European Blackjack Guide
Blackjack is the arguably the most popular card game in the world, but have you tried European Blackjack? The major difference is that the Dealer only deals one card to them at first — you play your round of play, and only then is the second card dealt to them. What does this matter? It matters when the Dealer has Blackjack… Read on.
How to Play European Blackjack
To win, build a hand that totals 21, or get more points that the Dealer has in their hand, without going over 21. European Blackjack takes a lot of luck and some skill and strategy to build a series of winning hands.
Click on the chips to place a bet, and then click Deal. Your two cards are dealt face up and one Dealer card is dealt face up. Click on the Stand button if you think you can beat the dealer. If you need to add more points to your hand, click Hit. The Dealer gives you another card. Remember, if you choose to hit and go beyond 21, you Bust, losing automatically.
Doubling down means doubling your bet and getting one more card. In European Blackjack, you can only double down on hard 9’s, 10′ and 11’s.
When you are dealt two cards of the same value, you can split them into two hands and try your luck with each as the first card of two hands. When you click on the Split option, the game automatically doubles your bet. The rules of the game require you to hit at least once on both hands. However if you split on two aces, you can only hit once on each hand.
After you play your cards, the Dealer is dealt their other card. Depending on the hand, they will opt to hit or stand based on a series of rules that the Dealer must follow, the major one being that the Dealer must stand on any soft total of 17 or more.
When the Dealer’s card value matches yours, it is a tie, also called a Push and your bet is returned.
You Win When
- You get a Blackjack.
- Your hand is closer to (but does not exceed) 21 points than the Dealer’s hand.
- If the Dealer busts and you do not.
At Silver Oak Casino, European Blackjack pays out at 3:2. Insurance pays 2:1. Dealer must stand on a soft 17. Doubling down can only occur on hard 9’s, 10’s and 11’s. Only one card can be dealt to split Aces.
Strategy & Tips
The simple truth about Blackjack is that there are only 16 cards with the value of 10 in a 52-deck card, but many casinos use multiple decks, reshuffled between hands.
- One way is to always make the assumption that the Dealer’s second card will be worth 10 points.
- If the Dealer has a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, the chances of busting are increased.
- If they hold a 5 or 6, the chances of busting are so great that you may just want to play it safe and avoid busting. If the Dealer’s card reveals 7 or anything higher, their hand could add to 18, 19, 20 and 21. In such cases, hit to improve your own hand.
- Try to build a hand worth at least 17 points.17 is the fulcrum number in European Blackjack as the Dealer must stand on a soft 17.
- Stand on your hard valued at 17 or higher. The dealer must stand on soft 17. The Dealer runs the risk of going bust is he’s got 16 showing.
- Always double down when you have 11 and the Dealer is showing a 10. The Dealer may have a strong card but you have an even better hand, doubling is statistically the better move.
- Always split Aces. The split provides you with two promising hands halfway to Blackjacks compared with a soft 12.
- Always split 8’s because a hard 16 is an awful hand. This would be considered a defensive move that could be more rewarding than hitting on a 16.
- Never split 10s, even though this looks tempting. You could be throwing away a great hand while exposing yourself to unnecessary risk.
Although the origin of Blackjack is somewhat vague, earliest traces of the game were found in 17th Century France, as a game called Vingt-et-Un (French for 21). The Italian game, Seven and a Half, also shaped the modern day Blackjack by contributing other rules. Game variations appeared in North America in the 19th Century. European Blackjack is said to be an older version of the game that provides a lower house edge than Vegas style.
European Blackjack is much more entertaining when you know and understand all the terminology associated with the game. Below are common terms that you will come across while playing European Blackjack.
Blackjack: A hand featuring a natural 21 using an Ace and a card totaling 10 points.
Bust: When the total value of your hand overshoots 21. You lose the bet.
Double: Doubles your original bet and deals out one more card to finish your round of play.
Face Cards: Jacks, Queens or Kings — all have a value of 10 points.
Hard Hand: A hand in which an Ace is counted as 1 point instead of 11.
Hit: Request another card to add to your hand.
Insurance: A bet that you can place when the Dealer’s card is an Ace. You bet half of your original bet that the Dealer will get a natural blackjack. If the Dealer gets a natural Blackjack, you win double your insurance bet.
Push: When the Dealer’s hand and your hand have the same points, your bet is returned.
Soft Hand: A hand in which an Ace can be counted as either an 11 or 1.
Split Hands: You can play pairs as two separate hands, if the first two cards dealt are of equal value.
Stand: When you have completed your hand, and the game continues to the Dealer’s turn.
When you play this fun version of our free European Blackjack game you’ll be able to do so without risking a single dime. Try your luck today, entirely free of charge and see if you have what it takes to play for real money. Enjoy all the fun of European Blackjack!