Blackjack that is played in online casinos can be played in 2 different variants – video blackjack and live blackjack. The main difference is that video blackjack uses cards randomly generated by a computer. When playing against a real dealer, real cards are dealt and shuffled manually before being used in the game.
American and European Blackjack
Blackjack has several different styles – American and European. In the American blackjack, the dealer draws 2 cards, one face up and one face down. If the face up card is an ace, the second card is checked by the dealer and revealed in case it has a value of 10 and completes a blackjack. If that's not the case, the game continues and the face down card is shown to the player when it's the dealer's turn to draw another card or stand.
In European blackjack, the dealer receives only one card face up and draws only after the player has completed his hand.
There are many other variations of blackjack. These can differ by rules concerning the dealer and sometimes the player as well. However, in practice the rules are always set to favour the casino.
The most common types of blackjack involve the following:
- Blackjack switch – The player plays two combinations with two cards simultaneously. The player is allowed to swap his second card between his two hands. If the dealer reaches 22, the player gets his bet back. It means he does not win, as would be the case under standard rules, but the game basically results in a draw. Also the player is paid a reward for blackjack only in the ratio of 1:1, not 3:2 as is the case in standard blackjack.
- Vegas strip – This blackjack variation is played with four decks of cards. The player may split two aces only once, but at the same time he or she can double down on any two cards. The player also loses the insurance if he or she splits his or her cards. After splitting, the player can double the bet only if the cards that were split were two aces. If the player gets the total of 21 after splitting, it is not considered to be blackjack. If the player splits two aces, he or she will receive only one extra card and doesn't have the option to get another one.
- Double exposure blackjack – The dealer's cards are both face up. As the player's advantage increases because of this, the other rules serve as a compensation for such advantage. The players lose their bets when tied with the dealer and blackjack is paid only to the ratio of 1:1. Additionally, the player is allowed to split his cards only once.
- Perfect pairs – The standard game is enriched by the option to place a side bet on the "perfect pair". The player wins the bet only if his first two cards form a pair (e.g. two sevens, two tens etc.). The winning amount is higher if the pair is of the same colour and the highest if these cards are of an identical suit.
Other Blackjack variations
There are other variations of blackjack where you play basically two different games simultaneously – blackjack and something else at the same time
In a version of blackjack called Triple sevens you can win the accumulated jackpot if you get three sevens of diamonds. In Caribbean Blackjack, the winnings depend on what poker combinations you form with your cards. These side winnings can be obtained only after making a side bet, which is played separately from the bets placed in blackjack.