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Which Type of Blackjack is Right for you?

Many blackjack players lose not because they don’t know how to play the game but because they play the wrong variation of blackjack. For clarity, all types of blackjack have their benefits and drawbacks.

But if you identify the variation that’s right for you, there’s a chance you’ll increase your win rate. Of course, you also must adhere to basic blackjack strategy rules and sit at the right table to win.

By the right table, you need to find a dealer that’s not significantly better at the game than you. But before you do, below are the top types of blackjack and their rules.

Classic 21/American Blackjack

Classic 21 is blackjack in its original form. It’s also the type of blackjack most people play. Put simply, Classic 21 requires that you compete against a dealer to produce cards whose total value is closest or equal to 21.

Your cards’ value must not exceed 21. Otherwise, you bust, meaning you lose. Your hand must also be better than that of the dealer. If not, you also lose.

The standard blackjack game features a deck of 52 cards numbered:

  • Ace—can have the value of one or 11

  • 2-9 numbered cards

  • Jack, Queen, and King—each has a value of 10

That said, there are several essential rules you must learn before you play Classic 21. For instance, casinos payout at a ratio of 6:5 or 3:2. The former gives you more value. Again, you can double your bet, insure it or choose not to be dealt a card if you believe doing so will make you bust.

Spanish 21

Despite its name, Spanish 21 was created by a company based in Colorado, USA. Outside of North America, the variation is known as Pontoon blackjack in some parts of Australia and Malaysia.

It has 48 instead of 52 cards in its deck. The missing cards are the four 10-value cards. Although that gives an edge to the dealer, Spanish 21 compensates with irresistible rules and bonuses.

For example, if both you and the dealer get a hand of 21, yours count as a win. Again, you can surrender just before the dealer confirms her last card. And if she wins, you’ll only lose half your bet.

Read about the rules in more detail to become more skilled in Spanish 21. The game has a few rules that no other variation of blackjack has. And depending on how wisely you follow these rules, you can win Spanish 21 consistently.

Vegas Strip Blackjack

Named after the six-kilometer stretch where most Las Vegas casinos are located, Vegas Strip Blackjack is immensely popular in Nevada. Here’s why. To start with, a dealer must stand on soft 17.

That means if a dealer has an Ace (11) as his first card and a six-value card to make it to 17 or two 3-value cards, he must stand. Meanwhile, you can double your bet after your initial hand. You can also split up to four hands and split any 10-value cards.

Atlantic City Blackjack

You guessed it right—this game originated from Atlantic City. It’s a relatively new variation of blackjack even though it has rules close to those of Classic 21. However, it has a unique rule that you’ll know about immediately you sit at the table.

Unlike Classic 21, the dealer in Atlantic City blackjack will give you two face-up cards and deal herself one face up and one face down card. If the dealer's face-up card is an Ace, she will immediately check to see if her face down card is also an ace. If that's the case, she wins.

However, if no one wins after the initial round, these are the rules to be followed:

  • You can split cards 1-3 times

  • You can double down at any stage of the game

  • Late surrender and insuring your bet are allowed

Most online and land-based casinos have a 3:2 payout rate for Atlantic City blackjack. But that’s because each of the game’s rules lowers the house edge.

Blackjack Switch

Blackjack Switch requires that you play two games at a go. Essentially, you get four cards in the initial round. What’s more, you can switch around your cards if you believe that gives you an advantage.

Let’s say you have an Ace and an eight-value card on one hand. On the other, you have a ten-value card and a three-value card. You could place the ace and the ten-value card in one hand to produce 21.

But here’s the problem. Doing so in Blackjack Switch doesn’t count as a winning hand. Instead, you only win if the dealer busts with a hand of 23 or higher or if he has a weaker hand than you do. If he has a hand of 22, it’s counted as a push (draw).

European Blackjack

With European Blackjack, the dealer doesn’t receiver her initial cards until you make a decision with your cards. You could double down, stand on soft 17 or hit. Only after you take an action does the dealer receives her cards and makes a decision.

That said, below is a list of the game’s main rules:

  • The dealer stands on soft 17

  • You lose your entire bet if the dealer has blackjack

  • You can double down with a hand of 9-11

  • You can double down after a split

Some of the rules give you an advantage. However, the rule about making decisions first can be costly if the dealer gets a natural blackjack.

Live Dealer Blackjack

Conventionally, the dealer on many online casinos is an RNG software. The computerized program deals you, hits and stands based on how it’s coded. With live dealers, however, you get to play against a human dealer.

Similar to Land-based casinos, you can also sit around a table of multiple blackjack players. However, you still have to play against the dealer and attempt to beat them at hitting blackjack first.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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