Best Blackjack Variations: Different Ways to Play 21

Blackjack gameplay

Blackjack, one of the most popular card games in casinos worldwide, has spawned numerous variations and versions over the years. From traditional blackjack games to unique blackjack variants, players can enjoy a wide range of options when it comes to this classic casino game.

Each blackjack version comes with its own set of rules, strategies, and odds, providing players with a diverse and exciting gaming experience. Whether you prefer the traditional rules of classic blackjack or are looking to spice things up with a new and exciting blackjack variant, there is a game out there for everyone. Let’s explore some of the most popular blackjack versions and variants, discussing their unique features and what sets them apart from the rest.

Classic Blackjack

Classic Blackjack gameplay

Classic Blackjack is one of the most popular version of the card game. In this version of the game, players aim to beat the dealer by having a hand value that is closer to 21 than the dealer without exceeding it. The house edge in Classic Blackjack is typically lower compared to other blackjack variations, making it a favorite among players looking to increase their chances of winning.

One of the key rules in Classic Blackjack is the ability to split pairs, allowing players to divide their initial hand into two separate hands if they receive two cards of the same value. Players can also double down on their initial bet after receiving their first two cards, increasing their potential winnings. Another important rule to keep in mind is that a blackjack (an ace and a 10-value card) typically pays even money, unless the dealer also has a blackjack.

New and experienced players typically use classic blackjack for honing their blackjack strategies. Whether they’re practicing basic tactics or more advanced blackjack strategies, all these are applicable to the standard blackjack game.

Whether playing at a blackjack table in a Las Vegas casino or online blackjack, the game of blackjack offers excitement and the potential for big wins. By understanding the blackjack odds, blackjack strategy, and various blackjack rules and variations, players can enhance their overall gaming experience and increase their chances of success.

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European Blackjack

European Blackjack is a popular variation of blackjack that is commonly found in online casinos. In this version of the game, the dealer does not peek for blackjack with a hole card, which means that players lose their entire bet if the dealer has a blackjack. The house edge is typically lower in European Blackjack compared to other versions of blackjack, making it a favorite among players who want to maximize their chances of winning.

One of the key rule variations in European Blackjack is that players are not allowed to split more than once. This means that if a player is dealt a pair of aces and splits them, they will only be able to play out their hand with one additional card for each ace. Additionally, the dealer must stand on soft 17, which further decreases the house edge and increases the player’s chances of winning.

Blackjack Suit ‘Em Up

Blackjack Suit Em Up gameplay

Blackjack Suit ‘Em Up is a popular blackjack variation that can be found in many online casinos. This version of blackjack follows the standard blackjack rules with some unique rule variations. The objective of the game is to beat the dealer by having a hand closer to 21 without going over. Players can bet on the side with a side bet, which adds an extra element of excitement to the game.

One of the interesting features of Blackjack Suit ‘Em Up is when a player’s hand is revealed and both cards are of the same suit, the player must play that hand. Each same-suited combination has their own corresponding multiplier if it manages to beat the dealer’s hand, with a Suited Ace paying 60:1 and a Suited Blackjack paying 10:1.

There is also a split option, which allows players to split their hand into two hands when they are dealt a pair of the same card. Another unique aspect of this version of blackjack is the even money rule, which means that if a player has a blackjack and the dealer has an ace showing, the player can choose to take even money instead of risking a tie.

Players can use basic blackjack strategy to improve their chances of winning in Blackjack Suit Em Up. By following the basic blackjack strategy, players can reduce the house edge and increase their blackjack odds. Overall, Blackjack Suit Em Up is a super fun and exciting game of blackjack that offers a unique twist on the traditional card game.

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Multi-Hand Blackjack

Multi-Hand Blackjack is a popular variation of blackjack that allows players to play multiple hands at once. In this version of the game, players can bet on up to three hands at a time, giving them more opportunities to win big. The rules of multi-hand blackjack are similar to standard blackjack, with a few rule variations to accommodate the multiple hands being played. Players are still trying to achieve a blackjack by getting a total of 21 with their two cards, while also beating the dealer‘s hand without going over 21.

One strategy that players often use in multi-hand blackjack is to split their hands when they are dealt a pair, such as a pair of aces. This can increase their chances of winning on multiple hands. Another important rule to keep in mind when playing multi-hand blackjack is the dealer must hit on a soft 17, which can impact the blackjack odds and house edge of the game. Some online casinos also offer multi-hand blackjack in different variations, such as Spanish 21, European Blackjack, and Super Fun 21.

Blackjack + Perfect Pairs

Blackjack Perfect Pairs gameplay

Blackjack + Perfect Pairs is a unique variant of the popular casino game where players try to beat the dealer by getting a hand total closer to 21 without going over. While the game’s main gameplay mechanic is the same to conventional Blackjack, there is an addition of having the ability to add a side bet when you land a hand that has a pair. This new side bet mechanic makes for interesting hands, since Perfect Pairs (when your initial hand comes up with a pair of the same suit) pays 25:1, while Colored Pairs pay for 12:1, and Mixed Pairs pay 6:1.

That said, you can still play each hand as you would normally do, since you should only play high Perfect Pairs (around Pair 9s and above), to have the chance of landing that huge payout. You can also utilize various blackjack strategies to ensure your hands always come up on top versus the dealer’s hand.

If you’ve mastered the basic blackjack strategies and are looking to train your advanced blackjack tactics, specifically on how to deal with pairs, playing this blackjack variant is a good way to practice such techniques.

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Spanish 21

Spanish 21 is a popular variation of blackjack that is played in many casinos around the world. In this version of blackjack, the dealer uses a Spanish deck, which is a 48-card deck of cards without 10s. That said, the objective of the game still remains the same – players have to beat the dealer’s hand by either having a hand that adds up to 21 or be as close to 21 as possible.

One of the unique rules in Spanish 21 is that a blackjack player pays even money, unlike in standard blackjack where it pays 3:2. This house edge rule variation affects how players bet and make decisions during the game.

Moreover, the dealer is not required to stand on all 17s, which means they can hit if their hand totals 17 or more points. Finally, Spanish 21 has a “match play” option which allows players to double their bet if they think they can beat the dealer’s hand.


Whether you’re playing blackjack in real casinos, on your phone, or via live dealer blackjack, the allure of beating the dealer in a game of 21 is always a fun and exciting endeavor. Each variation of blackjack has its gameplay roots stemming from the classic one. Once you’ve figured out the basics of classic blackjack, try exploring its vast number of versions to further hone your card playing skills and even play to win good payouts.

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