Master European Blackjack Now! Rules, Strategies, Betting, etc.

One of the most popular variations of the classic card game is European blackjack. It’s a favorite in all over the world and bears unique differences to the usual American blackjack. If you want to try your hand on this variation, you first have to study the rules and know some strategies. By using a blackjack strategy card, you can increase your odds of winning in this variation.

European blackjack, like most of the sub-types, is played against the dealer. You’ll try to have a 21 hand or anything higher than the dealer without getting busted. But as much as it shares this same rule, you need how to know how doubling down, splitting, and surrendering goes.

What is European blackjack?

Typically, the European version has six decks in the shoe without the joker. Still, there can be sub-variants where the shoe has 2, 4 and 8 decks. But here’s the catch: the decks are shuffled after every round (most of the time). So yes, my card counter friend, it’s going to be a bit different for you.

One major difference is that the dealer doesn’t have a hole card.
For those who are trying to practice hole carding or spooking, it’s simply impossible.

 

The dealer will hit at Soft 17 but in case the dealer has a blackjack, the original hand losses. In the case of optional bets like splits and doubles, the dealer pushes this and you don’t lose anything.

Here are some of the rules in a nutshell:

????Dealer hits at Soft 17 (some variants say that dealers stand on Soft 17)

????Players can’t split a pair of 4s, 5s, and 10s

????Splitting a pair of Aces are allowed. However, only one card will be dealt for each after the split.

????Players can split for a maximum of 3 hands, resplitting isn’t allowed

????Doubling down for any two-card hand even after splits is allowed

????The dealer doesn’t have a hole card.

????There’s no surrender rule.

There would be differences in these rules depending on the area where you’ll play and the casino’s own discretion. Always ask the dealer first so you won’t have any problems when playing on the table.

If you play blackjack online, take time to read the resources provided by the platform. Check this short video to know how a hand is played under this type:

House edge

As for the house edge, the European blackjack has around 0.62%. But this will change accordingly as the above-mentioned rules are tweaked. You can find a casino offering a house edge for as low as 0.39%.

If you want to plan your game ahead, you can use the house edge calculator from Wizards of Odds. Just set the conditions based on the rules of the casino to get an instant and accurate house edge computation. You can use a special blackjack strategy card to reduce or maintain the house edge.

Side bets

When it comes to side bets, the classic and European blackjack variations don’t have much of a difference. You can still place an insurance bet whenever the dealer has an Ace up-card. However, there would be no hole card. The players must decide first if they want to place a side bet before the dealer hits the second card.

This is bad news for those who are trying to spot tells. Still, if you’re a card counter, you have a higher chance of winning an insurance bet. However, this is still a sucker bet that you should avoid at all cost. As much as insurance pays 2:1 like the classic version, it has a high house edge since European version is usually played with six decks.

There’s also the Perfect Pairs, 21 + 3, and the likes. It surely adds thrill to the card game, but always bet at your own risk. No blackjack basic strategy card can guide you on these wagers.

Payouts

If you’re planning to play this variation, you’re surely asking about how much you can earn per win. The good thing is that aside from a blackjack, the dealer will pay for your 21 hand. Here’s a quick look per type of hand:

HAND TYPEPAYOUT
Blackjack3:2
Blackjack after split1:1
Insurance2:1
Hand of 211:1
Other winnings1:1

These payouts are usually the same for sub-variants of European blackjack. One thing that’s encouraging about this part is that even a blackjack after split will be compensated. Other winnings including side bets may vary per casino. You can easily see the payout on the felt.

Strategies in playing European blackjack

Of course, we won’t let you go to a casino without some strategies to increase your chances of winning. Here, I’ll discuss some strategies that you can use. However, remember that the following points may not work well for the UK variation of European blackjack.

Remember that European blackjack, especially the one played in the United Kingdom, won’t allow you to split 4s, 5s, and 10s.
As much as you can use the blackjack basic strategy chart, there would be some changes in the moves. Surrendering isn’t allowed as well. However, some casinos will allow the surrender rule only if the up-card is a 10-value card.

 

 

To guide you on playing, here are some hand examples. This is the interpretation of the blackjack strategy card from Casino Bonuses:

blackjack strategy card

European Blackjack Strategy chart

🎰If you have a hand of 8 or less (e.i 5-3, 6-2), you should always hit no matter what the dealer’s up-card is.
🎰In case you have a 9 hand and the dealer has a 3-6 up-card, double down. Otherwise, hit.
🎰If you have a 10 or 11 hand and the dealer doesn’t have an Ace or 10 card, double down.
🎰For a hand of 12 and the dealer has 4, 5, or 6 card, stand. Otherwise, hit.
🎰If you have a hand of 13, 14, 15, and 16, always stand if the dealer has a 2 to 6 card. Otherwise, hit.
🎰For Soft 18 hand, hit if the dealer has 9, 10, or an Ace card. Otherwise, stand.
🎰In the case of a hard 17 and up, always stand.
🎰For Soft 13 to Soft 17 hands, always hit.
🎰If you have a pair of Aces, always split unless the dealer has an Ace up-card.
🎰Always stand if you have a pair of 10s according to the blackjack chart.
🎰Always stand if you have a pair of 10s according to the blackjack chart.
🎰Always stand if you have a pair of 10s according to the blackjack chart.
🎰Always split a pair of 7s but hit if the dealer has 8, 9, 10, or an Ace. For a pair of 6s, don’t split if the dealer has 7 to Ace.
🎰For a pair of 5s, always double down but hit if the dealer has a 10 or ace (you can’t split)
🎰Always hit when you have a pair of 4s but split if the dealer has 5 or 6.
🎰For a pair of 3s and 2s, always split but hit if the dealer has 8, 9, 10 or Ace.

If you are to follow this blackjack basic strategy card, you should never take insurance. There’s no special blackjack strategy chart for this side bet, be it European or any variant of the game.

What if I play blackjack online?

The same strategy applies when you prefer to play in an online casino. For those who are still adjusting to the European blackjack rules, I suggest that you try your hand on online blackjack first. This way, you can use the blackjack strategy card discussed above. As much as actual casinos may allow you to bring a small card, the pressure will always be on you.

There are many online casinos nowadays. Here are some of the top picks based on our personal experience:

????888 casino

????Bet-at-Home

????Casino Las Vegas

????Karamba Casino

????Eurogrand Casino

These are just five of the top sites to play. You can check more platforms HERE. Just remember that each of these online platforms has varying minimum and maximum betting rules. Always ask before cashing in or before you play blackjack online.

blackjack strategy card

How to spot tells/ hole card in European blackjack

Are you a fan of spotting tells, hole carding, or spooking? Sad to say, there’s no way you can spot tells to increase your chances of winning. First of all, the dealer won’t have a hole card until the players have played their hands. Any prejudice, inadvertent reaction, or patterns don’t apply in this situation.

Even if you can determine the card as the dealer peeks on it, your hand has been played and you have no way of changing your strategies. Spooking won’t work either as there’s no hole card that you can ask someone to glace at. Your best bet is using a solid blackjack basic strategy chart and more practice.

Card counting in European blackjack

There’s one thing that card counters have to remember when playing European blackjack: some tables have automatic shufflers. A lot of casinos play European blackjack by shuffling the deck after every hand. In this case, card counting is impossible. You’ll be playing on strategy alone since the dealer won’t be dealing a hole card either and you can’t spot tells or flashers.

The best blackjack table if you’re planning to card count is a two or four-deck game without a shuffler.
As much as casinos want to abide by the shuffle-per-hand classic rule, it’s time-consuming. They want to deal as much hands per hour to make more money out of their players.

 

For beginner card counters, the Hi-Lo method never grows old. By monitoring the population of each card value through a running or true count, you can have an educated guess of what card can be dealt next.

In this video, Mike Aponte of MIT Blackjack Team demonstrates how the Hi-Lo Method works:

This method also makes insurance betting more bearable. Still, card counters advise that you avoid it no matter how sure you are of the result.

Overall, the lower number of decks there are, the easier it is to count cards. The only thing you’d have to think about is the pit boss that may back you off if he notices your tricks.

To know more about card counting, check our master class HERE.

Managing your bankroll for European blackjack

Aside from having a blackjack basic strategy card for your play, you should also plan how you’ll bet your money on the table.

Always calculate your possible losses versus your possible winnings. Let’s take this formula for example:
If you’re placing 100 betting units per hour for $1 each (total of $100) at a house edge of 0.62%, you’re bound to lose $6 per hand. If we’re going to divide the losses to your total bankroll of $100, your profit per hour is this:

$100 bankroll ÷ $6 losses per hand (as calculated earlier) = $16.60

So if you play smart for an hour at a speed of 100 hands, you’re going to earn $16.60. If fewer hands are dealt, your income would be lower. Also, the longer you stretch $100, the lower your income will be. Apply these variables to a different bankroll amount that you wish to have an idea of how much you’re going to make.

If you’re starting to have a losing streak, chasing losses won’t be a good idea. You’ll just lose more money along the way. When it comes to European blackjack, it’s better to walk away when the shoe is no longer rich.

I suggest that you implement a “stop-loss rule”. If you already lost $150 and won $200, it’s time to quit even with a blackjack chart. Even if it’s not the amount you wish to gain, it’s better than having no cash at all after leaving the casino.

And as much as possible, don’t place side bets, especially insurance wagers.

What do you think of this blackjack strategy card? Do you have something to add? Let us know below.

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