Types of Blackjack

Blackjack is the most played card game at casinos, so it is definitely no surprise that there are numerous variations of the game with new customised versions being brought out by different casinos on a regular basis.

The most widely found Blackjack variations are European, Atlantic City and Vegas Blackjack; however there are a number of other games which we have detailed for you below. The most important place to start when choosing a game that you intend to win your bets on is to look at the odds, or house edge before proceeding. This is essential as the higher the house advantage, the less chance you have of winning on a regular basis:

Atlantic City Blackjack 0.35%
Bonus Blackjack 0.39%
Double Exposure Blackjack 0.69%
European Blackjack 0.39%
Spanish Blackjack 0.38%
Vegas Downtown Blackjack 0.38%
Vegas Strip Blackjack 0.34%

It is important to note though, that the house edge can vary on these games depending on where you play and due to certain rules, so make sure you check up on this too once you have chosen a casino.

Now let's take a look at each of these games and how they differ from one another:

Atlantic City Blackjack

This enjoyable variation of the classic blackjack game offers both single and multi-hand options at most casinos and both versions have the same rules and strategies for game play. Although on multi-hand versions you will definitely spend more!

Atlantic City Blackjack usually has one of the lower house edges at casinos. While it is very similar to Classic Blackjack, it is an American Hole Card game played with 8 decks of cards. The dealer has two cards at the beginning of the game and checks for blackjack and if he has it, the game is over before you can lose money by doubling. The dealer also stands on soft 17 in this game.

In this game, you may double on any of the first two cards, and a double after a split is permitted. You are also able to then re-split cards into 3 hands and late surrender is allowed.

Bonus Blackjack

This Blackjack game is the same as European Blackjack, but features an added bonus option which means that this game usually pays out a great deal more than the other games at a casino.

Blackjack is played with 2 decks of cards, according to original blackjack rules and if you bet on the "bonus" option on the table, hands of "Blackjack" featuring a Jack and an Ace of Spades pay out at 50:1, with Jacks of any other suit accompanied by an Ace payout at 25:1.

Double Exposure Blackjack

Double Exposure Blackjack differs quite significantly from the classic versions of the game, being played with 8 decks of cards, with both of the dealer's cards being dealt facing upwards. You would think that this would give you the advantage, but rules have been put into place to ensure that this isn't the case, and in fact, create a house edge of 0.69%, which is one of the highest amongst the different blackjack variations.

Within the framework of these rules, the Dealer wins all ties except on blackjack which pays 1 to 1. The dealer hits on soft 17. One card is required to split aces, and a player may re-split cards into four hands. Doubles are only permitted on hard 9, 10 and 11 and a double after a split is allowed. All player wins including blackjack pay 1 to 1.

European Blackjack

European Blackjack is a variation of Classic Blackjack and is the same as the original game that you were probably taught. The rules are very straightforward, and the game is played with two standard decks of playing cards.

In this game, Blackjack always beats any other hand with a value of 21 and all face cards – Kings, Queens and Jacks of any designation have a value of 10. Aces have a value of either 1 or 11. During game play, a player can request to be "hit" in order to obtain up to nine additional cards.

The Dealer will stand on hands with the value of 17 and if his/her hand has a value over 21, it is a "bust" and the player automatically wins. When the player hand and the Dealer's hand tie, even on Blackjack, this is known as a "Push". Should the Dealer have Blackjack, both original and doubled bets are lost. Insurance is offered on the players hand when the dealer's initial card is an ace and all Wins are paid out at 3 to 2.

Spanish Blackjack

Spanish Blackjack is an American Hole card game that is completely different to any other variation of the game due to the fact that it is played with 8 Spanish decks of cards which consist of 48 instead of 52 cards because the ten cards are removed. This gives the house a huge advantage if you don’t know all of the rules of game play.

The dealer will peek on 10 and Ace cards for Blackjack and will hit on soft 17. In this game Player Blackjack and 21 beat Dealer Blackjack and 21 respectively. Late surrender is permitted and one may Double Down on any number of cards, as well as after a split but can only re-Double Down once. Player Surrender after Doubling Down is allowed. A player may split 3 times to make 4 hands, and Aces can be re-split.

Payouts differ by value as follows:

  • 5 cards with a value of 21 pay 3:2
  • 6 cards with a value of 21 pay 2:1
  • 7 or more cards with a value of 21 pay 3:1
  • 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 mixed suits pay 3:2
  • 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of same suits pay 2:1
  • 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of the Spades suit pays 3:1
  • Suited 7-7-7 when the dealer holds 7 face up pays 50:1

Vegas Downtown Blackjack

Vegas Downtown Blackjack is an American Hole Card game at online casinos and is often found in single and multi-hand variations. Depending on the chosen variation, strategy will differ quite significantly but the general game stays the same.

This game is like classic blackjack and is played with 2 decks of standard playing cards. The Dealer hits on soft 17 which means that he/she has a larger chance of busting and peeks for blackjack. Players may Double on the initial two cards as well as after a split. You can also re-split cards into 3 hands.

This game differs however, in that should the player split an Ace and then receive a card with the value of 10, the overall value is 21 and not Blackjack, which means you are still beaten by Blackjack.

Vegas Strip Blackjack

Vegas Strip Blackjack is the most popular version of the Vegas Blackjack games due to its slightly lower house edge. It is essentially played in the same manner as the classic game but is played with 4 decks of playing cards which means the odds are better for you in the single hand version. Multi-hand versions have worse odds because the likelihood of receiving the card you need for the hands you hold is decreased.

As with Vegas Downtown Blackjack, in this game if the player splits an Ace and then receives a card with the value of 10, the overall value is 21 and not Black Jack. The Dealer in this game will also stand on soft 17 decreasing the chances of him/her busting, but increasing the chances of a player win of hands valued at 18 or higher.

Most of the above mentioned games are featured in online casinos where you can even play live Blackjack in real time with human dealers which is really alot of fun. But if Blackjack isn't the game for you then click here to read learn about American and European Roulette.

Live Dealer Blackjack

If you're in the mood for one of the many blackjack game variants with a real casino look and feel then Live Dealer Blackjack games at online casinos offer a highly entertaining experience. The games are dealt by a real life (and often highly attractive) blackjack dealer and the action is streamed in real time to your computer.

Depending on the casino you play at, you may also be able to interact with the dealer and other players via the built-in chat function. We recommend playing Live Dealer Blackjack at Microgaming powered online casinos like Betway and you can take a look what these games look like in our live dealer casino games gallery.

Game play progression is obviously slower than standard online casino games, not because the quality of the streaming is bad but because a human dealer is dealing the game rather than a computer whose speed settings you can control. Nevertheless it's a great way to play and adds that human touch that many feel is lacking at online casinos.