Blackjack, when broken down to its most basic form, is a rather simple game. Each player competes against the dealer and tries to draw a higher hand without going over 21. There is a lot of strategy involved, such as splitting pairs, doubling down, surrendering and knowing when to hit or stand, but the basic game itself is largely unchanged from its original incarnation. Online blackjack for money and online blackjack tournaments are offering exciting blackjack play from your pc, laptop or smartphone.
One good thing about the game of blackjack, though, is that the rules lend themselves to countless variations. These variations can be found with online blackjack and the game at land-based casinos. Some are almost as popular as the traditional blackjack game while others are more obscure. Generally speaking, blackjack variations have a higher house edge than the traditional blackjack game, especially if they involve side bets with a high house edge. Here are some of the most popular blackjack variations.
Pontoon is probably the most common blackjack variation and it is regularly found at brick and mortar and online casinos. Pontoon is most popular in the United Kingdom, though it can be found all over the world. The main difference between pontoon and the traditional blackjack game is that in pontoon, all of the dealer’s cards are dealt face down. Without getting to see some of the dealer’s cards, you have no clue what hand the dealer has, which alters your strategy. The other major rule difference is that in pontoon, there is no such thing as a push. If the player and dealer both draw the same hand, the dealer wins, rather than ending in a tie as with traditional blackjack. Both of those rule changes help the house, but some other rules, such as a 5-card trick, help even the odds.
Spanish 21 is another popular blackjack variation, second in popularity only to pontoon. One major change with Spanish 21 is that it is played with a 48-card deck (with all tens removed) rather than a 52-card deck. In Spanish 21, if the player draws a 21, they always win, even if the dealer also has a hand of 21. In Spanish 21, there are different payouts for specific hands. If you have a hand of 21 with five cards, the house pays out 3:2. A six-card 21 pays out 2:1 and a seven-card 21 pays out 3:1. If the player has a hand of 21 using a 6-7-8 combination, the house pays out 3:2. The payout is 2:1 if all of those cards are in the same suit. If all of the cards are spades, the payout is 3:1. The player wins a bonus between $1,000 and $5,000 – depending on the amount of the bet – when drawing a hand of 21 using a 7-7-7 combination while the dealer has the other 7 as an up card.
Double Exposure is another blackjack variation that you are likely to encounter. In double exposure blackjack, the dealer has no hole card. Both of his initial cards (and all subsequent cards) are dealt face up. Obviously, that rule is to the player’s advantage, but other rules cancel that out. One such rule is that the dealer wins all ties. Another common rule for double exposure is that blackjacks only pay out even money, rather than 3:2, as is common for traditional blackjack.
Extreme 21 is another common blackjack variation and what makes this extreme is that the dealer doesn’t stand. He also doesn’t have a hole card. In this blackjack game, players go against the dealer one at a time. The player starts with two cards and the dealer one card face up. The player then plays out their hand like normal, hitting, doubling, splitting or whatever until he either stands or busts. If the player busts, he loses and the dealer never has to hit. Once the player stands, though, the dealer begins hitting his hand. Rather than having a number like 17 to stand on, here the dealer hits until he either beats the player’s hand or busts. Extreme 21 is rarely found in brick and mortar casinos but can often be found at online casinos. Like other blackjack variations, this game has a higher house edge than traditional blackjack.
Aside from those common blackjack variations, there are countless side bets that are often offered on a traditional blackjack game or on those common variations. Those side bets can be fun and they often seem tempting because of the opportunity for a large payout. However, blackjack side bets always have a high house edge, so many gamblers consider them sucker bets. If you are going to play, you should only do so at the best online casinos for real money online casino websites. Bestonlinecasinosforrealmoney.com is a great site you can get started at.