IN its purest form, blackjack is one of the simplest games to be found in the casino. The player tries to get his hand as close to 21 as possible without going over this score, while seeking to have more points than the dealer. That’s it.
Although there are slight differences in the rules here and there, this basic game can be found in any casino in the world, both land-based and online casinos . however the basic form of blackjack is just the beginning, as the last few decades have seen an explosion of blackjack variants found in casinos.
These blackjack variations were invented to breathe new life into classic favorites, adding another layer of thrill and excitement to the game. Not only have they become popular in land-based casinos around the world, but the rise of internet casinos means there are plenty of online blackjack variants that people can enjoy from their living room.
This is a look at the top 10 blackjack variants, which can currently be found in land-based and online casinos around the world. A basic knowledge of blackjack is necessary to be able to play the blackjack variations, but on the whole they are quite easy to learn and almost anyone can start playing in a matter of minutes.
PONTOON – BRITISH BLACKJACK
Introduction to Pontoon
Pontoon is the British equivalent to American blackjack. It bears many similarities to its American cousin, but a few twists make the game a bit more interesting and strategic. The biggest difference in its casino version is that players can see a card before placing their bets and raise their bets for the duration of the hand.
how to play pontoon
In a Pontoon hand each player is dealt a card, the player can see the card and choose how much to bet on the hand. A second card is then dealt and the game follows the rules of standard blackjack, except with different terminology such as ‘twist’ instead of ‘hit’. If the player has a better hand than the dealer, the player wins with one notable exception; if the player has five cards that add up to 21 or less he magically doubles his bet!
BLACKJACK SWITCH – SWITCH BLACKJACK
Introduction to Blackjack Switch
Patented by Geoff Hall in 2009, Switch Blackjack has established itself in its own right as one of the most popular blackjack variants to be found in casinos, both in land-based and internet casinos. Although it is generally played in the same way as blackjack, there is a change in that each player plays two hands simultaneously and has the opportunity to change their cards after the initial deal.
How to play Blackjack Switch
Each Blackjack Switch player makes two bets at the start of the game and is dealt two separate hands at the start of the game. After this, the player has the opportunity to change the cards of the two hands, so a player can turn two hands that add up to 16 (an Ace/a 5, a 10/a 6) into two better hands by getting a blackjack ( an Ace/a 10) and 11 points in the other hand (a 6/a 5).
But there is a price to pay for this gamble. First of all, blackjacks pay only what is wagered. Second, the dealer only loses if he or she has 23 points or more, if he or she gets 22 points it means a tie for all players no matter what their totals were.
DOUBLE EXPOSURE BLACKJACK – EXPOSING THE DEALER
Introduction to Double Exposure Blackjack
Double Exposure Blackjack is a favorite among blackjack players as it is one of the few blackjack variations that actually increase the odds in the player’s favor. Because of this it is quite rare to find it, as most casinos prefer not to offer blackjack variations that allow players to win more money. So if at any time you find one of these tables, sit down and play without hesitation.
How to play Double Exposure Blackjack
Double Exposure blackjack follows the same rules as a multi-deck blackjack game – with one big difference – both the dealer’s cards are exposed, so all players know the dealer’s score before making a decision. Of course, this gives players a huge advantage so there are some rules to balance the game in favor of the casino. Insurance, surrender and multiple split are not allowed and the dealer can stand on 17, but even with this the house edge is close to zero.
BUSTER BLACKJACK – GAMBLING TO BUST
Introduction to Buster Blackjack
Buster Blackjack is not so much a different variant of blackjack but rather a standard game of blackjack with an optional side bet, which pays the player every time the dealer busts. Taking into account that the dealer busts far fewer times than he is left with low cards, the bet becomes more attractive by adding money to the prize for each additional card that the croupier takes when busting.
How to play buster blackjack
In Buster Blackjack the game proceeds just like in a normal blackjack table. The “bust” part is an optional side bet on whether or not the dealer will bust. This side bet is only on whether or not the dealer will bust and is irrelevant to whether the player wins or loses the hand. The more cards it takes for the dealer to bust, the higher the bet is paid, ranging from 1:1 if you bust with 3 cards to 250:1 if the dealer busts with 8 cards. Even with this amount the Buster Blackjack side bet gives great odds in favor of the house.
BONUS BLACKJACK – BLACKJACK WITH A BONUS
Introduction to Bonus Blackjack
Like Buster Blackjack, Bonus Blackjack is played in the same way as standard blackjack, but with a side bet, which allows the player to win big money by hitting a blackjack. Because it is played with only two decks of cards, bonus blackjack is the most popular blackjack variant among card counters and professional players.
How to play Bonus Blackjack
Bonus Blackjack or bonus blackjack is played in the same way as any two-deck blackjack, except for the original side bet that can be chosen before the cards are dealt. This bet pays a bonus if the player gets a blackjack with their first two cards and typically pays an equal sum if the dealer gets a blackjack. Depending on the casino, different blackjack hands pay different amounts – an ace and 10 suited blackjack (suited blackjack) pays 25:1 for example. If you don’t get a blackjack, you lose the bet, simple as that.
CALIFORNIA BLACKJACK – BLACKJACK WITH THE DEALER
Introduction to California Blackjack
California Blackjack was born in the poker rooms of Southern California, where traditional blackjack was illegal because the player was betting against the house. California Blackjack, still one of the most popular variants found in California gambling halls, circumvented the law by giving one of the players the role of banker whereby one player wagered against the other players on each hand. .
How to play California Blackjack
While California Blackjack has some similarities to the regular game, it is actually quite different. In each hand one player is the bank and plays against the other players at the table. The banker’s bet is the bank for that hand with the other players trying to win it and the player-banker looking to raise it. Some notable rule differences include the fact that wilds are valid and count as either 2 or 12, the number to hit a blackjack is not 21 but 22, and players don’t automatically lose when they bust. Which has come to be known as blackjack where you don’t bust or ‘No-Bust Blackjack’.
DOUBLE ATTACK BLACKJACK – DOUBLING THE BETS
Introduction to Double Attack Blackjack
Double Attack Blackjack, sometimes known as Double-Attack or Double Blackjack, is actually a variant of the Spanish 21, which was itself one of the earliest variations of blackjack. With roots in Atlantic City, Double Attack Blackjack has recently been introduced to Nevada. Much of its success is based on the fact that players have the opportunity to double their bets after seeing the dealer’s first card and also to surrender at any time.
How to play Double Attack Blackjack
Typically played with 8 Spanish deck decks (not including the 10 card), Double Attack Blackjack looks very similar to regular blackjack in looking to get 21 points and beat the dealer. The name of Double Attack or double attack refers to the fact that each first card that is dealt is the dealer’s face up card and so based on that card, players can make the double attack bet and double their initial bet, Other than that the most significant rule change is that players can surrender or double down at any time, giving smart players the opportunity to win more consistently.
PITCH BLACKJACK – BLACKJACK WITH THE CARDS FACE DOWN
Introduction to Pitch Blackjack
You already know Pitch Blackjack, even if the name is new. Pitch Blackjack is simply blackjack played with one or two decks of cards and takes its name from the pitching action that the dealer performs when dealing the cards. Pitch Blackjack variants in online casinos are often called single deck blackjack. Card counters love Pitch Blackjack because they can easily memorize the cards that have been dealt and that is why not many casinos offer it.
How to play Pitch Blackjack
Pitch Blackjack is played with one or two decks of cards and the cards are dealt face down to each player, who holds them in their hand like a classic poker hand. This is the big difference, as hit, stand, double the bet, split and insurance are available to the player as in traditional blackjack . If you want a card you scratch the table with your cards but if you want to stand you put your hand under your chips and hope that luck favors you.
MULTI HAND BLACKJACK – BLACKJACK, VIDEO POKER STYLE
Introduction to Multi-Hand Blackjack
Multi hand blackjack was one of the first variations of online blackjack, as online casinos realized that people loved playing multiple hands of video poker in unison, they extended the idea to blackjack. Of course in land-based casinos it is possible to play several hands at once, as long as the seats next to the player are not occupied. But online there is no such restriction, the player can bet and play as many hands as he wants.
How to play multi-hand blackjack
If you know how to play standard blackjack, then you know how to play multi-hand blackjack. It’s the standard blackjack game but instead of playing one hand at a time, you can play up to eight hands at once in a very intense, fast-paced blackjack that is impossible to play in the real world.
CHINESE BLACKJACK – BLACKJACK IN ASIA
Introduction to Chinese Blackjack
Although obviously very popular in China, Chinese blackjack can be found in many casinos throughout South and East Asia. Although at first glance it looks a lot like regular blackjack – players start with two cards, try to reach 21 without going bust etc. However, from there there are a large number of differences that make it unique in Asia.
how to play chinese blackjack
Chinese blackjack hands start the same way as regular hands with each player receiving two cards from the dealer. From this is where the differences and similarities abound. Two aces are automatically winners, dealers can decide whether to draw another card or stand and aces count differently depending on the number of cards held. Although it seems complicated, with an hour or two spent in front of a table you will be able to play Chinese blackjack like a professional.