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European Blackjack Introduction
European Blackjack is one of the most popular variations of the Classic theme. It’s the predecessor of the game as it’s played in the United States and other parts of the world. In some casinos It’s available both as a single hand or multi hand game.
Basic Rules and Betting Limits
European Blackjack games are played with two or more decks of 52 cards and the aim is to get a higher count than the dealer without going over 21.
One of the differences from the American version is how the cards are dealt. The dealer only takes one card while the players draw two. At that stage the players make the decision about how they want to proceed in the game. They can Hit or Stand but only when they are satisfied, will the dealer take the second card.
- Aces count as either 1 or 11 depending which is most useful.
- Kings, Queens and Jacks count as 10.
- Number cards 2-10 retain their face value.
- The different suits don’t matter.
If the cards dealt, add up to more than 21’ you are ‘bust’ regardless of the dealer’s hand. If the dealer is bust you win the hand. The cards are shuffled after each game.
Betting limits do vary considerably but most casinos offer both high and low stakes games, which make the European Blackjack game perfect for both the new online casino player and the more experienced one high roller.
How to Play European Blackjack
After you decide on your wager amount and have been dealt your first two cards you have two options – Hit or Stand. To Hit is to request another card from the dealer in order to improve your total – you can continue Hitting until you are happy with your hand. To Stand is to take no further cards and play this hand against the dealer
A number of buttons allow you to keep control of the game.
- Hit – request another card
- Stand – keep the hand dealt
- Paid – will reveal your total winnings
- Bet – shows your total bet amount
- Clear – lets you clear a bet from the table
- Options – a menu of controls, showing, for example: game speed, graphic quality and audio controls.
- Dealer stands on all 17 hands. This will vary depending on the casino.
- A hard hand is one that does not include an ace. A soft hand does contain an ace.
Types of Bets Which can be Placed in European Blackjack
- Double Down – on hands worth 9, 10 or 11 points
- Rebet– repeats the last bet without starting a new game.
- Split – if the first two cards in your hand are the same value you can split them into two separate hands. This places an additional bet equal to the original bet. Individual casinos will handle this in different ways
- Insurance – if the dealer’s face up card is an ace, insurance is an option available to you if you believe the dealer might have Blackjack
- Surrender – the player quits after being dealt the original cards and keeps half of the original wager. Some casinos do not allow surrender.
- Perfect Pairs – a side bet on the chances of being dealt a pair. Not all casinos will offer this bet.
- Push – when the total of both hands are the same it means nobody wins and your stake is returned.
- Blackjack pays 3:2
- Winning insurance bets will usually be paid at 2:1.
- Standard wins 1:1
- All ties push
Payout rates may vary between casinos.
Best Places to Play European Blackjack Online
There are many casinos that offer European Blackjack online, but before sitting down at the table do a little research first to find the one that’s right for you. Check out what promotions are on offer and how often they change, what bonuses are up for grabs and what the wagering requirements are. In addition, security and customer service are essential parts of the equation.
Don’t forget about the importance of the software that powers the game. As the marketplace becomes ever more crowded, software engineers are always on the lookout for new feature to add to the game.
Some of the leading software companies in the gaming industry are:
- Net entertainment (NetEnt)
- Microgaming Casinos
Summary of European Blackjack
If your aim is to learn how to play European Blackjack but need a little time to learn the rules and get to grips with some of the less familiar tactics, look for a casino that lets you play free European Blackjack. It’s a great way to gain some understanding and confidence before playing with real money.
European Blackjack, in line with most of the other variations of the game, has low house edges although in percentage terms it does depend on a number of factors. Side bets, for example, will give the house an increased edge.
You can play most European Blackjack casino games on PC, Android device and iPad and iPhone.