Essentially, European blackjack is a variation of the classic game that uses six decks of cards. But you can also play it with four or eight decks, and there’s a rare game that uses two.
One difference is that the dealer takes their hole card (face down) after dealing out the player’s hand. Your objective is to beat the dealer by getting close to 21 with your hand total. You’ll have to base your strategy on their face-up card when you get your hand.
Essential Game Rules
When you play European blackjack, you’ll need to follow the basic rules of classic blackjack and the game’s unique guidelines. Here’s a quick breakdown you can refer to while playing:
If the dealer has blackjack at any point, you’ll lose your bet;
You can’t split fours, fives, or tens in European blackjack;
However, players can split aces and receives one extra card per ace;
You are allowed to double after splitting your hand;
The dealer stands on a soft 17 (no ace in their hand);
The dealer has to draw on 16 (hard or soft);
You can take an insurance bet if you want to;
Lastly, you aren’t allowed to surrender during the game.
How to Play European Blackjack
In European blackjack, the card values are the same as any other version, with face cards and tens are a 10-value card in your hand. Also, Ace can be 11 or one, depending on your hand value. And numbered cards will carry their face value.
With that in mind, let’s go into detail about how to play this version:
First, choose the real money edition of the game and let it load in.
Then, select your chip value and place your bets on the table sections.
Wait for your cards and the dealer’s face-up card before your next move after checking for blackjack.
If the dealer has blackjack, your bet is lost; but you’ll be paid out three to two if you have it.
If no one has blackjack, decide whether to hit, stand, double down, or split with these considerations:
Hit – click the hit button to receive another card without making a bet;
Split – players can split if they have two cards of equal value and are prepared to pay in another bet.
Double Down – selecting this option means doubling your original wager and receiving another card.
Insurance – when the dealer’s card is an ace, you can choose this button and get a payout of two to one if you win.
Stand – if you’re confident about your odds of winning, you can choose to take no cards.
After that, the dealer’s cards are revealed, and you’ll be notified if you win anything.
Bets, Payouts & Odds
While we can’t list every game’s payouts, there are some general ones you can expect. This is because game providers might add a twist to the game to up the ante.
These are the typical payouts you can expect at online and land-based casinos:
Blackjack formed after a Split
Hand of 21
Other Winning Hands
European Blackjack Strategy
Whenever you encounter betting strategies, you’ll probably read all about card counting. Since blackjack decks are shuffled after each round, this can be helpful.
Other popular basic strategies are touted by some sites and claim to be foolproof. However, no system is going to guarantee wins.
Instead, we recommend using a strategy chart that works with the rules of European blackjack. Charts will indicate whether you should stand, hit, split, and double based on your cards and the dealer’s hand.
In the chart below, the terms are represented as follows:
D: Players can double if allowed; otherwise, hit
Play European Blackjack Free Online
If you’re new to playing European blackjack, we highly recommend using free to play games to practice. That way, you can save your cash for later when you’re confident.
While you’re practicing, we also recommend testing strategies you’re interested in while tracking your wins and losses. But you should always remember that random number generators won’t be consistent. These are made to generate outcomes randomly and to be fair.
If you’re playing live, the same applies because many casinos will use automated shoes that shuffle the deck. With that in mind, we hope you enjoyed this European blackjack guide!