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No Bust Blackjack: How to Play, Rules, Strategy Explained

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No bust blackjack is a popular and easy-to-use betting strategy that can make the experience more enjoyable. It basically eliminates the risk of busting when playing 21. With the no bust blackjack system, you are letting the dealer bust instead.

But is this strategy actually profitable? This is the question that we will answer in this guide. We will cover the no bust blackjack strategy in detail and show you the rules. Then, we unpack the math to give you exact statistics and odds for the best results at the blackjack tables.

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What is No Bust Blackjack?

No bust blackjack is a playing strategy where you simply avoid busting. If you have a hand with a total value of 12 or higher, don’t hit. Instead, you let the dealer play his hand in the hopes that he busts and you end up winning. This definitely happens on occasion and can be the right move in some situations.

But the truth is that the dealer only busts 28.36% of the time on average. This means that the no bust blackjack strategy is not ideal. The other blackjack strategies that we will cover in this guide can have better long-term results.

How to Play No Bust Blackjack

You can play no bust blackjack online in almost any version of the game. The strategy is easy to implement and doesn’t require any special betting options. Simply follow these quick and easy steps:

1. Join a Top Online Casino

The most important step to online gambling is to find a gaming site that you can trust. Luckily, we have a complete list of the best online casinos in the USA. All of them offer premium blackjack games and joining is very simple.

2. Start a Blackjack Game

You can take your pick from several versions of blackjack. We generally recommend the single deck variant because it has a lower house edge. Also make sure that the payout for blackjack is 3:2 and not 6:5 or 1:1. Another good rule to look out for here is that the dealer must draw to 16 and hit on soft 17.

3.  Place Your Bet

Online casino blackjack supports a wide betting range. Players can generally bet between $1 and $500 per hand. Make sure to select a stake that you are comfortable with. You can also practice in demo mode, using practice credits to try out the no bust blackjack strategy.

4. Don’t Hit on a Hand of 12 or Higher

After you click the deal button and receive two hands, check to see the value of the hand. If it is of 11 or lower, hit and receive another card. If you already have 12 or higher, stand. In no bust blackjack, you let the dealer hit to go over 21.

5. Collect Your Winnings and Play Again

If the dealer busts, you win the round no matter how low your hand was. You receive a 1:1 payout (unless you hit 21 from the first two cards), and you can play again. Also check the top online casino bonuses for extra funds.

No Bust Blackjack Win

No Bust Blackjack Rules

  • The regular game uses 1-8 standard playing decks with 52 cards, each.
  • The player can select the size of the bet before starting the round.
  • The player and the dealer receive two cards, with the dealer showing one.
  • The total value of each hand is the sum of the points from the cards.
  • 1-10 cards have their face values, ace is 1 or 11, and J, Q, and K are 10 each.
  • The player has the option to Hit and receive another card, or Stand.
  • Having a hand with 22 or more points is a bust and counts as a loss.
  • Some versions allow additional betting options, like Double, Split, or Surrender.
  • Once the player stands, the dealer can hit in order to create a stronger hand.
  • At the end, the two hands are compared to determine the winner.
  • The side with the highest value, without going over 21, wins the round.

No Bust Blackjack Strategy

The advantage that the no bust blackjack strategy provides is that players can easily remember it and use it. Basically, the entire concept is in the name, so you shouldn’t have any issues with it.

Anytime that you risk creating a hand of over 21, simply don’t hit. Cards with a value of 10 are the most common, so you shouldn’t hit if your hand is already worth 12 points or more. If the starting hand is lower, hit and improve it without any risk of busting.

A small variation to the strategy for no bust blackjack is to not hit on totals of 15 or more. While you might bust on a few hands, you actually improve the odds of winning in the long run. There is definitely an advantage to taking some risks in blackjack and it all comes down to the math.

No Bust Blackjack Odds

Blackjack is a casino game that can provide a very low house edge. However, it is also one of the few games where the player can influence the outcome. This is where the odds become very important for every decision. With no bust blackjack, the odds aren’t always favorable.

If we take the standard hands of 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16, the probability of busting is 48%, 52%, 55%, 58%, and 61% for each scenario. This means that we could hit and improve the hands with odds of 52%, 48%, 45%, and 39%, respectively. This would indicate the fact that the no bust blackjack system is better on hands of 13 and higher.

However, blackjack is not just about not busting. You also have to beat the dealer’s hand in order to win. So, by not hitting on a hand between 12 and 16, you are basically increasing the house edge significantly. That’s because the dealer can stop on a hard 17 or higher. As a result, the player will end up losing 66.85% of hands stopped at 12-16.

Plus, the probability of getting dealt a starting hand of 17 or more is only of 34.91% and they don’t guarantee a win. This all adds up to a house edge in the long term of around 4%. As a result, the no bust blackjack odds are less favorable than a regular blackjack strategy.

No Bust Blackjack vs Regular Blackjack Strategy

By playing blackjack with no strategy, you are facing a house edge of around 2%. This is still better than the 4% house edge that no bust blackjack provides, which is similar to most online slots. By taking some risks and hitting on 12, 13, and 14, you will win more hands. However, this will not give you the best results.

Basic blackjack strategy is a bit more complicated and it can take some time to memorize. However, it brings down the house edge significantly, to around 0.5%. So, at a $25 stake, you end up losing around $12 instead of $100 in an hour. You can find some of the basics for regular blackjack strategy here:

Quick Blackjack Strategy Chart

Player’s Hand Dealer’s Card
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
5-8 H H H H H H H H H H
9 H D D D D H H H H H
10 D D D D D D D D H H
11 D D D D D D D D D H
12 H H S S S H H H H H
13-16 S S S S S H H H H H
17 S S S S S S S S S S

H – Hit, D – Double Down (if not available, replace with Hit), S – Stand

Basic blackjack strategy doesn’t just take the player’s cards into account, but also the dealer’s card. For example, if you are starting with a hand of 14 or 15 and the dealer is showing 2-6, you should stand. This is because the dealer will likely have to hit to at least 16 and might bust. If he is showing more than 6, you need to hit since he will likely have a stronger hand.

Another way to look at blackjack strategy is through expected value. A hand of 15 remains difficult in blackjack, but it does depend on what the dealer is showing. With a 10, the situation is very tricky and hitting gives you a -0.504 expected value. However, standing is even worse at -0.540. So, while the difference is small, it is better to hit in this scenario.

Alternative Strategies to No Bust Blackjack

Instead of using a no bust strategy for blackjack, we recommend other systems that provide better odds.

Basic Strategy

This is definitely the best for most blackjack players. It is also easier to use at online casinos. Simply print out a full table and follow it. You can also open it on a window next to the blackjack game for easy access. With blackjack online apps, you can play at your own pace and take as much time as you want before making a move.

After some practice with the basic blackjack strategy chart, you will be able to move faster and play more hands. It shouldn’t take long to notice better results than with no bust blackjack.

The Martingale System

The Martingale betting system can be used on a variety of casino games with 1:1 payouts. It works very well with blackjack when applying basic strategy due to the low house edge. For this system, you have to double the size of the bet after a loss. When you win, you reset to the initial stake.

So, if you are playing for $10 and you lose, your next bet is of $20. If you lose again, you have to bet $40. If you win this round, you receive your $40 back plus another $40. This covers the previous bet and gives you a $10 profit. Now, start from $10 again and repeat the process.

Card Counting

Card counting is a difficult strategy that can be used in blackjack for better results. If done right, it can actually turn the odds in your favor. For the blackjack card counting system, you must keep track of the cards dealt from the shoe. Then, you can make decisions based on the cards left before it gets reshuffled.

Unfortunately, most casinos take measures against card counting. Online blackjack games shuffle the decks very frequently, even after every hand when only using one deck. Vegas casinos also have automatic shufflers and trained personnel to spot players counting cards.

No Bust Blackjack Games

There are multiple no bust blackjack games that you can try out online. The different variations can provide additional betting options or slightly different mechanics. These are the best options at leading online casinos:

Live Blackjack

Live dealer blackjack is very popular online because it combines the thrill of casino betting with the convenience of online gaming. You can find tables at the best blackjack live casinos and practice the no bust strategy.

With live blackjack, you see the dealer and the cards in real time, by live video. You can bet on the virtual interface and you automatically receive the winnings. The only downside is that you have to keep up with the dealer for placing bets and making decisions.

Live Blackjack Hand

21 Burn Blackjack

Developed by Betsoft, 21 Burn Blackjack is a popular choice at online gaming sites. Not only does it have great graphics, but it also comes with a unique feature. Here, the player can choose to burn the second card and receive a random card instead. The Burn bet is half of the original wager.

This is a good choice for the no bust blackjack since you also have the option to change a card. However, we don’t recommend always using the Burn feature. Instead, only change the card when it is lower than the first card and provides a bad total between 12 and 16.

21 Burn Blackjack

Super 7 Blackjack

The Super 7 variant adds more excitement to the blackjack table. While most of the rules remain the same as in regular blackjack, Super 7 comes with an additional betting option. Players can make this side bet by placing chips on the dedicated circle.

If activated, the Super 7 side bet pays 3:1 if the first card for the player is a seven. If the first two cards are sevens of any suit, the payout is of 50:1. If there are two sevens of the same suit, the pay is increased to 100:1. The jackpot is of 5,000:1 for landing three sevens of the same suit. This works well with no bust for keeping things thrilling.

Super 7 Blackjack

Switch Blackjack

The Switch variant can be a good fit for no bust blackjack players. You start the round with two bets on two hands. After the initial cards are dealt, you can switch the top cards between the two hands. This allows you to adjust the values and maybe create better hands for the no bust blackjack approach.

There are also some differences in rules, which can depend on the version. However, the most common one for Switch is that natural blackjack hands pay 1:1 instead of 3:2. Also, a dealer with 22 will push any player hand, except a natural 21.

Switch Blackjack

Pirate 21 Blackjack

Pirate 21 is a blackjack variant that uses Spanish decks and it is also known as Spanish Blackjack. That means each deck only has 48 cards because all the 10s have been removed. While this might not be favorable for blackjack players, there are other rules that improve the odds.

In Pirate 21, players can double down at any time, split up to four times, and surrender late. However, the game mode isn’t ideal for the no bust approach since the dealer is less likely to bust.

Blackjack Pirate 21

What is California No Bust Blackjack?

California Blackjack is a variant of the game that first became popular in poker casinos in Los Angeles. The exact rules can vary a bit from one casino to another, but the core mechanics remain the same. The highlight is that California No Bust Blackjack uses jokers.

There are usually six decks of 53 cards, each contain one joker in addition to the standard 52 cards. The highest-ranking hands are known as naturals and they are as follows: two jokers, a joker and an ace, and two aces. These pay 2:1 if the dealer doesn’t have a natural hand as well.

In combinations with other cards, jokers are normally wild and automatically create a 21. However, in some versions of California Blackjack, a joker can only be 2 or 12 points. Also, the dealer never peaks at the hole card and side bets are pushed if the dealer has a joker.

The no bust blackjack approach in the Californian version remains the same. However, the addition of jokers to the decks can help create stronger hands from the start. The house edge is similar to the one in standard blackjack but most tables have a 1% commission on bets.

Best Online Blackjack Casinos 2022

If you want to practice no bust blackjack for free or if you are ready to win real money, these are the top 10 online casinos for 21 in 2022:

  1. Wild Casino – The Best Overall No Bust Blackjack Casino
  2. Slots.lv – Top Online Blackjack Variations for No Bust Strategies
  3. Ignition – 10+ No Bust Blackjack Games Available Instantly
  4. Super Slots – Super No Bust Blackjack Options from Top Developers
  5. Bovada – Daily Blackjack Tournaments for Better No Bust Profits
  6. Xbet – 200% Welcome Bonus Available for No Bust Blackjack Action
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  8. MyBookie – 25+ No Bust Blackjack Games and Bitcoin Banking Support
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  10. BetUS – Premium No Bust Blackjack Options for High Stakes Betting

FAQs

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Vlad is a writer with more than a decade of experience in online gambling and a Master's Degree in Economics. The two backgrounds allow for a unique perspective when it comes to sports betting, casino games, and more.