Blackjack Charlie Hand Rule

When you hear the name "Charlie" in a game of Blackjack it is not a reference to the famous blackjack player Charlie Ergen but rather to a blackjack hand that consists of a certain number of cards valued at under 21.

Although rare, the Charlie Rule is allowed in some blackjack variants and when this is achieved the hand will result in an automatic win regardless of what the Dealer is holding. So for example, Five Card Charlie refers to a hand where the total count of the sum of cards does not exceed 21 and result in a bust. The same goes for Six Card Charlie and Seven Card Charlie respectively.

In fact it is mathematically possible for blackjack players to hold up to a Ten Card Charlie, but this usually an exceptional circumstance which can and does happen from time to time.

Not all online casinos and blackjack games incorporate this rule into their game play so you may have some homework to do before playing, but if you can find a casino that allows it, it can have a dramatic effect on your odds of winning as it lowers the house advantage significantly.

Some casinos allow the Charlie Rule in their Triple Attack Blackjack game variants so be on the lookout for these and check the game rules before you start to ensure that it is included.

It is definitely worth the extra effort because a win on a 7 Card Charlie hand lowers the house edge by 0.01% but a win on a 6 Card Charlie lowers it by 0.16% and a 5 Card Charlie win drops the house advantage by 1.46% which can really help you to make some decent returns over the long term.

Charlie Rule - Adjusting your Blackjack Strategy

While playing a blackjack game that allows the Charlie Rule, you will need to adjust your blackjack strategy slightly to accommodate this which we detail below.

  • When holding a hand that's value totals four to eleven and the Dealer holds a card valued from two to ten or an Ace, it is advisable to always Hit.
  • If your hand totals twelve you should Hit unless the dealer holds a hand valued at four, five or six. If this is the case if you only need one or two cards to form a Charlie then you should Hit but if you require more cards that this you should stand.
  • If the Dealer has two or three showing when your cards total thirteen and you require only one or two cards to form a Charlie then Hit, otherwise stand.
  • If you have Thirteen and the Dealer has four, five or six and you only need a single card to form a Charlie, then Hit, otherwise stand.
  • If the dealer holds anything other than the above, always Hit.
  • If your cards total anything from fourteen to sixteen and the Dealer holds anything valued at between seven and ten or Ace then Hit.
  • If the dealer has any other value and you are only a single card away from a Charlie then hit.
  • If you have Sixteen and the Dealer has four, five or six stand.
  • If your hand totals anything from seventeen to twenty and the Dealer shows anything from two to ten or an Ace then stand.