Standard blackjack is a great game, but sometimes even the most devoted fans of 21 need a little change of pace. Online casinos offer a truly staggering variety of blackjack variations, ranging from some that are fairly close to the regular game to others that are exotic indeed. Several of the biggest casino software companies have also come up with their own unique twists.
More About Blackjack Variations
One blackjack variation that has withstood the test of time at both physical and online casinos is Spanish 21. This game is very close to standard blackjack with the notable exception that all of the 10s have been removed from play. Face cards are still worth 10, but the absence of the 10s makes the game somewhat more unpredictable. It's also better for the house, so some player-friendly rules that are usually offered to compensate. Among these are the option to double down at any time (even after the player has taken one or more hits), automatic wins when a player draws to 21, and special bonus payouts for specific combinations of cards that equal 21.
Microgaming, arguably the most prominent supplier of online casino software, has come up with a number of its own variations. Among them are Pontoon Blackjack, a game with its own unique terminology to go with its unusual rules. The dealer cards are both dealt face down, and the player can't stand (or stick) on a total under 14. On the other end of the spectrum is Double Exposure Blackjack, where both dealer cards are face up so the players know exactly what they are up against – but some other rules tilt things back toward the house.
Playtech also has a number of its own blackjack variations, including Balckjack Switch. Players in this game are dealt two hands each, and have the option to switch the second cards in each hand if it would work to their benefit. The company's 21 Duel Blackjack is something of a blackjack-poker hybrid, introducing concepts like antes and community cards to go along with an optional side bet.
Realtime Gaming has several games similar to the ones listed above but with slightly different names. Its casinos also often offer Perfect Pairs Blackjack, which gets its name from a special side bet that pays out when pairs appear. It's not that much of a departure from traditional blackjack, and the house edge on the game is low.