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What is “The Rule of Charlie” in Blackjack?

Rule of Charlie

The “rule of Charlie” is a blackjack rule which adds a special flavor to the classic game of blackjack. Playing a blackjack game with this innovative twist is a great way to increase your odds of winning while at the same time breaking free of your standard blackjack routine.

So, what is “the rule of Charlie” about? Basically, it comes down to the player winning if he is dealt a specific number of cards without busting – in other words, without going over 21. Depending on the number of cards required to achieve that, these Charlie Rules are often called a “5-card Charlie”, a “6-card Charlie”, a “7-card Charlie”, and so on. Since getting 4 cards without busting is a common occurrence, there are no 4-hand Charlie rules.

5-card Charlie means you got dealt 5 cards without going over 21. On average, this happens once in every fifty hands dealt, which is why a 5-card Charlie won’t be found at many blackjack tables. For a player, this is probably the best Charlie rule as it lowers the house edge by 1.46%. At the same time, the chance of getting 5 cards without busting is a lot bigger than getting 6 or more cards without busting! A note of warning, though: when you see a blackjack game with a 5-card Charlie rule, take a close look at the rest of the rules, because casinos often compensate for the loss of house edge by adding other disadvantages for the player.

6-card Charlie lowers the house edge by 0.16%, while a 7-card Charlie lowers it by 0.01%.

You can find “the rule of Charlie” everywhere: in some land-based casinos, and especially in different variants of online blackjack. Keep one thing in mind, though: don’t focus all of your attention to the Charlie rule – the main goal in blackjack is still to beat the dealer!


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