Home Gambling What’s the Difference Between American and European Blackjack?

What’s the Difference Between American and European Blackjack?

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When it comes to gambling there is a handful of games that are considered fan favorites. Poker takes the first place, closely afterward there are slots and the other ones are Blackjack and roulette.

All of these games have something that draws the gamblers to them. Poker, Blackjack slots, and roulette are the oldest gambling games and one of the most popular ones. If you stop 5 people, randomly on the street the chances are that all of them would know at least 4 of the ones we mentioned.

But today we are not discussing popularity, we are discussing the differences. As you all know by now all of the gambling games mentioned here, except slot machines which are almost universal across the world, have their US and EU iteration. The differences are slight in some instances, but they are there.

When it comes to the topic of the day, the Blackjack game, it also has its US and EU version and in the article below we will discuss those differences and what to look out for. For more information on playing online Blackjack in the US, we recommend Blackjackclassroom.com. Their expert team reviewed and rated some of the best Blackjack rooms available online.

1. The dealer

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There is a dealer in both game variations, but you already knew that. They do not, however, have the same method of dealing cards as the dealer. The dealer is given two cards right away in American Blackjack, one of which is face up and the other of which is face down. If the dealer thinks there’s a chance of a Blackjack, he or she is permitted to look at that card and that’s it. This is assuming, of course, that the face card is an Ace card. The card that is facing down is referred to as a “hole card,” and it is the only difference between US and EU dealers. The dealer is dealt two cards in European Blackjack, although not at the same time.

After all of the players have completed their movements, the dealer draws one card and has the option to draw another. When you contemplate this, you’ll see why American Blackjack appeals to more gamblers: if the dealer has a Blackjack, the game ends promptly, and the dealer takes all of the bets placed by the player. You don’t have this edge in European Blackjack, and you might lose even more money if the dealer manages to get a Blackjack after you’ve doubled down. The only question is who would double down on a dealers’ Ace face card?!

2. The number of decks

The amount of cards in play is another significant distinction between these two game types. In American Blackjack, the dealer has 6 to 8 standard card decks in his/her arsenal, depending on the casino, which puts the gambler at a significant disadvantage. The house edge improves with the number of cards used in a game of Blackjack, which is natural, but the house also manages to reduce the likelihood of you counting cards. Only two standard card decks are used in European Blackjack, lowering the house edge and increasing your chances of winning. It is forbidden to count cards, so don’t try it.

3. Increasing your wager or doubling down

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Another significant distinction between these two game types is the possibility of doubling down. You can double down on your first stake in American Blackjack, but only if you hold a hand worth 9,10,11 in European Blackjack. When it comes to American Blackjack, the rules are a little more lenient, and you can double down your original wager on any value of cards you have, as well as double down on the hand you split.

4. What can you split?

Since we mentioned splitting, we also need to inform you that there are differences there as well. The split means that you divided two same cards into two separate hands each with its bet and with this you have created, or are given, the chance to win double the amount, as the word states. Now when splitting you need to know that in European Blackjack you can split cards that are valued 10 – 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings.

European Blackjack is very limiting, but some consider it to be good because it somewhat protects you as a player from irrational moves. In American Blackjack, you are more liberal and you are allowed to split your hand three times by doing so you may create up to 4 hands with an added benefit that you can split any value card pair. You can also split aces but this can happen only once.

5. Surrender option

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Some call this Late surrender as well, and the reason for that is the fact that you are given an option to surrender after you have received your cards, hence the “late” word. Now when talking about surrender one of these Blackjack game variations allows you to surrender late one does not at any point! Care to guess? No?!

Ok, we will tell you anyway. Late surrender, after you received your initial hand is allowed only in American Blackjack where you will lose only half of your initial bet after this, instead of an entire bet. This is a particularly good option, especially if you can “sniff out” a Blackjack hand from a dealer. In European Blackjack, there is no surrender at any point. The Europeans like their gambling and they live by it. No surrender, no nothing, play to win or lose, no middle ground.

So, after these 5 things you may or may not know before this, a clear conclusion can be made about the type of Blackjack game I will be playing from now on. American is more liberal and more appealing to me with plenty more options that a hardcore variant across the ocean. We would also want to hear from you. Which one do you like more, which one do you play, where and why?!

As always, last words of advice from us when it comes to these topics – stay safe and gamble responsibly!

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