Any blackjack player wants the dealer to go bust. It allows players to win the game without their hands getting too close to 21. However, in blackjack, there is a special side bet that allows you to make more money when the dealer is going bust, which is called Buster Blackjack.

Some casinos will not offer this form of side bets in their standard blackjack game. Instead, they label it as another game variation, called Buster Blackjack variation. This variation has been around for a long time, but it is not as popular as the other ones of the game. 

If you haven't heard of this variation, today's article will help you dig into it. We will discuss all the features, rules, and how the game works, as well as its payouts if your Buster side wins. In addition, you can also refer to the strategy table we introduce, which promises to slightly reduce the house advantage and increase your chances of winning if you apply it correctly.  

What Is Buster Blackjack?

Basically, Buster blackjack works precisely the same as the standard blackjack game. The variant uses the standard six decks with the same set of rules as the original game. The only difference that makes the variation unique is the side bet with the same name, the Buster side bet.  

What Is Buster Blackjack?
Classic playing card game (Source: Freepik)

This type of side will allow the player to bet on the possibility of the dealer going bust. As easy as you can imagine, you win this bet if the dealer's hand exceeds 21. Sounds great, doesn't it? Any player would expect the house to go bust, and in fact, that is quite common among blackjack tables. Therefore, if you are interested in different types of side bets and enjoy seeing easy wins when you don't need to strengthen your hand, you will definitely love the Buster side bet.   

Depending on how many cards the dealer has drawn before they declare going bust, your payout will fluctuate accordingly. We will talk more about this later in the article. 

How to Play Buster Blackjack

The side betting system in standard blackjack provides a much more enjoyable experience for players and makes the base game even more exciting. Of course, the Buster side bets also play a part. However, to make the most of this additional bet, you need to understand how a standard blackjack game is played deeply. Below, we will explain it. 

Understand the Basic Blackjack 

In a standard blackjack game, the player and the dealer are dealt 2 cards at the start. The game uses 6 decks of 52 cards. Both the player and the dealer have the right to request to draw an additional number of cards, this number can vary depending on the variation, to achieve the goal of the game is to make the total of the hand as high as possible. as close to 21 as possible without being crossed.

Cards 2 to 9 will be scored based on their card value. Cards of 10, Jack, Queen, and King, will count as 10 points. The only exceptions are the Aces, with a variable score of 1 or 11. Blackjack, or the perfect hand, is made up of a combination of an Ace with any card that has worth 10 points anyway. 

A basic win in the game pays out in the ratio of 3:2. However, this payout is independent of all side bets, including Buster. Therefore, you can win the base game and lose the side bets same time, or vice versa. They do not affect each other. 

Players will have to decide their bet level before the dealer starts dealing. After the first two cards have been dealt, the player and the dealer have the right to take different actions against their hand. Actions include hitting, standing, doubling down, or splitting a pair.

Specific Rules for Buster Blackjack

Although Buster Blackjack works almost the same way as the standard game, this variation still includes some minor rule differences. That's what distinguishes the variation from the original game. 

First, the variation allows the player to play with more hands. For the original, players can only play with up to 2 hands when performing the split action. However, Buster Blackjack allows you to play with up to 5 hands at a time. 

In the base game, some casinos will not offer Insurance and Surrender options to players based on some casino-specific rules. However, Buster Blackjack allows this at all of its games. 

Although it is a variant that allows players to play with multiple hands, splitting action is still allowed to increase the number of hands for the player. You can split once for each of your hands. However, on the other hand, this variation does not allow re-splitting. 

Also, in this variation, you can split Aces, but you can only double down on 9-11 only. Unlike the standard game, Buster Blackjack allows you to double down after a split.

Understanding the Buster Side Bet

You will place a Buster bet before the game starts. The condition for you to win your Buster bet is that the dealer's hand exceeds 21. The potential payout for this side bet depends on the number of cards in the dealer's hand before they declare going bust. 

How to Play Buster Blackjack
The maiden is posing sideways with two aces (Source: Freepik)

This type of side bet operates independently of the original game. Therefore, in the few cases where a player's hand has gone bust, the dealer must continue to play if any player bets on Buster. A player can lose Blackjack with a weak hand but can independently profit from that hand if the dealer is going bust based on the Buster side bet. 

Of course, if the dealer's hand lands safely without exceeding 21, all Buster bets will lose.

Buster Side Bet Payouts

As mentioned, the more cards the dealer has in his hand before going bust, the higher the payout to the player. The paytable will be mentioned below. 

  • 3 or 4 cards pay 2 to 1
  • 5 cards pay 4 to 1
  • 6 cards pay 18 to 1
  • 7 cards pay 50 to 1 if you have no blackjack, and if you do have one, it pays 800 to 1
  • 8+ cards pay 250 to 1 with no blackjack on your side and the massive 2,000 to 1 if you do have one;

As you can see, the Buster side bets offer huge potential payouts to players. Although the chances of the dealer going bust with 8 cards are extremely low, you can still enjoy a fair amount of money if the dealer goes bust with 5 or 6 cards, which is more likely. 

Basic Strategy for Buster Blackjack

We consulted experts to develop a basic strategy table for Buster Blackjack below. At first glance, you will find it seems confusing. However, refer to the notes at the bottom of the table to understand the abbreviations, which will help you understand what you need to do in specific situations. Thanks to that, you will find things much less complicated.

Basic Strategy for Buster Blackjack

The strategy board provides the suggested actions that are most profitable for the player if they execute them correctly in particular circumstances. Based on the differences in the rule system of Buster Blackjack, you will find this strategy board simpler than the strategy board of the classic game. 

Thanks to that, this variation is an excellent alternative for those new to blackjack. They can quickly get used to this minimalist strategy board instead of having to memorize every detail in the more complicated strategy boards of the original game. Besides, the strategy table of Buster Blackjack reduces the house advantage very significantly, to only 0.49%. 


Buster Blackjack is a unique variation of the game. This variation offers an exciting side bet, allowing you to bet on the possibility of the dealer going bust. We hope this article has helped you better understand this type of side bet. In addition, if you have any questions about the world of online gambling, you can refer to the guidance articles from the experts posted on our website.

Published: 12 August 2022 17:32