MAY 2024

Blackjack Variations - Best Versions of the Popular Casino Game

Everything from blackjack switch rules to new popular blackjack variants.

Traditional Blackjack Games Rule Variations and Standard Rules

Everything from blackjack switch rules to new popular blackjack variants.

Written by: Kim Birch | The review was last updated: 12 August 2022 | Fact-check by: Jasmin Williams

Kim Birch has won and lost against the best poker pros worldwide. In addition to being an expert in poker and blackjack, Kim has also published 3 books. About Kim Birch

Blackjack is not some random casino game that is played in a selected few casinos. It is one of the most popular casino games with countless variants that will keep you entertained forever. There is no reason to be surprised by many blackjack variants because it is the favourite casino game of several dedicated casino players.

Blackjack originated in French casinos in the 17th century. In the 18th century, blackjack grew popular in North America. It took several decades for blackjack to gain popularity worldwide. However, it is easily one of the most recognized casino games in modern times.

Blackjack has evolved in various forms over the years. Players may have gotten bored with the classic version and demanded new variants, which led to innovation and outstanding developments that we see now.

Honestly, the blackjack variants online are much more diverse than what we see in brick and mortar casinos. Some players only prefer a specific blackjack variant. Keep reading because you might find your favourite blackjack variant in this article.


Basic Blackjack Strategy and Standard Rule Variations in Online Casinos

Some variants of blackjack are more common than others when it comes to traditional casinos. Some variants can only be found in certain casinos, which adds to the charm of playing those variants. However, the world of blackjack has evolved after the introduction of online blackjack. It is possible to play any variant of blackjack that you love online without facing any issues. This is the development that casino players could only dream about before.

It doesn’t take much effort to create a different blackjack variant. Some variants are similar to the base game with only minor differences, like a special side bet. Some variants try to take a unique approach and offer you a much different experience from classic blackjack. For example, one exciting variant of blackjack is Face Up 21. In this variant, you can see both of the dealer's cards and decide what you should do. However, the rules favour the dealer to make the game fair.

In the end, the variants offer some attractive advantages to the players. The problem is that you need to be aware of the rules and learn everything about a variant before you can determine if it is better than classic blackjack or not.

Some variants aren’t as rewarding as classic blackjack, but they are more fun. So you may want to try some new variants if you are in the mood for some fun without worrying about winning the most money.

Our advice is to always read the rules and ensure that you are fine with them before playing a blackjack variant with real money. If you can play the demo mode for free, it would be a good idea to try the game for free and see how it plays.

European Blackjack MH (Play'n GO)

South Las Vegas Boulevard has Inspired many American Blackjack Variants.
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South Las Vegas Boulevard has Inspired many American Blackjack Variants.

You need to test the waters before you start swimming. Similarly, you need to familiarize yourself with the classic game blackjack best known from live casinos before you can start playing at a high level. Blackjack is not one of those casino games that depend only on luck, so you can do much better by having a great strategy. A great blackjack player can win more often and reduce their losses significantly.

We have provided a link to our free demo version of online blackjack on the left side. We strongly recommend that you try it so that you can test your skills and warm up before you play with real money.


Las Vegas Strip – American Popular Blackjack Variant

Vegas Strip is one of the more popular variations and popular games based on the traditional card game. Vegas Strip the american blackjack game is an extremely popular version of the card game, which has managed to get the attention of blackjack players worldwides. Earlier, people could only enjoy it in Las Vegas. However, it has become available to players all over the world thanks to respected casinos online. Let us see why this variant of blackjack is so popular.

First of all, you can enjoy this game in multi-hand or single-hand mode. If you don’t know, the multi-hand mode allows you to play more than one hand at a time. However, it is risky to play in this mode if you aren’t an experienced player who knows what he is doing.

Vegas Strip Blackjack is played with four decks of cards. Earlier, this game was played with only one deck of cards, but they had to increase the number of decks to counter any attempts to count cards.

You can double down on any initial hand and also double down after splitting the cards. You can split to up to 4 hands in total. 10-valued cards that are unlike (like Q and J) can also be split without any issues. After you split these cards, you can easily double down or continue splitting if the opportunity presents itself.

The dealer stands on soft 17, and the dealer also peeks for blackjack. The payout that you will enjoy for getting a blackjack is 3:2, but some casinos offer a payout of 6:5. So you need to check the payout of the casino you are playing at and try to avoid the 6:5 payout because it is disadvantageous.

The rules for this blackjack differ a little from casino to casino, so you need to read the rules before playing.


Atlantic City Blackjack and Blackjack Switch Game Types

As gambling became legal in Atlantic City, casino operators came up with the Atlantic City Blackjack variant. Atlantic City Blackjack is a rewarding blackjack variant with many favourable rules and a lower house edge. This version of blackjack also shares some rules with the Vegas Strip Blackjack, which makes sense because casinos in Atlantic City were trying to compete with Las Vegas.

It features 8 standard decks of cards, which is a great way to deal with card counters. It is known for the late surrender option. You can surrender after the dealer checks for blackjack and doesn’t have a winning combination. Surrendering will allow you to lose half of your bet as the other half will be returned to you. This option significantly reduces your losses if you use it wisely.

Even though the late surrender option is the most exciting feature of Atlantic City Blackjack, there are several other interesting features.  You can double down on any two cards and split cards up to 3 times to create 4 hands. It is possible to split the aces only once because allowing to split the aces more the once would be too much. Remember that your split aces will only receive 1 card instead of 2 when you split them.

The payout is 3 to 2, but it can be 6 to 5, depending on the casino. As we mentioned before, you shouldn’t play at casinos that offer the 6 to 5 payout. The dealer will stand on soft 17 like the other variants, and insurance is also available if you need it. The bad news is that if you split the aces and get a blackjack, it will be counted as 21.

Overall, this is an outstanding variant of blackjack. However, you need to be an experienced player to use the late surrender option well, so we don’t recommend going for this variant as a new player.


European Blackjack – One of the Most Popular Blackjack Variations

Play Online Blackjack variant European Blackjack for free on BETO.

Play Online Blackjack variant European Blackjack for free on BETO.

European Blackjack is enjoyed by several thousand players in traditional as well as online casinos. This version of blackjack was enjoyed a lot in Europe, which is why it is called European Blackjack. It is similar to the classic blackjack in terms of the base gameplay. You will still try to get cards valued close to or equal to 21 without exceeding this number.

European Blackjack is played by using anywhere from 2 to 8 card decks. This could be a slight disadvantage because if the decks of cards are kept lower, the game could suffer from card counters. However, if you are a card counter, you can use the lower number of decks to your advantage and count cards easily.

In European Blackjack, the Hole card is not dealt until you have played your hand. So the dealer cannot peek for blackjack. You must remember that if the dealer has a blackjack, you will lose unless you also have a blackjack, in which case it will be a draw. In simple words, cards valued at 21 aren’t enough to defeat the dealer’s blackjack.

You can only split once per hand, and you can’t double down more than once. You can only split the 10-value cards that are alike. You can’t double down on cards that aren’t valued at 9, 10, or 11. It is possible to double down on split cards.

European Blackjack is not revolutionary, but it is worth trying for new players looking for something a little different from classic blackjack. Some onlien casinos also offer blackjack perfect pairs side bet options in modified versions of the European blackjack variation.


Double Exposure Blackjack – See the Dealer’s Cards

As the name suggests, Double Exposure is a variant of blackjack where both of the dealer's cards are exposed. This is an exciting variant that many people wanted because they wanted the advantage of seeing both of the dealer’s cards. However, they have changed the rules to ensure that the casino doesn’t suffer from a massive disadvantage.

The dealer will win all ties unless you have a natural blackjack. If you get blackjack, you will be paid even money only. Getting paid even money is a big drawback because your earnings will be reduced by a lot. Insurance is not available, and the double down option may be available depending on the casino.

Splitting is allowed, but you can only do it once. If you decide to split aces, you will only get a single card that both hands will share. The surrender option is not available in this variant, but that is not surprising because the surrender option is only seen in a few variants. The dealer can hit or stand on soft 17, depending on the casino. We recommend going for only those casinos where the dealer stands on soft 17.

The specific rules may differ a little bit from provider to provider. However, the main rules will remain the same. This is an excellent variant that you can try if you are fine with some of its disadvantages.

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Play Live dealer variants of Blackjack just like in land based casinos.


Progressive Blackjack – Bonus Payouts and Big Jackpot Wins!

You might have heard of or even played progressive jackpot slots. Similarly, Progressive Blackjack gives you a chance to win a big progressive jackpot, which has always been missing in classic blackjack. The good news is that the gameplay is similar to classic blackjack, so you won’t have to spend any time adjusting to the gameplay.

This variant is generally played with 6 decks of cards, but it can go up to 8 decks of cards. The way these progressive jackpots work is that the amount of the jackpot continues to increase as more people try to win the jackpot. They also keep a small amount as seed money so that the progressive jackpot doesn’t start from zero if a player wins it all. The progressive jackpot starts from a high amount after someone wins it.

You need to place a side bet of $1 in most cases to get a chance to win the progressive jackpot. Whether you will win the jackpot or not will depend on the number of aces as well as their suit. If you can get 4 aces of the same suit, you will win the entire jackpot. There are smaller prizes as well for landing at least 2 aces of any suit.

Remember that you can get a much higher payout for landing aces of the same suit because they are rarer. Even if you don’t win the jackpot, the smaller payouts can add up to a reasonable amount if you land them consistently. Still, the chances of winning much are slim because it is rare to land 2 or more aces.

You can also play Progressive Blackjack in multi-hand mode, but whether you can win the jackpots in multi-hand mode or not depends on the casino. We recommend going for multi-hand Progressive Blackjack so that you can maximize your chances of winning the jackpot.


Spanish 21 – Blackjack variation based on Standard Rules

Basic rules, dealer busts and low house edge in Spanish 21

Basic rules, dealer busts and low house edge in Spanish 21

Spanish 21 is an advantageous variation of blackjack that has many rules you will love. Obviously, there is a trade-off involved because you can’t get favourable rules without sacrificing something. No version of blackjack has rules that allow the player to bankrupt the casino. However, this is an exciting variant where you gain a lot by sacrificing not so much.

Many people prefer playing this version over the classic blackjack simply because of the fantastic rules. Spanish 21 is a lot like classic blackjack, but the main difference is that Spanish 21 doesn’t have any 10 cards. All of the 10 cards are removed, so the deck has 48 cards instead of 52. You might be thinking that this is disadvantageous, and it is. However, you will get several benefits in return.

You can do late surrender in Spanish 21, just like Atlantic City Blackjack. The surrender option allows you to retain half of your bet if you decide to surrender a bet you think you will not win. Obviously, you should only use this option when you think that your chances of losing the bet are high. Remember that you can only use the late surrender option after the dealer has peeked for blackjack.

You can easily double down even after splitting. You will get a win for getting a 21 even if the dealer has 21 as well. If you and the dealer have blackjack, you will win in this case as well. You can also get insurance if you need it. Overall, you will be surprised by so many great options that Spanish 21 provides. Just remember that you need to be an experienced player to take full advantage of these options.


Online Multi-Hand Blackjack – Blackjack With Multiple Hands

You will want to try Multi-Hand blackjack online because it is hard to find a table with many empty seats inside a casino. If you go to a casino when it is usually very busy, you will find it impossible to enjoy multi-hand blackjack. However, you can easily play this variant of blackjack online without any issues. You can play the maximum number of hands that the game allows and hopefully enjoy winning in all of them.

The maximum number of hands you can play is 5. It is like classic blackjack, where each hand is treated as a separate hand, so you can win in one hand and lose in the other simultaneously. Our advice is to look at the dealer’s upcard and play each hand to the best of your ability. The rules of this variant differ from casino to casino, so you will need to read the specific rules for the casino you want to play at.

Multi-Hand Blackjack is worth trying online, especially if you are an experienced player who wants to play several hands at once.


Bonus Blackjack – Enjoy Exciting Bonus Bets

Bonus Blackjack is just like ordinary blackjack, but it includes an optional bonus bet. You can play it like ordinary blackjack or go for the riskier bonus bet to win bigger rewards. You can win the bonus bet based on the initial two cards that you are dealt.

Now let us discuss the various combinations that you can create to win rewards in the bonus bet. You can get a payout of 50 to 1 if you land a jack and an ace of spades. If you land a jack and an ace of any other suit (except for spade), you will get a payout of 25 to 1. You will also get a special payout of 5 to 2 that you can get for landing two cards of the same suit.

This version of blackjack uses only 2 decks of cards, and the dealer will always peek for blackjack. If you are familiar with regular blackjack, you only have to learn about the bonus bet winning combinations mentioned above.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the blackjack variations that we covered here. There are a lot more exciting variations of blackjack that you can explore. Unfortunately, there are just too many to put into one article. Please read the articles written by our card game experts to learn more about blackjack and other casino games. You can also try our recommended casinos because we only recommend the best casinos.

If you need casino bonuses, check out our short introduction guide on how to claim a bonus below.


Blackjack Variants - FAQ

In this section, we will cover some frequently asked questions about Blackjack variations.

Are the Blackjack variations offered by all casinos the same? Arrow Arrow

No, each casino has a unique collection of Blackjack variants. The selection of Blackjack variants depends on the providers that are partnered with the casino. You can find more variety at bigger and more influential casinos because of their numerous partners.

Is it possible to play a Blackjack variant for free? Arrow Arrow

Yes, you can easily play most variants for free. Most of the casinos will give you the option to try a Blackjack variant for free. We recommend that you try a Blackjack variant for free before playing with real money.

How many Blackjack variants exist? Arrow Arrow

There are more than 100 variants of Blackjack. You can find complete information about the most popular variants in articles here at BETO.

What will happen if the dealer draws Blackjack? Arrow Arrow

If the dealer gets Blackjack in the first two cards, the dealer wins your original bet. However, the dealer won’t take the doubled down portion of your bet.

Can Blackjack beat 21? Arrow Arrow

Yes, a Blackjack beats 21 in all variations of Blackjack. A Blackjack happens when the total value of your first 2 cards is 21. So if you get a Blackjack, you will win unless the dealer also has a Blackjack, which will lead to a tie.

Can I win big in different variants of Blackjack? Arrow Arrow

Yes, there are several examples of people who won an enormous amount in Blackjack. Kerry Packer won $40 million by playing Blackjack at the MGM Grand Casino, and it only took him 40 minutes to do it.