5-Card Charlie Blackjack Rule: What Is It?


Blackjack is one of the easiest and most appealing games to play in a casino. The premise of the game is simple. You need to get as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it. You win if your hand is better than that of the croupier or other players at the table. You may find out that blackjack is not the original title of this game, as it originated in Europe. 

However, once it hit American casinos, there was an offer where you would receive 10 to 1 odds for having a black jack in your hand (spades or clubs). This name appeared to stick, and blackjack is widely used as the term to describe the game. Even in France, where the game originated, many people refer to the game as blackjack.

You can only have a maximum of 5 cards in your hand. However, today we will explore the 5-card Charlie blackjack rule and see how it affects the strategy players implement when participating in a blackjack game.

What Is A Good Blackjack Hand?

A good blackjack hand, according to this site, is when you get 21 with your first two cards. However, if you get 18 or over, you can win that particular hand. Another good starting hand is when your two cards add up to 11 or 12. 

This means you can hit (take another card) without being concerned that you will be busted (your hand exceeds 21). Even if you have 12 and get an ace, an ace can count as either 1 or 11. Therefore, you stay within the total of 21.

The 5-Card Charlie Blackjack Rule

A curveball that some blackjack players are unaware of is the 5-card Charlie blackjack rule. This is only sometimes implemented in some casino games. However, it gives an added incentive to take an extra card if your hand contains 4 cards and you are unsure whether to take another card or stick to the hand that you have. 

Theoretically, let’s say you have 4 cards, 1, 3, 5 and 7, giving you a total of 16. There may not be an incentive to take another card as the odds are against you drawing a card that will be 5 or less. However, with the 5-card Charlie blackjack rule, you win the hand or draw even with a player who has 21.

This gives an added reason to take the 5th card. Even if you get a 1 or a 2, your hand will be worth even more because you have a total of 5 cards, which is still below a total of 21. It is rare for this to happen, as the chances of having 4 or 5 cards below the total of 21 are low. However, the additional rule of 5-card Charlie ensures there’s added excitement and incentive if you find yourself in this rare position.


If you start playing casino-based card games such as blackjack, it is important to know the rules, even the lesser-known rules such as 5-card Charlie, which is a rule some regular players may not know. 

Even some players who have played blackjack for a while may be unaware of the 5-card Charlie rule. Mainly down to the fact of how slim the chances are of it happening.

However, it can be a real game-changer if you end up in a position where you have 4 cards and are unsure whether to hit or stick. Ensuring you apply this rule to your memory for your next blackjack game could help you win the hand, so make sure you remember this one.