If you’re like most people, Classic 21 was the first variation of blackjack you played. It’s a simple and intriguing game. You challenge a dealer to produce cards whose total value equals twenty-one.
If you go overboard, you bust—a loss for you. If the dealer produces a better hand, you also lose. Nevertheless, Classic 21 is an intriguing game and the best blackjack variant for most people.
It’s not the only variant, though. Below is a list of eight Classic 21 alternatives for blackjack enthusiasts looking for something different.
Invented in 1995, Spanish 21 is a blackjack variant that removes 10-value cards from the standard 52-card deck. That means the game has 48 cards and six-eight decks. By removing 10-face cards, Spanish 21 gives casinos a slight edge over players.
However, it compensates the lack of these cards in other ways. For example, players win when they produce a blackjack hand (21) at the same time as the dealer. With classic 21, this is treated as a draw.
There are more differences between Spanish 21 and Classic 21. For starters, you can double down a maximum of three times. You can also surrender late to lose half instead of all your money if you think the croupier will hit a blackjack.
Blackjack Switch is one of the best variants of Classic 21 and for good reasons. First, it’s the best-paying variation of the game according to BestOnlineBlackjack.com. It has a return to player rate of 99.87%, much higher than most online casino games.
RTP aside, people love Blackjack Switch for one crucial reason: it lets you switch cards early in the game. Here’s how that works. The game starts with two hands, meaning four cards. You can then switch up the cards so that one hand is a lot stronger than the other.
Let’s say you get a hand with cards 10 and 2 and another with an ace (11) and 5. You can place the ace and ten together so that you form a perfect blackjack (21) instantly. With that in mind, there are some more rules worth thinking about.
For example, a dealer’s hand of 22 is not a bust. Instead, it’s treated as draw against any hand you have besides a natural blackjack. Another significant rule is that the game pays out 1:1 as opposed to 3:2.
Pontoon is a type of blackjack played with the standard deck of 52 cards. A pontoon is natural blackjack (21) formed by two cards alone—say an ace plus ten. The next best thing in the game is a five-card trick: five cards that total to twenty-one.
A player who hits twenty-one with a pontoon wins over someone with a five-card trick. Interestingly, someone with a five-card trick beats a gambler with a blackjack formed from any other combination.
That said, the rules of Pontoon vary significantly at different casinos. For starters, you can double down multiple times even when you have three or more cards. Then there’s something called twist that lets you receive an extra face-up card without doubling down.
Another significant rule of Pontoon is that the dealer wins if you both form a natural hand of blackjack. But that’s alright. The game has a return to player rate of 99.64%, the second-best paying game after Blackjack Switch.
How would you fancy a jackpot within a blackjack game? To add cherry on top, the grand prize increases every day until a lucky person grabs it. The rules of the game are simple. You play the game to beat a dealer in producing a natural blackjack.
You can bet as little as $1 or as much as $10,000. But a small fraction of your money is taken to contribute to the jackpot. The game takes a cut from everyone’s bet, helping form a huge grand prize for the lucky winner.
In case you’re wondering, the jackpot in progressive blackjack is won by forming a hand of specific card numbers. For example, you can win by producing three 7s or seven threes.
Perfect blackjack has rules that are almost similar to those of Classic twenty-one. It features the standard 52-card deck and gives the house and advantage of 0.35% to 0.44%. The difference comes in that you can place up to five side bets and has multiple payout levels.
You get paid 30:1 if you produce a natural blackjack with two identical cards and 10:1 for two similar-colored cards. In contrast, you earn 5:1 for a blackjack hand with a black and red card.
Vegas Strip Blackjack
Named after the six-kilometer stretch that hosts most Las Vegas casinos, this blackjack type comes with found 52-card decks. The dealer can stand on soft 17 and peek for blackjack. On the flip side, you can split aces once and double down.
On the downside, a twenty-one formed by split aces isn’t treated as blackjack. All other wins are paid at a ratio of 3:2 apart from side bets (2:1).
Live blackjack is a relatively new form of the game introduced by online casinos. It comes with varying rules depending on where you find it. But the unifying factor is that you play blackjack in a live setting.
That means you can play blackjack against a human dealer instead of RNG software. You can also relish the game in a multiplayer setting while also viewing and interacting with them. Bet limits vary from as little as $5 to as much as $500 for high rollers.
Super Fun Blackjack
It’s not called Super Fun blackjack by mistake. This game is pretty entertaining and has plenty of player-friendly rules. For example, you win with a blackjack of six cards against a dealer’s cards of two-five cards. This is called a six-card Charlie rule.
On the other end, you can split aces and also hit or double them. You can split pairs up to four times. What’s more, you can surrender even after doubling down.