2 Jan

21 Burn Rules and Winning Strategy

How to play 21 Burn Blackjack, a Betsoft online casino exclusive featuring a pay-to-burn top card and an RTP of 99.46%.

How to Play 21 Burn Blackjack, a Betsoft Online Exclusive w/ 99.46% RTP21 Burn Blackjack is a game invented by the creative minds at Betsoft, an online casino software company that supplies its platform to hundreds of iGaming operators around the world. 21 Burn Blackjack is exclusive to that brand, so you’ll only find it – under this exact title and rules – at Betsoft-powered online casinos.

The game is comparable to any other standard-rule blackjack game, but with one interesting twist. If a player isn’t thrilled with the second card dealt to their hand, they have the option of “burning” it. To burn is to get rid of the unwanted card and have it replaced with the next card from the deck – for a price, of course.

With the right strategy applied – which we’ll discuss in much greater detail below – you can expect to achieve an RTP of 99.46%; equal to a house edge of 0.54%. You should know that there won’t be too many times when strategy requires invoking the burn option, due to its high cost (50% of original bet). At the same time, knowing when to burn is critical to attaining peak RTP performance.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s start with the basics…

How to Play 21 Burn Blackjack

Aside from the option to burn your second card, 21 Burn is played just like any other blackjack game. (See Specific Rules below.)

Burn: In order to execute the burn feature, you’ll be required to pay for the extra card. The cost of half the original bet. For example, if you’re betting $2 on the hand, you’ll need to pay $1 to replace the second card with a new one. The trade-off for this perk is one simple rule change – a natural blackjack will only pay even money.

Note that the cost of burning is not an extension of your original wager. If you win the hand, your payout is only based on the original bet. However, there is a chance to win something back on it. The cost is converted to a Burn Bet that pays anywhere from 2x to 7x the bet if the replacement card happens to be an Ace. More on that in a moment…

Below are the specific 21 Burn Blackjack rules applied at all Betsoft online casinos:

Specific Rules of Play

  • Decks: 6
  • Soft 17: Dealer Hits
  • Doubling: Yes, on any two cards
  • Splitting: Yes, 1x only
  • Double after Split: Yes
  • Resplit Aces: No
  • Draw to Split Aces: No
  • Surrender: No
  • Dealer Checks for Blackjack: Yes
  • Blackjack Pays: 1 to 1

Burn Bet Pay Table

The price you pay to burn a card converts into a Burn Bet. If the new card is not an Ace, this bet is lost. If it is an Ace, you’ll win the bet back, and then some.

Burn Card Is… Pays
Ace of Spades 7 : 1
Any other Ace 2 : 1
Any other card (not an Ace) Lose

Burn 21 Strategy

There is a lot to be considered when strategizing perfect play for 21 Burn Blackjack. First, you must decide whether or not it’s a good time to invoke the Burn option. Then, you have to play out the resulting hand. Doing all of this correctly will net you an RTP of 99.46%.

When to Burn

Because you must pay 50% of your original bet to burn a card, it’s rarely the right move. Even by perfect strategy, there is a negative expectation, wherein you can expect to lose 67.31% of all money paid to burn. Therefore, the only time you should burn a card is when doing so increases your odds of winning the hand by (67.31% * 50%) 33.65%.

This table will tell you when it is and is not a good idea to burn your second card. The first two columns denote the player’s 1st and 2nd cards, while the remaining columns denote the dealer’s up-card. You’ll notice it’s only advisable to burn in certain situations where the player’s first card is an 8, 9, 10 or A.
21 Burn Blackjack Strategy When to Burn

Base Game Strategy

Once the burn option is decided, for better or worse, it’s time to play out the base hand. The following three charts apply to three different hand types – hard hands, soft hands, or paired hands. Select the chart that meets your hand type, then scroll down the left column to find your current hand value. Make the decision from the right column that corresponds with the dealer’s up-card.

How to Decide a Hard Hand

Hard Total Correct Action by Situation
8 & Under Hit
9 Double against Dealer’s 3-6; otherwise Hit
10 Double against Dealer’s 2-9; otherwise Hit
11 Double
12 Stand against Dealer’s 4-6; otherwise Hit
13-16 Stand against Dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
17-21 Stand

How to Decide a Soft Hand

Soft Total Correct Action by Situation
13-14 Double against Dealer’s 5-6; otherwise Hit
15-16 Double against Dealer’s 4-6; otherwise Hit
17 Double against Dealer’s 3-6; otherwise Hit
18 Double against Dealer’s 2-6; Hit against 9-A; otherwise Stand
19 Double against Dealer’s 6; otherwise Stand
20-21 Stand

Conditions for Splitting Pairs

Splitting affords an opportunity to double the value of a single hand payout. This final chart will tell you how to play 21 Burn Blackjack when you are dealt a pair, pre- or post-burn. Note, however, that the rules only allow you to split once. If you are advised to split a hand that cannot be split, refer to the hard/soft hand charts above for the correct action.

Pair Correct Action by Situation
Ace-Ace Split
2-2 Split against dealer’s 2-7; otherwise Hit
3-3 Split against dealer’s 2-7; otherwise Hit
4-4 Double against dealer’s 5-6; otherwise Hit
5-5 Double against dealer’s 2-9; otherwise Hit
6-6 Split against dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
7-7 Split against dealer’s 2-7; otherwise Hit
8-8 Split against dealer’s 2-9; otherwise Hit
9-9 Split against dealer’s 2-6 or 8-9; otherwise Stand
10-10 Stand


  • Adalene Lucas

    is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.

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