Blackjack is one of the world’s most popular online casino card games. It is pretty easy to win this game, as you can develop various well-thought strategies that can get fair odds for you. If you can learn how to play this game decently, you should reduce the house edge significantly. You can use many strategies to gain the upper hand over the house. We have seen cases where players take advantage of card counting and many other advantage techniques to put one over the casino; these rarely happen in the gambling industry, and that’s why blackjack is unique.
As we said above, this game is played by many punters worldwide. However, the rules that guide this game vary. Why is this so? There are tons of different blackjack variants. Some offer mild changes in the game, while others are almost entirely different from the original version. Be rest assured, as most of these variations offer similar odds to players. But choosing the variation you wish to play is totally up to you.
One of the many variations of this popular blackjack is the European Blackjack, which is our centre of focus in this article. This variant is very similar to American Blackjack or standard blackjack. American Blackjack is the most played variant in the world, and people in North America are very familiar with it. But even though European Blackjack is quite similar to American Blackjack, some minor tweaks in the former make it offer a whole new experience. Many gamblers worldwide have already liked European Blackjack, making the European variant one of the most sought-after styles. This write-up will give you essential information about the rules and discuss some of the game’s features.
How to Play European Blackjack
If you are not acquainted with blackjack and its variants, do not fret, as we will first review the basic rules of European Blackjack. This card game features gameplay in which the players compete against the dealer to get a better hand by having a score as close as possible to 21. Anything above 21 is not acceptable. Numbers represent the cards; The face cards and tens are given 10 points, and the numbered cards are given the exact numerical value. On the other hand, Aces are very special and have 11 points. However, if that will take the overall score of the hand above 21, the ace will alternatively have a value of 1 point.
The game begins whenever each player on the table places a bet and receives two face-up cards. A hand will also be dealt to the dealer (in the standard version, the dealer receives two cards, one face up and one face down, while in the European variant, they only receive the card facing up at the beginning of the game).
When a player has a ten-point card (face cards and ten-numbered cards), it is said that the player has made the best hand, known as “blackjack”. The hand has a payout of 3 – 2 odds, but if the dealer also has one “blackjack hand”, the hand will push.
Players whose points fall below 21 will be offered the chance to play out their hands. These players can take any of the actions listed below:
- Hit – One more card is given to the player to add value to their hand score.
- Stand – The player decides to end their turn by sticking with the value on their hand.
- Split – The players can decide to split their cards into two different hands if they have two cards of identical values. As the game continues, you will play each of these hands for one bet.
- Double Down – The player can decide to double their bet on their first hand in exchange for an additional card. The player must stand after taking this action.
- Surrender – A player can decide to give up half of their total bet after viewing the initial hand so that they can end play immediately. This action helps players so they won’t lose all their bets.
In the standard version and the European version, the Hit and Stand action work in the same way. But the remaining actions, like surrender, double down, and split, vary depending on the type of blackjack you are playing. If the value of the player’s hand is worth above 21 (22 and above), their hand loses immediately, which means they have “busted”, and the player will lose all the bets associated with the hand.
Immediately the players are done with their hands. The dealer will then deal with or reveal their own’ second card. There are strict rules guiding the dealer on how he will proceed. These rules are:
- If the dealer has a hand value of 16 and below, they will always hit.
- If the dealer has a hand value of 18 and above, they will always stand.
- If the dealer has a hand value of 17, the rules vary on different blackjack types. In some variants, they can always stand on 17, while in others, they will hit on “soft” 17s (the hands in which the dealer has an ace with the value of 11, that is, if they take an additional card, you won’t bust them.
The hands are then scored immediately after the dealer stands or is busted in the case where the dealer busts. All the player bets will win at similar money odds. In cases where the dealer plays the stand action, the dealer and player’s hands will be compared, and the hand with the higher score wins. If the player has the higher hand, The player wins equal money on his stake if his hand has the higher value, but if the value of the dealer’s hand is higher, the player forfeits their money. If the value of the Dealer and Player’s hands are similar, both hands push, and nobody wins or loses their money.
The rules above apply to any Blackjack game, which is why we didn’t go into detail, as that is where the various Blackjack types differentiate themselves. European Blackjack has a few rule changes, which might seem insignificant, but they have offered a significant factor in the gameplay. We shall discuss a little about them below.
Basic Rules and Payouts
European Blackjack is arguably one of the easiest to play Blackjack variants out there, and the gameplay is straightforward to understand. It has many rules guiding how you play it, but it quickly sinks into your head when you read it, and start playing. This Blackjack variant is played using a six-pack of cards containing 52 cards, but other variants use between 2 to 8 decks of cards. The dealer reshuffles the cards immediately after each round. The next round will then start with a new shoe. This card game aims to have a better hand than the dealer with only 21 points. If you have a hand that contains similar cards, the game allows you to split the cards into two different hands, although there are some exceptions. In contrast to the remaining blackjack variations, the surrender action is unavailable on European Blackjack.
If a player has a winning hand, they will win similar (even) money, which means they will be given the exact amount of cash they wagered. But, if they have a hand that consists of a 10-value card and an ace, they will also be able to hit a hand known as “blackjack”. This hand gives the players a 3:2 payout. Every once in a while, players might come into contact with a game which will give them a Blackjack reward of 6:5. Players should avoid these games so they can find games with better payouts. In addition, if a hand has a value of 21, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a Blackjack, and even money will be your payout. Also, if you hit a blackjack because you played the split action, you will receive a 1:1 payout.
Insurance in European Blackjack
Insurance is an essential element of blackjack, and this feature is also present in European Blackjack. In blackjack, whenever the dealer’s opening hand contains an ace, they will offer a side bet feature, and this side bet is known as Insurance. As a player, if you suspect that the dealer’s second card is a face card or a 10-value card, which will give the dealer a blackjack hand, you can decide to place this side bet. This bet costs 50% of the initial bet’s value and has a payout of 2:1. If your prediction is correct, the dealer’s other card is a 10-value card, and the dealer hits blackjack, and you win the bet. Therefore, you will win back the initial money you wagered and bring back your net bankroll to its initial amount before you make a bet.
This side bet is very popular with most Blackjack types. But statistics have shown us that the risk of taking this side bet is too high. The chances that the game anchor/dealer will draw a 10-value card is meagre compared to that of a non-10-value card, making Insurance needless. Remember that you won’t make any gains if you place the insurance bet. These two facts have made it glaring that this side bet is a bad deal, and avoiding it means avoiding unnecessary risk.
Double Down in European Blackjack
Double Down is another essential feature to look out for when playing online European Blackjack. If you wish to make a significant profit when playing blackjack, you must master this feature. What does double down mean? Double Down means increasing the bet you placed on your initial bet by two in exchange for an additional card. If you manage to win, you will be awarded the respective payout. After you have used the double-down feature, your playing state will move from open to locked. That means you won’t be able to use any other feature (hit, Insurance, or split) again apart from the stand option.
For some players, doubling down is essential as it gives them a significant boost to their bankroll, but if care is not taken, they can also lose a massive amount of money. So, it is advisable to place double downs on bets with a high chance of winning. For example, you can place double-down features when you are dealt an Ace, 10 or a 9.
Splitting in European Blackjack
Splitting is another one of the top features in European Blackjack, and it spices up the gameplay. From time to time, players would be dealt a hand that contains two different cards with similar values. When such happens, players will be given the option of splitting the hand to create an extra one using one of the two cards with similar values. After doing this, you can place another bet with the same value as the original one. Then the anchor will deal two more cards, one for each of the split hands, and these hands will be autonomous. In addition, some other versions of blackjack allow their players to split the hands that have already been split before, but this doesn’t occur occasionally. As we said above, each hand has autonomous operations with their wagers and a different pack of cards. Because of that, the result of the first hand will not affect the other hand, and vice versa.
One thing to keep at the back of your mind is that it is not all similar hands you will be able to split. For example, in some online gambling sites, players cannot split a hand containing two 10-value cards if the cards are not similar. Let’s take, for example, a King and a Ten, they both have a 10-point value, but they are not of the same type. Hence you cannot split them. However, splitting cards like that is somewhat unnecessary. You are free to split whatever card you wish to split as a player, but we recommend that on some specific occasions, you don’t split hands like two 4s, two 5s, or two 10s. The hands you can split safely regardless of the situation include Aces, 8s, 7s, 6s, 3s and 2s.
Terminologies in Blackjack
You cannot identify as a professional blackjack player if you don’t know at least 80% of the terms they use during gameplay. We have taken it upon ourselves to enlighten you on some terminologies used in blackjack so that you can learn how to speak like an expert Blackjack gambler, as knowing how to play alone is not enough. Below are the most common terms used by dealers and players when they play blackjack.
- Bankroll – Bankroll is the total sum of money that players have access to for their gambling purposes. Make sure you separate this from your college funds.
- Bust – A bust means a hand with a higher value than 21 points. Players automatically lose their bets if they have a bust, and you can only have a bust after hitting. You can always avoid a bust, as you always start a game with two cards, and they can never be above 21 points.
- Burn Card – A burn card is the first card the dealer draws from the pack of cards. It is removed from the top of the pack of cards to disrupt the cards’ order and sabotage any cheating attempts.
- Card Counting – An effective system of tracking cards that are still available in the Blackjack deck to predict the chance of the dealer’s hand to bust. However, card counting is not helpful in online blackjack, as these establishments use the Random Number Generator System.
- Deck Penetration – Deck Penetration is the Cards’ percentage used since the last shuffle. Card counters of offline blackjack use this information.
- Face Cards – The face cards include the Jack / Joker, the Queens and the Kings in a pack of cards.
- Flat Betting – This means betting the same amount for every hand. The bet sizes are all the same, and although it is considered a poor strategy, it is reasonable using this strategy if you are not counting cards.
- Hard Hand – A hard hand is a term given to hands with only one value. It is also a hand with a very high value; any Aces present in it can only have a value of 1.
- Heads Up – It is used when only one player is playing on the table. Most European Blackjack online free games are played heads up.
- House Edge – House Edge refers to the advantage that the casino has over the players in the long term. It is usually represented as a per cent of the player’s first bet. House Edge is the difference between the percentage payout offered by the casino on a bet and the actual probability that the event the player bet on happens. The house edge is usually unique to bets, games, strategies, and players.
- Natural – This is a term used for hands that do not require that players make any action to make their cards worth 21 points. This hand only has two cards, and it can never lose.
- Paint – Blackjack players also use this slang term to refer to their face cards.
- Push – Whenever a round ends with a tie between the player and the dealer, it is known as a push. It is neither a win nor a loss for either of them.
- Soft Hand – A hand with more than one ace, which can have a value of 11 or 1, is known as a soft hand. This hand is very flexible and protects the players from having a bust after the first hit.
- Up Card – The Up Card is the dealer’s card that is dealt face up. Players who wish to count cards or follow basic blackjack strategies can get tangible information from the Up Card. It gives players clues about the possibilities that the house has.
How To Win European Blackjack
European Blackjack is a straightforward game to understand, but you can use various betting strategies when winning this game. We will enlighten you on some strategies you can use to win this game.
This card game has inspired various sequential/repetitive betting systems.
You can apply these betting systems for a sequence or series of games defined through sequential or repetitive play. Players use this strategy to boost the possibility of them beating the dealer. Listed below are some of the most popular strategies used in European Blackjack.
- Martingale Strategy – In this Martingale strategy, players double their bets whenever they lose. Players can use this strategy to cover back the amount they lost in the previous round in the next round. With a single massive bet, they can wipe out their previous losses. This strategy is a high-risk high, reward strategy, as there is no guarantee that they will win their next round.
- d’Alembert Strategy – In contrast to the Martingale strategy, players double their bet after each loss. In d’Alembert, players increase the number of their bets by 1 unit after each loss. And if they win, they will lower their wager by one unit. D’Alembert’s betting strategy is one of the safest in European Blackjack.
- Fibonacci Strategy – This system/strategy is based on a popular mathematical sequence known as the Fibonacci counting sequence. In this sequence, the next number on the sequence is the sum of the two preceding numbers. The sequence goes thus: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233 and so on. When implemented into a betting system, the player’s bet advances concerning the Fibonacci sequence every time they lose their bet. If the player wins, he will stick to the number he was when he won until his next loss. This strategy is similar to Martingale’s but is not as aggressive as it is.
- 1-3-2-6 Strategy – This strategy is also called the split strategy. In this 1-3-2-6 strategy, players wager their bets consecutively following the order of the numbers. The unit bet goes up only if the player wins; if they lose, their bet remains in the first unit until another win.
- Parlay Strategy – The parlay strategy is also called the positive progression gambling strategy. It entails that players are expected to build a pyramid of wins. If the player wins, they will wager the original bet together with their winnings. If the player loses a bet, they will wager the initial bet only.
- Oscar’s Grind Strategy – They initially designed this strategy for the crap game. They have successfully made the Blackjack adaptation similar to the crap version. The strategy is a successive type in which the player increases his bet by one unit each time he wins. The bet is doubled every time the player wins.
Where To Play European Blackjack
European Blackjack is one of the most common blackjack variants, and it has gained popularity worldwide over the years. You can find and play European Blackjack online for free and real money on many online betting sites available around the globe. This card game is more straightforward than poker, as you will quickly get the hang of it, provided you follow the basic rules and learn more about the game’s features discussed above. Whether a beginner or an expert, you can equally play the game easily. You can even find some online betting sites that offer blackjack games majorly. Many blackjack variants, including European Blackjack, are offered by numerous software providers.
If you want to learn the rules, basics and gameplay of European Blackjack without spending your money, you can go to online casinos that offer gamblers the chance to play European Blackjack online free. Most reputable online gambling sites offer the game for free. You can visit them and try out European Blackjack for free. If you want an authentic experience of how the game works before making your own money, you can opt to play European Blackjack free play on online casino sites. If you are playing European Blackjack for free, you won’t be able to earn real money. That’s why it is advisable to play for real money. European Blackjack also has a live dealer version.
In this live dealer version, you will be able to experience a live-action European Blackjack from the comfort of your mobile device. In contrast to the video Blackjack version, where you can only play against the dealer, you will be able to play against the dealer and other players. The live casino version features a real human directing or anchoring the game rather than the computer dealer on the video version. You can also interact freely with the live dealer and other players as you play the game. The live dealers are trained experts and are very friendly in how they interact with their customers.
There are a lot of gambling sites that you can visit to play European Blackjack for free and real money, these sites include:
Parimatch is a top online casino in India that offers splendid online gambling services. They offer over 500 different types of casino games. When you sign up for Parimatch online casino, you are on a fantastic ride. The type of games they offer include slots, roulette baccarat, European Blackjack, American Blackjack and many other blackjack variants. They also offer live versions of blackjack and some other table games. Parimatch is very generous with their bonus, offering a welcome bonus of more than Rs 100,000. Apart from the welcome promotion, their customers still have access to other bonuses and incentives. This online casino offers local support to Indian players, and you can make payments using Indian rupees and via many Indian payment methods.
Pure Win Casino is another online gambling site in India dedicated to providing excellent customer service. The casino offers over 1,000 games in its portfolio, with slots being the majority. You will also be able to play popular table games like poker, roulette, European and American Blackjack, baccarat etc. Live versions of some of the mentioned games are also available to play on Pure Win. Pure Win also offers local support to Indian players and offers tons of bonuses and promotions to their customers.
This online casino is one of the highest-rated gambling sites in India and the world. Players love this casino because of its excellent video quality and incredible website design. Security is top-notch on this casino site. Hence it is one of the trusted Online casino sites in India. Casumo has over 2,000 online casino games present in its catalogue. Some of the games they offer include slots, numerous blackjack variants, including European Blackjack, different types of roulette and poker etc. People also trust Casumo casino because they work with reputable online casino games software providers like Evolution Gaming and Ezugi gaming. You will find live versions of some of these table games anchored by professionals. They also offer numerous bonuses and promotions to customers on their site. Some of the promotions they offer include the well-rewarding signup bonus for new players, cashback bonuses, reload bonuses and daily bonuses, among others. Casumo offers local support to Indian players, and they have customer support available all day long to provide reasonable answers to players’ complaints.
Casino Days is also one of India’s most trusted online gambling sites. This list of online casinos to play European Blackjack is not complete without mentioning casino days. On casino days, you can never run short of gaming options, as they offer over 3000+ games to their customers. These games include various slots and table games, including poker, live roulette, live blackjack, European Blackjack, baccarat live etc. Reputable Software providers sponsor the games, which are developed using high-end technology. Enjoy a new experience of playing online games when you sign up for Casino Days. They also offer a plethora of online casino bonuses and promotions, including the welcome bonus, reload bonus, daily bonus, VIP bonuses, etc. Casino Days is also trendy for its cashback bonuses, one of the highest in Indian online casinos. You also get to make payments via secure and fast payment methods on this online casino, and you can reach out to their 24/7 customer support service via numerous options, which include email and live chat.