American Blackjack vs. European Blackjack

Blackjack has suffered several evolutions giving rise to different variations. This is great for players because they have the possibility to play different games but always with the bases of Blackjack.

The most popular variations of Blackjack are: the European and the American. Both versions are played with the basic Blackjack rules, however, they have small differences that affect the odds and the way you should play.

It´s important to pay attention to the strategies you should use or not in each one of them. Let’s then look at these differences to find out more about Blackjack.

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What is American Blackjack and how does it work?

American Blackjack is one of the most popular variations of the card game Blackjack. It’s played with a standard deck of 52 cards and can have from one to eight decks on a table.

The aim is to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 points as possible without going over.

The value of the cards is as follows: Aces are worth 1 or 11 points, number cards are worth their face value and picture cards (Jack, Queen and King) are worth 10 points.

At the start of the game, the dealer deals two cards to each player and two to himself, one face up and one face down.

Players have the option of asking for more cards to try to get closer to 21 or to keep the cards they have. The dealer must play by a strict set of rules.

He must ask for more cards until he reaches a total of 17 points or more and must keep 16 points or less. If the dealer exceeds 21 points, he automatically loses.

There are some additional options for players, such as splitting equal cards into two separate hands, doubling the bet on an existing hand or folding the hand and losing half the bet. However, the specific rules vary from casino to casino.

American Blackjack is an exciting game and can be played strategically to increase the chances of beating the dealer.

Experienced players can count cards to find out which cards are still in the deck and adjust their moves accordingly.

What is European Blackjack and how does it work?

European Blackjack is a variation of the card game Blackjack that is mainly played in Europe. It’s similar to American Blackjack, but with some differences in the rules.

The game is played with two packs of cards, and the aim is the same: to get as close to 21 points as possible without going over.

An important difference between European and American Blackjack is that the dealer only receives one card at the start of the game and cannot check if he has a Blackjack (a hand with an Ace and a ten-point card).

If the dealer has a Blackjack, the players lose their bets, unless they also have a Blackjack, in which case the bet is returned.

Another difference is that players cannot surrender after the dealer checks for a Blackjack, as is allowed in American Blackjack.

However, players can split their hole cards into two separate hands and double their bet on an existing hand.

What are the differences between American blackjack and European blackjack?

One of the main differences lies in the hidden card. In American Blackjack, the dealer is dealt two cards, one face up and the other face down.

The dealer can look at the face-down card. If that card plus the face-up card makes 21, the hand will end immediately and the dealer will collect the players’ bets.

In European Blackjack there is no hidden card. In this version, the dealer only receives one card that is turned face up.

He then deals two cards to each of the players and only then does the dealer receive the second card. This way, the dealer can’t see if there’s blackjack or not and the hand is played as normal.

In the American version, if the dealer has blackjack, the players will no longer play that hand, the dealer will immediately collect the bets and move on to the next hand.

In the American version, the players can benefit from the fact that since the game ends soon, they don’t incur additional losses if they double down or split.

As for the deck sets, in the American version 6 to 8 decks are usually used, while in European blackjack only two sets are usually used.

The more decks used, the greater the house advantage and, of course, it becomes completely impossible to count the cards.

Another difference is that in the European version the player can only double his bet when his cards total 9, 10 or 11.

In American Blackjack, on the other hand, the player can double their bet with any total of their cards and can even double their bet after splitting their hand.

Difference in card splits

In European Blackjack the player can split their cards when they are figures, i.e. when they are worth 10 points.

In the American version you can split the cards up to 3 times, making up to four hands.

As for the strategies you can use, in American blackjack you can be more aggressive, folding and splitting your cards.

In the European version, you’ll have to be a little calmer when using these tactics, especially when the dealer has a face-up card such as an Ace or a 10.


To summarise, we can see that there are only slight differences that make all the difference when it comes to playing.

In each version the player will have to adapt and play completely differently.

Each also has its advantages, but we can see that in American blackjack the rules are much more flexible, giving you a better chance of winning.

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