Blackjack Variations You Need to Play Today

by Enrico
Updated The Fabulous Blackjack Strategy Guides

Blackjack is anything but a one-dimensional game, as these popular and not-so-popular Blackjack variations on the game certainly prove. Its the kind of casino game that needs no introduction. Even people who don’t gamble have at least a passing familiarity with the game, because it is based around two simple rules – don’t go over 21, and don’t go above the dealer. That is quite literally all there is to it.

Sure, there are subtle Blackjack variations in the rules that are used, many of which are designed by casinos in order to catch you out. Yet, most casinos usually implement house rules, or offer several different kinds of Blackjack, making it clear that you know what you’re getting yourself into before you play. But, the base game itself is the same everywhere, and casinos usually try their hardest to make the experience as fun as possible for everybody involved. They seem to be succeeding, considering how much Blackjack is played at casinos all over the world, with millions upon millions taking up the charge of hitting 21 on a daily basis.

What makes Blackjack so great is that it’s not just simple to pick up. It also offers lots of little variations that keep the game fresh and exciting. Online casinos have even gotten in on the trend because they offer more kinds of Blackjack than you can imagine, all just a click away, with it possible play the cards from the comfort of your own home or on the move.

If you’re new to Blackjack or are trying to find something new, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll be covering ten kinds of Blackjack that are considered to be exceptionally fun by gamblers all around the world. These are simple to learn and offer unlimited earning potential for players savvy enough to use the rules to their advantage.

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Pontoon – A Little Bit of British

PontoonPontoon is what subjects of the Queen call Blackjack. Jokes aside, the two variants are quite similar and share a common lineage, but there are some differences. The biggest one is that in casinos, you can see one of the cards before placing your bets. This adds an interesting level of strategy to the game that some players really like. That aside though, Pontoon is very must the British twist on the original game of Blackjack, so there isn’t a barrage of changes worth shouting about in this particular game.

How do you Play Pontoon?

In Pontoon, each player is dealt a single card. Once players receive their card, they decide how much they want to bet on that card. After bets are placed, players receive their second card. The game is then played like a game of American Blackjack, except the terms are different. Instead of hitting, you twist. Getting a higher hand than the dealer results in an automatic win, but there’s an added bonus – if you have at least five cards, your winnings are doubled.

Want to play a Blackjack variation that has a distinctly British flavor? Pour yourself a cup of tea, adjust your top hat, and don’t be afraid to give Pontoon a try.

Blackjack Switch – 21 With a Fresh Twist

Blackjack SwitchThis Blackjack variation is quite new, having only been invented in 2009. Yes, there are people out there still devising and creating brand new ways to play Blackjack in the 21st century and we love them for it. Blackjack Switch might be new on the grand scheme of things, but it’s quickly gaining popularity across the globe and in online casinos. Blackjack Switch is played much like regular Blackjack, but there’s a unique spin on things, players have two hands to work with instead of one, and cards can be swapped after initial bets are placed. It’s safe to say that dealing with multi-hands like this can deliver a pretty electric buzz when at the tables.

How do you Play Blackjack Switch?

When players begin in a game of Blackjack Switch, they make two bets after their first cards are dealt with. These two bets reflect the two decks that they will work with. After bets are placed, you can decide to switch the cards. For example, say you have an Ace and a 4 in one hand, and a 10 and 5 in the other. You can switch them to change these into an Ace/10 pairing and a 5/4 pairing.

As advantageous as this sounds, there is a penalty to balance things out. A Blackjack will only return what you bet, rather than return more. And, the dealer only busts if they hit 23 or more. 22 results in a push for all the players, regardless of the state of their hands.

The addition of an extra hand plus some very subtle rule changes make for the perfect combination if you ask us, so make sure you give Blackjack Switch a try.

Double Exposure Blackjack – Double the Exposure, Double the Fun

Double Exposure BlackjackYou’ve probably heard of Double Exposure Blackjack, since it’s very popular among serious Blackjack players. You know, the ones that don’t mind going big and betting the house. This should not be a surprise, since it has better odds for the player than other versions of the game. Accordingly, most casinos won’t offer this variant since they want to give as little of an advantage to players as they can. So, if you ever offer this variant of Blackjack offered, then be sure to play it as much as you can, as the opportunities to play this game are certainly pretty limited these days.

How do you Play Double Exposure Blackjack?

Double Exposure Blackjack starts out like a typical game of Blackjack, with multiple decks being used. What sets this version of Blackjack apart from the other sis that all players can see what cards the dealer has before any bets are made. As you can imagine, this presents an enormous advantage to players who can make an informed decision regarding their bets. Because of this advantage to the player, double

Exposure Blackjack bars players from using multiple splits, insurance, or surrenders. And, the dealer always hits on soft 17s. These might make it seem like players are exposed to more risk, but that’s not true – the house has virtually no edge in this game variant, with it coming in at sub-1%.

Double Exposure Blackjack certainly lives up to its name, as it gives any player the chance to expose the dealer. That being said, this additional edge comes at a cost, as many of Blackjacks most popular features are stripped away. Those that like Blackjack at its most simple and aren’t afraid to throw down a pretty penny are likely going to get a big kick out of this particular blackjack variant.

Buster Blackjack – Go Big or Go Bust

Buster BlackjackWhile the name might imply otherwise, Buster Blackjack is just regular blackjack with a twist. Each time you try to go for that magic 21, you have the chance to place a side bet. This bet pays out if the dealer goes bust, offering another way to win. The deal is made sweeter each time the dealer draws a card, since the payout grows each time they play one. A simple twist it might be, but the feeling of winning more because the dealer goes bust is a thrilling feeling that many other variants of Blackjack struggle to match.

How do you Play Buster Blackjack?

The good news about Buster Blackjack is that it plays the same as a normal game. The name of the game is based entirely around the side bet that you can make regarding the dealer going bust or not. Everything else is the same, and your own hand has no bearing on whether the side bet pays off or not. The payout for this bet starts at 3:1 for a 3-card bust, and it goes as high as 250:1 if it takes the dealer 8 cards to bust. Regardless of these odds, the side bet favors the house more than a normal game.

Buster Blackjack doesn’t go over the top with rule changes, nor are a bunch of silly twists thrown at you to ramp up the house edge. Small things certainly go a long way in this game, especially if you are able to bust the dealer on the way to a big win.

Bonus Blackjack – Blackjack with an Extra Bonus

Bonus BlackjackThis version of Blackjack is actually pretty similar to Buster Blackjack in that its defining feature is the side bet players can make. What makes it different from Buster Blackjack is that it instead relies on the player’s ability to reach a Blackjack. This version of Blackjack uses only two decks, which is why pros at card counting and general professionals prefer this version of the game. Limiting the decks and upping the number of side bets certainly provides a fresh take on an otherwise standard form of Blackjack.

How do you Play Bonus Blackjack?

To reiterate, Bonus Blackjack doesn’t require you to memorize any esoteric rules, thank goodness. All you need to know is that your side bet is made before the first cards are dealt. If you think you’re going to get lucky, you can take the side bet to win big on a Blackjack. If you get it in two cards, it’ll pay out even if the dealer gets a Blackjack. How much depends on the casino; suited Blackjacks pay out a lot more than ones that aren’t, sometimes as high as 25:1. If you win but don’t get a Blackjack, you still lose the bonus bet. For this reason, more skilled players tend to play this version of Blackjack.

The professional Blackjack players love partaking in a bit of Bonus Blackjack and you should too. While it’s not exactly a thrill a minute affair, it is certainly an enjoyable game that gives the original form of Blackjack a little extra pizzazz.

California Blackjack – Straight from the Sunshine State

California BlackjackAs the name suggests, this variation of Blackjack originated in California. This is because the standard version of the game was illegal, as the state’s gambling laws prohibited players from gambling against the house. Rather than betting against the banker, you instead bet against one of your fellow payers. Who you bet against changes each round you play, so each game round remains feels fresh, different, and fueled with cash.

How do you Play California Blackjack?

This version of Blackjack is actually quite distinct, and playing against other players makes the experience as unique as it is memorable. In each round, a player is designated as the “banker” and must play against all the other players at the table. That player’s bet serves as the bank, and all the other players will attempt to win it as the “banker” tries to increase their bank. There are two other major changes – jokers are included and count as 2 or 12, and players aim to hit 22 rather than 21. Also, players don’t instantly bust we they exceed that number. It’s a very different experience for new players to the format.

If you’re looking for one of the Blackjack variations that don’t actually feel like Blackjack and actually feels like a brand-new game, look no further than California Blackjack. Take this card game for a spin and we’re sure that you’ll be left feeling sunny side up.

More Ways to Play Blackjack than Ever Before!


If you think that Blackjack is some old-fashioned game that’s had its time in the sun, it’s time to think again. This age-old card game is a mainstay of both the land-based and online casino scene for a reason, it just doesn’t let up on the excitement, big wins, and enjoyable card gameplay. What’s helping this game evolve are all the variants of Blackjack out there that present new ways to play with both simple and complex rule changes. There are so many ways to play Blackjack these days it’s actually hard to keep track.

Over the years countless new variations of Blackjack have come along, with each proving to be as exciting as the last. From the effortlessly easy Buster Blackjack to the rather complicated Chinese Blackjack, it’s all out there and it’s all within an arm’s reach – or should we say screen tap or mouse click. Plus, there are actually many more Blackjack variations than what we’ve listed today, so it’s time to head to the casino and start playing Blackjack as you’ve never played Blackjack before… literally!

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