Blackjack Pitch  Complete Guide| LeoVegas

Blackjack Pitch Guide

There are loads of variations of blackjack out there, but none are as hands-on as Blackjack Pitch. This version of the game takes a classic approach, giving you a unique gameplay experience by changing how cards are dealt and handled.

Unlike regular blackjack, where cards are dealt face-up from a shoe with several decks, blackjack pitch has dealers manually dealing out cards from a maximum of two decks. The cards are dealt face-down, so that you’re the only one who can see what cards your hand consists of and you get to physically handle them as well.

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It’s a much more intimate way of playing, offering a touch of nostalgia and added level of interaction and secrecy, which are crucial to the game. Additionally, the lower number of decks introduces a layer of strategy that can potentially improve your chances of success.

We’ll be exploring all the ins and outs of this variation in our detailed guide below, making sure both new and seasoned gamblers get the most out of this authentic casino experience.


What is a Blackjack Pitch?

A Blackjack Pitch refers to a specific method of dealing cards in blackjack and is mostly used in land-based casinos. If you’re playing a game of pitch, the dealer will physically deal you two cards face-down, rather than use a shoe that automatically sends them out face-up.

When playing a pitch game, only one or two decks of cards are used. The dealer shuffles the decks by hand and typically holds the decks in one hand while they pitch (or toss) face-down cards to each player. It creates a more traditional experience that falls in line with earlier days of casino gambling, when dealers handled every aspect of the game.

Face-down dealing allows you to handle your cards with secrecy, discreetly looking at your hand before making decisions for your round. It makes for a much more tactile style of play, with some players even trying to bluff and cover up their hand’s value.

For the dealer, the pitch method asks for them to be more precise and skilled, making sure their dealing doesn’t interfere with the game’s fairness and smooth pace. It’s why several casinos opt for the shoe games instead, which guarantee efficiency and security, particularly with games that use several card decks. Even so, pitch games remain very popular at casinos, especially in high-stakes games that aim to deliver a more personal and classic ambience.

Pitch dealing can also impact your strategy. In some cases, card counters might prefer pitch games because the lower number of decks in play makes it easier to track the count. Similarly, the face-down nature of the dealt cards makes it harder for casual players to follow the game’s progression.

What is the Difference Between Pitch Blackjack and Regular Blackjack?

The dealing of cards is the main difference between pitch and regular blackjack, but let’s review other elements of the game impacted by this change.

Card Dealing

In pitch blackjack, the dealer uses up to two decks of cards and deals them manually. They hold the shuffled deck in one hand and pitch face-down cards with the other. In regular blackjack, cards are dealt from a shoe containing up to eight decks of cards. The shoe automatically sends cards out face-up, and the dealer in turn, sends them to each player face-up.

Player Interaction

In pitch blackjack, cards are dealt face-down, allowing players to handle the cards physically, picking them up and checking their value before making any decisions. This creates a more tactile and interactive style of play, as only the player knows the value of their own hand. This contrasts with regular blackjack, where cards are dealt face-up and remain on the table. In regular blackjack, players cannot touch or interact with their cards, and everyone can see what each player is holding.


With pitch blackjack, you experience a much more intimate atmosphere that follows traditional casino gaming. This version of the game is usually found at high-stakes tables and VIP sections of casinos. The face-down dealing and manual handling by the dealer create a distinct ambience compared to the automated regular version. Regular blackjack games, with their shoe dealing and face-up cards, are typically found on the main floors of casinos, designed for greater speed and efficiency.


The biggest change to strategy comes through the more limited number of decks in pitch blackjack. Fewer decks tend to give you better odds and can make it easier for card counters to track their progress. Face-down cards can also affect basic strategy, as you’ll need to rely more on memory and observational skills. On the other hand, regular blackjack uses several decks of cards, increasing the house edge and making card counting much more challenging.

Dealer Skill and Security

Dealers in pitch blackjack need to be much more skilled to make sure the game isn’t impacted by the change in dealing style. This is completely different to regular blackjack, where the use of a shoe and face-up cards simplifies the dealer’s job and adds a layer of security that reduces the chance of card manipulation.

How to Pitch a Deck of Cards in Blackjack

With the removal of the shoe, the dealer needs to manually deal out cards in a game of pitch blackjack. Pitching a deck of cards comes with a set of precise and traditional dealing methods that are generally reserved for single or double-deck games. Follow these steps to pitch your cards effectively.

Preparation & Positioning

Add up to two decks and make sure that they are all properly shuffled. Hold the combined, shuffled deck in your non-dominant hand, ensuring a secure grip on the cards. Stand or sit in a comfortable position behind the blackjack table where you can face the players. Your table should be set up with a clear area for you to deal and for players to place their bets.

Pitching Technique

To pitch cards, use your thumb to slightly lift the top card of your deck. With a flicking motion of your wrist, push the card towards the player. The card should glide smoothly and land face-down on the table, in front of the player. Make sure each card lands accurately and in the right spot to maintain the game’s flow and fairness.

Dealing Order & Handling

Always start by dealing the first card to the player on your left and then move around the table clockwise. Each player receives one card at a time until all players have two cards. Maintain a consistent pace to ensure the game runs smoothly. Keep an eye on the dealt cards to prevent any irregularities.

What are the Rules for Playing Blackjack Pitch?

The rules for blackjack pitch games remain similar to the fundamental ones of regular blackjack. But there are some specific variations in card handling and dealing, mostly brought about by the face-down cards.

The objective remains the same: get your hand value as close to 21 as possible, without going over.

The game is player versus dealer, so to win a round of blackjack, pitch or otherwise, your hand value must beat the dealer's hand value without exceeding 21. If your hand is over 21, you bust and lose the round, regardless of the dealer's hand.

All card values remain the same as standard blackjack.

In pitch blackjack, dealers use up to two decks, dealing cards manually. You get two face-down cards, while the dealer receives one face-up card and one face-down card. Once your hand has been dealt, you can look at your cards and choose to hit, stand, double down or split, based on your cards.

The dealer reveals their face-down card once all players have finished their actions. The dealer must hit until their hand reaches 17 or higher.

Where can Players Play Pitch Blackjack?

Although it’s not as popular as regular blackjack, you’ll still find pitch blackjack tables around. Most land-based casinos offer pitch tables in high-stakes areas or sections of the casino where you can get a classic gambling atmosphere. The game can also be found in some online casinos.

You can also find pitch blackjack gaming options at casino resorts which combine accommodation with dining and entertainment. They’re also available on cruises with onboard casinos, giving you an engaging pitch blackjack experience at sea.

But pitch blackjack isn’t just reserved for high-end resorts and cruise ships. You can also find pitch blackjack at charity events and home games, where traditional gameplay can be enjoyed in a friendly and social environment.

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