The Never-Ending Evolution of Blackjack
While there is no general consensus on the origin of blackjack, most agree it was probably first played in French casinos around 1700’s, when it was known as a game of Vingt-et-Un or Twenty-One. It was still called “21” in 1930’s when the state of Nevada decided to make gambling legal. At that time a special deal was offered for a ‘black jack’ hand consisting of the Jack of Spades or Jack of Clubs and the Ace of Spades. While casinos do not provide special payouts for such hands anymore, the name stuck. (For more details, check this Blackjack History inforgraphics).
The game has continued to evolve to this day, largely thanks to the Internet. Online casino industry has developed various versions of blackjack though you can also find quite a few unique varieties in land-based casinos. So, if you’re a hard-core blackjack fan and think you’ve already seen it all, you might be in for a surprise. Check out several exciting new blackjack games launched in recent years. You might want to give them a try.
This is a kind of mix between blackjack and another highly popular casino game, poker. It will allow you to make two blackjack bets and an optional poker-based side bet. Combination of your first four cards and dealer’s up card could deliver a winning poker combination. Once bonus wagers are settled, game will continue as regular blackjack.
This blackjack variant uses a single 52-card deck and pays 6 to 5. You’ll be allowed to double on any two cards but won’t be able to double after a split. You can re-split to four hands, except for aces which get one card each.
Free Bet Blackjack
The most popular new blackjack game of recent years. Free Bet Blackjack is a variant which will make every gambler’s dream come true: someone else putting up cash while they themselves collect the winnings. It doesn’t exactly mean you can play for nought as you’ll still need to finance your original wager, but casino will pay for you to double-down and split.
Equally attractive for seasoned players as for new ones, this game is played with 6 decks and pays 3 to 2. Dealer will hit on soft 17’s. You are allowed to double down after a split and you can re-split to four hands, even when it comes to aces. House will pay for you to double on 9’s, 10’s and 11’s, while you’re still free to double down on any of the other hands if investing your own cash. Free splits will be offered on any pairs with the exception of 10’s and 4’s which you wouldn’t want to split anyway. With such a generous offer, you might be asking yourself: where is the catch? True, there is one. If dealer should bust with 22 while you’re holding 21 or less, wager is pushed.
Triple Attack Blackjack
Now this is one variant which is not as fitting for newbies but will make seasoned blackjack gamers use their skills to the full. Firstly, you’ll be playing 8 decks from which all 10’s have been removed. On top of your regular blackjack game, you’ll be able to place additional 2 wagers, first one after seeing your first card and the second after dealer reveals his card. These are called Second and Third Attack wagers and will allow you to profit from one of three side bets. Suited Royals pays if your first two cards are suited picture cards or a two-card flush. Triple Match combines your first 2 cards with the dealer’s first card to deliver a three-of-a-kind or a pair. Insurance is offered if dealer has an ace facing up and will pay at odds 2-1 for off-suited Blackjack and 5-1 for a suited one.
You can beat the dealer with several combinations even when they score a Blackjack. You’ll triumph if you land a Blackjack yourself, score 21 or un-busted 6 cards or more. Standoff is created if both you and the dealer reveal same totals or if they bust with 22 while you score 20 or less.
It’s probably clear by now that you will not only need to stay on top of total points you’re holding and the dealer’s up card, but also the number of cards in front of you. While this demands that you remain highly concentrated, it also brings additional excitement to the game.
High Hand Blackjack
Have you heard of blackjack with a progressive jackpot? Probably yes. But have you heard of one where you also compete vs. other players at the table? Well, this is what High Hand blackjack is about! Betting that you will have the highest hand at the table, you’ll be making side bet into a progressive jackpot pot. If all players bust or are beaten by the dealer, the pot rolls over to the next hand. Same thing happens if two players tie for the best hand. So, while your hand could be good enough to beat the dealer, it’s still possible that the High Hand pot rolls over. Blackjack and 21 are of equal value when determining the pot winner. You’ll be playing this game with six decks and dealer will stand on soft 17. Double after splitting is allowed but both will require an additional side bet.
This is definitely a variant you should try out, but don’t go too greedily after the jackpot as this might cause you to hit on hands you’d normally stand on without thinking twice.
Double Up Blackjack
Double Up Blackjack is a twist on regular game which gives you an additional option to double your original wager after you see your first two cards and dealer gets his card face up. Having received your hand, you’ll have 3 choices: stand, hit or double-up. The latter can be done on any 2-card hand with the exception of Blackjack, by putting up an amount equal to or lower than the original wager.
If you choose to double up, you’ll have to stand. If your hand beats the dealer’s, both the double-up wager and the original wager win. If dealer beats your hand, both wagers lose. In the event of a push, double-up wager will lose. If the dealer lands a hard or soft 16, the game ends. All 21’s are paid automatically and all other wagers push. In case dealer achieves a Blackjack, you’ll lose only your initial bet while doubles and splits will be returned. A card total of 21 pays 1-1 and a natural Blackjack pays 3-2.
Sounds interesting? We certainly think so! But in order to give these exciting new blackjack variants a try, you’ll have to pay a visit to a land-based casino. None of them are available to be played online, with the exception of High Hand Blackjack.
However, online casinos have a variety of blackjack games for you to choose from. You can find most of them on our site and even play them for free, here on Online Blackjack Explorer. If you are ready to play for real money, then we recommend that you check our list of fastest withdrawal casinos.