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European Blackjack

Just like roulette, blackjack was very popular in Europe before it arrived in America. Although there aren’t that many major differences between American and European blackjack, the devil is in the details.

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The major difference between American and European blackjack is the fact that the dealer can’t check his second hard until the players have decided what to do. In the American version, the dealer can check for blackjack before players make a move – if he has one, the round ends immediately.

Additionally, the dealer is required to stand on a soft 17 and hit on 16 in European blackjack, and there’s no splitting allowed in most casinos. Of course, the splitting rule varies from one casino to another, so you should keep in mind to read the rules at the tables you’re playing.

European Blackjack
Dealing the cards

The other rules are the same – blackjack pays 3:2, you can double down (on hands totaling 9-11) and split aces as well (with some rule exceptions). Both the insurance and surrender bet are available in European blackjack unlike the American variant, where casinos decide which bet to offer. The surrender bet gives you half your bet back and the insurance bet pays 2:1.

There’s a reason why card counting is so popular in the USA. This unique technique has helped many players win millions, but we rarely see it in European casinos. Why? Well, even though most European Blackjack versions are played with only 2 decks, the cards are automatically re-shuffled after each round. This poses a huge challenge for card counting, rendering the technique obsolete.

Rules of European Blackjack

Other than these rule differences between both versions, European blackjack is played just like its American counterpart. No cards removed from the decks, no extra hands or any other unusual features. The dealer, as we mentioned, will stand on soft 17 and won’t check for blackjack before the players take action. Splitting is allowed once per hand and splitting 4s, 5s or 10s is prohibited.

Unlike other versions, European blackjack keeps things the same when it comes to the dealer’s blackjack, which beats all hands at the table. The game gets pushed if the dealer and the player have blackjack hands, and even money is paid out in case the dealer goes bust.

As we already said, European blackjack is popular in European casinos, yet it can also be found in online casinos. To play it, all you need to do is load up the game, select your chips (bet size), then wait for your cards. Afterward, you should make a decision to either hit, stand or split, while you can also double down and take the insurance if you think you should.

That’s it – all that remains now is to wait for your score and hope to beat the dealer.


Since blackjack relies on skill rather than luck, it’s a good idea to learn more about the game first and get better at it before playing. Add a basic strategy into the mix and the game can become quite profitable for experienced players who know what they’re doing.

Basic European blackjack strategies have a set of ‘rules’ revolving around the idea of what you should do (Hit, Stand, Split or Double Down) in different situations. The house edge for European Blackjack is usually 0.42%. Due to the fact that players don’t know if the dealer has blackjack, a cautionary and conservative approach is required.

This is especially true in cases when the dealer’s first card is an ace or a 10. As a dealer’s blackjack beats all the hands at the table, doubling down or splitting in this kind of situation is not a smart move. Of course, some of the European Blackjack rules don’t even allow doubling down or splitting, which is why players should tread with caution.

European Blackjack in Online Casinos

Online casinos are the future of gambling. They are far too easy to access (and literally everywhere on the web these days), they have a variety of games and variations and lower minimum bet sizes in general. Some of the blackjack variants online casinos offer come with their own set of slightly tweaked rules which add further excitement to the game.

When it comes to European Blackjack, for example, players are allowed to pick between single-player and multiplayer tables. The former is self-explanatory and puts you in the ‘pit’ against the dealer. Playing solo is a great way to practice European Blackjack for free or real money if you already know what to do. You won’t feel unnecessary pressure or be rushed into bad decisions, which will allow you to master the game.

Multiplayer, on the other hand, is great for those who like a bit of challenge. Choosing this option will let you play against friends or challenge other competitors under a set of rules. First and foremost, the multiplayer feature has a timer for each move, so it’s not as comfortable as the single-player variant. Additionally, you should keep in mind that there are always better players out there who will be happy to ‘go for the kill’ which means you’ll lose money.

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Why Choose European Blackjack?

Even though the American version is better suited for card counters and therefore more profitable, European Blackjack is still a fun game to play. The 2 decks in play lower the house edge for this variant which means you have better chances of winning. European Blackjack’s rules are mostly fixed across all casinos. This type of consistency is great for players who don’t want to worry about small variations in every game they seek. Although this variant is riskier to play due to the lack of a hole card, this is also one of its charms and what makes it such a big hit in online casinos.

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