By Julie Mayers.
Blackjack is one of the best table games for casino players to target for two simple reasons. First, the game moves quickly and dynamically and allows players to try out a variety of strategies. Two, it has one of the most advantageous house edges for players.
But most players stick to a simplified blackjack format. The most common type for people to look for is American Blackjack or Classic Blackjack — to the point that some players don’t realize that the table game has almost (if not more) as many variations as poker. For the most part, players are more focused on changes in the rules, including whether the dealer hits on a soft 17, and whether they’re able to double down and/or split aces.
In reality, the world of blackjack variations is much more varied than people think. Let’s cover a few of the most-played variations on the virtual market right now. You can expect to find these variations on the world’s top platforms.
Blackjack may have the lowest house edge of all table games, but poker stands out as the most popular table game in the industry. To bridge the intrigue and excitement of both, the game 21+3 was created. It works similar to a classic blackjack game, except for one critical change: players can place a side bet that is based on poker hand rankings.
The game plays out normally, except with a side bet. This side bet requires players to create a poker hand based on their two hole cards and the dealer’s up-turned card. Based on the hand ranking, they’ll be paid out at a higher rate. For a suited three-of-a-kind, for example, their original bet would be paid out 1/100.
This variation is just as simple as it sounds. In this game, players are able to play multiple hands at the same blackjack table at once. Though it shifts according to each platform, most multi-hand games are played with six decks of cards and allow players to work with up to four hands simultaneously. This allows players to exercise a huge amount of statistical strategy when playing, which can boost the game’s RTP to up to 99%.
One of the most popular variations of blackjack, aside from its standard format, is European blackjack. Similar to 21+3 and multi-hand blackjack, the rules change according to each provider—so be sure to check out the rules.
Generally speaking, European blackjack has more restrictions for players and dealers than American blackjack. For example, players can usually only split a hand once—and only for same-value cards. Additionally, one of the biggest changes is that the dealer doesn’t draw their hole card until a player decides how to play their hand.
So far, we’ve outlined different types of variations that can be played online or in person. However, just like multi-hand blackjack, Vegas Strip blackjack is often preferred by virtual players. It’s nearly identical to the classic American variation, except that dealers will only peek at their up-card if they have an ace (versus an ace, face, or a 10-card).
Similarly, Vegas Strip blackjack includes even more flexibility than the American version. These changes allow players to take more liberties when doubling down, splitting their hands, and placing side bets. That’s because the game emerged on the Vegas Strip, where the focus was on creating more excitement and opportunities for players.
Multi-hand blackjack enlivens the action by allowing multiple hands to be in play for a six-deck shoe. In single-deck blackjack, the table is flipped. Players and the dealer are using a single deck, which makes it much easier for players to monitor the game. In other words, they’re better able to hit, split, or fold/surrender with each turn.
This means that players boost their winning potential by up to .5%1)This is true, however, be sure that blackjacks pay 3 to 2. If blackjacks pay 6 to 5, as many single deck games now do, your edge in the game is reduced by about 1.36%., which is a massive improvement. This, once again, puts single-deck blackjack along the same lines as multi-hand blackjack. So, if you’re interested in playing the odds, then either of these variations will suit you.
|↑1||This is true, however, be sure that blackjacks pay 3 to 2. If blackjacks pay 6 to 5, as many single deck games now do, your edge in the game is reduced by about 1.36%.|