Today's Hottest Blackjack Variants to Try
It’s official: the new year is underway, and we’ve all relaxed into it. We’ve seen trends come and go, games released, new versions hit the market, but through it all we keep to some of our most beloved classics.
They’re classics for a reason, after all! Who can resist the allure of the most modern slot games, the excitement of the poker table, or (most interesting to us), the newest variations of Blackjack to hit the casinos.
Whether you enjoy the glitz and glamour of dressing up for a night out and hitting the town (by which we mean your favorite brick and mortar casino) or the comfort and coziness of your very own couch, blackjack has never been more accessible or more popular.
With the rise of online gaming in the past decade, the trend shows no sign of stopping: blackjack continues to delight generations of players.
But an old classic can always experience a revival—and a facelift might be just the thing to pique your interest anew.
We’ve gathered our favorite variations on a theme and created a quick and handy guide to explain the differences between them. Whether you’re an experienced player or an amateur looking to cut your teeth on a new game and perhaps win some cold hard cash, the first step to success is preparation.
A little research today will put you in an excellent position for confident play tomorrow. As companies such as Stakelogic reach new and important agreements with companies such as Paf, blackjack is sure to become more accessible as the year goes on. You definitely want to position yourself at the front of the trend.
The Different Faces of Blackjack
The first thing we want to make clear is that this is by no means a comprehensive list. We’ve simply chosen a couple of our favorites to present to you.
Casinos reserve the right to offer any games they’d like and sometimes this even includes their own variants, complete with different rules and winning structures. In order to make sure your favorite game’s available, it’s worth it to call ahead: any casino customer service agent should be able to reassure you—or help you better anticipate your visit.
If you’re planning to play at home, you have a wide variety of casinos you can try—and you can easily see which versions of your favorite games are available. You can even choose between mobile apps and browser play, tailoring your evening hours to meet your needs.
Blackjack is a perfect example of a game with a ton of flexibility. This makes it perfect for everyone, regardless of experience level. It’s simply a matter of choosing in which way you’d like to play.
The Classic Game of Blackjack
It would be ridiculous to start this list off with any other version: of COURSE we have to talk about the classic form of the game. After all, it’s not only the most basic but also the most widely available, both in land-based and online casinos.
The goal of classic blackjack is simple: you need to get as close to the combined total of 21 without going over it. You’re playing against the house, so it’s a great game if you want a taste of competition but don’t feel ready for an entire table of cutthroat players.
Aces are worth either 1 or 11, depending on your preference. Face cards are worth 10 points. All the numbers in between, naturally, hold their own value. The dealer deals two cards to everyone at the table, and then to their own side.
You can decide to collect another card, based on the ones already in your hand, or stay where you are. If you’re closest to that magic 21, you win. If you accidentally end up with cards totaling over 21, you’ve automatically lost.
It’s important to mention that even classic blackjack has variations in the way bets are cast. The rise of live, authentic gaming with free bets offers more enticing deals to players who don’t want to change the game, but do want to change their betting strategy.
Would You Try Double Exposure Blackjack?
Double exposure is the first “real” variation we want to talk about. It’s a great option for beginners because one of the key differences is that both of the dealer’s cards are revealed at the beginning of each round.
You’re already getting excited, aren’t you?
Yes! In this variation, you have an advantage: You can make an informed decision about your move because you already know what the dealer’s holding.
There’s a catch though: if either of the cards the dealer shows is an ace or a face, they automatically win—and you lose.
Take a European Trip with Spanish 21
We have to warn you: this one’s a little wild. It bears a passing resemblance to Blackjack, but definitely has some differences.
The main one is that Spanish 21 uses a 48-card deck, removing all the tens. We know!
This comes with good news and bad news: the good news is that it’s easier for you to hit 21! Unfortunately, it also has the side effect of increasing the house edge. You have to roll with the punches to play Spanish 21, but it’s as beginner friendly as Classic or Double Exposure.
The British Version: Pontoon
It’s possible that you’ve heard of Pontoon and have wondered what it is—surprise! It’s a variant of blackjack: nothing more, nothing less.
Pontoon originated in the UK and was popularized there as well—but it’s expanded its reach and has gained a beloved status in other parts of the world as well.
In Pontoon, the typical 52-card deck is used, but it still has a couple differences from Blackjack’s classic version. The most significant of these is that players are only dealt two cards, faced own, and then they can split the pairs. You can do this up to three times, for a total number of four hands.
What are you waiting for?
The time has come for you to decide which variant of this oldie-but-goodie you want to play and start building your strategy. Who knows? One might even become your 2023 go-to.