Without a doubt, European Blackjack is one of the most well known and played variations of blackjack that can be found in a number of casinos. It has gained in popularity so much that it is considered to be as famous as the classic game.
It gets its name from the fact that it was predominantly played in casinos across Europe, however nowadays the game is no longer limited to this location as it is offered all over the world. One of the reasons why this variation appeals to many players is that it has proven to be very exciting and challenging.
European Blackjack Rules
European Blackjack has the same basic rules as the classic game, meaning that you compete against the dealer and that your objective is to form a total as close as possible to 21, without surpassing this number. The assigned value of the cards is also no different, all of the face cards receive ten points, Aces can be valued as either one or eleven and the rest of the cards are worth the numeric value on them.
In European Blackjack, if you and the dealer have blackjack, the result is a Push, meaning that there is no winner. The dealer is enforced by the rules to stand on soft 17 and if he has blackjack, it beats any other winning combinations. This variation is not a Hole card game which means that the dealer doesn’t peel for blackjack. When it comes to the rules regarding doubling down, it is possible to perform this move on only hands whose total value is nine, ten or eleven.
Splitting is allowed only once and it is possible to separate only 10-valued cards that are alike. For instance, you can split two Jacks, but you cannot make this move if you have a Ten and a Queen. Splitting Aces is also permitted and in contrast to many other versions, in such cases you can receive several cards to each hand. However, it is worth mentioning that if you are dealt a 10-valued card, this hand is considered as 21 instead of blackjack and therefore, the payout is also different. You are not allowed to surrender and doubling down after splitting is not permitted either. Re-splitting is also among the moves that are forbidden in this variation.
The standard payout for blackjack applies here as well and you will get paid 3/2 for this winning combination. In this version, you can place an insurance bet which pays 2/1. This move can be made if the up card of the dealer is an Ace. The rest of the winning hands pay even money. It should be noted that the payout is determined by the casinos and therefore, it can vary, depending on the place you are playing at. This variation is considered to be fairly beneficial for players as its house edge is less than 1%.
First of all, you need to place the amount of the bet you wish in the designated betting area, usually located in front of you on the table. It should be noted that prior to playing it is essential to have a look at the table limits and only join the game if they are in accordance with your bankroll. After you’ve placed your wager, you receive your first two cards face up. It is possible to see only one of the dealer’s cards as it is dealt face up.
This is the stage in which you have to make up your mind and decide which move to make. You can either stand or hit and if appropriate and permitted, you can also double down or split a pair. Before playing, it is best to always learn a strategy, regardless of the variation you are trying as this is the only way to manage to make the best possible move in a particular situation and reduce your money losses to the full.
Strategy for European Blackjack
Blackjack is a skill-based game, meaning that besides luck, it also requires a strategy. It is possible to influence the outcome of every hand by implementing a strategy plan correctly. The same applies for all of the variations of this game, including European Blackjack. It is essential to learn a basic strategy and follow it throughout the game if you want to make the most of every game and decrease the house edge. For a start, let’s have a look at some useful tips which have proven to work over the course of time.
Gambling experts advise that you should double down when you have a pair of 5’s or a ten and an eleven and the dealer’s up card is from two through nine. It is also recommended to make this move if you have a twelve and the dealer is in a weak position – whenever his up card is from two through six. The general rule regarding doubling down is that you should do so whenever the dealer is placed in a disadvantages position as in such cases, you have higher chances of winning the hand. Many proficient players try to get the most out of such situations in order to compensate for their previous losses.
If you get a pair of Aces, then it is best to always split them, without having to consider the up card of the dealer as this move is appropriate in any case. When it comes to the insurance bet that it is possible to be placed, in general it is considered to be rather unfavorable for players. Since European Blackjack is played with two decks of cards, the house edge of this bet is significantly increased and therefore, it is best to avoid it.
Playing Online European Blackjack
Playing European Blackjack in an online casino offers a number of advantages. First of all, you can play this exciting card game from home, without having to go all the way to a brick and mortar casino. Also, most online casinos give its customers the chance to play in free mode which is a great opportunity to try the game just for fun, without risking your own funds. Furthermore, some online casinos offer live European Blackjack which is hosted by a professional dealer in real time. This way you can get an extremely genuine experience of the game and enjoy it like never before.
It should be noted that when this game is played online, some of the aforementioned rules might vary and thus, it is always a good idea to double check them beforehand. For instance, in online European Blackjack the deck is usually shuffled before the dealing of the cards.
European Blackjack is a fairly fast-paced game that is both very challenge and entertaining. The excitement this game offers attracts a number of players from all over the world. Nowadays, it can be found in almost every casino which is a clear indicator that this variation is one of the most popular blackjack games. It is definitely worth a try, however before doing so, have a look at its rules and gameplay in order to know what to expect.