Basic Blackjack Variations

Blackjack School

Blackjack is one of the most popular gambling card games. It has been played all over the world for centuries and over this time different variations of the game have developed with new rules and side bets.

When you play blackjack online you will notice that most online casinos offer different variants of the game. Below is a list of the most popular blackjack variations.

Dealer Stands on Hard 17 – the classic blackjack making the dealer draw on all hands below 17, including on Soft 17 hands (hands that include an ace counted as 11).

Dealer Stands on Soft 17 – the dealer must stand on any hand valued at 17 (including a soft hand that includes an ace).

21 Duel Blackjack – no splitting, doubling down or insurance allowed. All bets pay at even-money and the only goal is the beat the dealer without busting.

Perfect Pairs – played with five decks and offers an optional side bet bonus game. Perfect Pairs bet wins when the two cards initially dealt to the player are of equal value and suit and pays 25 to 1.

Blackjack Switch – You wager on two blackjack hands and you are allowed to switch the two cards between the hands after the initial deal. Dealer must draw on Soft 17 and there is an optional side bet called “Super Match” which pays for matching cards from your original four cards dealt. A pair pays 1 to 1, three of a kind pays 5 to 1, two pairs payout 8 to 1 and four of a kind payouts 40 to 1.

Double Exposure Blackjack – both the dealer’s cards are dealt face-up.

Spanish 21 – played with a Spanish deck of only 48 cards (the 10’s are removed). The player’s natural blackjack beats the dealer’s natural and the player’s 21 beat the dealer’s 21. A five card hand totaling 21 pays 3 to 2, a six card hand totaling 21 pays 2 to 1, and a seven card hand totaling 21 pays 3 to 1. 6, 7 & 8 or 7, 7, 7, of mixed suits pay 3 to 2 and same suits pays 2 to 1, or of Spades pays 3 to 1. Suited 7, 7, 7 when the dealer is showing a 7 pays 50 to 1. Doubling cancels bonus payments.

Pontoon – both dealer’s card are dealt face-down. Pontoon uses different terminology: doubling is called “Buy”, standing is called “Stick” and hitting for more cards is called “Twist”. Pontoon pays 2 to 1. “Buying” is allowed after splitting hands. You can split up to a total of three hands.

Double Attack Blackjack – first card dealt is the dealer’s face-up card. After it is dealt the player has the option to double their bet before they are dealt cards. Insurance pays 3 to 1. If the dealer shows 10 and checks for a blackjack which they have, the player then forfeits their original bet but is returned the Double Attack bet. Double down allowed on any initial two cards and doubling allowed after splitting aces.

There are many other blackjack variations so check out the individual articles about these and other variations for further information.

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