Chinese Blackjack Game

Chinese Blackjack, also known as 21-point a ban-nag (Cantonese), or ban-luck (Hokkien), is mostly played in South-East Asia and is a lot like the traditional Blackjack we know.

There may be any number of players at the table. The game is played with one or two decks of 52 cards. The game though a lot like the traditional one, has lots of special features that stand out from the rest. One of the first features is that the dealer in Chinese blackjack has the right to reveal the hand of any player selectively and then go on to the other players. The next feature is that in case the player has an unbusted hand of 5 cards they have a special status. In addition, the game may be different from one casino to another.

Card Dealing

Each player gets two cards face down. The cards are dealt by the dealer.

Card Values

    • K, Q, J = 10

    • 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 = as numbered

    •If hand is of two cards, then Ace = 11 or 10

    •If hand is of three cards, then Ace = 10 or 1

    •If hand is of four or more cards, then Ace = 1

Special card combinations

In case the player has a special combination of cards, his hand is considered to fall into special rules. These hands are:

    • Ace + (10/J/Q/K) = ban-luck

    • Ace + Ace = ban-ban

    • 15 points hand = a free hand

Ban-Luck (also called ban-nag)

If a player has a hand with a ten-valued card and an Ace, this hand is a ban-luck and pays 2 to 1. However, if the dealers hand is also ban luck, a ban-ban or a free hand, the outcome changes. If the dealers hand is a ban luck, it is a tie, in case it is a ban-ban the player loses, and in case if it a free hand, it is an escape.

If the dealer has a ban-luck, all the players lose with the exception of those that have a ban-ban (dealer loses), ban-luck (a tie) or free hand (escape).


If the player is dealt two Aces, he has ban-ban. Which gets a payout 3 to 1. If the dealer has also has ban-ban it is a tie, and a free hand is an escape. When the dealer has a ban-ban, the game is the same but vice versa.

15 Points (Free or Escape hand)

If the player has a hand of 15 points, this is called a free hand. The player that has this hand has a chance of either continuing playing or stopping the game. If the player chooses to stop the game, all cards are collected, re-shuffled and dealt again. If the Dealer has a free hand, he can do the same thing.


Chinese Blackjack has all the options of the traditional game (Hit- get another card; Stand - ask for no more cards). and there are extra options in the game when it comes to special hands. If the player has a 5 card-hand that is not bust (Dragon) the bet pays off 2 to 1. If the player has a Dragon, he collects double bets from all the players. If the player's hand of 5 cards is 21, the bet pays off 3 to 1 immediately. If the dealer has a Dragon of 21, he collects all the bets tripled from the players.


If the dealers hand is 16 or higher, the dealer can reveal any player hand. Moreover, if the hand equals 21, all the players hands are revealed and the players that lost pay out their bets 2 to 1. The dealer going bust pays out even money. If the dealer goes bust with a hand of 5 cards, he has to pay each bet twice (House Rule) to those players that have not revealed their hand yet. If the dealer has a Dragon, he takes from each player twice the amount of the original bet. If the dealer's Dragon is a 21, players pay three times the amount of the original bet.

When all the hands are played and the payouts are paid, the next hand starts and the cards are dealt.

Make sure you check each casinos rules as they may differ from other casinos.

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