19 Jan

3 Hand Blackjack Rules (HungryBear Gaming)

How to Play Three Hand Blackjack: The rules, the odds, and the right way to play for maximum returns.

How to Play 3 Hand Blackjack by HungryBear Gaming3 Hand Blackjack is not a prevalent game in land-based casinos, where every seat is precious. But in the digital realm of online gambling, where virtual seats are unlimited, the old adage, “the more the merrier”, most definitely applies.  More hands means more opportunities for the player to hit a blackjack, and more long-term profits for the online casinos that host such games.

This particular blackjack variant is the brainchild of the UK and Canada based software studio, HungryBear Gaming. After two years contractually obligated to serve limited European operators, HungryBear earned the right to expand in mid-2020. Their first stop – British Columbia, Canada, and its provincially operated online casino, Playnow. No doubt their games will spread further across Canada in the future. Until then, BCLC’s casino website is about the only place you’ll find this blackjack game.

It’s worth mentioning that HungryBear’s Three Hand 21 comes with an RTP of 99.42% (their website lists 98.94%, but that’s wrong.) Alternatively, Microgaming’s Multihand Blackjack offers up to 5 hands with an RTP of 99.60%. That game is also supplied on the BC casino website, as well as internationally regulated gambling sites all over the world. The same old adage above applies to RTPs, “the more the merrier“.

How to Play Three Hand Blackjack

This game is hardly different than any other basic blackjack game. The player competes directly against the dealer, where the goal is to produce a higher hand value than the dealer’s, without exceeding 21. Hitting, standing, doubling, insurance – all the usual options are present. The only real difference is that, instead of being limited to a single hand, the player can choose to play one, two, or three blackjack hands against the dealer’s one.

Choosing how many hands to play is as simple as placing a bet. There are three hand locations on the table, with three adjacent betting circles. Press on the chip size you wish to bet, then press a betting circle to place a bet in that position. If you place one bet, you will be dealt one hand. Place two or three bets, and you will receive that many hands to play.

Once you’ve placed your desired number of bets, press the Deal button to begin. When a hand has ended, you can either repeat the betting process as detailed above, or tap the Re-Bet button to place the same size and number bets, and automatically deal out the same number of hands.

The rules below depict a house edge of 0.58% (RTP 99.42%).

Specific Rules of Play

  • Decks: 5
  • Soft 17: Dealer Stands
  • Doubling: Yes, on 9, 10 or 11 only
  • Splitting: Yes, 1x only
  • Double after Split: No
  • Resplit Aces: No
  • Draw to Split Aces: No
  • Surrender: No
  • Dealer Checks for Blackjack: Yes
  • Blackjack Pays: 3 to 2

3 Hand 21 Strategy

There’s no difference between the strategy for single-hand and triple-hand blackjack games, except that you’ll be invoking the strategy on up to three hands. you should never take more risks just because you have more hands. Precisely following the correct strategy is the only way to achieve optimal RTP. The strategies below, specifically geared towards HungryBear’s Three Hand Blackjack, are segmented into three different charts. Each chart tells you how to react any any situation (against the dealer’s up-card) when you are holding a hard hand, a soft hand, or a paired hand.

How to Decide a Hard Hand

Hard totals are absolute values, meaning the hand has no Ace currently counting as 11 points. Any hard total of 12 or more can bust with a single hit. Follow this chart precisely to minimize your risk.

Hard Total Correct Action by Situation
8 & Under Hit
9 Double against Dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
10 Double against Dealer’s 2-9; otherwise Hit
11 Double against Dealer’s 2-10; otherwise Hit
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 totals are more flexible,. They contain an Ace worth 11 points, that can drop down to 1 if needed. They cannot bust with a single hit. This chart will help you make the right choice in soft hand situations. If you hit, and your soft total becomes a hard total, refer to the above chart for further direction.

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 3-6; Hit against 9-A; otherwise Stand
19-21 Stand

Conditions for Splitting Pairs

Splitting offers an opportunity to win more money, but only when the situation favors the players. This chart will teach you how to play 3 Hand Blackjack when dealt with a pair. Note that the rules only allow one split per hand. If you have a pair and cannot split, refer to the charts above instead.

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

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