Blackjack Variations: Get rich by trying the most lucrative blackjack rules at online casinos.
Blackjack is the most popular table game in casinos. This is due to its low house edge. It is also because of the perceived ease of understanding the rules of the game. Beginners can still play the game without making too many major mistakes.
Players sometimes get bored at a traditional blackjack table. It can be fun to move on to another game. In the past, blackjack players have turned to games like craps or roulette to change it. The conditions of these games are far from ideal compared to blackjack.
The inventors of the game have understood this and have created many variations of blackjack to help keep the fun going. A rule common to all the blackjack variants listed below is that the dealer hits soft 17. Blackjack does not always pay 3-2 at these tables.
There may be a rule where the dealer pushes players left in the hand if the house hand is 22. This is a bust to traditional blackjack games.
There are over 20 variations of blackjack. Below you will find the most popular variants.
Blackjack Switch is perhaps the most popular variant of blackjack. It forces players to bet on two hands at the same time. The minimum bet displayed at Blackjack Switch can be misleading. Players will have to make two bets of at least this amount to be distributed in the hand.
Players may switch a card from one hand to the other or keep it as it was dealt. Doubling before and after splitting is allowed, as well as re-doubling aces. Blackjack only pays money. A switched blackjack is only a 21. If the dealer makes a 22, all hands that are still alive grow.
Free Blackjack bet
Free Bet Blackjack gives players free double downs on 9, 10 and 11. Players can also split for free on any pair that is not equal to 20. A free double down after the free split is also allowed. In exchange for these friendly rules, the dealer pushes any live hand if 22 is made.
Blackjack pays 6:5 at most Blackjack Free Bet tables. These games are among the worst blackjack games in the country. The exceptions are those in Pennsylvania, as well as the Las Vegas facilities at the Golden Gate, D, Eastside Cannery and the Plaza. These casinos pay 3: 2.
Spanish 21 is a dying game these days. It was nowhere to be found in Las Vegas for years before returning to the Venetian and the Palazzo. It is also widespread in several casinos in Pennsylvania and Atlantic City.
Double down on any number of cards and after splitting is allowed, even after hitting. Players can surrender after doubling, known as double save. Aces may be hit and re-divided. A hand of 21 always wins.
There are bonuses for making a five-card 21, 777 and 678. The compromise for these friendly player rules is that all 10’s are removed from the game. The remaining face cards with a value of ten are still in play. This often results in the dealer being dropped and less blackjack is dealt because of this. Players will hit a few steeper hands because of this.
Super fun 21
Super Fun 21 is a game often played in single or double format. Players can double on any number of cards, even after a split. Split aces can be hit and re-shared. Surrender is available at any time, even after hitting and doubling. Blackjack always wins but only pays money unless it is an ace and a diamond face. In this scenario the player is paid 2-1.
Most liberal 21
Most liberal 21 is located only at the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas. It was formerly available at Plaza’s sister casino, Las Vegas Club, before closing in August 2015.
This game allows players to double up on any number of cards. Surrender is allowed, even after a card is drawn. Aces can be split, re-divided and hit. Doubling is also allowed after dividing aces. A five or more cards 21 wins automatically. Blackjack only pays money, unless it is adapted. It then pays 2-1.
War Blackjack is more of a side bet than a game itself, although its advertising on the table makes it appear otherwise. A player can bet if his first card beats the dealer’s door card. Ace is weak in this regard. The dealer wins all ties. A player has the option to cap the blackjack bet with the War Blackjack secondary bet if he wins. The hand then proceeds normally.
Face Up Blackjack
Face Up Blackjack is one of the many names used to describe a blackjack game where all the cards are dealt face up, including the dealer’s cards. This clearly gives the player a big advantage, but there are rules to compensate for this. The rules may vary from casino to casino, but generally players can only double up on 10 and 11 and not after the split. Blackjack even pays money and usually wins on a tie. The dealer wins all other ties.
Bottoms Up Blackjack used to be distributed at Riviera in Las Vegas. It was withdrawn in 2014. That was the last time it was broadcast in Las Vegas. It is still common in Primm’s casinos on the Nevada/California border. It is also offered by some online casinos.
Be sure to read the Face Up Blackjack strategy before sitting down at the table. There are significant differences between the way this game is played and a traditional game.
Double Attack Blackjack
Double Attack Blackjack is available at Bally’s in Las Vegas and Harrah’s in Atlantic City. It uses Spanish 21 games, which means there are no tens. Face cards are always in the deck. The game has typical rules except that a player can double the initial bet after seeing the dealer’s door card.
Zombie Blackjack is available at the Red Rock Resort in the Las Vegas suburb of Summerlin. If the dealer shows a 7, 8, 9, 10, face or ace, and the player busts, the bet does not automatically lose. It is paid out if the dealer breaks the hand. However, 22 is a push to compensate for this rule. Blackjack pays 6:5, making it one of the worst blackjack games in Las Vegas.
Down Under Blackjack
Down Under Blackjack tells the player the range of the dealer’s hole card if he shows a ten, face or ace. The dealer will say the card is low, which means two to five, medium, which means six to nine, or high, which means a ten or an ace. This helps the player determine whether to touch or stand on questionable hands. The push on 22 rule applies to Down Under Blackjack. It is common in Excalibur on the Las Vegas Strip.
Variations of Online Blackjack
Some variants of blackjack are easier to process online than in live casinos. It is also possible for online casinos to broadcast more blackjack variants because there is no need for table space for less popular games.
Zappit Blackjack can only be found in Bovada. It is a traditional blackjack game with a very important rule change. A player who receives a 15, 16 or 17 can discard both cards and draw a new hand. Players must always exchange for a new hand when 15, 16 and 17 are dealt. In exchange for this friendly player rule, the house pushes if the dealer draws 22 on any hand. Players may double on any two cards and after the split. Blackjack pays 3-2 but zapped blackjacks pay only equal money.
European Blackjack is played like a traditional game with one major difference. The dealer does not receive a hole card until the player has acted. This rule alters some of the player’s decisions related to doubling 11 against 10 and splitting 8’s. This is how blackjack is treated in most European casinos. Americans will only find it in online casinos, including the regulated ones offered by the Atlantic City resorts.
Pontoon Online is an online game that uses blackjack theory but is treated with several rule variations. The player is dealt two cards. The dealer does not receive an open card until the player has acted. The player must hit until the hand is at least 15. A Pontoon is blackjack, which is an ace and a face.
Pontoon pays 2-1. It is still considered pontoon if it occurs after the split. The player can double on two, three or four cards. It is also allowed after splitting. Aces can be re-divided, hit and doubled.
The best hand is a pontoon. The second best hand is a five-card round, which is a five-card prize hand. Like Pontoon, it pays 2-1. All other hands are scored by point value. The dealer wins all ties.
Online Pontoon is available on Real Time Gaming, Microgaming and Playtech platforms. Pontoon has a different meaning in Australia. Spanish 21 is called Pontoon there.
4 things to know about Blackjack variations
There are some important things to know about (playing) blackjack variations.
1. Online casinos offer a limited number of blackjack games and variations.
What you will quickly discover is that most casinos have a handful (or less) of blackjack games. Variants like Spanish 21 or live dealer blackjack are hard to find, and others like European blackjack or Perfect Pairs are random from casino to casino.
The disadvantage is not being able to find your variant, but finding your variant in a casino where it is not worth playing for one reason or another (red, no adequate deposit methods or support, does not accept American players, etc.). To avoid any problems, I recommend using the tops on each of our blackjack variant pages to find a starting point. Then read the reviews, and if a casino seems to be suitable, use the links on our page to visit the casino and create an account. This will be the best and quickest way to find a blackjack casino with the variants you wish to play.
2. Not all variants are available online.
Unfortunately, not all blackjack variants are available online. In fact, some variations will even be random from one casino (physical and mortar) to another.
3. Side bets increase the house advantage.
It is important to understand that blackjack variations with side bets will have higher house advantages. Some can be as high as 5, 10 or 15 percent. Therefore, you will either want to avoid these side bets or simply avoid blackjack variations. If you are worried about house advantage, sticking to traditional blackjack while using a basic strategy is your best bet. You can read more about the house edge and why it is important here.
4. Blackjack tournaments and sit and go are also variations.
We have not listed them on this page, but blackjack tournaments and sit and go are another type of blackjack variation. They are like poker tournaments in that you buy in for a fixed amount and once you lose your chips, you are done. Only the best players (which vary from game to game) are paid.
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