Free Bet Blackjack guide

Free Bet Blackjack Strategy Charts and Game Guide

Since the mid-1980’s the popularity of Blackjack has been on the decline. In fact, a study showed that along the Las Vegas strip between 1985 and2015 that Blackjack had gone from occupying 75% of the players at the table games to just over 50%. It seems, however, over the past few years that Blackjack has managed to maintain, and even slightly improve its patronage.

That improvement can be attributed to the interest generated by numerous variants of the original game which have cropped up over the last decade, many of which have been devised by game-maker Geoff Hall.

The most popular of Hall’s creations (which also include Blackjack Switch, Power Blackjack, and Zombie Blackjack) is a variant he developed in 2012 called Free Bet Blackjack. Free Bet Blackjack is now widely available both at land-based and online casinos. Evolution Gaming has further developed a Live online version – played online but with human dealers based in a studio setting dealing live to players. See below for our guide to playing Free Bet Blackjack*

*Please note that this guide assumes that anyone reading will already be familiar with the rules of regular blackjack. If not, please visit our regular blackjack guide here

Free Bet Blackjack Strategy Charts

Like any other Blackjack game featured in our guides here on CasinoGrounds, we’ve created separate strategy charts for the free bet version as well. There are 3 separate charts, to be used when facing play with Free Hands, Real Money Hands as well as Splits.

Real Money Hand Chart 


Free Hand Chart


Splits Hand Chart


Free Bet Blackjack: What You Need to Know

Quite simply, most of the usual supplemental bets a player can make during a hand of regular blackjack (splitting hands and doubling down) are on the house, gratis, 100% free. Naturally, this generosity has to be paid for somewhere along the line. In this case, Hall introduced a rule which stated that whenever the dealer busts with a score of 22 that all bets left standing would push. In other words, hands which would usually win against a dealer bust would simply have their bets returned if the dealer’s bust hand was a 22. By the introduction of this one simple rule, the casino could afford to offer these free supplemental bets.

What Bets are Free?


Specifically, players in Free Bet Blackjack can double-down on 2 card scores of 9, 10, or 11 at no additional cost. The bet will be covered by the house and winning hands will be paid back their original wager plus winnings equal to double that wager. All other results are the same as in regular blackjack.


If a player wishes to split a paired hand into two separate hands, once again (with the exception of the 10’s) the extra bet is free and equal to the original wager.

Side Bets

In both live and online versions of Free Bet Blackjack, you’ll occasionally find side bets you can gamble on to spice things up a bit. Evolution Gaming’s Live Free Bet Blackjack offers four different side bets;


This bet is based on the joint total of the player’s 2 cards plus the dealers up card. The win pays if that total is 19, 20, or 21. A 19 pays 1:1, 20 pays 2:1 and 4:1 for unsuited 21, 20:1 for suited 21, and 100:1 for three 7’s.


Once again the player’s two cards are using in conjunction with the dealer’s up card for this bet. The goal on this occasion is to create the 3-card poker hand. Payouts start with a flush at 5:1 followed by a Straight (10:1), Trips (30:1), Straight Flush (40:1), and Suited Trips (100:1).

Any Pair

A pretty self-explanatory side bet, common in many casinos, a player is simply betting on the likelihood of their initial two cards making a pair. Unsuited pairs pay 8:1 while suited pairs pay at 25:1.

Bust It

This bet pays out on the number of cards the dealer is holding if they bust. 3 cards pays even money, 4 cards pays 2:1, 5 cards pays 9:1, 6 cards pays 50:1, 7 cards 100:1, 8 or more pays 250:1. This is likely to be a popular side-bet as it acts as a form of insurance against the dealer busting with 22.

Proper Strategy Application to Evolution Gaming’s Free Bet Blackjack

The general rule of thumb is simply to follow basic blackjack strategy, some would say even at the expense of some free bets. However, another school of thought advises to follow the basic strategy with the exception of free bets, whereupon you should accept every free double and free split opportunity.

If you’re looking for the best RTP then your strategy should not involve playing any of the side bets as their respective RTP’s range between 94.12% – 95.90% while the game itself boasts an RTP of 98.45%.

Strategy Charts: Free Bet Black Jack From Evolution Gaming

Below, you will be shown 3 different charts, which are applicable on The Free Bet BlackJack Table strictly for Evolution Gaming. The major difference between this Guide and our previous Guide is that in Evolution Gaming, there is no option to Surrender.

As an important note, we always recommend learning the terminologies in these charts by heart to be able to make a quicker decision during gameplay.


Evolution Free Bet Blackjack: Real Money Hand

Contribution by Sahil Rais

When to Double:

  • ALWAYS accept a Free Double, whenever made available.
  • Soft 16 vs a dealer
  • Soft 17 and 18 vs a dealer 5 or 6.

When to Hit:

  • Always hit on Player 5-8.
  • Hard 12 except when dealer shows 5 or 6.
  • Hard 13 except when dealer shows 3,4,5 or 6.
  • Hard 14/15/16 except when dealer shows 2,3,4,5 or 6.
  • Soft 12-17, except when doubling.
  • Soft 18 vs dealer 9,10 or A.

When to Stand:

  • Hard 12 vs dealer 5 or 6.
  • Hard 13 vs dealer 3-6.
  • Hard 14/15/16 vs dealer 2-6.
  • Hard 17 and above.
  • Soft 18 vs dealer 2-8, except when doubling vs 5 or 6.
  • Soft 19 and above.

Evolution Free Bet Blackjack: Free Hand

When to Double:

  • ALWAYS accept Free Double, whenever made available.
  • Soft 16 vs a dealer 6.
  • Soft 17 vs a dealer 5 or
  • Soft 18 vs dealer 4,5 or 6.
  • Soft 19 vs a dealer 5 or 6.
  • Soft 20 vs dealer 6.

When to Hit:

  • ALWAYS hit on Player 5-8.
  • Hard 12, except when dealer shows 5 or 6.
  • Hard 13 and 14, except when dealer shows 3-6.
  • Hard 15 and 16, except when dealer shows 2-6.
  • Hard 17, except when dealer shows 2-6 or 10.
  • ALWAYS hit on Soft 12-17, except when doubling.
  • Soft 18, except when doubling and vs a dealer 7.

When to Stand:

  • Hard 12 vs dealer 5 or 6.
  • Hard 13 and 14 vs dealer 3-6.
  • Hard 15-17 vs dealer 2-6 ( Stand on 17 vs a dealer 10).
  • ALWAYS stand on Hard 18 and above.
  • Soft 18 vs a dealer 7.
  • Soft 19 and above, except when doubling.

Evolution Free Bet Blackjack: Splits


When to Double:

  • ALWAYS Free Double, when available.

When to Split:

  • ALWAYS Free Split, when available.

When to Stand:

  • ALWAYS stand on 10,10.





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