The Most Popular Variations of Blackjack Online in Casinos

July 11, 2024
James Currie

Blackjack is a timeless casino card game that has captivated players for decades. According to Statista, from April 2021 to March 2022, casinos received approximately 422.78 million British pounds in drop value and 97.32 million British pounds in win value from blackjack. While the classic version of the game is well-known, there are many exciting variations, each offering unique rules and strategies. Here, we’ll go over the 10 most popular variations of blackjack in online casinos and some common strategies.

Blackjack Strategies and Popularity

Although much is said about casino games being solely based on luck, games like blackjack are mostly strategic. The most common approaches use charts and card counting, based on game rules, calculations, and statistics to help players make optimal decisions, increasing their odds and lowering the house edge.

Differently from common belief, card counting isn’t memorizing every card dealt. You don't need to track the exact number and suits previously played. Instead, you should estimate the value of the remaining deck. This allows you to adjust your play style and bet sizes accordingly. Blackjack already offers the best odds in casinos (0.43% – 2%), only behind video poker. However, relying on strategies will help you minimize losses and keep you in the game for longer.

This flexibility and learning curve is what makes it one of the favorite games in online casinos. According to KTO monthly research on most played games, blackjack online is the 4th most popular live casino game and the most popular card game in Brazil. These are the favorite tables at the casino:

Most Popular Blackjack Variations

Live casinos are making blackjack even more popular due to the presence of native speakers, quality interaction, and the different types of tables, such as speed 21 and VIP blackjack. These are the most popular variations around the world:

1. Classic Blackjack

In the classic version of the game, the goal is to beat the dealer by having a hand value closer to 21 without going over. The basic strategy involves knowing when to hit, stand, double down, or split pairs. And don’t be mistaken - the chances of getting 21 are around 4.8%.

2. Spanish 21

One popular variation is Spanish 21, which is played with a 48-card deck that removes all the 10s. This version offers more freedom for the player, such as late surrender and the ability to double down after splitting. The absence of 10s requires players to adjust their strategies, but the favorable rules can provide a significant edge.

3. Pontoon

Pontoon is similar to Spanish 21 but features its own terminology and rules. In Pontoon, a hand of an Ace and a 10-value card is called a "pontoon," and a "twist" is equivalent to a hit. Understanding these unique terms and the five-card trick, which wins automatically if you have five cards without busting, is essential for mastering this version of the game.

4. Double Exposure Blackjack

In this variation, both of the dealer’s cards are dealt face-up. This gives players a significant advantage, but they must adapt to the rule that the dealer wins all ties except for a natural blackjack. This version requires careful consideration of the dealer's visible cards to inform betting decisions.

5. Blackjack Switch

In Blackjack Switch, players are dealt two hands and have the option to switch the top cards between them, creating potentially more favorable hands. While this variant increases the chances of forming strong hands, it also adjusts the house edge with rules like the dealer's 22 pushing all player hands except blackjacks.

6. European Blackjack

European Blackjack differs from the classic game in that the dealer only receives one card face-up initially and draws the second card after the players have completed their hands. Players need to be cautious of the dealer’s potential for blackjack and adjust their strategies accordingly.

7. Face Up 21

Face Up 21 is another interesting variant where both of the dealer's cards are dealt face-up, similar to Double Exposure Blackjack but with different payout rules. Players must adapt particularly in handling ties and when the dealer hits on soft 17.

8. Super Fun 21

For those seeking more flexibility, Super Fun 21 allows players to split hands up to four times and double down on any number of cards. Additionally, a blackjack player always wins, and a 6-card hand of 20 wins automatically. These player-friendly rules encourage a more aggressive approach to splitting and doubling down.

9. Perfect Pairs

Perfect Pairs incorporates a side bet where players can wager on being dealt a pair, with payouts varying based on whether it is a mixed, colored, or perfect pair. This variant combines basic blackjack strategy with calculated side bets, adding an extra layer of excitement to the game.

10. Progressive Blackjack

Finally, Progressive Blackjack includes a progressive jackpot side bet that can pay out substantial sums if certain hands are dealt. Players must manage these side bets while maintaining their strategy to maximize potential winnings.

These different versions reveal varying house edges, rule flexibility, and payout differences, all of which affect overall strategy and potential winnings. Some versions, like Spanish 21 and Super Fun 21, offer more player-friendly rules, while others, such as Double Exposure Blackjack, provide unique challenges that require careful consideration of the dealer’s visible cards.

Exploring different blackjack variations can significantly enhance your gaming experience. Each variant offers a unique twist on the classic game, allowing you to develop new strategies and enjoy the diverse world of blackjack in exciting and innovative ways. Whether you are a novice looking to learn the basics or an experienced player, remember to have fun and follow responsible gaming rules to enjoy blackjack at its best!

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