Top Blackjack Variants

Blackjack is the casino table king. It originates from Vingt-Un, a game mentioned in early seventeenth-century writing. Though, it was only when it was introduced to the US at the start of the 1800s that it began to grow into a global phenomenon. Today, it has a reputation as the gaming product with the lowest house edge, and it’s easy to learn. And one that has more than twenty variants to its name. Here are the five most famous ones rattled off and detailed below. These are all picks that deliver rudimentary gambling entertainment with terrific prize potential.

Classic Blackjack

Here is the game that everyone knows and loves, the one whose ruleset dominates gaming establishments worldwide. It gets played with a standard fifty-two-card deck, and its gameplay aims to beat the dealer’s hand by getting a hand total that is twenty-one, or closest to this number, without going over it. If the cards held surpass this figure, the player busts, and the house takes his stake.

While the primary rules of classic blackjack may be identical everywhere, various venues and sites can add twists to this casino mainstay product that can make loads of difference to players if they wish to enjoy it at a particular property/platform or not. These can include specificities regarding payouts, whether the dealer must stand when he gets a soft seventeen, does splitting aces get allowed, and so on. Know that many seemingly minor tweaks can affect the house edge of blackjack, leading to lower or increased winning probability. So, they are something to note for sure.

Blackjack Switch

Like the classic version, Blackjack Switch can be played online in the RNG and streaming format at hundreds of hubs. Fans of faster table action should stick to the software-powered alternatives, while those who crave high-stakes action should select to play against a dealer in a high-end casino-like studio.

The attraction of Switch is that in each round, a gambler gets two hands, and the game lets him exchange the top two cards between them. Here, naturally obtained twenty-one totals get paid out using a one-to-one rate instead of the dying out 3:2 standard. For a locale to offer Blackjack Switch, they must pay a license, as this is a proprietary gambling game invented and patented in 2009 by Geoff Hall, who also created Zombie Blackjack, Zappit, and Free-Bet Blackjack.

Spanish 21

Here is another proprietary casino game product, one owned by a Colorado publishing company, Masque Publishing Incorporated. The uniqueness of this twenty-one option lies in that the deck used is missing its four tens. So, forty-eight cards get utilized instead of the traditional fifty-two French deck. The absence of tens helps the operator gain a more substantial advantage over players. But it looks to offset this by enriching the game with more significant potential payouts and massive bonuses.

Other differences between Spanish 21 and the regular variant are that in the one discussed in this subheading, gamblers can double down after they’ve hit for a third time and even after. There is also a double-down rescue option here. It entails forfeiting the match and the original bet if one doubles down without busting and not favoring their hand. Splitting and late surrenders are also allowed at most Spanish 21 tables.


In many parts, Pontoon is just another word for blackjack, with only different game phrases and payout structures getting implemented. However, in other regions, it stands out from the classic variant explained above by the fact that a tie results in a loss, plus doubling down is available before hitting, and the dealer gets both his cards face-down.

Online, everyone would have difficulty finding a live streaming Pontoon table. Yet, those who can contend playing this blackjack version against a computer can partake in some RNG Pontoon fun at virtual tables from BGaming, Betsoft, Nucleus Gaming, and Playtech.

Double Exposure Blackjack

The name explains it all. In Double Exposure Blackjack, the dealer’s two cards are visible to players. They get exposed. Of course, due to this, the rules get modified to compensate for this gambler’s benefit. That means they can only split once, blackjacks pay even money, and the dealer wins on all ties. These are more or less universal stipulations at Double Exposure games. Hence, players should watch out for what blackjack bankroll management tactics and charts they implement on such tables.

Additional rule variations in Double Exposure Blackjack that can vary are that the dealer can stand or hit on soft seventeens, and players may double on any first two cards. Also, tied blackjacks produce a push or go to the gambler. And players may or may not be allowed to split, unlike ten-value cards.