Blackjack variants and features to watch

Blackjack is one of the most popular online casino games, but not every game is created equally. There are dozens of game variations, and some of them turn the infamously low house edge into a disappointingly dealer-friendly experience. However, it is possible to find variations that favor players and retain the edge the game is known for, while still mixing up the rules a bit. Let’s look at some of the best blackjack variants to try and what makes them special!

Classic blackjack

Also known as American blackjack, this classic variant is one of the commonly played versions of the game. The rules are, as the name suggests, the “classic” options for the game.

Blackjack switch

Blackjack switch games deal players two hands at the same time. You can switch the second dealt cards between the two hands, making the variant particularly exciting.

Vegas Strip blackjack

This variant is often played on the Las Vegas Strip. While there are a few rule changes to note, the most immediate difference is the use of four card decks during the game.

Variant features to watch

If you still aren’t sure which blackjack variant you would like to play, do not worry! Sometimes it is easier to look for specific features than to pick a name and hope for the best. With that in mind, here are some features to keep in mind as you look at new versions to try. Don’t forget to brush up on your betting skills with Betting on Blackjack to maximize your potential winnings!

The number of decks

Some players are surprised to learn that the number of decks in play significantly impacts their chances of winning. Blackjack can be played with anywhere from one to eight decks, with the latter having a significantly higher house edge than the former. If there are two blackjack games with the same rules, but a difference in the number of decks being used, the version with the higher number is inherently worse for player odds.

Hole-cards

Another essential element of blackjack to watch for when selecting variants is the hole-card. This refers to the dealer’s face-down card, which is called the “hole.” When the hole-card is present, dealers receive one face-down and one face-up card just like the players.

If you have the choice between a variant with a hole-card and one without, choose the variant with a hole-card. This means that players could potentially lose their hands before betting if the dealer lands a natural blackjack. In games where the dealer is not dealt a hole-card, they often draw their second card after the players make their plays during the first round. If the dealer pulls a natural 21 at that point, players lose their bets and any additional money bet for splitting or doubling.

The presence of the hole-card makes the possibility of a total loss due to natural 21s more palatable due to the absence of lost bets.