A Comprehensive Guide of Popular Blackjack Variations


With unsophisticated rules and easy gameplay, Blackjack is an exciting casino game to try at both land-based casinos and online gambling sites. Since the time Blackjack went mainstream in the 1900s, the gambling world has seen the introduction of several unique and innovative Blackjack variations. And some of these games have become highly popular versions of Blackjack. Read on to know more about them.

American Blackjack

If you’ve tried your hands at classic Blackjack before, then you already know the basics and gameplay rules of American Blackjack. This is because the main point of difference between American Blackjack and the traditional Blackjack version exists only in the names. This Blackjack variant is quite popular among both land-based and online casino players, owing to the fact that the house edge in American Blackjack can get to as low as 0.5% by using basic Blackjack strategies. While some players may also use the card counting strategy to try to get an edge over the casino, it’s not recommended as counting cards is deterred by most gambling platforms.

In American Blackjack, your main aim it to get a natural (perfect hand value of 21) or as close to it as possible without going bust. As strategic wagering options, you can choose to double down or go with splitting in this variation. If you’re unaware, Blackjack double down means you opt to double down your initial wager and receive an extra card in return. The splitting option is available when the first two cards dealt to you have the same value. Here, you can split your cards into two different hands and select the one that’s better after receiving an extra card for each hand.

Multi-hand Blackjack

This is an interesting variant of Blackjack to try your hands at, along with other popular casino games online. As the name implies, multi-hand Blackjack allows players to play more than one hand at the same time. And this adds an extra bit of thrill and excitement to the overall Blackjack gameplay.

The number of hands that can be played simultaneously depends on the game provider and your chosen online gambling platform. When playing Vegas Strip Blackjack at the top mobile casino, for instance, you are allowed to play with up to three hands concurrently. Other popular Multi-hand Blackjack games like Atlantic City Blackjack and Vegas Downtown Blackjack can be played with up to five hands.

Free Bet Blackjack

Free Bet Blackjack is a unique Blackjack variation that was invented by Geoff Hall, a well-known figure in the land-based gambling community. Free Bet Blackjack comes with the same aim and basic rules as traditional Blackjack, but it allows players to split and double down on their hands for free. Here, you receive your ante wager and the free bet if you manage to beat the dealer’s hand. But if the value of your hand is lower than that of the dealer, you only lose your initial wager.

Of course, the inclusion of such a great feature means casinos need to compensate for it some other way. And the way they do it is by including the following rule – If the dealer’s hand goes bust and has a value of 22, the player’s bet is pushed instead of declaring it a winning wager. Also, the dealer is allowed to hit on soft 17 in this Blackjack variant.

Spanish 21

Played usually with a shoe of six decks, the Spanish 21 version of online Blackjack is popular among players for its increased payouts. But the game comes with some novel twists as well. In Spanish 21, all 10 cards are stripped from the dealer’s shoe. As such, the final hands of players consist of lots of low cards. Also, this Blackjack variation allows players to double down on any hand, irrespective of the number of cards they’ve received.

While getting a Blackjack without the 10s is somewhat hard in Spanish 21, the players always win here if they have a perfect score of 21. Speaking about the payouts, five-card hands with a value of 21 are paid at 3:2, whereas six-card hands worth 21 receive a 2:1 payout. In short, the lesser the number of cards you use to get the hand value of 21, the higher your payout will be in Spanish 21.

Summary of popular Blackjack variants

Blackjack is one of few casino games that are both exciting and flexible at the same time. As such, it’s easily possible for casino gaming enthusiasts and developers to come up with new Blackjack variants by making some tweaks to the original Blackjack gameplay rules. While this article covered some highly popular versions of Blackjack, there are several other innovative Blackjack variants to try online. When selecting a Blackjack game to play, just make sure to take carefully review its gameplay rules and use our Blackjack calculator to better understand the gameplay odds. Enjoy playing Blackjack online!

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Name: A Comprehensive Guide of Popular Blackjack Variations

Posted On: 21/09/2022

Author: Cameron Riddell

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