Blackjack is easily one of the most widely-played casino games regardless of whether we are talking about land-based or online casino establishments. And this is the case even without taking into account the online casinos, being that blackjack is a fan-favourite ever since the beginning of casino gaming as we know it. Consequently, the high demand for the game and the ever-increasing number of players is what inspired the creation of quite a few different types of blackjack that are regularly played all throughout the world.
And while all of these variations are based on the original blackjack game that started it all, the rules, the casino edge and the advantage will always differ from one type of blackjack to another. Needless to say, since it is our due diligence to give you all of the details, we present you with all of the different blackjack types that you might encounter at both online and land-based casinos, as we will be pointing out the differences between them and the classic blackjack game.
Needless to complicate, will begin the list of the different types of blackjack with the most popular and most widely-played variation of them all, the classic blackjack. In fact, classic blackjack is the most popular casino game in North America, in addition to several other parts of the world. One of the biggest reasons for this immense popularity lies in the rather easy-to-learn rules and the conveniently low house edge that sits at 0.5%. Moreover, you play the game with two cards, and the goal is to hit either 21, or as close as possible to 21 without surpassing this number, being that it will mean a “bust” and consequently a loss. Each of the players (and the dealer) can ask for another card by saying “hit”, or may choose the complete opposite, or to “stay”.
Well, if we consider that blackjack is played by millions of people, then it is no surprise why a big majority of the leading iGaming studios such as Evolution Gaming, for example, an operator that definitely has the tendency to specialize in producing classic casino entertainment, and as a result puts special emphasis on this particular type of games.
Spanish 21 Blackjack
If there is one variation of blackjack out of all of the different types out there in the world that can give the classic blackjack game a real run for its money, both popularity and advantage-wise, then that title goes to the Spanish 21. Known as the blackjack without the “10s”, this particular type is probably the most play-favourable out of all variations, and the reason for this lies in several key differences from the classic version. For one, in Spanish 21 the dealer must always stand on soft 17, in addition to the fact that in this version the player’s blackjack will always beat the dealer’s blackjack, something that is not the case in Face Up 21, for example.
Moreover, Spanish 21 also allows for respiting, and this includes even the aces, which needless to say drastically increases your chances of winning. Additionally, you can always double down whenever you please regardless of how many cards have been dealt, and you can even double down after you split the cards.
Another very big factor in why this game is so popular lies in the payout structure of the game. Especially if you have 777 of the same suit while the dealer holds a 7 in any other suit, which results in a $1000 bonus for the player, or in this instance, you. However, if you wagered $25 or more before the start of the hand, then this bonus may reach up to a hefty $5000. Check out some of the biggest differences between the Spanish 21 version and the classic blackjack, especially involving the payout.
- 5-card 21 payout: 3:2
- 6-card 21 payout: 2:1
- 7-card 21 payout: 3:1
- 678 and 777 with mixed symbols payout 3:2; for the same symbol it pays out 2:1
- Surrender is allowed even if you double
- You can surrender whenever you want but you will have half of your bet
Face Up 21/Double Exposure
The Face Up 21, also known as the Double Exposure Blackjack is a rather interesting variation of the classic blackjack game simply because the main rule is for the dealer to show you both of his cards. More specifically, the dealer will reveal only his cards, leaving you with a rather huge advantage, especially if you know how to capitalize on such an opportunity. We say this because while this does actually gives you an advantage, the 0.68% house edge is still slightly higher than the classic blackjack game, and consequently the highest out of any of the different blackjack types on this list.
Moreover, just as in several other types of blackjack on this list, in this variation, the dealer is allowed to hit on soft 17, hitting blackjack only pays out even money, and even the dealer blackjack will always beat the player blackjack, in case of both hitting 21. This means that regardless of the “clear” advantage, if you do not know the rules and you don’t utilize the correct strategy, knowing the cards of the dealer won’t change anything in the long run, which is exactly how the game of blackjack should be played in the first place. Below you can see some of the main differences between this variant of blackjack and the original.
- The dealer plays with open cards
- The dealer can hit soft 17
- The dealer wins the push, except for standard blackjack
- The blackjack is paid 1:1
- You can split only once
When it comes to European Blackjack we have a very similar situation to roulette, where the European version is also a bit more rewarding, i.e. has better odds than the US one. One of the biggest reasons is that this variant is played with only two decks of cards. Not only does this entail that you can predict the outcome of the cards far easier, but in European blackjack, you also have better chances if the dealer stands on soft 17. Moreover, if both you and the dealer hit blackjack then this automatically results in a “push”, or “tie”. Also, the payout for hitting a blackjack in this version is 3:2.
Something you need to be aware of before indulging in play is the rule that the dealer is not required to check for blackjack after dealing. Due to this, it is important to remember that there is a possibility for you to continue to make bets, while the dealer already has a winning hand that you don’t know about. Additionally, you should also be aware that you can only double down if your cards are showing either 9, 10 or 11. Lastly, you should know that the house edge for European blackjack is clocked at 0.39%, and this is 20% lower than the classic blackjack, making it ideal for blackjack connoisseurs who want to try something new and exciting.
- Played with two decks of cards
- The dealer is not obliged to check for blackjack after the dealing is done
- You can only double down if you have 9, 10 or 11
- If you and the dealer both hit blackjack it results in a tie
- Played with two decks
When it comes to Blackjack Switch, i.e. the Perfect Pair blackjack, the main thing you need to know is that the rules are basically the same as the classic blackjack game. That is unless the casino states otherwise. Well, there is one major twist, and consequently the biggest reason for the popularity of this game, and that is the fact that you play with two pairs of cards. This means that prior to the beginning of the hand, you place two equal bets for each of your two hands, with both of these hands being regarded as separate hands. This alone is more than enough for Switch to end up on the list with the other different types of blackjack.
Furthermore, another unique feature of Blackjack Switch is that you can double down on any two cards that you wish, including aces, even after you split. Speaking of, you can re-split the cards up to three times out of a maximum of four hands. One more rule that is unique to Blackjack Switch is the one where if the dealer hits a total of 22, he will tie with the hands of only the players who haven’t busted out yet.
- The game is played with two pairs of cards
- You can double down any two cards you wish, including aces
- You can re-split three times in a maximum of four hands
- If the dealer hits 22 he will tie with the remaining players
Super Fun 21
This particular blackjack variation is very similar to classic blackjack when it comes to the basics, and that is pretty much where all the similarities end. The aces may be counted as one or as eleven, depending on the value that would best benefit your situation, and all of the image cards count as ten. The major difference between the classic blackjack variation and the Super Fun 21 lies in the rule that you automatically win if your hand has 6 or more cards, with a total value of 20. The cool part is that this rule will also apply if the dealer hits blackjack, or 21.
Furthermore, Super Fun 21 also allows you to re-split up to four times, in addition to allowing you to “double down” whenever you please, and regardless of how many cards you have. You can even automatically double your money if your hand consists of 5 cards or above, with a total value of 21. Last, but certainly not least, you should know that when the player and the dealer both hit blackjack in Super Fun 21 at the same time, your blackjack will always win over the blackjack won by the house.
One very important thing to mind before playing Super Fun 21 is that you must not mistake this version for the blackjack variation. As a matter of fact, in most instances applying the standard blackjack strategy to this particular one chances are it won’t end up well. You even risk increasing the house edge of the casino in the process as well. Consequently, in order to achieve the best possible outcome and have a successful session, the best course of action would be tailoring the right blackjack strategy with a proper blackjack casino guide accordingly to the variant you are about to play.
- You automatically win if you have six or more cards with a total value of 20
- Resplitting is allowed up to four times
- Double down whenever you please
- The player’s blackjack always beats the dealer’s blackjack