game variations

The 3 Most Popular Blackjack Variations


Blackjack is a classic card game that’s been in the casinos for many years now, and originated from a French game called Vingt-et-Un back in the 19th century. Once it was first introduced online, it became even more popular and a convenient way for people to be able to play from all around the globe. In case you’re not familiar, the main objective of the game is to get a better hand than the dealer. You want a card hand that is higher than the dealer’s, but without going over 21 points. There are also some strategies involved where you need to decide if you want to “hit”, “stand”, “double”, “split” or “surrender”.

From its growing popularity over the years, there’s been a bunch of variations made to the game. Many of them have the same objective, however adjustments have been made to the rules which in turn affects the strategies used for each. Since there are so many different Blackjack variations, in this article we’ll be going over 3 of the most popular ones including Classic, European and Progressive. These variations came out in order to give a lift to an all-time favorite that you will never get tired of playing.

Classic Blackjack

Classic Blackjack, just like the name says, is a classic and original version of Blackjack to hit the casino floors. Also known as “21”, is a card game in which one or more players compete against a single dealer. The objective is to get a higher value hand than the dealer, without going over 21 points. Each card holds its own value. Card denominations ranging from 2 – 10 are worth the same value as their denomination. For example, if you have a 7 of clubs, the value will be worth 7 points, and if you have a 10 of hearts, that card will be worth 10 points. In classic Blackjack you are dealt two cards. Let’s say you received the two cards mentioned above, that means your hand would be worth a total of 17 points, which is pretty good. From that point, you will need to decide on whether to “hit” or “stand”.

Below are some of the choices you can make depending on the hand you’ve been dealt:

  • Hit – is when you request another card from the dealer after you’ve been dealt the two initial cards.
  • Stand – is when you don’t request any cards from the initial two you’ve already been dealt.
  • Double Down – is when you double your initial bet and receive another card from the dealer.
  • Split a Pair – you can do this when the first two cards you’ve been dealt the same. For example, two tens, two Jacks, etc. If you split them, you will then need to add another bet, which is the same as the initial one. Afterwards, the dealer will split them along with their bets so that you will be able to play two different hands.
  • Surrender – is when you forfeit your hand. You can only surrender from the first two cards you’ve been dealt. If you choose to surrender, you will lose half of your initial bet.

Once you have made one of the following decisions above, if the cards you have received are over 21 points, that means you have “bust”, and the dealer will take away your initial bet. If you don’t go over 21, the dealer will have to finish playing their hand. If the dealer goes over 21, you will win your initial bet amount. If you both don’t go over 21, the winner is the one with the highest amount of points. If you both have the same amount of points, then it will end in a tie and the dealer will return your initial bet.


European Blackjack

Just like the Classic Blackjack mentioned above, the European Blackjack has the same main objective, which is to beat the dealer by getting a higher score without going over 21 points. This version is the most popular after the classic, and can be found at casinos throughout Europe, as well as online. It’s also one of the most common blackjack variations you will be able to find online. The rules are pretty much the same, too except for some minor alterations. One of the biggest differences, the dealer is not able to get a second card (even after splitting and doubling) until everyone at the table has finished making their decisions. You also play using 2 different decks of cards, which is great for beginners. Please note, you cannot surrender any cards, and if you want to double, you can do it for hard totals that range from 9 to 11, and are able to split up to three hands (making 4 hands), however you cannot split Aces. The dealer is also required to stand on a soft 17 and you get your initial bet back if you have a tie. The house edge for this game is around 0.39%.


Progressive Blackjack

Progressive Blackjack is like classic Blackjack; however, it involves a side bet (usually around $1) that goes towards a progressive jackpot, which doesn’t affect the hand you’re playing. The rules and strategies are pretty much the same, except you have a chance to win a jackpot. That means each time you or someone else makes a bet, a percentage of it goes towards a jackpot that can reach enormous amounts. The concept to these jackpots behave similarly to other progressive gambling games such as progressive slot machines, which are commonly found inside the casinos and online. The payouts for this game are different for each table, however the payouts are usually triggered when a player has one or more Aces in their hand. Below are some of the payout examples (the reward amounts vary).

  • One Ace = smallest part of the jackpot
  • Two non-suited Aces = 5th largest jackpot amount
  • Two suited Aces = 4th largest jackpot amount
  • Three off suited Aces = 3rd largest jackpot amount
  • Four Aces = 2nd largest jackpot amount
  • Four Suited Aces = the largest win amount, which is the entire jackpot

Which variation is the best? Well, the answer to this always comes down to personal preference, however you can never go wrong with the classic version. In fact, you can play right here at Caesars Casino online. If you’ve been playing classic Blackjack for a long time and would like to spice it up a bit, then why not try out some of the other variations out there? You never know until you try. Keep in mind, the three we discussed are just a few of the different types, and there are possibly over 100 variations to choose from. In any case, before you start playing a new game, always make sure you understand all the rules, and go over some various strategies to assist you in your game play.