If you’ve been wondering what is European blackjack and how it’s played, then we’ve got you covered in this guide. European Blackjack is a blackjack variation with a few rules and difference in gameplay from the standard game. Commonly European Blackjack is played with only two decks. However, some online casinos use anything from 2 to 8 decks of cards with no jokers.
Even though the game may be at a blackjack table with many other players, think of it as a game between yourself and the dealer. Unlike card games like poker, where the other players’ hands affect your fate in the game- only the dealer’s hand affects your game. European Blackjack has its own advantages and disadvantages in comparison to standard blackjack.
The unique rules and gameplay of European blackjack have been outlined in our easy European blackjack guide. In this guide, our US readers will see how European blackjack strategy is affected by how the dealer does not have a hole card. Read more of our guide to get the best tips for European Blackjack. Additionally, we have listed the to casino online US sites to play a variety of blackjack games online.
European blackjack online follows the same basic structure as the standard blackjack games. However, the only difference in this version of the game is the deal itself. What this means is that once the player has placed their initial wager, the dealer or RNG deals down the cards. The dealer gets the first card face up, while each player gets two cards face down. After the player has played their hand, the dealer will deal himself an additional card.
Below are more basics for European blackjack free and real money games.
The main objective for European blackjack is to get a hand of 21 or as close as possible without exceeding it.
European blackjack is a game between the player and dealer.
Face value cards are from 2 to 10.
Aces count as a value of 1 and 11.
Cards from Ace to 10 are also valued at 10 points each.
How to Play European Blackjack
The game of European blackjack is quite simple to play. Once you’ve signed up with your favorite casino, found a European blackjack table and have your cards dealt, you will have to try and get a hand as close to 21 as possible.
If you get a blackjack hand right away, that’s an Ace and a 10-value card, you win the round.
If the dealer has a blackjack along with the player then it’s a “Push”. You do not win or lose a thing. Your bet will be returned.
If you or the dealer gets a “bust”, which is a hand that goes over 21, you lose.
European Blackjack Bets
Otherwise, if your hand is below 21, you will have a couple of options to improve the value of your hand and they are as follows:
Hit – request for another card.
Stand – retain your existing card and not ask for an additional card.
Split – splitting your hand into two if it has same value cards. So here each of the hands is played separately.
Double Down – double your original wager and request for an additional card. You also have to stand when you get your additional card.
Surrender – you quit after the dealer has dealt you the original hand and get to keep half of your bet.
Insurance – you can take insurance if the dealer’s upcard is an Ace and you think that he might draw a card with the value of 10. Blackjack insurance requires an additional wager equivalent to half your initial bet and pays 2:1 if successful.
European Blackjack Chart
Unlike other forms of blackjack, the basic rule is that the dealer has no hole card in European Blackjack. The dealer gets one card face up until all players have both their cards. The dealer gets their second card after the player has made a play. Once the player has decided whether they are hitting, standing, doubling down, splitting or surrendering.
Here are more European blackjack rules.
European blackjack is used between 2 and 8 decks and each gets reshuffled after each round.
You can only double down if the value of your hand is 9,10 or 11.
You can’t re-split.
The dealer stands on a soft 17. A soft hand is that made with an Ace.
The dealer must also hit for a hand value of 16.
Usually, you cannot surrender if the dealer’s face card is an Ace. Some casinos will allow you to surrender if the dealer has a 10-value card but an Ace.
You automatically win if your hand is a value of 21.
Best European Blackjack Strategy to Beat House Edge
European blackjack is not entirely a game of luck, it requires players to have a good strategy in place too in order to win. With that said, it’s important that US players use a basic strategy rather than just playing the game hoping for the best.
To create the best strategy for a game you need to understand its advantage. The dealer does not have a hole card and only gets the second card after the player makes their move. This serves in increasing the house edge and risk of this game. However card counters can beat this house advantage. Card counting is one blackjack strategy that significantly reduces the risk of European blackjack.
Additionally the insurance bets add another layer of protection. Take advantage of side bets if they are available. That way if you win in your main bet you have a win win situation. In the event that you lose on your main bet then you can salvage some of the loss with your side bets.