The most popular casino game is Blackjack and as a consequence, the traditional Blackjack game has been tweaked and modified to come up with variants. Though rules vary from both land-based and online casinos, both old and new players enjoy the varieties of Blackjack offered. European, Vegas and Atlantic City Blackjack variants are probably the most widely found Blackjack versions.
Below are some of the most prevalent Blackjack variants found in online casinos, but there are many more and some have multiple titles for the same variant.
European Blackjack is quite similar to the classic Blackjack, but six sets of standard deck playing cards are used instead. Four and eight decks of playing cards may also be used. A blackjack hand of 2 cards totaling 21 beats all other hands including those 3 cards and up with a value of 21. All face cards have a value of 10 while Ace can be 1 or 11. The dealer’s stand is 17. When he gets over 21, the player automatically wins. When the player’s and dealer’s hands tie, it is a “push”. A player may double after a split and on hard totals of 9-11. When a dealer gets a Blackjack, original and doubled bets are forfeited. A player is offered insurance when the dealer’s initial card is an Ace and all winnings are paid 3 to 2.
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
This game is often in single and multi-hand variety so strategy differs. However, the core game remains the same. The game is played using two decks of standard playing cards. The dealer’s stand is 17. A player has the option to double on the first two cards and after a split. It is allowed to split the cards into 3 hands. The catch is that when a player splits an Ace and hits a card with a value of 10, the hand is “21” and not Blackjack.
Vegas Strip Blackjack
This version has a slightly lower house edge and is played much like the traditional Blackjack game. Played using 4 decks of standard playing cards, this version offers better odds in the single hand version. The dealer stands on 17 and just like the Downtown version, splitting an Ace then getting another card with a value of 10 totals 21 and not a Blackjack.
Atlantic City Blackjack
In this version, single and multi-hand options are offered and have the same strategies and rules. Played with 8 decks of playing cards, this version is an American Hole Card game. At the start of the game, the dealer has two cards and hopes for a Blackjack. If he has, the game is over. The dealer stands on 17 in this version. A player can choose to double on the initial two cards and another double after a split. A player can re-split the cards into 3 hands. Late surrender is acceptable.
Double Exposure Blackjack
In this version, 8 decks of standard playing cards are used with the dealer’s cards dealt facing up. The dealer stands on soft 17 but wins all ties except Blackjack. A card is required to split Aces and a player can re-split his cards into four hands. Doubles are only allowed on hard 9, 10 and 11. Another double after a split is permitted.
Spanish 21 Blackjack
This version requires a standard 52-card deck with all the tens removed – ending up with only 48 cards. This leaves only 12 cards with the value of 10 which are the Jacks, Queens and Kings. Six or eight decks may be used. This variant may be quite challenging but less cards means more favor for the dealer. This variant is called Pontoon in parts of Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. It is also referred to as Jupiters 21 in the Gold Coast; Treasury 21 in Brisbane; Paradise Pontoon in Cairns; and Federal Pontoon in Tasmania. It is not to be confused with Great Britain’s and UK’s Pontoon Blackjack.
With Spanish 21 playing, house edge on hard 17 playing with 6 decks is 0.78% and 0.80% with 8 decks. With the dealer on soft 17, 6 decks is 0.37% and 8 decks is 0.38% house edge.
With other variants, house edge range is from 0.31% up to 0.62% depending on the splits and doubles, and location as rules are tweaked depending on the casino.
Perfect Pair Blackjack
The perfect pairs bet apply to other variants of Blackjack. Before a player is dealt cards, he can bet in the section for perfect pairs on the table. If the first two cards dealt to the player result in two cards with the same figure (as in two fives or two queens), the player wins. If the player loses, the dealer gets his bet for the perfect pair bet side wager.
Lucky Blackjack uses a single deck of standard playing cards. A player then bets on 17 points or 18 points, 19, 20, 21 points, Blackjack or bust. The dealer draws cards for himself until he has at least 17 points then stands on a soft 17. The pay for a winning 17 points is 5 to 1; 18 point bet gets 6 to 1; 19-point gets 6 to 1; 20-point bet gets 4 to 1; 21 point bet pays 12 to 1 and a Blackjack bet pays 19 to 1. A winning bust pays 2 to 1.
As you can see, there are a lot of different types of Blackjack games that have been developed and even more have been realized by software developers like Microgaming, Cryptologic, RTG, NetEnt and more. Try playing Blackjack and it’s variants at the following casinos to see which ones you like the best- Atlantis Gold Casino, Casino Dot Com, Rich Casino, 888 Casino and Miami Club.