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Comparing Online Casino Blackjack Rules

By: Joan Peppin, Wednesday January 27th 2010
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Land casinos are scattered all over the world. However there are three centers that have a high concentration of land casinos. These are Las Vegas Strip, Atlantic City and Europe. At casinos in all these areas blackjack is a very popular game. However there are slight differences in the rules in each of these three areas. Online casinos offer different blackjack games with rules from Las Vegas Strip, Atlantic City and Europe. Microgaming online casinos offer blackjack games based on all three land casinos. Other online gaming software providers offer blackjack games based on two of the three land casinos depending on their clientele. This article discusses the similarities and differences in the blackjack rules of these three important land casino areas.

There are certain rules that are common to all three land casino areas. These are given below.

  • Dealer must draw on all totals of 16 or less and stand on all totals of 17 to 21.
  • Players may take insurance on a dealer's ace.
  • Insurance payoffs are 2 to 1.
  • Player receives a 3 to 2 payoff on his blackjack.

Here it must be pointed out that there are some casinos in Nevada in Downtown Las Vegas and Northern Nevada that entail the dealer to draw on a total of soft 17. This rule is not very popular because it gives an advantage to the dealer. Some online casino software providers offer games based on this rule as well.

The differences in the rules exist in Las Vegas Strip, Atlantic City and Europe for splitting and doubling. The rules in this regard for each area are given below.

Las Vegas Strip Rules

  • Player may double down on any initial two card combination.
  • Identical pairs may be split, resplit and drawn to as desired with the exception of split aces, on which the player is allowed only one hit on each ace.

Atlantic City Rules

  • Player may double on any initial two card combination.
  • Identical pairs may be split but not resplit.
  • Doubling after splitting allowed.

European Rules

  • Doubling on totals of 9 to 11 only.
  • Identical pairs may be split but not resplit.
  • On split aces the player is allowed only one hit on each ace.
  • Doubling after splitting allowed.

There is one other major difference between the two American blackjack rules and the European blackjack rules. In both the American games if the dealer's face up card is an ace or a 10 value card then the dealer checks for blackjack before the player makes his moves. If the dealer has a blackjack then the game ends and the player does not get an opportunity to split or double. In the European rules the dealer is either not dealt a second card or even if he is, then he does not check for blackjack before the player makes his moves. This is called the no hole card rule. The second card of the dealer is revealed only after the player completes his hand, which may include splitting or doubling. If the dealer ultimately has a blackjack then the player loses all wagers including those placed while splitting or doubling.

Because the European rules have the no hole card rule and because they restrict doubling, blackjack games with these rules are the least preferred. Among the American rules Las Vegas Strip is preferred because it allows resplitting.

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Comment by: GianniO On: February 05, 2010
I like the various types of blackjack games that are offered online. I really like learning new things like how to play these blackjack variants but for the most part I've never seen any of these at land based casinos I guess they must be proprietary to online casinos for the most part.
Comment by: Alice B On: February 04, 2010
I think that the three blackjack's that are mentioned above are the most popular blackjack variants that you'll find in Microgaming casinos that are played by most. I for one know that I play Vegas Strip blackjack and their European rules blackjack regularly.
Comment by: haseed On: February 01, 2010
Good article. There's so darn many blackjack variations out there it's hard to keep track sometimes, lol! I think that the most popular blackjack is still going to be your good old regular blackjack game to most players out there.

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