What Is Free Bet Blackjack and Is It Worth Playing?

What Is Free Bet Blackjack and Is It Worth Playing?

Amid a surge of new blackjack variations over the last two decades, Free Bet Blackjack has gained popularity at online casinos. Let’s explore the rules of the game and find out whether Free Bet Blackjack odds make the game worth your time.

What Is Free Bet Blackjack?

What Is Free Bet Blackjack

Free Bet Blackjack is a newer blackjack game variation. It debuted in 2012 at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas.

The “free bet” refers to doubling down or splitting pairs without risking any money. The same as traditional blackjack, players are dealt two face-up cards while the dealer will show one face-up card.

If the player’s two starting cards combine for a hard 9, 10, or 11, they can double down for free. Additionally, the house will cover splitting pairs aside from 10s.


As a consequence, all bets are a push if the dealer hits 22. Even with a 21, the hand is a push against a dealer’s 22. Despite some favorable rules for players, this is important to keep in mind while playing Free Bet Blackjack at online gambling sites.

Free Bet Blackjack Rules

Freebet Blackjack Rules

There are common Free Bet Blackjack rules that you must be aware of before sitting down at the free bet blackjack tables. Note that the rules may vary depending on the casino and table.

No Blackjack Free Bet On Soft 9, 10, and 11

It’s essential to understand the difference between soft and hard blackjack hands. Most Free Bet Blackjack games will not allow you to receive a free bet on a soft 9, 10, and 11.

Free Bet Blackjack players typically can’t use an ace to help them earn a free bet. When possible, play at tables where free bets are allowed on soft hands.


If the player has a soft hand, they are allowed to double down, but must use their own chips. The same rule applies to splitting 10s: players can split 10s, but they’ll have to pay to play.

Blackjacks Pay 3:2

In what is another favorable Free Bet Blackjack rule, generally, bets pay 3:2 for a blackjack. The majority of traditional blackjack games pay just 6:5, but Free Bet Blackjack offers a 3:2 payout on most tables.

Note that if the dealer has 22 all bets push, regardless of the strength of the player’s hand.


Dealer Hits On Soft 17s

Despite the favorable 3:2 Free Bet Blackjack tables, dealers usually have to hit on soft 17s. While hitting on a soft 17 could result in the dealer busting, the odds favor the house when dealers must hit instead of having to stand.

With that in mind, always play Free Bet Blackjack tables where dealers must stand on soft 17. These games are not the norm, but available in some states.

Free Double Down Bet After Split Allowed

Free Bet Blackjack players can double down on every single hand for free. If a player chooses to split their pairs, they can double down for each ensuing soft 9, 10, or 11 hands that are dealt.

The standard Free Bet Blackjack rule for re-splitting entitles players to re-split up to four hands.

No Surrendering

Advantage gamblers highly value tables with the surrender rule. Having the ability to surrender in difficult spots and get back half of the original stake can be a helpful strategy.

However, Free Bet Blackjack does not offer a surrender rule. Even if you are playing the best online blackjack, surrendering is not permitted in Free Bet Blackjack.

Six Decks and Continuous Shuffle Machine

The vast majority of Free Bet Blackjack games will use six decks and a continuous shuffle machine (CSM). Attempting to utilize card counting in a six-deck game with a CSM isn’t worth your time.

Free Bet Blackjack Variations

There are two common Free Bet Blackjack variations and side bets available on select tables. Let’s delve into both variations and tips for playing these Free Bet Blackjack games:

Pot of Gold

Pot of Gold Free Bet Blackjack includes an optional side bet that pays whenever a player uses a free bet. The more free bets a player accumulates per hand, the higher the payout.

Following the initial starting hand, more free bets can be collected by splitting cards. With re-splits allowed, players will have a chance to receive up to seven free bets for the jackpot at 1000-to-1 odds.

Pot of Gold Side Bet Pay Table:


This is the most common pay table for the Pot of Gold wager. Under this structure, the Pot of Gold Free Bet Blackjack house edge is 5.77 percent.

As far as blackjack side bets are concerned in comparison to others, this is one of the better side bets in the casino. That said, the odds still suggest passing on the Pot of Gold bet.

If you make this side wager, always split your cards when you have the opportunity. That includes splitting 5s, which should otherwise be double-downed on.


22 Push Side Bet

The 22 push side wager is a bonus bet in Free Bet Blackjack that wins on a dealer’s 22. Contrary to the general rule of all bets pushing on a 22, the 22 push side wager gives players a chance to win.

If a player makes the 22 push side bet however, they can win a bonus payout on a dealer’s 22. The standard payout for a 22 push side bet win is 11:1 odds. Alternatively, some casinos offer a different pay structure.

22 Push Side Bet Pay Table:

22 Same Suit50:1
22 Same Color20:1

The probability of a dealer landing on 22 in a six-deck game is roughly 7.4 percent. Given the odds and probability, players do not have an edge playing the 22 push side bet.

This bonus wager should only be made for fun as a flier, not for optimal Free Bet Blackjack strategy.

Is Free Bet Blackjack Worth Playing?

Whether Free Bet Blackjack is worth playing or not lies in the house edge. Free Bet Blackjack has a house edge of around 1.04 percent. It will vary slightly on the rules, but this is accepted as the consensus house edge for Free Bet Blackjack.

Because of Free Bet Blackjack’s odds, it is a stronger bet than the majority of games on the casino floor. With the proliferation of 6:5 blackjack and poor rules, Free Bet Blackjack is worth playing over the most common blackjack tables, too.

It’s important to employ an optimal Free Bet Blackjack strategy and follow some helpful tips to get the best odds. We’ve compiled a list of the best Free Bet Blackjack tips to keep in mind:

  • Always play games with the best rules — 3:2, dealer stands on S17, free bet on soft hands
  • Split all free bet pairs except 5s— only split a pair of 5s if playing Pot of Gold bet
  • Never reject free double down bets with 9, 10, or 11

Apart from that, basic blackjack strategies should be followed. Furthermore, if available at your casino, consider playing other blackjack games with a lower house edge than 1.04 percent.

In general, all classic blackjack tables that offer 3:2 odds will have a house edge lower than 1 percent with optimal strategy. However, 6:5 blackjack can raise the house edge from 1.40 percent to as high as 2 percent.

Is Free Bet Blackjack Worth Playing?

As a general rule, Free Bet Blackjack is worth playing over traditional 6:5 blackjack games. Nevertheless, traditional 3:2 blackjack, with a high edge of roughly 0.50 percent, is the best choice.

Play Free Bet Blackjack Online

Before you place your first Free Bet Blackjack bets, ensure that you are gambling at safe online casinos. It’s crucial to only gamble at online casinos where you know that your money is safe and will be available after you win big.

Also, blackjack players should always deposit at casinos that offer a wide selection of games. In addition to Free Bet Blackjack online, a large menu of other blackjack variations is important to have at your disposal.

With more than 20 unique blackjack games, including live dealers, the online platform at Wild Casino is our top recommendation. Dive into hours of blackjack action on one convenient site at Wild Casino.

Currently, Wild Casino is offering a lucrative welcome bonus of $5,000 on your first five deposits. Get a 250% match bonus of up to $1,000 on your first deposit, and then a 100% match bonus of $1,000 on your next four deposits!

About the Author
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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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