The game of blackjack is so famous that even those that have not played it know what it is. However, there are those that have played it and assume that it is the only single form of blackjack that exists. This is wrong. There are numerous variants of blackjack and we are going to present them to you.
Blackjack is a card game that has span centuries of time and during this, it has evolved into various forms that allow players to approach the game differently and yet, still win with the same gaming rules.
We will be presenting 5 blackjack variants that you can easily play now if you have already played blackjack before. If you are new to the card game, then you’ll be able to easily learn and understand these variant games.
Blackjack holds iconic status and is perhaps the best casino card game created and apologies if that upsets any poker players reading this. Blackjack is not a single game, there are roughly 18 different variants out there in the online world and we will be presenting 5 of the best.
The rules of blackjack remain simple and for all variants, the principles are the same: Aim for 21 and do not go over and bust.
All the usual gaming moves still exist, so anyone with an ounce of knowledge on how to play blackjack can easily experience and play the following five variants we are presenting.
But Why Blackjack?
There is only one real reason why blackjack is the choice of professionals and it all comes down to the game’s fairness. We spoke to Charlotte Fitzgerald, Editor-in-Chief at Casimoose to discuss the success of online blackjack in Canada and why blackjack attracts such a strong online response among players on the site.
“Blackjack has a very low house edge, and if there’s one thing Canadian players love, that’s an advantage! I guess it’s the same for online players everywhere, to be fair, because we notice that this game is also popular with players from outside of Canada. Blackjack offers the lowest advantage to the casino of all casino games. There is only a 1.48% margin, so it’s an almost 50/50 split on winning.”
Variants of blackjack
There are numerous variants and although we are presenting five of them, there are many others you can find online. The games we picked are mainly found within the virtual gaming options. We will discuss live gaming after the variant review because online games are forever evolving and variants will respawn inside of new formats and one day this will all lead to the development of VR Blackjack in the near future. Until then, here are the five of the best online blackjack variants that you can play right now, and that you might have not known existed.
This variation of the blackjack game subtly introduces a side bet feature which is the Perfect Pairs. The base game is the same as standard blackjack with these minor alterations:
Players can perform a split with any card pair that are of the same value. If you perform a split, you are allowed to double down within the split on cards of 9, 10, and 11. This variant also allows splits on aces. As with most other variants, the dealer must stand should they present a soft 17. Perfect Pairs is played with 6 decks of cards.
Playing the side bet is all based on being dealt matching valued cards between 2 and 9.
Perfect Pairs Side Bet Odds:
- Mixed Pair = 6 / 1
- Same Suit = 25 / 1
- Same Colour = 12 / 1
Atlantic City Blackjack
As the name indicates, this variant sprang out of Atlantic City and gives players a different approach to playing traditional blackjack.
As usual, if the dealer holds a soft 17, they must stand. For players, a split can be actioned with any two cards, and from them, you can perform double down moves. Players can split up to four times with their hands, with this, ace cards are exempt from being split.
With Atlantic City Blackjack, you can play the insurance game if your dealer’s face card is showing an ace. You can also call surrender later in the game as well, meaning you forfeit have your wager. This variant is also played with 8 card decks.
Vegas Strip Blackjack
No prizes for guessing where this variant came from. Vegas Strip holds a number of similarities to other variants, yet there are two distinct changes, and it comes down to the number of card decks used and the player cannot opt to surrender, so you’re in this to the end.
The variant is played with four decks, the dealer holds on soft 17, and players can take the insurance option if they wish, this is all depending on whether the dealer is showing an Ace as their face card. Splits can allow players to also double down. You can split up to four times and splits on ace cards can only happen once in the game.
Pontoon is actually a popular game for kids and teenagers to play and is most likely the variant of blackjack you first played without you knowing it was originally blackjacked at the time. This is the UK version of blackjack and is played with only a single card deck. The game presents the five-card-trick feature, which is getting to the sum of 21 with a 5-card hand or under. When playing this variant, the split rules are more strict, as only ace cards can be split. Another tougher rule is that players can only stand when the hand has a minimum value of 16. In normal blackjack games, it would be 15. All other traditional rules apply to this UK variant.
Free Bet Blackjack
See the words free bet and it’s a draw for any player and it’s true, this variant of blackjack allows you to make moves within the game without needed to raise stakes placed on original bets. Should you perform a split and double down within the splits, the cost is covered by the house. What this leads to is a greater increase of winning and fewer risks. The benefits of this variant come with a few rules.
Splits can only be made with matching pairs of cards. You can only double down within a split if the hands are pairs of 9, 10, and 11 where there are no aces. Players are also unable to surrender.
Live Blackjack Gaming
Amongst the variants found within the virtual realm of gaming, there is also an alternative format. Live casino gameplay is a live streaming development by Evolution Gaming. Players are able to watch live streaming broadcasts of real casino games being played in real-time and hosted by live dealers. This gaming interaction is a whole different way of experiencing blackjack and should only be taken on by players that are comfortable with the rules.
Live blackjack offers an immersive format of gaming that can allow players to also experience a number of alternative variants of blackjack.
There are a number of online casinos that offer promotions on live blackjack games with rewards for consecutive blackjack wins returning one-off cash prize payouts.
As you can see, there are numerous ways of experiencing blackjack and they can all be tested for free within many of the demo games you can access from Casimoose where Charlotte Fitzgerald works.