The game, after its debut, rapidly gained hype among gamblers. Due to certain changes in rules (the “Free” ones), players can find new ways to master the game. It is played with standard 6-8 decks of 52 cards, all shuffled together in a “Shoe.”

When new players hear about this, they are, understandably, intrigued. But is this new variant going to be worth your time? Here's everything you should know about free bet blackjack.

What Is Free Bet Blackjack?

There are plenty of variations on blackjack. But free bet blackjack is one of the most popular. As the name suggests, this name gives you the chance to perform certain actions, like splitting your cards, for free. 

In many ways, the game of free bet blackjack has the same rules as regular blackjack. You’re still trying to get a score of 21. Hit 22 or more and you’ll go bust. But certain card pairings will create opportunities to change the bet for free.

The Rules of Free Black Jack

If you wanna play free bet blackjack, there are certain rules you must follow. If you know how to play blackjack, you’ll learn this variation in no time.

  • Wagers are placed before receiving cards.
  • Six to eight standard decks are used, each consisting of 52 cards.
  • Players have the option to double down for free when holding a 9,10, or 11 as the initial total.
  • When players get a pair (excluding all 10s), they can split it for free.
  • You can double down for free following a split, but it’s restricted to two-card hands only.
  • The game prohibits hitting and then doubling or splitting.
  • Splitting aces is permitted in this variant
  • Up to four hands, you can play “Free” re-splits.
  • The payout ratio is 3:2
  • A push is declared when the dealer hits a total of 22
  • On a soft 17, the dealer must draw an additional card.
  • No surrender option


Free Double

You can double down on 9,10, or 11 without tossing in extra cash. If you beat the dealer, they pay you for the first bet, along with an additional amount for your free double. But if luck’s not on your side, they just take your original bet.

Free Split

If you want, you can split the pair, creating two separate hands. Giving you two chances of hitting a blackjack. You're allowed to split any pairs, except for the ones that hold a value of 10, like 10-10, K-K, Q-Q, or J-J, without throwing in extra money. 

Win against the dealer, and they pay out for your first bet plus an additional amount of free split. Lose to the dealer, and they just collect your original bet. A tie results in the dealer pushing the player’s original bet.

To show that you want a free split, you have to place your fingers face down next to your initial bet.

Gold tokens are used to mark the free bet. Free bets are the same amount as your original bet. If you lose, there is no harm. You just lost your original bet.

What Happens When The Dealer Hits 22

You might be a little skeptical, wondering why the casino is giving players free bets. You’re right to be concerned. There is one big change to the rules. Normally, when a dealer lands on 22, they go bust, and all players get paid. But things are different in free bet blackjack.

When the dealer hits 22, no one wins. Your bet is voided, and your initial investment is returned.

There is one exception to this rule. A player who hits blackjack won’t have their bet pushed. They’ll still get the usual 3:2 payout. This might sound like a minor change to the game. In many ways, it is. But this is enough to tip the odds in favor of the casino, allowing them to justify the “free” actions within the game.

Pot of Gold

Another unique feature found in free bet blackjack is the addition of this side bet called “Pot of Gold '' You toss in some money with your regular BJ bet before you get your cards. The more lammers you get, the more you win. But if the dealer wins, you lose your Pot of Gold bet.

Strategy To Increase Your Chances of Winning

There are a few tricks you can use to increase your chance of winning. In Free Bet Black, always split pairs and double down on 9, 10, or 11 for free. For general hands, hit below 12 and stand on 17+. For soft hands, try hitting 13-15, double down on soft 16,17 against a 6, and stand on 19+. Remember to go for free splits and double down when you can – especially on 9,10, or 11.

Is Free Bet Blackjack Worth Your Time?

Now that we know a little more about this game, it’s time to answer an important question. Is it worth playing, or are the odds against you? Ultimately, that comes down to your playing style. Getting the bet pushed when the dealer hits 22 does help rig the odds in the casino’s favor.

But there are certainly players who might benefit from this game style. Particularly those who like to double down. If you are going to do this anyway, it makes sense to take advantage of the opportunity to get a “free” bet.


Free bet black is a good game if you're looking to grab some extra cash without putting in any additional wagers. All the “free” parts make the game super exciting, and with a few strategies, you can actually take home a handsome amount.

However, by pulling out one dirty move, the dealer can turn the whole game in the casino's favor. But the good part is, if you win, you can easily double what you wagered, and if you lose, you only lose your starting bet.

So, next time you hit a casino, check if they have free bet blackjack on the table. With a little tweak to traditional BJ, free bet blackjack could make your casino experience an awesome one.

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