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Blackjack Variations

Blackjack is an age-old casino card game, with literally hundreds of intriguing, and sometimes baffling variations (depending on where it is played). In this guide, I am not going to explain the basic rules of blackjack, or give any important strategies. The purpose of this publication would be to familiarize our audience with the different branches of the game, and their respective rules and deviations.

Atlantic City Blackjack

This is your basic/standard blackjack game, with no significant variations in both rules or pay-off. Both online and offline versions of the game deal with 8 decks, and a Hole Card (has one card facing down)which he would peak at if his other card is an Ace or a 10. In this version, the dealer will always stand on all 17’s. You can double down on any two cards, should you wish to do so. You can also split up to 3 times, and still double down on each hand.

Vegas Strip Blackjack

Online blackjack software (like Microgaming), uses only 4 decks per single game of Vegas Strip Blackjack. Standing on all 17s (hard or soft) is mandatory for the dealer, as well as peaking under the Hole Card (when the face-up card is a Ten card or an Ace). A player can double down on any two cards, even after a split (up to 3 times). In the Vegas Strip Blackjack version, a player cannot split aces more than one time; and he can only be dealt one additional card per hand.

Super Fun 21

Unlike most variations of the game, Super Fun 21 uses only 1 standard 52 card deck. The dealer must always hit on Soft 17 and peak under his Hole Card if the face-up card is an Ace or a Ten. Unlike other blackjack games, hitting “Blackjack” won’t pay 3 to 2; you can only win even money. Even so, the greatest thing about Super Fun 21, is that a player’s blackjack always beats the dealer’s blackjack (no push). Players can double down on any two cards, and after 1-3 splits. Super Fun 21 also has “special” bounces for players with certain hands.

A blackjack in diamonds will pay 2 to 1.
Reach a sum total of 20, in six cards, and you win automatically.
If you have in your hand 6 cards and more, and you hit 21, you get paid 2-1.

Spanish Blackjack

Spanish blackjack is usually played with 8 decks and the dealer always has to hit on Soft 17. Also, a player’s blackjack will win over the dealer’s blackjack, as well as when the player has 21. Naturally, you can double down on any number cards, but re-double only once! Splitting is allowed 3 times, as well as splitting and re-splitting Aces. Spanish blackjack also has bounce pay-offs for special hands.
21 by 5 cards will pay 3-2
21 by 6 cards will pay 2-1
21 by 7 or more cards will pay 3-1
21 by 6,7,8 or 7,7,7 mixed suits will pay 3-2
21 by 6,7,8 or 7,7,7 same suits will pay 2-1
21 by 6,7,8 or 7,7,7 Spades only will pay 3-1

Big Five Blackjack

This variation of the game is called Big Five, because it is played with 5 decks. A dealer must hit on Soft 17 and he is forbidden to peak under his Hole Card. Doubling down on any 2 cards is possible. Splitting Aces is also permitted, but you will be dealt only 1 card for each hand. You can surrender at any point of the game, as long as the dealer doesn’t have an Ace showing.

European Blackjack

European Blackjack probably has the strictest rules of all the blackjack variations. The game is usually played using 2 decks, although the number of decks can vary from 1 to 8, depending on where you play. This is not a Hole Game so the dealer won’t be peaking under his face-down card. In European blackjack, you can only double down if your hand’s total is 9,10 or 11. Splitting is also permitted, but only once and only for Ten cards if they are a pair. You can split Aces, and keep hitting as much as you like. The dealer has to stand on all 17s and he must deal all cards from a ‘shoe’.

Double Exposure Blackjack

Although called “Double Deck Exposure”, the game actually uses 8 full decks. Unlike the other variations of the game, the dealer will have both his cards facing up, so you can plainly see his hand. As usual the dealer stands on all 17’s. If you and the dealer both have the same sum total, then it is not considered a Push, but an automatic victory for the dealer (unless it is a blackjack, in which case the player wins). Blackjack pays even money, and you can only double down on 9, 10 and 11. Splitting is allowed up to 3 times. Aces can be split and re-split as much as you like (4 hands maximum), but you will be dealt only 1 card for each hand.

More Articles Covering Blackjack

Blackjack Basics
Blackjack Rules
Blackjack Variations
Multi Hand Blackjack
Single Deck Blackjack Rules
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
Vegas Strip Blackjack Rules
Atlantic City Blackjack
How to Hit a Hand
Splitting Hands in Blackjack
Insurance in Blackjack
Surrender in Blackjack
Standing a Hand
Blackjack Double Down
Splitting Hands in Blackjack
Blackjack Odds
Blackjack Strategy for Playing Hands
Blackjack Cards and Hands Value

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