This article contains the following categories:
Double Exposure Blackjack
How to Play Blackjack Switch
Playing in a blackjack tournament
Single Deck Blackjack
Super Fun 21
Double Exposure Blackjack
Double Exposure Blackjack can be found in a number of places where blackjack online is played. It is also found in land-based casinos, notably in Las Vegas. There was a hotel/casino called Vegas World where it was quite popular for many years.
There is no mystery as to why it has been so popular. Indeed, speaking of mysteries, when you play double exposure blackjack, one of the great mysteries of each and every hand is revealed, as both of the dealer's cards are exposed to you. There is no need to guess as to what kind of a hand you are playing against. Therefore, you are going to make playing decisions a little differently. When you are dealt a 17, for example, you would usually stand with that total. However, if you knew the dealer had two ten-value cards, you would be aware that you were not going to win that way. You would have to hit the hand.
It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Well, in some ways it is.
Of course, the object of the game is like it is in any other variation of blackjack online; that is to say, you either must get closer to the total of 21 than the dealer, or to successfully stay under 21 while the dealer goes over that total.
How you go after that pursuit is obviously different. In knowing what the dealer's hole card is, you are going to govern yourself accordingly, but there are a few things you are going to have to concede in exchange for that privilege.
To begin with, you are no longer going to be paid a bonus on any "natural." To refresh for a moment, while most winning hands pay off at even money, winning a "blackjack" when you are dealt a two-card total of 21 usually pays 3-to-2. In Double Exposure Blackjack, all blackjacks pay off at even money, just like all the rest. There is an upside to this, we should mention, which is that you will win a tie in the event that both you and the dealer start with a two-card 21.
When you are playing any version of blackjack, you don't really want the dealer to be able to hit on soft 17 (Ace-Six), because he will be able to make more hands that way. In Double Exposure blackjack, that is exactly the case. You will also only be able to double on 9, 10 or 11, which means that there is no soft doubling allowed.
Oh, and there is another thing we need to mention: aside from the tie on the two-card 21, you are going to lose in all other cases when you are tied with the dealer. This you'll find to be something very significant, when you consider that on average, you are going to tie, or "push," 8% of the time with the dealer. As we know, the number of ties is going to be much less because you are going to know all the dealer's cards and will consciously try to avoid this.
In many ways, when you blackjack online under the rules of Double Exposure, what you see is what you get. It's certainly fun, but not a walk in the park.
How to Play Blackjack Switch
What would you say if we told you that you could put yourself in a position where you could have two hands in front of you, and make the determination as to which order you could change the combinations around so as to give you the best opportunity to come away from that hand with a victory?
That's really possible. It all comes when you play a special variation of blackjack that is known as "Blackjack Switch." The great news is that if you like to play in online casinos, it is an option that is available in many places for you to participate in.
Let's go into detail as to how the process works. You are going to be dealt two hands, as we said. To each of those hands, there is a first card and a second card. The second cards are the ones that can be switched, and that is important, as we'll show in an example in a moment.
That would seem to really empower a player, wouldn't it? Well, it does. It gives you an opportunity, in fact, to greatly improve both hands at the same time. And that is indeed a good thing.
So what's the catch? That's an honest enough question.
In fact, there IS a catch when you play Blackjack Switch, and it's that the dealer can actually get a hand of 22 and achieve a tie (also known as a "push") with any hand you may have been able to get, with only one exception, which is a two-card 21 (or "Natural") on your part. In this way, the dealer gets saved in a lot of instances where he would otherwise bust. And it also allows him to turn hands like 12 or 13 into winning hands more often.
There's also something else which can be considerable, and it's that the dealer has the chance to hit soft 17 (A, 6) when he has it. This brings an obvious advantage to it. Remember that if you have studied the Basic Strategy, it dictates that when you don't double down with Ace-Six in your hand, you will hit, because that is the wisest thing to do. When the dealer can hit Ace-Six, he is going to be able to able to make more hands, just as you would as the player.
Another thing which you are going to give back when you play Blackjack Switch is the "bonus" payoff on blackjacks. In a conventional game, when you are dealt a two-card "natural," you will collect 3-to-2. But when you get 21 on your first two cards in Blackjack Switch, your payout is no better than even money. That could be classified as a "downer."
Most of the skill that is involved in Blackjack Switch centers around when to make a switch of the two hands. Certainly if there is the opportunity to take a "stiff" hand and turn it into something that is "pat," you want to exercise the option. For instance,. you have been dealt a 5,10 and a 10,6. Well, this situation is ideal for you, as you can switch the second cards (the 10 and the 6), which will now give you one hand that totals 20 and another that is 11, and in position to double. What you have done is take two probable losing hands and turned them into what is, in effect, a winner times three.
If you can put the right switching strategy into practice, you can effectively cut any house advantage in half when you play Blackjack Switch.
Playing in a blackjack tournament
Whether it's online or in a physical setting, there is going to be the opportunity to take part in blackjack tournaments. And unlike tournaments in golf or tennis that you see on television, these two not necessarily place a major advantage with the players who have the most skill. The design is that anyone could conceivably win one of these events.
These are well worth participating in. When you play blackjack tournaments online you can experience something totally new, in that you can gain some extra winnings by pitting yourself not just against the house, but against other players as well.
Depending on where you are playing, you can get in on the action with very little in the way of risk. Many of the online casinos have freerolls, or, through frequent play, you can earn enough "comp points" to gain an entry.
When we mentioned that anyone could win in blackjack tournaments, we don't mean that one could play recklessly and still have a good chance. There are practices that have to be implemented, and one of them is to have a prudent money management strategy. You need to conserve funds so that when it comes down to "crunch time," you'll be prepared to battle it out with opponents.
There is an additional element that has to be considered when you play blackjack tournaments online, and that involves the fact that it not your own play that you have to be keenly aware of, but also that of the other people in the game. When you are in a brick-and-mortar setting that means tracking what your foes at the table are doing. After all, they are the ones you have to defeat immediately.
You have to put the whole effort in perspective; to get past the other players first, then move on to the next round.
Remember that you can actually lose against the house, but still wind up being a winner in blackjack tournaments. So it might actually be a matter of who loses the least. This is particular applicable to the situation when you play blackjack tournaments online, as you know that with the random number generator, there is no long-term edge to be derived from card counting or other forms of so-called "expert" play.
Even if you consider yourself to be an "average" player, you can walk away with the first prize money. You would best be advised to be careful early on in the tournament rounds, because you can win the game unless you are in the game, and you'll have an opportunity to stay involved while you watch the opponents make one mistake after another. As it gets down to the late stages, you might want to take the opportunity to get a little bolder. As long as you are in range, you can strike.
No matter what tactics you use in blackjack tournaments, the one thing you have to do more than anything else is know your Basic Strategy and use it. There is no substitute in terms of knowing which decision was best in any situation where the player must face the dealer. It is quite likely that in any scenario where you play blackjack tournaments online or in the physical casino, if you are playing the Basic Strategy perfectly you'll be ahead of most players who are in the competition.
Are you a fan of playing blackjack online? If you are, you're not alone. There are few casino games that can match the fast pace and action that is provided by this game. Also, there are few games that are as confrontational with the casino. Think about it; you are going to use any skill at your disposal to beat a dealer one-on-one. And make no mistake about it; they want to beat you too.
It's likely that if you have been an active casino gambler for years, you have played plenty of blackjack in the land-based environment. However, if you have also engaged in online casino gaming, you may have found something missing; perhaps it's the human element.
Or, maybe you have not been online to play yet and you would like to maintain some of that "feel" of the physical casino when you play blackjack.
The online casinos recognize all of this, which is why they have brought a whole new angle to their table offerings. It is called "live blackjack," and it combines some of the best of both worlds, if you will.
When you play live blackjack online, you are actually playing in the online casino, but you are playing against a live dealer who is located in a physical casino setting. It is not a virtual situation, as you might find at some kiosks in land-based casinos. In this situation you are playing against a real, live dealer in real time. And it is very exciting.
For some folks, this makes the transition to online gaming smoother. For others, it creates a better atmosphere when there are real live people who are dealing out the cards. And in most cases, the dealers are female and very attractive. The casinos come up with a "Meet the Dealer" section which supposedly tells you a little about the dealers you would be playing against.
The way casino live blackjack works is that the dealer will be standing at a table as you enter the game. You will be dealt cards, which you will see, and somebody stationed at the remote blackjack table will input the data so that you will see those values on your computer screen. You will then conduct your play accordingly, and will receive additional cards as necessary directly out of the dealer's shoe, just as if you were playing at a brick and mortar blackjack table.
Remember that you are watching the dealer on a live feed fro the remote location the entire time. A lot of players believe that this a welcome departure from the games that are usually played online, where the random number generator determines the order of cards. So you can get more of a "real deal" with live blackjack.
There are different kinds of tables available. You can play at a multi-player table and be one of several people who are being dealt to, or you can play live blackjack in a one-on-one format. Either way, it's an interesting experience, to say the least.
Single Deck Blackjack
There is admittedly less in the way of single deck blackjack then there used to be. Casinos use shoes for either a four, six or eight deck game most of the time. And those games keep the action moving a lot more than a single deck game, which of course requires shuffling more often.
But that's not to say that the single deck games do not exist. You can find them in the physical casino setting in Las Vegas, for certain.
The popular view is that it is much more difficult to beat a multiple-deck game than it is to win when you play blackjack with a single deck. If you are a blackjack Basic Strategy player, though, it really doesn't matter all that much, except that you will make an adjustment or two in the basic moves that you will make.
If you are a blackjack card-counter, you would probably have an easier time when you play blackjack with a single deck, but that is if you are getting the right kind of conditions. You don't always get those conditions when playing this kind of game, and that is a reason why some counters are wary of them. For example, a dealer who may be counting along with the players (there are some of those, you know) might decide to suddenly shuffle the deck when a favorable situation arrives, regardless of how many of the cards has been dealt. If the dealer is quick enough, you might even find a shuffle after every hand.
It would be great if you could get a single deck blackjack game where you are playing heads-up with the dealer. However, that isn't all that likely to happen, since the number of tables dealing these games is low and the players tend to flock to them, under the impression that they might have a better chance. The point is that if you are counting, and you are at a busy table, you are not going to have much of an opportunity to achieve a respectable level of deck penetration, because the dealer will go two rounds and shuffle. When you encounter a winning situation, it's going to wind up being "watered down" to a certain extent.
Furthermore, there can be wild fluctuations in the composition of the remaining deck after just a few more cards are dealt, which means that the profitable situations you might find yourself in aren't likely to last as long. There's a little more consistency from that standpoint when you are playing multiple decks, and a good counter can beat any of those games.
And for those players who may be a bit paranoid about getting cheated when they go into a casino, when you play blackjack with a single deck it certainly makes it a lot easier for the dealer to pull that off. It is for that reason that the hand-held game tends to make some players a bit uneasy.
According to some of the mathematical studies done on the game, when you are playing with six decks you are giving away -.6% from your game as opposed to the single deck blackjack version. So under the right conditions, it is certainly worth a shot.
Super Fun 21
Most people look upon Super Fun 21 as a variation of blackjack. However, the character of the game is much different. In fact, it is so distinct from blackjack that in the state of Nevada it can not even be referred to as a 21 blackjack game.
This game works about the same as blackjack does but there are special rules that are applied.
It can be played with either one or two decks, but the player can double down on any number of cards, which is highly unusual and opens up some interesting possibilities. Whereas splitting aces in the regular 21 game of blackjack can only be done once, in Super Fun 21 it can be done four times. The same goes for all pairs, and that also differentiates it from the conventional version.
The rules regarding surrender are very liberal as well. It is permissible to invoke late surrender after any number of cards have been dealt to you, and if you don't think that's a big deal, consider that it can be done after you have already hit your hand, doubled down or even split a pair. That gives you tremendous freedom when you think about it.
If you are able to stay under 21 with a hand that contains six or more cards, you are going to be a winner automatically. And here's a real bonus: when you make a hand of 21 with five cards or more, you are going to get paid 2-to-1. Obviously these special wins don't apply in those cases in which you have already doubled down.
You'll give something back in this 21 game of blackjack, as can be expected when you are allowed some creative options. One big positive for the house is that the dealer is able to hit soft 17. That's something you would rather not see the dealer be able to do. Remember that in Basic Strategy, hitting soft 17 is what you are advised to do, in those cases where you wouldn't double.
Okay, now you want to pay close attention as we talk about natural blackjacks. Of course (or should we say "naturally"?), these are hands where you would achieve 21 on the first two cards. When you are playing a conventional 21 blackjack game, you will be paid 3-to-2 when this happens for you.
In Super Fun 21 it's different. Natural blackjacks only pay even money. That certainly takes something away from your game. There is one exception; when your blackjack comes with two diamonds you can get 2-to-1. And another consolation is that in all cases where both you and the dealer have a natural blackjack, you are going to win that "push."
Perhaps this is not a "super fun" 21 blackjack game for those who are serious about making some money. Yes, the options are enticing, but it is estimated that when the game involves two decks, the house is carrying a 1.3% built-in edge into the proceedings. For a change of pace, however, you may want to give it a whirl.