What is rummy blackjack?

Have you’ve ever heard of rummy blackjack? Then there’s a very good chance that you’ve experienced the same confusion that countless blackjack fans have faced. They’re left wondering what exactly is rummy. And if there’s any difference between this and the traditional rummy game. They’re also left wondering about the impact that runny has on traditional blackjack. That’s because the word ‘rummy’ really isn’t that straightforward.

When it comes to the world of blackjack, rummy can mean numerous things. There are many casinos where the word refers to a blackjack side bet. There are perhaps equally as many where rummy is a whole different card game that comes with a unique set of rummy blackjack rules.

We’re going to try and clear up some of the confusion that surrounds rummy by taking a look at exactly what it means. 

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Three Card Rummy - Rummy Blackjack

So, what is rummy?

This is where the first bit of confusion begins to creep in. And we’re only at the start! Rummy isn’t just a single card game. It is actually a category of card games. Thes games involve the creation of ‘melds’. Now melds are multiple cards that are either of the same ranks, suited, or sequenced. 

When looking at a meld in rummy. It is usually made up of 3 or 4 cards. These cards have to meet one of the following:

  • They are all of the same rank as each other
  • The cards are all from the same suit
  • The cards are sequenced and run in order with no gaps

You’ll find that with most rummy games, players also need to draw cards. As well as discard ones that aren’t advantageous. These types of games tend to be extremely popular. Because they’re really simple and practically anyone can learn how to play.

How do rummy and blackjack go together?

In blackjack, you are dealt two cards that are face up. When you combine these with the dealer’s face-up card, you have the opportunity to create a meld that consists of 3 cards. Some games of blackjack allow you to take out a side bet on the rummy value of the first 3 hands.

There are other blackjack games where a rummy is so much more than a side bet. This is something that we’ll be coming onto shortly. 

A closer look at the rummy side bet

Rummy is an optional side bet that some black players choose to take. They do this as, just like with other side bets, it brings another dimension to the game and offers a further chance to win. If you do win with this side bet, the payout is usually 9:1, although this can vary from casino to casino.

if you’re playing at a blackjack table where the rummy side bet is available, you’ll experience the game just like you would any other. The blackjack game just played out as it always would and the side bet has no impact at all on this.

As a fan of blackjack, you may be wondering what the house edge is when it comes to the rummy side bet. Well, it comes in at 4.14%. While the main game can offer a house edge below 1% (assuming that you know basic blackjack strategy), as always the house edge when it comes to side bets is pretty terrible in comparison.

The significance of rummy blackjack in Costa Rica

While in the US, we have access to many great casino games, not all countries are quite so lucky. Take Costa Rica for instance. Here, the traditional game of blackjack is illegal and so there is no way that it can be played. What they’ve done here though is to adapt the rummy-based game so that it can still satisfy fans of blackjack.

The truth is that if you were watching a game of rummy in Costa Rica, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were watching a game of blackjack play out. That’s because the differences really are subtle. The game is played with up to 6 decks and players start with 2 cards and the dealer stands on soft 17.

Perhaps a major difference is that there is no 3:2 payout for a blackjack. What you get instead are bonus payments that are based on rummy melds. 

Strategies and rummy blackjack 

When you look at rummy blackjack in Costa Rica, the house edge is similar to that in traditional blackjack. That is that it comes in at 1% or less. However, to benefit from a house edge this low, you need to be using perfect basic strategy.

If you’re not sure what basic strategy is, it’s something that we’re huge advocates of. It allows you to look at every possible outcome in a  game and know exactly how you should act. Many people commit basic strategy to memory, but if you can’t you’ll find that some casinos will allow you to keep a chart by your side as you play.

There is a difference between basic blackjack strategy and the basic strategy used while playing rummy. That’s because there are additional outcomes that are possible. These additional outcomes are created by the fact that there are melds to consider during the game. While this is all new to you, the best thing that you can do is to print off a chart that shows you exactly how the strategy works, and refer to it as you play. Just be sure that you’re not slowing the game down by looking at your chart.

Final thoughts 

While you may have already known about the rummy side bet that existed in traditional blackjack, you may not have known about the card game that’s enjoyed in Costa Rica. While this is a game that closely mirrors all that blackjack has to offer, the addition of melds adds an extra twist.

When it comes to the side bet, the lousy house edge means that we’re not huge fans. However, if you like the extra dimension that it brings to the game, there is nothing to stop you from giving it a go.

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