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How to play War Blackjack

how to play war blackjack

War Blackjack is a rather odd Blackjack variant that has been making the rounds at a bunch of casinos around the world. It is obviously a combination of the classic card game War and Blackjack. The main draw is that if the player wins the war bet, then he can parlay that win to his Blackjack wager, since he knows his first card and the dealer’s up card.


  • You can play War Blackjack by basing it on any set of Blackjack rules.
  • At first the player has to make a Blackjack bet and an optional War bet. The War bet can be any amount as long as it is in table limits. This bet is not restricted to any multiple of the Blackjack wager.
  • The dealer then gives the player and himself one face up card.
  • The War bet is then settled by using these two cards. Whoever has the higher card wins.
  • For the purpose of resolving the War bet, aces are ranked low. Besides this the cards are ranked according to their poker value.
  • In case of a tie during the War bet, the dealer will win.
  • When he wins the War bet the player can choose to either collect his initial wager and winnings or collect the original wager only and parlay the win and add it to the Blackjack wager.
  • After the player decides if he wants to parlay or collect his War winnings, the dealer will give the player one more card and himself one more face down card.
  • Now that both player and dealer have two cards, the Blackjack wager will play out according to standard Blackjack ruling.

Parlay Strategy

  • Never parlay when the dealer has a 10, face or ace.
  • In any other case, if the sum of the player card and dealer card is equal or greater than 11, then you can safely parlay.
  • You should also parlay when holding an 8 and the dealer has a 2.

You should then continue playing the hand just like a regular Blackjack hand and keeping note of all the house rules that might be in play.

The main Blackjack rules that are followed in this variation are these:

  • Six decks
  • If you win through a blackjack you will be paid 3:2
  • Dealer has to always hit on a soft 17
  • You can double after splitting
  • Players can also surrender
  • Re-split is allowed

Based on all of these rules the house edge is somewhere around 1.16% on the War wager. However, if you want to lose as little as possible while playing this game, it is suggested that you only bet on the blackjack wager.

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