This guide offers a quick overview of the blackjack games that are most widely played all around the world. It includes a short review of the mechanics of the game plus a short description of the rules variations and how these affect or benefit the players. All of these games can be found on best blackjack online casinos and are available to play online for free or for real money.
Atlantic City Blackjack
This is one of the most popular variations of blackjack and the rules of Atlantic Blackjack are actually quite favourable for players. Although the number of decks may vary from casino to casino, it’s usually played using 8 standard decks of cards.
Atlantic City Blackjack is an American Hole Card game that incorporates some of the common rules of traditional blackjack. The dealer must draw to 16 and is forced to Stand on all 17′s (hard and soft). Doubling down is also possible and players can split any hand of pairs. Even doubling after splitting is permitted but there’s no option to re-Split and only one additional card is dealt after splitting Aces.
Insurance is available and it returns the player’s bet at 2:1. Late Surrender is also possible in some cases which gives you half of your stake back and a Blackjack hand pays wagers at 1 1/2:1.
Classic Blackjack, also referred to as Traditional Blackjack or simply Casino Blackjack is the basis of any blackjack variation.
It’s the most common version of blackjack found at off-line and online casinos around the world and it should be the starting point for any new players looking to play this popular casino card game.
Classic Blackjack is an American Hole game, which means that you don’t get to see one of the dealer’s cards, and it’s most commonly played using 8 decks of cards.
The most common rules of the game include the following. The dealer must draw to 16 and Stand on soft 17′s. Splitting is allowed but often an Ace after splitting will not result in blackjack but rather a 21 points-hand. Insurance pays at 2:1 and Doubling Down is allowed often after Splitting and only on hand values of 9, 10 and 11.
Another popular version of blackjack is European Blackjack and a slightly different variation known as UK Blackjack.
The rules of these two blackjack games are almost identical to those of Classic Blackjack. European Blackjack is most commonly played using 6 standard decks of cards and one of the rules variation is that Doubling is not possible after Splitting pairs.
Doubling is allowed on hard hand values of 9, 10 and 11, the dealer must draw to 16 and Stand on soft 17′s. And just like the traditional version, natural blackjacks are paid at 3:2 and Insurance pays 2:1.
In some casinos, European Blackjack and Blackjack UK is offered on a multi-hand version where you can play up to 7 hands at the time and 5 hands simultaneously respectively. In UK Blackjack a Perfect Pair will return your bet at a mind-blowing 25:1!
Single Deck Blackjack
Single Deck Blackjack is also one of the most popular blackjack games online. What makes this game so attractive is that the use of only one deck of cards offers player better odds of winning and makes Blackjack hand more frequent.
The rules of Single Deck Blackjack are, for the most part, very similar to traditional blackjack with the obvious exception that it’s played using 52 cards.
The dealer has to draw to 16 and stand on soft 17 which favors the player. A natural hand of blackjack is paid out at 3:2 and Insurance is available with a return of 2:1.
Splitting hands is allowed but there are not Blackjacks after you split a pair and re-splitting is not possible. Doubling Down is possible on total hand values of 9,10 and 11.
Double Exposure Blackjack
Next comes an innovative version of blackjack known as Double Exposure. As the name suggest, this blackjack game is unique in that there is no Hole card in the dealer’s hand.
The fact that you can see both of the dealer’s cards before you have to make your move, gives you a great advantage in the game. To offset this player’s advantage there are some rule variations that will help leverage the casino’s risk against the players.
The game is played using eight decks of cards, the dealer must draw to 16 and Stand on soft 17′s. Splitting is allowed and you can Split pairs up to four times. Doubling Down is possible only on hard 9,10 and 11.
Unlike traditional blackjack, Ties are not pushed and they’re won by the dealer but a player’s Blackjack will beat the dealer’s 21 and also Blackjack hands pay Even Money.
Spanish Blackjack, also known as Spanish 21, is another interesting variation of the game and the most remarkable difference between this and classic blackjack is that this game is played using Spanish decks of cards – a standard deck of 52 cards where all 10′s, Jacks, Queen and Kings have been removed from the deck.
The effect of removing these cards from the deck is that natural blackjacks are not possible but to compensate for this there’s a massive payout of up to 50:1 if you build a 21 points-hand using 5,6 or 7 cards (similar to a 5-Card Trick in Pontoon/British Blackjack).
In Spanish 21, 8 Spanish decks of cards are used and the dealer must Hit on soft 17, which has the effect of increasing the house edge by 0.22%.
Late Surrender is available and 21 point hands combinations are paid as follows: a 5-cards 21 pays 3:2, 6-cards 21 pays 2:1, a 7-cards 21 hand pays at 3:1 plus a hand of 7′s when the dealer’s up card is 7 pays at a massive 50:1.