Blog/The Most Popular Blackjack Variations You Should Know

The Most Popular Blackjack Variations You Should Know

So you are a regular player of online Blackjack but still missing out on the game’s variations? It’s 2024! Now is the perfect time to explore the most popular blackjack variations in the online casino in Sri Lanka. From classic favourites like European and American blackjack to the latest twists of the card game, each of these promises an exciting card gaming experience! Read on and don’t miss out these blackjack variations to try in your next online blackjack sessions.

The Classic: Standard Blackjack

In this game, you use a regular deck of 52 cards, where each card has its own point value. Face cards (King, Queen, Jack) are valued at 10 points each, while Aces can be either 1 or 11 points, depending on what's better for your hand.

The objective is simple and direct: beat the dealer without exceeding 21 points. Each player, including the dealer, receives two cards, with one of the dealer's cards facing up, giving you a sneak peek into their potential hand. Now, based on your hand, you decide whether to "hit" for another card or "stand" to keep your current total. If your total exceeds 21, you "bust," and the dealer wins. If neither of you busts, the one closest to 21 wins.

Pay attention to the dealer's upcard. If it's a low card like a 4, 5, or 6, they're in a weaker position, so consider playing mindfully. You can "double down” for one additional card, doubling your initial bet, and committing to stand.

Finally, if you got a pair, you can choose to “split” that will create two separate hands, each with a new card. Splits can improve your winning chance but keep in mind that you’re doubling your bet.

The Relative: European Blackjack

In European Blackjack, the goal remains the same: beat the dealer without going over 21. But unlike the standard blackjack, the European version uses two decks of cards. The dealer will reveal only one card at first and delay the second card until the player acts. This can affect the player’s strategy as they have no initial idea about the dealer’s hand.

There’s also a “no peek” rule which is what makes the variant unique, meaning players don’t automatically lose if the dealer’s face-up card is Ace. European Blackjack gives another layer of decision-making as doubling down is limited to hard totals of 9, 10, or 11. In splitting, players can split pairs as usual but with more flexibility when splitting Aces as they can draw multiple cards on each Ace.

The Spanish Twist: Spanish 21

In this game, the game comes with the Spanish twist as the deck changes course by removing all four 10-value cards which makes it down at 48 total cards instead of 52. Despite this mind-boggling change, the game has generous rules to balance it out.

One of the rules is allowing players to double down on any number of cards. This makes it more flexible and adds fun in strategising and decision-making for the players. There’s also late surrender where players give up their hand and take half of their bet after seeing the dealer’s upcard.

The “Match the Dealer” is another tweak which is an optional bet that lets the players bet on whether their first two cards will match the dealer’s upcard. These alterations truly add a flair to the game making it one of the popular blackjack variations.

Just remember to strategise wisely, and know when to hit, stand, double down, or surrender to master the Spanish 21.

The Flash Forward: Double Exposure

In this blackjack variation, transparency has a role. Unlike its cousins, both the dealer’s first two cards are shown. But the biggest strategy comes from knowing the dealer’s hand upfront. Although it seems advantageous, it’s actually quite challenging for the players as there are specific rules to the Double Exposure Blackjack that tilt the odds back to the house.

The payout structure is also slightly different as payouts are typically even money—compared to the higher payouts in classic blackjack—to adjust for the dealer's exposed cards. This is why players should capitalise on the exposed hand of the dealer while keeping in mind the rules that favour the house, making it a dance of risk and reward and often for players that are looking for a bit of a challenge.

The Payout Pro: Pontoon

The goal of this game is to beat the dealer without going “bust”. Pontoon is like your classic blackjack, the dealer’s cards are face-down, not going over 21, you know the drill. But the actual twist of Pontoon is the change of terms such as “twist” means to hit, and “stick” means to stand.

After players finish, the dealer reveals their cards, hitting until they reach a hand total of 17 or higher. A Pontoon, an Ace and a 10-point card, is the best hand. If the player's total beats the dealer's or the dealer busts, the player wins.

Like in every blackjack game, strategy is key. You might not find the usual "double down" or "split" options, but there's an interesting alternative—the "buy" option. You can increase your bet after seeing your initial cards. Pontoon is a game of strategy and luck, offering a twist on traditional blackjack gameplay.

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