Blackjack, also known as Twenty-One, has a very long and interesting history and evolution. Today, a number of differences in rules exist to form variants of the game, some of which have become highly popular in their own right.
The following are five of the most common types of blackjack found in casinos.
Also known as American Blackjack in the US, this is generally the most widespread variation of blackjack played around the world.
It uses 6-8 standard decks and employs all the standard rules of blackjack. The major difference between Classic and European Blackjack is the dealers hole card, i.e., the card played face down, which is received before the player makes a betting decision on their own hand.
In the European Blackjack variant, the dealer only receives their hole card after the player has seen their cards and made their betting decision. This can have advantages and disadvantages depending on the cards and situation. It also utilises just two decks and has a number of other rules that are generally considered as being similar though more restrictive than Classic Blackjack.
This popular variant of blackjack uses six or eight decks and has a unique aspect in that all 10’s are removed, reducing each deck to 48 cards, otherwise known as Spanish decks. In Spanish 21, players can also always win with 21 regardless of the dealer’s total. Doubling down is allowed with any two cards, as well as “surrender”. Spanish 21 also has its own unique payout system.
Commonly also referred to as Pontoon, though not to be confused with the historical predecessor of blackjack by the same name, Australian Blackjack is a variant of blackjack which, as its name suggests, is highly popular in Australia. It resembles Spanish 21 in many ways, such as employing Spanish decks, though it also has many of its own unique rules and payouts.
Vegas Strip blackjack is a fairly simple variation which is particular popular online, and the Vegas strip, where it originated. Unique aspects to this game includes using 4 decks, doubling down is allowed on any two cards, a player bust does not always result in a loss, and the dealer is required to have no less than 17 in order to stand.
In this unique and unusual variant, players receive two cards at the beginning, which they can then play separately. Furthermore, players have the option of trading the second card of each hand for a new one. Another unique aspect of this game is that, if a dealer gets 22, is not consider a bust, but rather a “push”, a term in blackjack that means “no one wins”.
The rules of Perfect Pairs are generally very similar to Classic Blackjack, with the main difference being that Perfect Pairs offers a special side bet by that name. It allows you to win the additional side wager on the condition that your hand consists of a pair.