5/6/7 Card Charlie
5-Card Charlie: is it a rule, a side bet, or a player with surplus cards? Mr Blackjack explores the history, payouts, and gameplay behind the 5-Card Charlie side bet.
- 5/6/7 card Charlie is a very old table rule, and sometimes played as a side bet. Lesson 4, 5/6/7 card Charlie. It started off as a table rule where if you got five cards without going over 21, you would automatically win. It was quickly removed from casinos though as it lowered the house edge by 1.5%, and instead introduced as a side bet.
This bet is one when you make any hand under 21 with a combination of five cards for five card Charlie, six four six card Charlie, and seven cards under 21 for seven card Charlie. You usually make this hand by drawing a combination of Aces and low cards that get the highest number of cards without going over 21. If you're playing this side bet, it may be advantageous for you to make a bad math decision in order to get a six or seven card Charlie and get a 30 to one payout. Or if you have a total of 13 on a dealer's six, you may want to make a basic strategy no-no to have a chance at that 30 to one payout and hit that 13 against the dealer six.
The odds of getting lower than an eight are better than the odds of getting higher than an eight in this situation. As a side bet, it'll typically pay out five to one for five card Charlie, 10 to one for six card Charlie, and 30 to one for a seven card Charlie. Keep in mind that you will see five cards under 21 every 30 minutes or so, six cards under 21 every hour, and 7 cards under 21 maybe once every three to four-hour session.
If you want to make this bet, online blackjack games will give you the option to wager on it when the opportunity arises in the game. Like I said earlier, not all casinos offer this wager. Based on the math, the house always has the advantage with the side bets. It's up to you if you want to gamble.
What this lesson covers
- What a 5/6/7 Card Charlie bet is
- The difference between the hands
- Payouts for a 5/6/7 Card Charlie
- The odds of 5/6/7 Card Charlie landing
- Whether this side bet is worth your time
Meet Mr Blackjack
With a career spanning two decades, Mathieu Blake knows his way around a blackjack table. He's taught and entertained over 100,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel NeverSplit10's . In this series he'll take you through basic strategy, card counting, and bankroll management. Take a seat with Mr Blackjack and become a winning player.
Want to learn more about Blackjack?
- What is a Charlie in blackjack?
A Charlie was an old table rule in blackjack where if you were dealt five cards without going over 21, you automatically won. This rule decreased the house edge by 1.46%, so casinos quickly removed it to keep the blackjack odds in their favor. Today, casinos have turned 5-Card Charlie into a side bet.
- Does a 5-Card Charlie beat blackjack?
No, because the dealer checks for blackjack before dealing any more cards to players. Our side bets guide covers all the rules and gameplay you need to know behind the 5-Card Charlie wager.
- How does a 5-Card Charlie work?
If you think you will be dealt low cards on your next hand, you can make a 5-Card Charlie side bet at the same time as your buy-in. When it’s your turn, you can ask the dealer to hit. If you are dealt five cards without busting, you win the side bet and the dealer will pay out your winnings.
- How often will I find 5-Card Charlie side bets in casinos?
Few casinos offer this side bet. Players have a better chance of finding 5-Card Charlie side bets in online blackjack games or live dealer blackjack casinos.
- Is 5-Card Charlie the same as the five-card rule in blackjack?
The five-card rule was an old table rule known as a ‘Charlie’ in blackjack. If a player had five cards in their hand without busting, they would automatically win. Casinos lost too much money on this blackjack rule, so they turned it into a side bet called ‘5-Card Charlie’.
- What are the odds of getting 7-Card Charlie?
A 7-Card Charlie appears only once in a three or four-hour blackjack session. The odds of you winning this hand is low.
- Should I make a 5-Card Charlie bet in blackjack?
Only experienced players that can card count and spot blackjack deviations should make a 5-Card Charlie side bet. You need to know what cards are left in the shoe so you can make this side bet at the right moment. Learn more about the skills needed to make 5-Card Charlies with our basic strategy and card counting guides.