Blackjack variations: 7 different types of blackjack games

Blackjack in different variants is the most popular card/table game played in casinos around the world. Being able to trace its origins to the 1600s, it is also one of the oldest card games played in the casino since its invention.

Its variations and types are common in almost all continents, and the rules in the different countries can be different. However, this does not make it less exciting, on the contrary, connoisseurs get an opportunity to try out new types of this gambling game.

Blackjack is a popular card game
List of popular variations and types of games, including 21

Blackjack is more of an «umbrella» term used to refer to several different types and variations of blackjack. Although the ultimate goal of any blackjack option is to achieve (or close to achieving) 21 points without busting, the different variations have slightly different rules, which we will discuss below.

The options and types of blackjack are far from being limited to the suggested list of types, but they are the most common among fans of risking money and making a big score.

Blackjack has different game options

  1. Dealer stands on soft 17

    According to the rules of the game, the croupier is not allowed to draw additional cards if the sum is 17 and Ace is one of those cards.
  2. Seventeen points (hard total)

    The dealer takes extra cards if a total less than 16 or 17 but does have an Ace as a part of that total (soft 17).
  3. Blackjack classic: 21

    This variant of the rules is a real duel between the participant and the dealer. The player does not have the variants to double, insure, or split. In this variation, when he wins, he gets as much money as he bet.
  4. The perfect pair

    This variant of the game is for real adrenaline junkies. The shoe has 5 decks, and a player can place a side bet for additional winnings. If player’s first 2 cards have the same suit and face value — you are in luck, and you will win 25 times the amount you have wagered on that side bet. At the same time, the house edge in this variation can reach 6% or even more. The outcome of the battle does not depend on the skill of the participants, it is only a matter of luck.
  5. The scotch variation

    The feature of this type — after the first hand the player has the right to exchange any two cards with the dealer. For example, if a gambler is given 10-6 and 5-10, he can change two of them to make hands 10-10 and 6-5. Natural blackjack in this variant of the rules pays 1:1 instead of standard 3:2, and croupier 22 is pushed. In this type of blackjack, a dealer doesn't take extra cards if he already has 17 points in his hands. The player can use the bonus and bet on the super match. If one pair matches, the win will be equal to the bet. If three-match, the bet will payout five-fold. Two pairs will win you eight times the amount at stake. The maximum possible win is 40 times the bet. In order to do so, the player must match four pairs.
  6. Variation «in the open»

    This is the most popular variant among casino visitors, because it is simple, accessible and does not require special analytical abilities. In this particular variation, the croupier shows his hole cards — deals them face up.
  7. Type «double attack»

    The dealer's cards are opened as soon as they are dealt. After that, the players can double. You can insure three to one. If the dealer shows up blackjack in one pair (ten and ace) at the showdown, the player loses the money, but gets a «double attack». In this variation, you can increase the bet on any hand, including split Aces.
  8. Single deck option

    In this variant, only one deck is used. If you understand and play classic blackjack, you will be able to master any of its variations.
  9. Blackjack with double exposure

    This variant has one of the highest house edges — 0,69%, which makes it one of the most difficult types of blackjack to win. Double exposure USES 8 decks. Both cards are dealt in the open, and the croupier is forced to draw on soft 17. Players can only double on 9 and 11even after a split.
  10. Variants of super fun 21

    This option differs from the traditional blackjack:
  • a gambler automatically wins if his hand has six cards or more in total of 20. This rule applies even if the dealer has 21 (blackjack);
  • it is possible to split the hand up to four times;
  • the player's blackjack replaces the dealer's blackjack;
  • a player can «double» at any time, and automatically doubles his money with a hand of five or more cards, which totals 21.

Another important difference between super fun 21 and traditional blackjack is that it pays only 6 to 5 instead of the traditional 3 to 2. This more than offsets the advantage offered by a casino with the various liberal rules described above. Not to be confused with a similar type of blackjack called fun 2, it is a different variation.

Several specific variations and types

Variations and types of blackjack

Certain types of blackjack have been formed in the local regions and, despite the subsequent rather widespread distribution around the world, retain their characteristics in different variants on the game.

  1. Spanish 21

    The Spanish card deck does not include 10s. If both the dealer and the player score a blackjack, the winner is awarded to the gambler, not the casino. If a player gets 21 using five cards, the win will be 3 to 2, at six the payout will be 2 to 1, and at seven — 3 to 1. You can score 50:1 by picking up three sevens.
  2. Ponton, come on

    In this variant of the game, cards are dealt face up, two to each player and dealer. The terms used are slightly different from the classic variants: twist (stop), stick (demand another card), purchase (double). To double (buy), you need to split a hand, however you cannot split more than three hands in one game. 
  3. The European variant

    They use two decks, and sometimes they call it a «two-deck» blackjack. This variant has the casino edge of 0,39% and most often requires a dealer to «soft» 17. Like other various variants, the European blackjack only doubles from 9 or 11.
  4. California variation

    This type originated in poker rooms in southern California, where the traditional variant was banned because the player is playing against the casino. California blackjack has circumvented the law, by gambler assuming the role of banker. The banking role will move around the table every two hands. So everyone will have the opportunity to become the banker, if they so choose. A banker plays against all the other participants at the table. The banker's bet is a «bank» for the hand when others try to win, while the banker tries to increase the bank. Here are a few different features in the rules of these variations:
    • jokers are also included and are counted as either 2 or 1;
    • the goal is to get 22 instead of 21;
    • players do not lose automatically when they are drop out.
    • This has led to what is often called «blackjack without interruption».
  5. Variations with free bets

    The most popular new variants in Las Vegas. The rules allow players to double the bet by 9–11 for free. Almost all separation can also be done free of charge. Replicas and doubles after the split are also in the house. In exchange for all these great rules, beneficial to the players, the casino pushes the casino fuses all hands that did not lose or get blackjack when the croupier falls 22.
  6. Vegas Strip

    This variant is played with 4 standard decks. In this variation, the dealer is forced to stand on soft 17 and can look at his closed card to see if he has a blackjack. The house edge in Vegas strip or 4-deck blackjack is about 0.34%.
  7. Venetian blackjack

    One type of online blackjack that is characterized by low payouts: they pay only 6 to 5 instead of the traditional 3 to 2. This variation is offered at the Venetian casino in Las Vegas.
  8. Atlantic city

    This variation resembles the Vegas strip, but it is played 8 decks, and the house edge is slightly higher — about 0,35%. Another difference between Atlantic city and Vegas strip is that you are given a surrender option, which allows you to exit the hand and refund 50% of your original bet.
  9. The Chinese one

    There are many different variations that make this game Asian. Hands in the Chinese variations start just like the usual: each player and croupier gets two cards. This is where similarities end and differences begin to accumulate. Two aces is an automatic win, dealers can choose whether to fold or stand, and aces are treated differently depending on how many cards you have.
  10. Challenge blackjack

    The challenge variations are owned by the star casino, located in Sydney, Australia. So this interesting new twist in blackjack can only be found in this particular casino.

Different, lesser-known variants and types of blackjack

Different types of blackjack are played in the casino

These types may not be widely known to the general public, but they deserve a mention and can be quite enjoyable.

  1. A military variant

    This type more of a side bet than a game. Betting on war is like a standard home card game. Both dealer and a player get a card. Higher card wins. In this variant, ace jr., and the casino wins all draws. The player has the variant to cancel any winning bet or use it to win the original bet. Once the war bet is evaluated, the player and dealer are dealt another card.
  2. Type pitch blackjack

    Pitch is played with one or two decks, this variation gets its name from the pitch action that the dealer uses for distribution. The pitch-blackjack variant is commonly referred to as the «single-deck» type. Card counters can easily take advantage of this, so different casinos do not offer it. Cards are dealt face down to each player who holds them in his hand as in an old-fashioned poker hand.
  3. Type buster

    This is not really a blackjack variant, but a standard game with an extra bet that is paid each time a dealer loses. Since the croupier busts less often than not, the jackpot becomes more attractive by increasing the payout for each additional card that the dealer is forced to ruin.
  4. Multi-channel type (with several hands)

    Of course, you can play multiple hands in different land-based casinos, but only if you have an empty seat at the table next to you. There is no such restriction online, and you can play as many different hands as you want whenever you want. It's a standard game, but instead of playing one hand at a time, you can play up to eight hands at the same time in a dynamic and intense blackjack game, impossible in the real world.
  5. Carnival blackjack variant

    Carnival game type takes place on cruises and has different features:
  • 6 dollar tables pay 6/5 and use automatic shufflers (continuous stirring);
  • $25 tables pay 3/2 and use shoes;
  • unlimited number of splits, except aces.

Even today more and more new variations and types of rules are being developed. It will be interesting to see if anyone can come up with a variant that will become more popular than the original. It is obviously a difficult task, but when it comes to casino games, you never know.