What Breaks a Tie in Blackjack?

Updated On August 5, 2022
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Being one of the top popular casino games, blackjack is a topic that has been covered numerous times. You can find many articles about its rules, variants, strategies, side bets, and more. However, one area hasn’t really stood out — blackjack tie rules.

Players are so worried about winning or losing that they forget about the third possibility — the draw. If you want to know what happens if you tie in blackjack, you’ve come to the right page. This article will discuss rules, side bets, and the probability of ties in blackjack. Stick around to learn all you need to know.

Standard Blackjack Rules

Before we jump into blackjack tie rules, it’s essential to establish how this game works. We don’t want anything to slip through the cracks and confuse us later on when discussing specifics.

Blackjack is a casino game with simple rules. It’s played with 1 to 8 standard 52-card decks and 2 to 7 players. Face cards have a value of 10, and the ace can stand for both 1 and 10. Other cards hold their pip value. The game’s objective is to beat the dealer by creating a hand whose sum comes as close as possible to 21.

The blackjack action starts when all the players and the dealer get two cards. The players’ cards are usually face-up, while the dealer has one face-down and one face-up card. The betting starts if no one at the table has a natural blackjack (ace and a 10-value card). Players get to choose between standing, hitting, and splitting. 

Standing entails holding onto your cards, hitting refers to drawing an additional card, and splitting divides same-value cards into two hands to bet on both separately. Besides these, some blackjack variants allow side bets like doubling down, re-splitting, surrendering, and so on. They can be crucial for a player’s win if chosen at the right time.

After all players have their turn, the dealer reveals their down-card and proceeds to act according to the rules. Generally speaking, they have to stand if they have a hand of 17 or more or hit if it is 16 or less. Whoever has the highest total without going over 21 after the dealer’s move collects everyone else’s bets. 

However, that’s not the only outcome — any player can have the same total as the dealer. We discuss this possibility in the section below.

Specific Blackjack Tie Rules

A blackjack tie, blackjack stand-off, or blackjack push is a term that refers to the situation when the dealer and the player have the same hand value. It can happen after all the players have made their moves and the dealer’s finished their hands.

If both the player and the dealer have the same value hand, neither wins nor loses. So, there are no chips paid out or collected. This rule even applies to cases when the players rely on side bets, like doubling down. They still get their bet back. 

Nevertheless, there are two exceptions to this rule. They have to do with busting and blackjacks. The following paragraphs go into detail on both possibilities.

Who Wins a Tie in Blackjack If You Both Bust?

Possibly, both the dealer and the player have a hand with a value over 21. According to blackjack rules, any hand whose value is over 21 busts. That rule applies to this situation — the player and the dealer bust simultaneously. However, the player doesn’t get their bet back this time around. 

Blackjack rules stipulate that players lose their bets as soon as they bust, no matter the circumstances. So, even if the dealer busted, too, they still collect the player’s wager.

Who Wins a Tie in Blackjack If You Both Have Blackjack?

The other exception to the above rule occurs when both the player and the dealer have a hand valued at 21. Since all hands valued at 21 are deemed blackjacks in the game — they should both be winners. However, that’s not the case.

There are two types of blackjacks — a natural and a regular one. A natural blackjack is a hand with an ace and a 10-value card. A regular blackjack is any other hand whose value is equal to 21. If you get a natural blackjack and the dealer reveals they have one afterwards, you tie with the dealer and get your chips back.

Regular blackjack carries less weight in comparison. If you reach a regular blackjack, and the dealer reveals they have one, too — they usually automatically win and take your chips. Still, there are some blackjack variants with different tie rules. For instance, in Spanish 21, a player’s blackjack is stronger than the dealer’s and always wins.

Blackjack Tie Side Bets

None of the blackjack ties we’ve discussed so far really favor players. It seems that the best outcome a player in a blackjack push with the dealer could land is to get their wager back. However, a side bet helps players turn the tables in a stand-off situation and collect some winnings.

The side bet we’re referring to allows players to bet on having a tie with the dealer. The so-called tie side bet comes in various shapes and forms. A variant of blackjack called Blackjack Tie Win features the most famous one.

Blackjack Tie Win side bet allows players to get a 1/2 payout if they have a tie with the dealer. However, they must not bet more than 50% of their original wager or use any other side bets, like splitting, re-splitting, or doubling down, during gameplay.

The probability you’ll get a tie in Black Tue Win is around 8.47%. You can up your chances of landing a tie if you make the right move when the dealer stands on soft 17. According to basic strategy rules, you should hit on hands valued at 4 to 11 and stand on hands valued at 14 to 21. When it comes to soft hands, you should hit on all valued at 12 to 17 and stand on those valued at 18 to 21.

The other tie side bets in casinos carry various names, depending on the venue or site. To illustrate, you might come across a Push or Push Your Luck side bet. Casinos attach diverse rules to these side bets. For example, some of them allow you to bet on tying with the dealer on specific scores — from 17 to 21. Each score has a different payout, and you can bet on one or more of them simultaneously.

Probability of Getting a Blackjack Tie

We’re concluding this article with a short discussion of blackjack tie probability. On average, we can say that the probability of a tie is around 8%. Nevertheless, this percentage varies depending on several factors.

Basic blackjack strategy and side bets are one of the reasons behind those probability variations. These factors significantly affect the house edge if used correctly. In fact, the right combination of strategy and side bests can lower the house advantage to less than 1%. Naturally, that also reflects on tie probability. So, you can only calculate it properly for specific games after the fact.

FAQ

What happens if you tie in blackjack?

Blackjack ties can result in various outcomes depending on the circumstances. You can get your bet back if you and the dealer have matching hands of any value, including a natural blackjack. You can lose your bet if both you and the dealer have a regular blackjack. Furthermore, you can win if you’ve made a tie side bet before tying with the dealer. 

What is a push in blackjack?

Push is another term for a blackjack tie. Some casinos also use the term stand-off to refer to the same concept.

What is the Tie Win Blackjack variant?

Tie Win Blackjack is a blackjack variant that allows players to bet on a tie with the dealer. The bet has a 1/2 payout and can’t be worth more than 50% of the player’s original wager.

When should I hit or stand in blackjack?

It depends on your hand’s value and the dealer’s up-card. Basic blackjack strategy charts can help you decide which one of the two you should choose in various situations. However, you can follow two absolute rules — always hit on hands valued at 8 or less and stand on those valued at 12 or more.

When should I double down in blackjack?

There are three basic rules relating to doubling down that will up your chances of winning and keep you from busting. You should double down on a hard 9 and soft 16, 17, and 18 when the dealer’s up-card is anything from 2 to 6 and on hard 10 and 11 when the dealer’s up-card is lower than 11. Search for strategy charts online to learn what you should do in other situations.

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Hi my name is Nick, welcome to my site... I’ve been a Professional Blackjack Player for over 13 years now. I live in Southern California, but travel all over the US playing blackjack as a business. When it comes to blackjack, casinos and card counting (which I can train you to do), I’ve seen it all and done it all. Stay tuned to my site for all the latest going ons and updates from the blackjack world