Before diving deep into the European Blackjack strategies, we want to help you know why we recommend the sites we do.
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These are the best sites to play European Blackjack games for real money in Australia.
How to Play European Blackjack
The structure of European Blackjack is the same as that of other standard blackjack game variants.
The game is played between the dealer and the player.
The goal is to get a hand total of closer to 21
Cards 2 to 10 are valued at their face value
Jack, Queen, and King each equals 10 points
An Ace is valued as a one or an 11
The game is played using 2 to 8-card decks
Jokers are not used
Now that we got the main similarities out of the way, it is time to knuckle down on what makes European Blackjack unique.
Only the player is dealt the first two cards; both faced down
The dealer is dealt only one first card faced up
The dealer is only dealt the second card once the player has played his hand
These are the basics of how the game is played. Once the player plays their hand, the dealer will join in. Like the standard blackjack variant, the player can hit, stand, double down, split or take insurance.
European Blackjack Rules
This blackjack variant’s rules are not that different from all the standard blackjack rules. The only few things standing out are the number of times players are allowed to split and these few rules:
The dealer is not allowed to check for blackjack mid-game
If the dealer’s hand is 16, the dealer must hit
The dealer has to stand on a soft 17
If the dealer gets a blackjack, it beats any other 21-card value
If both the dealer and the player get a blackjack hand, the game gets pushed
The player is only allowed to split once per hand
Players can only double down on 11, 10 or 9
Players are allowed to double down on split card hand
European Blackjack Payouts
European Blackjack payout is like standard blackjack payouts. Unlike the Switch Blackjack, which pays 1:1 for blackjack wins, this variant also payout 3:2 for Blackjack wins.
Insurance win payouts are 2:1
Natural win payouts are 3:2 (Some casinos pay 6:5)
Other Blackjack wins payouts are 1:1
European Blackjack Basic Strategy
We will help you make better Blackjack moves whether you are dealt a soft hand or a hard hand. If you don’t know what a soft hand is and what a hard hand is: The former is a hand consisting of an Ace, and the latter is a hand without one. Soft hands are usually more advantageous because they can be flexible. This is because an Ace can be played as either a one or an 11.
European Blackjack Hard Hand Strategy
If you are dealt a hard hand of any value between 5 and 8, you must hit regardless of the dealer’s card value
If your card value is 9, you must hit if the dealer’s hand is a 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, or an Ace. If the dealer has a card other than those mentioned; you could either hit or double down
If your card value is 10 or 11, you should either double down or hit, but if the dealer’s hand is also a ten or an Ace, you can simply hit
If you have a 12, you must hit or stand if the dealer’s hand is between 4 and 6
If your card value is anything between 13 and 16, you must stand if the dealer’s hand is 2 to 6. If the dealer’s hand is a 7, 8, 9, 10, or an Ace, you should hit
If your hard hand exceeds 17, you must always stand.
Online European Blackjack Soft Hand Strategy
If you are dealt a soft hand between 13 and 17, you must always hit.
If your soft hand is an 18, you can hit if the dealer’s hand is a 9, 10, or an Ace. If the dealer’s hand is neither of that, then you must stand.
When you are dealt a soft hand totalling between 19 and 21, you must stand no matter the dealer’s hand.
Typical European Blackjack Pair Hand Strategy
If you are holding a pair of twos or threes, you should split when the dealer’s card is between 2 to 7. If the dealer is holding any other card, the best move is to hit.
If you are dealt a pair of fours, you should hit unless the dealer is holding a five or a six;
The best move for holding a pair of 5s is to either double down or hit if the dealer is holding any card from nine and below. Always hit if the dealer’s card is a ten or an Ace;
Should you find yourself holding a pair of sixes, you must split if the dealer card value is below six or hit ;
If you are holding a pair of sevens, you should split and only hit if the dealer is dealt an 8, 9, 10, or an Ace;
If you are dealt two 8s, you should split unless the dealer is holding a ten or an Ace, in which case you must hit;
If you are holding a pair of 9s, you must stand if the dealer’s card is a 7, 10, or an Ace. If the dealer’s card is neither of those, you must split ;
If you are dealt a pair of 10s, you must always stand;
If you are dealt a pair of Aces, you must always split unless the dealer also has an Ace, in which case you must hit.
American Blackjack Vs European Blackjack
Although the American Blackjack version and the European Blackjack version have the same basic rules, these two versions have a few notable distinctions. These are some of the key differences between American Blackjack and European Blackjack:
The dealer is dealt two first cards and can consult at any time
The dealer is only dealt one first card and is not allowed to peek until the player has played
No constraint to doubling down
The player can only double down with a hand value of 9, 10 or 11
Players can split up to three times
Players are allowed only to split once
Allowed to split mixed cards of the same values
Can split 10-value cards of the same value
Other Blackjack Variants
The general view is that European Blackjack is the pioneer and the mother of all blackjack versions. This game is said to have been played using only a single deck of cards before it was adopted by players and casinos worldwide. Let’s look at some of the blackjack variants that are currently found in casinos around the world.
Single Deck Blackjack
Single-deck blackjack games are played with only a single deck of cards. Although this blackjack version was more famous earlier, casinos are beginning to do away with it. This is because card counting is easier on this blackjack variant.
Double Exposure Blackjack
In double-exposure blackjack, the dealer’s first cards are both dealt face-up. This rule favours the player, who can easily strategize their next move, and because of this, the blackjack payout is smaller than other blackjack variants.
Perfect Pair Blackjack
Perfect Pairs blackjack rules allow players to make side bets on either the dealer’s or the player’s hand. Most Perfect Pairs Blackjack games have mixed pairs, colour pairs, and a perfect pair variant.
This blackjack game is played using six decks of 52 cards. Players are allowed to play a multi-hand game of Surrender Blackjack, and they can place a wager on five different hands at the same time.
Switch blackjack allows players to switch cards between two hands. This blackjack version bends the rules further by making a dealer’s 22-card value results in a push against non-busted hands.
This will depend on many factors, such as whether this is a hard or soft hand and the blackjack variant played. The best time to hit on a 12 or 13 is when they are a soft hand on a European Blackjack variant.