Deal Or No Deal Blackjack

If you are a fan of game shows, then you are likely familiar with Deal Or No Deal which aired on NBC between 2005 and 2009. If you aren’t familiar with it, it was a game show that incorporated elements of skill, luck, and a lot of courage. A contestant would start the game by choosing one of 26 briefcases that each contained a certain amount of cash ranging from a penny up to the big prize of one million dollars. The selected briefcase would then be placed on a podium.  

The contestant would then select six briefcases to remove from play and each eliminated case would be opened to reveal its contents. After that, “The Banker” would call to give the player a cash offer for his briefcase. This is where the question “Deal or no deal?” would come into play. The contestant could accept the offer and walk away with the offered money, or move on to another round of eliminating briefcases which would culminate with another offer from the banker. If the $1 million case was still in play, the offers would get much bigger. If the high-value cases were off the table, then the offers were obviously low. 

This brings us to one of the most exciting casino games to be released in recent years. It’s called Deal Or No Deal Blackjack and it combines the excitement of the popular game show with the thrill of one of the most beloved casino table games in history. Let’s explain how it works. 

Deal Or No Deal Blackjack Gameplay

Deal or no deal Blackjack

Now that you understand the basic idea behind the Deal Or No Deal game show, you have to familiarize yourself with blackjack. Like Deal Or No Deal, the game of blackjack is pretty straightforward. You need the value of your cards to equal 21, or be closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand is.  

The player and the dealer both start with two cards. Both of the player’s cards are dealt face-up while the dealer has one face-up and one face-down. If your starting hand equals 21, then you automatically win unless the dealer also has 21. In this case, the hand would be a push and your stake would be returned. If your hand doesn’t equal 21, then you have a few options which we will cover in a moment. The key thing to know is that you will lose if you go over 21. This is known as a “bust”.  

Card Values

So, how do you figure out the value of each card? Well, it’s easy. Any 10, jack, queen, or king is worth 10 points. Aces can be either 1 or 11 depending on which value suits you best. All the rest of the cards are worth their face value. If you have a 7 and a king, then it adds up to 17. If you have a 9 and an ace, then you can decide whether you want your hand to be worth 10 or 20. Of course, having an ace along with a 10 or any other face card is the dream starting hand as it totals 21 and instantly wins. 

The Flow of a Blackjack Hand

  • Each player places his own bet; 
  • Two cards are dealt to the player (both face up) and two cards to the banker (of which only one is face up); 
  • If one of the two has a score of 21, the game ends by declaring him the winner; if the dealer also gets a Blackjack, there is a tie situation, and therefore a stalemate. Apart from these two hypotheses, the game proceeds. 

Let’s take what we now know to illustrate a fictitious hand of blackjack. As mentioned, you place your bet and get your first two cards. For this scenario, we will say that you are dealt a pair of 5s which adds up to 10. This is a decent starting hand because it has potential and gives us the following options: 

  • Stand: You can stand pat with your 10 although we don’t recommend that you do. This is because any card will improve your hand and there is no risk of busting out. Generally speaking, it’s wise to stand on 17, 18, 19, and 20. With that said, some situations call for standing on much lower hands. 
  • Hit: You have the option of drawing another card. In this instance, any card makes your hand stronger and you can’t bust out. You can keep on drawing cards until you either bust or decide to stand.  
  • Double Down: Doubling down is a somewhat bold move. A lot of casinos only allow players to double down when their two cards equal 9, 10, or 11. Seeing how we have 10, this is an option. To double down, we need to bet the same amount as we did at the start of the round. We will then receive one card. We would be praying for an ace or another high-value card. The one drawback to doubling down is that you cannot take any further draws. If we drew a 3, then we would be forced to stand with just 13. 
  • Splitting: You can only split a starting hand when it has two identical card such as two 8s, two 10s, or two aces. While it isn’t a good idea at all to split our fives, we will do it to see how it works.  

We would turn our single hand of 10 into two separate hands worth 5 points each. As such, we would have to place another bet of equal size. The dealer would then deal a card to one of the split hands. You can then play that hand out by choosing one of the options described above. After the first hand is complete, you play out the second hand. Each hand is independent. You might win them both, lose them both, or win one of the two.  

  • Buy Insurance: Few things are scarier to a blackjack player than seeing an ace in the dealer’s hand. When this happens, you have the option of buying insurance. This requires you to place a bet equal to half of your initial stake size. If the dealer ends up hitting 21, then you lose your original bet, but you receive double the insurance bet. This essentially makes the hand a push. 

The Deal Or No Deal Twist

Now we will reveal the exciting twist that makes Deal Or No Deal Blackjack so much more exciting than traditional blackjack. When you place your bet and receive your starting hand, the dealer will offer you a payout. It is up to you to decide if you want to accept the deal, or play out the hand. If you accept, then you take your payout and move on to the next hand. Should you refuse the offer, then you play out the hand as you normally would. 

As you would expect, the offered payouts are much bigger if you have a strong hand. This is especially true when the dealer has a weak hand. Not only does Deal Or No Deal Blackjack allow you to lock in wins and avoid those bad beats, but it also allows you to get a bit of cash back when you are at a clear disadvantage. 

Deal Or No Deal Blackjack Rules

You may know that different blackjack variants incorporate different rules. Before you sit down at the virtual Deal Or No Deal Blackjack table, here are the key rules of this variant. 

  • Play up to three hands at once
  • Played with five decks of cards. 
  • The dealer must stand on a soft 17. 
  • Blackjacks pay 3:2 
  • Card decks get shuffled after each hand. 
  • You can split pairs up to three times except for aces which can be split once. 
  • If you split aces, you can only take one draw on each of them. 
  • If the dealer shows an ace, you can surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack. 
Jeffrey Gynn