Buster Blackjack is an RNG based game designed and run by Playtech, one of the industry’s most respected and prolific game developers.
It is your standard game of blackjack with a side bet bolted on, which pays out different amounts when the dealer goes bust depending on how many cards it took to get them there.
The game is played with six decks with dealt cards being reused in the pack after each hand, and there are one or two minor adjustments to the rules too as detailed below.
The Game Rules
A quick look at the game table below will show you that everything looks more or less as normal aside from the side bet which we will cover later.
As with most blackjack variants, the basic task of getting closer to 21 than the dealer is at the heart of the game, and you can play five hands at any one time in order to try and do this.
Splitting, doubling, and insurance are all available as usual, but you can only split once and doubling is still allowed after you have done so.
A few other key rules are noted below:
- Dealer always draws to 16
- Dealer always stands on 17 or higher
- Only 1 card is drawn to each Ace
- If the dealer’s first card is Ace, the player doubles, and dealer gets blackjack, the player loses both bets.
- If the dealer’s first card is 10, the player doubles, and the dealer gets blackjack, the double bet is returned to the player.
Keep these in mind when playing, as many blackjack variants will make slight changes to the rules in order to balance out any extra features or side bets.
10 Card Charlie
Although unlikely, it is theoretically possible to draw 10 cards and still not go bust. If this happens the player wins automatically unless the dealer has blackjack.
This is the case for split hands also.
Buster Side Bet
This side bet can be placed alongside any hand that you are playing, but it cannot be placed on its own.
You are betting that the dealer will go bust, but your payout increases the more cards it takes for the dealer to get there. If you also have blackjack then the payouts can be huge, as high as 2000:1 in the most unlikely cases.
The payouts are as follows:
|Number of Cards||Payout|
|3 or 4||3:1|
|8 or More||250:1|
|7 + Player has Blackjack||800:1|
|8 + Player has Blackjack||2000:1|
Even if your hand loses your Buster side bet can still win. Look at the image below for an example:
Here, we had bust but the dealer continues to draw cards as per the dealer rules and they too went bust themselves. This results in a lost bet on the game but a winning side bet as the dealer went bust in 3 cards, so we got 2:1 on our stake of £1, returning £3.
Note: This image is from a different version of the same game with the same rules, but developed by a company called Felt.
The player actually benefits from as slightly better RTP in this variant of the game, albeit only slightly, as the return to player percentage is 99.58% instead of 99.50%.
Bear in mind that this assumes you are playing a solid strategy. If you don’t know what you are doing the house edge can jump to 2% making the RTP 98%.
The RTP for the Buster side bet is lower at 93.79%.