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European Blackjack and No-Peek Blackjack Strategy

By: Adam Baker, Wednesday August 7th 2013
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There are many different styles of blackjack out there, and a lot of them have very small rule changes that don't seem important. However, this is often set up just to trap players who think there isn't much of a difference. Everyone knows that blackjack can have one of the lowest house advantages out there as long as you play well, but when you play games that do not have standard rules, then you run a risk of making that house advantage much larger by making mistakes when you think you're actually playing correctly. Here we're going to show you a number of situations where you should play differently in European blackjack.

European blackjack has one particular rule that drastically changes the way that you should play some very important situations that are usually considered "automatic" plays by most players who know some basic strategy. The rule change is that European blackjack does not have the dealer check for blackjack whenever their up card is a ten or an ace. While this doesn't seem like it would change much, it actually drastically increases the chances that you lose after putting more money into the hand. We're going to look at two specific situations with this information in mind that should change how you play.

Imagine you have paired eights against a dealer who has a ten or ace. Most of the time in most games, this is an automatic split. One of the first rules that most people learn in blackjack is that you always split eights, but this is a situation where that is definitely not the case. Because of the increased chance of losing from the dealer having blackjack in these spots, it's actually better to just hit. While it's true that you have the worst of it, you actually make things worse by putting in an extra bet in such a bad scenario. It's effectively better to just cut your losses since the dealer is so strong with the added threat of blackjacks.

Another situation with a similar idea is when you have a ten or eleven total against a ten or an ace. Often you would double in some of these situations, but with European blackjack, you should actually never double against a ten or an ace. The added chance for the dealer to have blackjack is a pretty big deal in this game.

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