Blackjack baby! I love this game. Most players I’ve come across are only familiar with the general variety played. But, that’s not all there is. Blackjack is a diverse game with a rich history. As such, they are different variations of the game-even if subtle ones.
Before playing any game of Blackjack (or any casino game) it’s important to know the rules and the payouts. Nothing could be worse than having a huge bet out there and being told that you can’t do something, like split Aces and hit. That’s the pits. Know the game before you play. Ask if you must. Online Blackjack is easier, because all the rules are usually just a click away. And the rules are vital if you plan on playing some sort of system. Not all systems are universal.
One variation of Blackjack is European Blackjack. It’s played with two decks. Unlike some places on the Las Vegas Strip (unless they offer this variation), the dealer must stand on a soft 17. Oh, and here’s a big difference. You can only double down on 9 and 11. That’s right. So, if you have an Ace and an 8 with the dealer showing a 6, you can’t double.
For most people, this limitation is no big deal. But, it can be tough to swallow for the more aggressive player. Another aggressive player killer is the fact that you can’t double down after a split no matter what. In this version of Blackjack, the house has a 0.39% advantage.
Moving on, we come to Atlantic City Blackjack. This version of Blackjack is always played with eight decks via a shoe. As with Euro Blackjack, the dealer must stand on soft 17. And that’s how Downtown Las Vegas plays it too. Splitting is allowed, but only up to three hands. And you can double on the first two cards after splitting too.
Another interesting option is late surrender, which is allowed in the Atlantic City version. The house advantage is slightly lower at 0.35%.
And that brings us to Double Exposure Blackjack, which is a crowd favorite-at least at first. You can see both dealer cards. Easy win right? Not so fast. The dealer wins all ties. Yep, no pushes, you just lose. It’s the price to pay for knowing what the dealer has.
Another feature that I don’t personally like is Blackjack payouts only paying even money. There’s no bonus at all, which kind of ruins the game for me. The game is played with a shoe that holds 8 decks and the dealer hits on soft 17.
Even though the dealer shows both cards, the house advantage nearly doubles the previous two versions we talked about. It’s 0.69%.