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Blackjack Tips, Options and Variations for Players | Casino Gallery 71The objective in Blackjack is to accumulate cards with total points reached or approaching as close as possible to the number 21 without exceeding it, while having a number greater than that of the dealer. Cards representing figures (King, Queen, Jack) are worth 10 points while Aces can be 1 or 11, if needed. All other cards are represented by their respective face value.

The dealer does not make any decision on his own. It is, in fact, decided in advance in the rules of the game that he must accumulate cards until he gets a minimum of 17 (in some cases, the dealer must take another card when his total of 17 implies an ace [Soft 17] whose value can be considered 1 or 11). These rules are usually written on the table.

A blackjack table can seat up to 6 players. Cards, from 1 to 8 sets of 52 cards, are dealt by the dealer.
To start the game, the player must place his bet in front of him. The amount of the bets are normally limited. After that, the dealer distributes the cards from his left, or clockwise.

The player receives two cards at the start, which is called “hand” (Hand) while the dealer gets one (or two, but one hidden). The player must decide whether to add a card to the number he has accumulated (Hit or Draw) or not (Stand). To do this, he must take into consideration his own number, the dealer’s card and the probabilities. The player loses his bet when he exceeds 21 or when the dealer’s hand is superior to him.

When the sums of the player’s and the dealer’s cards are equal (push), the player gets his wager. When the player beats the dealer, he wins the amount equal to his stake. If the player gets 21 using his first two cards, commonly called “Natural Blackjack”, he wins 1.5 his bet (3 for 2). In the case where the dealer exceeds 21 (Bust), all players, whose number is less than 21, win.

The different options offered to the player


When the dealer’s starting card is an Ace, the player is offered the opportunity to bet on a dealer’s Blackjack. To do this, he must bet half of his original bet. If the dealer gets a Blackjack, the player wins the bet 2 times but loses the original bet. Net result = 0
If the dealer’s cards do not form a blackjack, the player loses the bet and the game continues. If the player’s hand wins, he wins the amount equal to his original bet. Net result = 1.5 its original bet

Abandonment (Surrender)

The option to give up is offered to you after the distribution of the cards of departure. You will have to return half of your bet.


The option of separating a pair (2 identical cards) and forming two hands. The initial bet of the player is thus doubled, added to the new hand. The player will then play one hand at a time.

Doubling (Double)

The option to double your hand of 2 cards is offered under certain conditions. Your bet is then increased by double and the dealer gives you one additional card. This option is usually offered when the total number of your 2 starting cards reaches 9, 10 or 11.

Variations and basic strategies

Atlantic City

This variant allows the player to double any combination of 2 cards. Split offers the opportunity to double its stake. The dealer must stop on a Soft 17. The following chart is the basic strategy to follow for the Atlantic City Blackjack which reduces the advantage of the dealer to about 0.40% for 8 games. This will print only the basic strategy.

Blackjack Switch

A new version of Blackjack that allows the player to swap cards with both hands. The rules are the same as in standard Blackjack except that the player plays two hands in turn. The player has the opportunity to interchange the second cards of each of his hands before proceeding.
In exchange, a Blackjack only pays once and a “Push” (equality) is recorded when the dealer’s cards total 22.
Super Match is an additional option of the Blackjack Switch which allows the player to bet on the possibility of to have a pair, a set or a square using the first 4 cards.
By following the basic strategy, the player only pays a small advantage at home, about 0.05%.

European Blackjack

A variation of blackjack that limits the double to the numbers 9, 10 and 11. The split is limited to 3 hands without possibility of doubling. Abandonment is not allowed. Among the advantages for the player, the European Blackjack is played two games and the dealer must stop on a soft 17. Here is the basic strategy chart that can limit the advantage of the house to about 0.39 %.

Las Vegas Downtown

Here we can double any combination of two cards. The dealer must take another card on a soft 17. The dealer’s advantage is about 0.40% for two games by following the following basic strategy.

Las Vegas Strip

Same rules as for Las Vegas Downtown with one exception: the dealer must stop on a Soft 17. The basic strategy reduces the house advantage to about 0.36% for four games.

Spanish 21

This variant changes the game considerably. Among other benefits, the player wins any Blackjack (3: 2) and any tie of 21. One can double at any time, regardless of the total number and the number of cards. We can give up after doubling (without having exceeded 21) and thus recovered his initial bet. Split is allowed up to 4 hands, including Aces, as well as Double after Split. The dealer must add a card to a Soft 17. In addition, a 21-card, 5-pay 3: 2 card, consisting of six pay 2: 1 cards, and seven pay 3: 1 cards. A three-card series of 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 pays 3: 2. The same suit of the same color pays 2: 1, whereas if it is of Spades color, it pays 3: 1. To counter all these benefits, all 10 are removed from the game. The advantage of the dealer is around 0.40%.