Top 5 Blackjack Variants You Should Try in 2021

Samantha Browne
  • Written By Samantha Browne
  • Edited
  • Reading 7 minutes

Whether you are playing online or at a brick-and-mortar casino, Blackjack will undoubtedly be a familiar name. Very few other forms of gambling come close to the popularity of this game. Not only has it been around for years and years, but it has also spawned several variations throughout its existence.

While the core concepts of Blackjack remain the same, each of these variations brings something unique to the table. You will have fun with just about all of them.

If, however, you are not sure which one to pick, here are the top 5 Blackjack variants to try out:

  1. Classic (American)
  2. European
  3. Vegas Strip
  4. Spanish 21
  5. Face Up 21

Classic (American) Blackjack

Classic Blackjack Icon

As much as Blackjack has evolved over the years, the good old classic variation still has a huge following.

The chances are that you have had some experience with this variant since it is very popular – it is played both casually as well as in commercially gambling settings. Just about every online and land-based casino will have this game available.

The game’s goal is to create a hand where the total value of the cards is as close to 21 as possible. Players play against the dealer. Each of them receives two cards and the gameplay involves choosing to either hit or stay.

When players “hit” it means that they choose to pick another card. Choosing “stay” means that they have opted to keep the cards that they have been dealt. If the cards in their hands happen to exceed 21 it is a bust, and the player who does so loses the game.

Moreover, it is simple and easy to play even for newbies. For avid gamers, the allure of the game comes from the fact that the house edge is low compared to other games.

In many casinos, its house edge can be as low as 0.5% or even less. You will need a great blackjack strategy to make the most of this though. The classic variant also appeals to people who love games that have a social element.

European Blackjack

European Blackjack Icon

As its name suggests, this is the variant of Blackjack that traces its roots back to Europe. While it is also very popular in that part of the world, it also has an impressive following in other parts of the world.

It is not an easy variant to find at brick-and-mortar casinos in the United States. However, you will not miss it at most of the online casinos that cater to US players.

Most people love it because it offers somewhat better odds, especially when compared to classic Blackjack. The slightly better odds are usually because this variant of Blackjack usually involves using two decks of cards.

Most of the other variants will use up to 6 decks of cards in a single card. As such, European blackjack is generally more predictable than its counterparts.

The house edge of this variant clocks in at an impressive 0.39% or even less.

Another notable aspect of European Blackjack is that dealer Blackjack versus player Blackjack results in a push. The dealer does not check for Blackjack until every player has played the entire hand.

The players can double down on point totals of 9, 10, and 11. Doubling is restricted after splitting and there is no option to resplit.

Vegas Strip Blackjack

Strip Blackjack Icon

This amazing variant of Blackjack is named after the stretch of South Las Boulevard which, for many, is a gambling and entertainment paradise. However, the name is not the only thing it has going for it.

What sets Strip Blackjack apart from the classic Blackjack game that it is based on is the ‘peek for Blackjack‘ aspect. This is an action that the dealer performs if a 10 or an Ace is showing as an up card.

Since it uses the same rules as Classic Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack is very easy to learn.

The game also features some lucrative payout potential. That is all thanks to its amazing odds which bring the house edge in some places to as low as 1%.

The game pays 3:2 and players can play insurance for a payout of 2:1. Players also have the options to hit, stand, and double down depending on the value of the cards in their hands.

Fans of the game can find it at several casinos in Las Vegas Strip. It is also a very popular offering at many of the top real money blackjack casinos. The experience is the same across the board regardless of the platform you choose to play on.

Spanish 21 Blackjack

Spanish 21 Icon

This is perhaps one of the most well-known variants after classic Blackjack. Its popularity mainly comes from the fact that it is built around giving the player the most chances to win. That is done by taking out all the ’10’ cards from the deck – these are the Jack, Queen and King for blackjack.

While that could mean that the house edge gets a big boost, everything evens out thanks to the rules that favor the player.

Since it is an extremely player-friendly game, Spanish 21 is available in many land-based casinos across the United States. It is also one of the staple Blackjack offerings at many online betting platforms. Many players love the thrill of playing exciting games with relatively low house edges. The fact that the rules lean towards favoring the player makes it even more appealing.

The rules that favor the players include the fact that resplitting is allowed even for aces. Players are also allowed to double down on any point total after any amount cards that they have dealt.

As if that is not enough, they can also double even after splitting. Depending on the kind of strategy used, the house edge can be as low as 0.38%. This will, of course, vary from one casino to the next but with an optimal strategy, the players can significantly increase their chances of winning.

Face Up 21

Face Up 21 Blackjack

With Face Up 21 Blackjack, the game takes an even more interesting turn. While this variant is most popular at online casino sites, there are quite a few brick-and-mortar casinos that have the variant on offer.

In the United States, for instance, it can be found in several of the top casinos as well as on all the leading online casinos. The house edge is quite high at 0.69% but that is made better by its features. Players can also still better their chances by utilizing or incorporating a solid betting strategy.

Its defining feature is given away by its name. That is, in Face Up 21 Blackjack, the dealer’s card is always facing up. This means that the players have more valuable information that they can use to their advantage in their quest towards landing a win. But that is not all that makes the game fun and interesting to play.

The game allows the players to double down after they split. This is, however, only permitted on a total card number of 9, 10, and 11. Also, in cases where the dealer has a blackjack against the player’s blackjack, that counts as a loss. Moreover, it only pays out even money. Considering the game’s popularity, all that has not been enough to deter Blackjack enthusiasts from enjoying this game.

Summary

These are just a few of the variations of Blackjack that make it a timeless form of entertainment for casino game lovers.

Other honorable mentions include the likes of:

  • Pontoon
  • Match Play 21
  • Perfect Pairs
  • Double Exposure Blackjack
  • Blackjack Switch
  • Multi-Hand Blackjack

Your choice could depend on several factors including your bankroll or even how adventurous you are.

Either way, these games have been known to deliver unforgettable experiences since time immemorial. You will not be disappointed by what the modern gaming scene has to offer in that regard.

All you need to do is to ensure that you are playing at a reputable blackjack casino.

Author: Marion Duncan