All around the world, the seemingly simple game of Blackjack is the top game to play for casino affiliates. It has a history spanning hundreds of years, but still remains popular to this day. Over time, the game has evolved as each country or casino adds its own spin on things, and as a result various different forms of the game have been created.
There are several different variants of Blackjack that you can play at a casino for real money — whether you decide to play online or at a land-based casino. With so many games to choose from, we’ve decided to put together the top versions of Blackjack that you can play right now.
You can thank the US for the name of Blackjack, as it was in this country that the common term for the game stuck. This was after casinos introduced a special pay-out for the winning hand of a ‘black jack’ — which involved laying an Ace of spades alongside a Jack of spades or clubs.
Nowadays, American Blackjack, sometimes known as Classic Blackjack, is the most commonly played version of the game. It can include between one and eight decks of cards, when played in a brick-and-mortar casino, or uses a random number generator to virtually generate this number of cards when played online.
At the beginning of the game, you and the dealer are dealt two cards, but for the dealer, one of them remains face down. This is called the hole card. At this stage in the game, the player isn’t able to make any moves regarding their own hand until the dealer gets their hole card.
The aim of the game is to successfully reach a total of 21 with your hand, without exceeding it — or if the dealer goes bust before you with a losing hand. In order to win, your card must be higher than the dealer’s or nearer to 21.
There are several differences between European and American Blackjack, as the game has been played and evolved over time. The European version includes only two decks of cards when played in a land-based casino, or with two randomly generated digital decks when playing online.
When the cards are dealt between the player and dealer, they again both receive two cards, with the dealer having one facing up and the other facing down. However, unlike the American version, in European Blackjack the hole card is not dealt until after the player has made the first decision on how to play their cards.
The actions that the player can take involve either a split, hit, stand or double the cards. They can also double down on a hand that totals nine, 10 or 11 in this version of the game
Vegas Strip Blackjack
Famous for its vast range of casinos and resorts, it’s no surprise that the big city itself has its own version of Blackjack. This game is named after the iconic strip in the south of Las Vegas, as it is commonly played in the establishments located on this epic street.
Compared to other variations of the game, Vegas Strip Blackjack is played with four decks of cards, both online or in land-based casinos. The major difference with this version, is that the dealer can sneak a peek at the hole card, which remains faced down in the eyes of the player.
For this game, there are also different rules for when the dealer has to stand, depending on the total of their hand. Players can also double down after splitting a pair of Aces, as well as re-splitting the cards up to three times in one round.
Using advanced software, Vegas Strip Blackjack is widely played on internet casinos, where the computer randomly generates the actions of the dealer and the outcome of the cards.