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Popular Blackjack Variants in India

Classic BlackjackBy Sophia Jones.

Blackjack is a traditional table game played against a dealer or the house. The way the variants are set up may give the impression that they have the same rules.

The truth is that there are numerous variations with slightly altered rules that give players or the house advantage. Understanding the house edge in blackjack variants is also necessary as it lets you predict the likelihood of your winnings.

Here are some of the most popular blackjack variants in India:

Multi-hand Blackjack

An online blackjack variant that gives players a bigger chance of getting a winning hand. It is important to understand how to play blackjack before making real money bets on the game. The basic classic blackjack rules still apply here.

With Multi-hand Blackjack, a player is allowed to play with as many hands as they decide. It all boils down to the maximum hands that have been stipulated by a particular casino.

The most significant advantage in this variant is that many hands offer you a higher chance of winning. The Multi-hand variant is the most played version generally due to its increased winning possibilities.

Blackjack Switch

In Blackjack Switch, if the dealer’s hand totals 22, both the dealer and the player push. It’s played with 6-8 full decks out of a shoe, and the main difference is that players must always play two hands at the same time. After the initial cards are dealt, players may swap the first cards of their two hands.

A number of side bets are also available before you are dealt. The most interesting is betting on whether you will land a pair, two pairs, three of a kind, or four of a kind.

Bollywood Blackjack

Bollywood refers to India’s film industry and from which Bollywood Blackjack was coined. Bollywood Blackjack is an Evolution Gaming variant. The dealer speaks Hindi in this game, and the live stream takes place in a Bollywood-themed studio.

It’s especially popular with Indian players, naturally. To help find the best places to play, comparison sites search the net for only safe casinos to aid Indian players. In addition, the platform also checks for the best casino bonuses on signing up, to boost your bankroll. Moreover, you will also find reliable information on bonus wagering requirements, and in-depth reviews on each casino.

Bollywood Blackjack games are divided into two types, both of which are based on the standard 7-seat Blackjack. The only distinction is the betting range. In both games, there are three optional side bets. Another feature is that when the dealer busts at 22, all winning hands are returned. That means you do not keep your winnings should you win and the dealer busts at 22.


In Pontoon, you can always Hit, even after a Double Down; the only restriction is that you cannot exceed a five-card hand. A Pontoon is a natural hand consisting of an Ace and a ten-value card that pays 2:1 and will still pay 2:1 after a Split.

A hand of 21 after a Split will only pay 1:1 in regular Blackjack. A 5-card hand that totals 21 also pays 2:1 and is known as a 5-card Charlie. The disadvantage of Pontoon blackjack is that all ties are won by the dealer (house).

Spanish 21

Spanish 21 is a game that is very similar to Pontoon, which is popular in Australia and Singapore. This version is well-known for its low house edge and no tens in its card decks.

The dealer must hit soft 17; the player wins if both the player and the dealer have blackjack (3:2), a six-card 21-hand pays 2:1, and a seven-card 21-hand pays 3:1.

Double Exposure

Double Exposure, also known as “Face Up Blackjack,” is played with both dealers’ dealt cards facing up.

The game, therefore, offers a lower house edge but is balanced by the dealer taking all ties except when pushing a player’s blackjack.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack

This blackjack variant is prevalent at most casinos. The game is based on the Perfect Pairs side bet. In this version, many winning options are available depending on your first two cards and the amount of side bet placed.

While the game offers a higher winning potential, players should keep the high house edge in mind. The game rules are simple; you win in this version if your first two cards are a pair. If you fail to do so, you lose. It’s really that simple.



Blackjack Variants From Around the World

By Bruna Freire

Queen of Spades


Blackjack is but the latest popular variant in a long line of games that are typically referred to as Twenty-One, due to this being the best hand total a player can get in the game. The earliest existing reference to a direct ancestor of blackjack comes from Spain during the late renaissance period. Referred to as Ventiuno, literally Twenty-One, the game was played on a Castilian deck of 48 cards that took influence from Arabic decks that were then arriving in Europe along the silk road trade route. The game made its way across Europe, appearing in France, then Britain, under the French name Vingt-Un. 


It was this version that crossed the Atlantic and took root in the United States, where it became known as Blackjack among prospectors of the Klondike gold rush. Over time, Blackjack became the most popular form worldwide. It is said that 75% of all table games played in Las Vegas casinos are blackjack. Around the world, you’ll find countless variations in play style and rule-sets for this classic parlour game.1)Editor note:  According to the University of Las Vegas Center for Gaming Research:  In 1985, 77% of casino games were blackjack. In 2019, just under 50% were. In 1985, the game accounted for over half of all table game revenues: in 2019, it accounted for 11% of table win.

Below are just a couple for you to explore.


Pontoon is a British card game that shares the same ancestry as Blackjack. It is believed that its novel name is in fact a corruption or mis-translation of the French word Vingt-Un. The game was taken up through co-mingling on the continent and quickly became a favored pastime of the British, who brought it back to their shores.

One clear difference you’ll notice is that a hand of five cards that do not bust is the second most valuable hand in the game, unlike in Blackjack. This is referred to as the Five Card Trick, and it’ll catch you out if you’re coming to Pontoon cold. Another core difference to get used to is the concealment of the dealer’s cards, which remain face down throughout. This affects your ability to strategize, as you’ll be working with less information. 

Siebzehn und Vier

This is a German relative of Blackjack that first began to take shape as a distinct game in the lands of Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian empire by the 1850s. The name translates as Seventeen and Four, hinting at its Twenty-One heritage.

This variant is traditionally played on German spielkarten, which features smaller decks numbering between 32 and 36 cards. Additionally, while the suit of hearts remains, diamonds, clubs and spades give way to leaves, acorns and bells. Siebzehn and Vier, like its French ancestor, also does not allow splitting the hand. This makes more a slower rate of play with less dynamism when compared to the variants below.

Spanish 21

Fast forward to the modern day, and Blackjack’s popularity has led to many new variants and subtle rule changes that affect the pace and nature of play. Among the most popular of these is Spanish 21, a licensed game more broadly based on older Twenty-One variants that developed in the Spanish speaking world.

One of the key distinctions in this variant is a side bet commonly referred to as Match the Dealer. In order to win this side bet, the player is required to match the dealer’s up card with one or both of the cards in their initial hand. If the player succeeds, they are entitled to a larger payout on completion of the hand.

Super Fun 21

Another well loved modern variant for you to try, this one’s DNA is that of true Blackjack. Super Fun 21 was patented as a distinct rule-set in the latter years of the 20th century.

What distinguishes it from other play styles is that Super Fun 21 forgoes the traditional payout of 3-to-2 in favor of 6-to-5. The player may also split a hand up to a maximum of 4 times and automatically secures a winning hand if they have six or more cards with a total of 20. This makes for a more flexible and dynamic play style in comparison to traditional blackjack and is a popular variant in modern casinos.


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1Editor note:  According to the University of Las Vegas Center for Gaming Research:  In 1985, 77% of casino games were blackjack. In 2019, just under 50% were. In 1985, the game accounted for over half of all table game revenues: in 2019, it accounted for 11% of table win.