Blackjack is one of the most favourite games for many gambling enthusiasts. In order to suit the bankroll and the preferences of each player, there are different variations of the game of 21 that players can enjoy at brick-and-mortar casinos, as well as at their interactive alternatives.
One very popular variation of the classic card game is Blackjack Switch. It was invented by Geoff Hall who managed to patent it in 2009. There is also an online version of the game provided by the leading software supplier Playtech. Thanks to that virtual players can also enjoy an authentic casino experience even if they play in their own homes.
Many blackjack fans consider this version of the game of 21 very exciting and lucrative thanks to its low house edge. Even though the game uses rules a bit different than the ones of classic blackjack, there is nothing complicated about playing Blackjack Switch.
There are a few differences between the standard game of 21 and this game. However, the good thing is that some of the rules of Blackjack Switch tilt the scale in favour of the player. There are also features which give the dealer a better chance of winning. Nonetheless, many players find Blackjack Switch for a very fun and rewarding variant of the classic card game.
The distinctive rules of this blackjack variant are what make the game so popular among casino lovers. If you want to try your luck on the game, as well, you should first get familiar with the features of the game.
Differences Between Regular Blackjack and Blackjack Switch
Even though Blackjack Switch may not use the usual rules that apply to the classic game of 21, there are still many features that are shared between both versions of the card game. The table layout does not differ that much from the one players are used to seeing. The only difference is that the player and the dealer are dealt two hands.
The game is played with six or eight decks which are the common number for most blackjack variations. Even though the design of the Blackjack Switch table is not that different than the typical one, it is the rule of playing with two hands the thing that changes the look of the game. Since the player is playing with two hands, there are also two bets placed in the game.
The adventure begins when the players are dealt one card, while the dealer places his/her card facing upwards. Then all participants in the game are dealt with another card. Afte that the players have to decide what move they would like to make once they take a look at their hand.
The name of the game comes from the unique rule that allows players to switch the top cards of their two hands. This gives the opportunity to improve the score of each hand. Even though this rule changes in a way the game is played, players can still initiate the same moves as they would while betting on standard blackjack. Since each of the hands is played separately, gamblers have the chance to hit, split or double. After the dealer has made his/her move, scoring 22 will be considered a push against all other values with the exception of a player’s blackjack. If the player’s hand exceeds 21 this is a bust.
Although you may think that Blackjack Switch is quite disadvantageous, the truth is that if players use the right strategy, they can enjoy a pretty good outcome. The house edge of the game is 0,17% which is a lot lower than the majority of blackjack variations available at land-based and online casinos. The rule that allows the switch of the top cards of the two hands is actually what tips the scales in players’ favour.
Rules of Blackjack Switch
If you have never played Blackjack Switch, it is only natural to worry about grasping the essence of its rules. However, there is nothing that should really bother you since the rules are very similar to the ones utilized in most blackjack versions. Of course, having to play with two hands may include some intricacies that you need to understand in order to be able to play Blackjack Switch.
Since players are dealt two hands, they must make a bet on both of them. This means that if you decide to bet $10 on one of the hands, you will have to make the same wager on the second hand as well.
If you are a fan of blackjack, then you have probably come across different versions of the game that have various rules when it comes to splitting. Some games allow players to split but there are also variations that do not offer the move. The good news is that Blackjack Switch allows players to split up to four hands but they must make the same bet on all of them.
Not only are players allowed to switch the top cards of their hands but they can also double their bet after doing so. In fact, players can double on any two-card hand. Even though the switch move can be really helpful, obtaining a blackjack after you have switched the cards of your two hands will be counted as a 21 since it is not considered a natural blackjack. However, if you manage to get a blackjack in the game, you will always beat a 21. If you are lucky enough and you do get the best possible score in the game (a blackjack), you will be paid even money.
When it comes to the rules that apply to the game of the dealer, there is one significant difference with the usual blackjack variants. If the dealer’s hand totals 22 it is a push, rather than a bust. In this scenario, the 22 beats even a 21 or less. The only way to beat the dealer, in this case, is if you hold a blackjack.
If the dealer’s card that is facing upwards is 10 or an Ace, he/she will have a peek at his/her hole card. If the dealer has a natural blackjack, the players on the table lose. If any of the players, however, also has a blackjack this will result in a push and the bets will be returned to those who have joined the table.
Blackjack Switch Side Bets
Another exciting feature of Blackjack Switch is the side bet that players have the opportunity to make before the game begins. This additional bet adds on the house edge but it can also bring you a good payout. If you choose to make the so-called Super Match bet before the cards are dealt, you will be paid if you have a pair among your four cards.
If luck is on your side, you will enjoy an even money payout if you have a pair. If you happen to be dealt three of a kind, the payout is 5 to 1, while two pairs pay 8 to 1. Let us assume that you are holding four of a kind, then you will enjoy a generous payout of 40 to 1.
Blackjack Switch Strategies
Since Blackjack Switch utilizes different rules than the standard game of 21, the strategies that players may use when playing the game also differ from the commonly used ones. When it comes to a hard hand, it is suggested to hit when the hand totals 5 to 12. The exception to this advice is the case when you have 12 and the dealer’s face-up card is 5 or 6, then the best option is to stand. If you have 10 or 11 and the dealer’s total is 10, then it is advised to double. If your hands score 13 to 16 it is good if you stand when the dealer has 6 or lower and hit if he/she has 7 or more. In cases when your hands score 17 or higher, it is the best if you stand.
For soft hands, the main strategy is to hit when you have a soft 17 or lower and stand when you have a soft 18 or higher. The only exceptions are the cases when you have an A-5 hand against a dealer’s 6 or if you have A-6 or A-7 against the dealer’s 5 or 6. In those cases, it is advised to double. Another advice for playing Blackjack Switch is to hit when you have A-7 against a dealer’s 10 or Ace.
The systems for playing with pairs are a bit more complicated. The general suggestion is to hit when you have 2-2, 3-3 or 4-4. However, if you have 2-2 or 3-3 hands against a dealer’s 5,6 or 7 it is good if you split. In the cases of having a 5-5 hand, you should double if the dealer has 8 or lower, otherwise, it is suggested to hit. When you have two sixes, you should hit unless the dealer has 4, 5 or 6. Then it is best if you split. Having a 7-7 hand usually means that you should stand if the dealer has 2, split if his/her card is between 3 and 7 and split of he/she has 8 or higher. In cases when you have two eights, you should split against a dealer’s card 10 or lower, otherwise, you are advised to hit. If you are holding a 9-9 hand, then it is good to split if the dealer’s card is 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9 and stand if the situation is different than the mentioned possibilities. If you have a pair of tens, then you should always stand and if you are holding two aces you always split.
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