There are many different types of blackjack out there. Blackjack variants are just as numerous as poker variants, and like poker variants, some may be better suited for your tastes than others. What’s more, some of them return a much better house edge than others, which means that choosing the right game could be the difference between winning and losing.
So, what blackjack variants are there, which ones have the lowest house edges and which ones are the best? Stick around, as we will answer all of those questions.
Switch Blackjack typically has the lowest house edge you will find online, often at less than 0.50%.
This game was created by online casino developers Playtech, a company that is in constant competition with Microgaming. After becoming very popular online it has since been adopted by many land-based casinos. Of course, they are a little less generous than online casinos and the are also worried about card counting, so they tend to change the rules in order to benefit the house.
As a result, the best games of Switch Blackjack are always the ones that you can find online on Playtech casinos.
So what is Switch Blackjack? Well, the biggest rule change is the fact that you can play two hands at once and switch the cards of those two hands. Let’s say that you are dealt an ace and a six in one hand and an ace and 7 in the other hand. You can switch it so that you have 2 aces in one hand and a score of 13 in the other.
This is the change that reduces the house edge so drastically, but because it is such a big change Switch Blackjack also requires a new strategy. You now have to factor in the pros and the cons of making such a change. For instance, what if you have aces and 7s in both hands? You might be tempted to switch so that you have 2 aces in one. But that would leave a score of just 14 in the other, whereas you would have two scores of 17 if you didn’t switch.
Double Exposure Blackjack
This is Microgaming’s answer to Switch Blackjack. It also has a very low house edge and it’s also great fun to play. Just like Switch Blackjack the low house edge (typically less than 0.70%) is all down to a big change in the rules. In this case, with Double Exposure Blackjack you can see both of the dealer’s cards at once.
This makes a huge difference because as any blackjack professional will tell you, it’s more about the dealer’s cards than it is about yours. And if you can see both of those cards at once then you have the advantage you need and you and the dealer are on more of an even keel.
This game began in online casinos and it has been used elsewhere, but offline casinos like this game even less than they like Switch Blackjack. At least with Switch they have a game that offers a novelty and is sure to draw interested players in. In fact, that novelty can trigger big wins for the house, even with a low house edge. But Double Exposure Blackjack is different. It’s a game that even amateurs can win at most of the time, and casinos don’t like that. So you can typically only find it at online casinos.
Spanish 21 games rarely use the word “Blackjack”, and if you ask a fan of this game then that’s just as well, because they don’t deserve to be called Blackjack. These games do not get a lot of respect, and that’s mostly down to the high house edge.
Many games of Spanish 21 are geared towards amateur players. You can find them in the majority of land-based casinos and they are there to lure players in, take their money and give them plenty of fun in return.
The rules are very similar and they usually come with bonuses and side bets such as Perfect Pairs, where you can place an additional side bet and get a payout when you land two of the same number card in the same hand.
But that’s where the interesting things end, because this game has a poor house edge and it will bleed you dry over the long-haul.
Offline, there are few better games than Classic Blackjack. Keep it simple and you’ll often be rewarded. Online it’s a different story as many of the benefits, including fewer decks, are lost.
Classic Blackjack uses the most basic of rules. It pays well for a Blackjack, also known as a “Natural”; you can split, double-down and take insurance; and there are many other features as well.
There aren’t a great number of benefits to playing this game online, but if you find it in an offline casino then you should definitely sit down and play a few hands.
European Blackjack, also known simply as “21”, tends to payout less than other versions of this game and it also has more limitations elsewhere. For instance, many games of European Blackjack don’t let you see any of the dealer’s cards at any time. This can make the game very difficult for the player and it also increases that house edge to ensure that the casino has a little more money at the end of the day.
Atlantic City Blackjack
Many years ago it became illegal for casinos in AC to ban players who were caught counting cards. They couldn’t stop those players so instead they started making life difficult for them. They used 6 or 8 decks, increasing the house edge and ensuring they always had the advantage.
As a result, Atlantic City Blackjack is not the best Blackjack variant to play. This mostly applies offline where those decks have the most impact, but it also applies online. AC Blackjack is just not the best version of Blackjack out there. In fact, of all Blackjack games common in the United States, this is probably one of the worst and is only slightly better than Spanish 21.
Las Vegas Blackjack
In Las Vegas you can find some great games of Blackjack. Anything that brands itself as “Las Vegas Blackjack” typically uses single or double decks and Classic Blackjack rules. This means that the house edge is usually very low and there is a lot of be gained as a player.
If you play these games online then you will still benefit from a slightly better house edge and some higher payouts. But when compare to the Switch Blackjack and Double Exposure Blackjack games mentioned above, Las Vegas Blackjack still falls someway short. It’s a great option if they are not available or you’re looking for something different, but if you have all options at your disposal then this is probably not the one that you want to go for.
This is just another name for Blackjack, and one that is often used in Europe. As a result, there are many different features, because there are no set rules. It should be avoided though because in most cases Pontoon is used to brand games of European Blackjack and Spanish 21, neither of which offer very good odds.