If you’re familiar with Blackjack, the game of 21, you’ll perhaps be aware that there are many different variations of the game. Blackjack is an international game with various forms. Whilst the main functions of the game remain the same, the different types of live blackjack do play their part in establishing the foundation of the game. Within this guide, we look at all the blackjack variants and how you can adapt your game to suit them.
What Do You Know About Blackjack?
Blackjack is a very simple game and easy to get into. The basics, which we’ll be looking at next up, suggest that you need to beat the dealer’s hand. The maximum you can make is 21 without going bust.
Whilst all these rules are fundamental in understanding the game, the various types of live blackjack will alter the gameplay somewhat. Typically, these can change the experience by using a different number of decks, various rules regarding splitting, regulations around doubling down, and occasionally the payouts as well.
However, it is highly important to note that these types of live blackjack games can alter depending on software developer settings. That is to say, European Blackjack for Evolution Gaming may have a few tweaks to it in comparison to a European Blackjack game for Pragmatic Play. But we will take a look at this in greater depth a little later in this article.
Learning the Basics of Blackjack
When playing live dealer blackjack games, most of the basic rules will stay the same. You can hit, stand, double down, or split. The ideal is to get Blackjack which is worth 21 from Ace and a Painted Card (K, Q, J) in a winning combination. Alternatively, you can also get as close to 21. So, hope that you beat the dealer’s hand, or they go bust.
Whilst being close to 21 will usually mean you beat the dealer; it will work wonders for you to remember that you simply need to beat the dealer’s hand. That means that even a small hand of 14 can beat the dealer if they go bust. In most blackjack games, the dealers will be required to hit on a 16 and stand on 17. As there are 16 cards in a deck that have a value of 1o. Actually, there’s a good chance that hitting on a 16 would put the dealer over the 21 marks. Ultimately, that means losing the hand.
Please remember that hard and soft hands come into the equation. If the dealer lands a 10-value card and 7, that’s a hard 17. The dealer must stand if that is the case. On the other hand, if the dealer lands an Ace and a 6, it is a soft 17 as the Ace can also be a 1. That means that the dealer can hit on the hand as the value can also be interpreted as only 7. So getting used with to soft and hard hands quickly to ensure no confusion later when playing. You can brush up your knowledge ten-fold by checking out the basic blackjack rules.
Types of Live Blackjack Games
Once you’ve polished up your knowledge on the basics of blackjack, it’s high time you enlighten yourself on different variables. Blackjack is a simple game of 21 but comes in many different forms with slight tweaks in them.
Live dealer blackjack varies in all different forms with many adjustments made by software developers. But ultimately, there is a certain format of styles to which a live dealer game belongs to. In this short but sweet assessment, we’ve concluded six different basic types of live blackjack game variables. Namely, they are European, Vegas Strip, Vegas Downtown, Atlantic City, Double Exposure, and Switch. Next up, we take a look at them individually.
Starting with perhaps the most common and popular form of live blackjack, we look at European Blackjack. During this game mode, the dealer will always hit on 16 and stand on 17. The system in place will see the majority of games that played with 6 decks rather than with 8.
European Blackjack gives players the chance to hit, stand, double down, or split. The regulations concerning splitting are quite simple. You are only allowed to split once per hand. As for doubling down, the rules see to it that you may only place such a wager on totals of 9, 10, or 11. This also includes split hands. Thus, you may place a double-down wager after splitting.
Last but not least, European Blackjack tends to have the same payouts as in standard blackjack games. That is to say, a Blackjack pays out at 3:2 whilst a standard win is worth 1:1. There are also Insurance Bets available that will warrant a 2:1 payout. Unfortunately, European Blackjack tends to not offer Surrender betting.
Types of Live Blackjack: Vegas Strip Blackjack
Unlike European Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack has got a few more interesting perks to it. The gameplay with 4 decks at the shoe of the table. Whilst playing Vegas Strip Blackjack, you’ll perhaps be intrigued to know that the dealer will always stand on 17. This is regardless of whether or not it is soft or hard. Thus, if the dealer lands an Ace and a 6, they will stand rather than hit. This is one of the unique features of Vegas Strip Blackjack.
Another such feature would have to be regarding the dealer’s excitement for Blackjack. If the dealer’s face-up card is either a 10-value card or Ace, he will immediately check the second card to see if he has got a blackjack. What if he does have a blackjack? So, you will hope to equal him with blackjack if that be an option for you. The good news is that Insurance Bets are welcomed.
Within Vegas Strip Blackjack, the live dealer game has got more or less the same stipulations for doubling down and splitting as European Blackjack. Like the former variable of a live dealer blackjack, Vegas Strip allows splitting once per hand. Doubling down, on the other hand, is accepted on all hands, regardless of their total.
The live dealer game offers the same basic payouts as European blackjack. That is to say, 3:2 for Blackjack, 2:1 for Insurance Bets, and 1:1 for standard wins. Keep in mind, Vegas Strip Blackjack will always require the dealer to stand on 17, regardless of whether it is soft or hard.
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
If you thought Vegas Strip Blackjack was wild, get ready to find out about Vegas Downtown. In this live dealer blackjack game, the action is played out with only 2 decks, which are shuffled before every hand. The dealer will always hit on a soft 17.
Similar to Vegas Strip Blackjack, Downtown will also result in the dealer checking his hand for Blackjack. Of course, if he has got a 10-value card or Ace as his face-up card. He will instantly check to see the result.
In Vegas Downtown Blackjack, the rules and regulations concerning doubling down and splitting are rather straightforward. You can double down on any hand, regardless of the total value. Splitting is also very lenient, with the option to split up to three times on a single hand. This includes the option to split 10-value cards which are not identical. That is to say, you can split a J and a K or 10 and a Q. If you do manage to land an Ace with a 10 on a split hand, it results in 21. Yes, it is not Blackjack.
Vegas Downtown Blackjack gives players the option to capitalize on lenient rules and profit from basic blackjack gameplay payouts. Thus, landing a Blackjack will result in a 3:2 payout whilst a normal win pays out 1:1. If you place an Insurance bet, you’ll win 2:1 but you can’t Surrender.
Types of Live Blackjack: Atlantic City Blackjack
Atlantic City Blackjack is one of the more popular types of live blackjack to play as the game uses the traditional 8 decks. However, they are shuffled before every single round. In this game mode, the dealer will always stand on 17, regardless of soft or hard.
Just as with the previous two US versions, the dealer will also immediately check for Blackjack if the face-up card is either a 10-value card or Ace. One of the most interesting features about Atlantic City Blackjack is that the gameplay offers a Late Surrender option. How this works is after the dealer checks for Blackjack. If the dealer does not have Blackjack, the players are given the option to Surrender their hand should they not wish to continue.
The splitting rule is a maximum of once per hand whilst Doubling Down is available for any hand, regardless of what the total is worth. The basic payouts for Atlantic City Blackjack remain the same. Blackjack will warrant you with 3:2 whilst the Insurance Bet will get you 2:1. A standard win is worth the standard 1:1 payout.
Blackjack Double Exposure
Now that we’ve looked at the traditional four types of live blackjack games, it’s high time we look at Blackjack Double Exposure. This variation of the game is played with 6 decks but has got a special kick to it.
In this game, both of the dealer’s first two cards are dealt face up. Blackjack Double Exposure gives you the chance to split once per hand and also Double Down on totals of 9, 10, or 11. However, you may not place a Double Down wager after splitting.
Last but not least, we look at the final details in Blackjack Double Exposure. If you and the dealer have a tied hand, the dealer claims the win. Thus, for instance, if both of you have 20, the dealer will win the round, unlike other blackjack games where the bet returns as a push.
If you and the dealer both have blackjack, then the round is considered a push and you will get back the stake you placed. Blackjack Double Exposure also has a funny setting that blackjack pays out 1:1 rather than 3:2 like in most live dealer games.
Perhaps the most interesting version of blackjack is Blackjack Switch. In this game mode, you have a very powerful tool as you can basically use two hands to try and win. Here’s how it works.
Generally, gamblers play Blackjack Switch with two hands simultaneously against the dealer. During this game mode, you have got the option to exchange, or switch, the top cards of each hand at the start of the round. This benefits you well as you can basically form the foundation for landing a win and beating the dealer.
When launching Blackjack Switch, you’ll have to keep in mind that the game is played out with 6 decks. During this game mode, the dealer will not check for Blackjack but will also stand on hard 17s and hit on soft 17s.
As you’re given more power, so is the dealer. The dealer does not go bust if he gets to 22, rather, only if he totals 23. If the dealer has got 22 and you’ve got, say 20, then the round will finish as a push. You will get back your stake but not beat the dealer. However, if you land a blackjack and the dealer gets 22, you will still take home the 3:2 payout prize. Blackjack Switch gives players the chance to split once per hand and Doubling Down is available on all hands.
How to choose between the types of Live Blackjack
Playing blackjack online is always a challenge, but now that you can identify between the variants, perhaps that task is easier. We’ve compiled the 6 basics for each type of blackjack but keep in mind that many games will have their own rules as well. This is why it is very important to read up about the gameplay when launching a live blackjack game in the help setting. Alternatively, you can find the best online blackjack games right here as well.
In short, there are a few tips we can offer to help steer you in the right direction. When looking for live blackjack games, try to understand the advantages and disadvantages which each style can bring you. We would recommend going for games with a smaller number of decks in play as this reduces the house advantage.
European Blackjack is a popular choice because, typically, the dealer will always stand on 17, regardless of whether it is hard or soft. This is a big help for you to overcome the dealer’s hand. We also recommend playing a game where the Double Down is available for all hand totals, not only 9, 10, or 11. Be sure to find a game where you can Double Down after a split and always try to play live dealer games where blackjack pays out 3:2.
The Bottom Line
Thus, to conclude this assessment on the different types of live blackjack, we hope that now you’ve got a better idea of what you’re up against. Playing blackjack online can sometimes be overwhelming, particularly if you’re relatively new to the game. You want to be aware of the details in rules to truly become a blackjack professional. The best way to do this is to try out all the types and see which one takes your interest the most.
Live Blackjack has got many advantages and disadvantages to it so be sure to see what suits you the best. Unfortunately, although we can give you an idea of what blackjack variants can look like, many providers will draw up their own new rules and add them to the existing game. For instance, Evolution Gaming might offer a Vegas Strip Blackjack game but add that the dealer will hit on a soft 17. Likewise, Playtech may offer a European Blackjack foundation but add that Doubling Down is available on all totals.
Ultimately, it depends on the developer and their minor adjustments. Before playing for any real money, be sure to check up the manual of the game and see if there are any surprises you ought to know about.