European Blackjack

European Blackjack is one of the most popular variants of standard blackjack. You can play the game either for free or for real money at prominent real money online casinos. The aim of the game is simple—you only have to beat the dealer with a hand that equals 21, but without exceeding it.

European Blackjack for real money is played with 8 decks of 52 standard playing cards, which are shuffled thoroughly at the beginning of each round. The rules require the dealer to draw to 16 and stand on soft 17. Players get a payout of 3:2, 2:1, and 1:1 on blackjack, insurance bets, and even money, respectively. Players are permitted to double down on split cards as well as on 9, 10, and 11; however players cannot re-split their cards or split fours, fives, and tens. The game allows players to surrender half their bets early. If the dealer gets blackjack, players lose the game.

Once all the players have placed their bets, they will be dealt two face-up cards while the dealer receives one face-up card. European Blackjack prevents dealers from checking to see if they have blackjack till they receive their second card. This means that players will not lose much even if the dealer ultimately gets a blackjack, which is possible only if the first card dealt to him is an Ace or a ten.

The game comes with an early surrender option, which means that players can fold and get back half their bets if they don’t get blackjack. They can even purchase insurance if they feel that the dealer will get a blackjack. If players decide to purchase insurance, they need to place a bet, half the size of their initial bet, that the dealer will get blackjack. If the dealer gets blackjack, players will receive a payout of 2:1 on their insurance bets, but will lose their initial bets. If the player gets blackjack, he/she receives a payout of 1:1 on even money on their bets.

If none of the above happens and the game continues, players can either stand or hit as many times as they wish till they either go bust or choose to stand. Players can also double down if they are sure that one more card will help them win. Doubling down is advisable when players have hands equaling 9, 10, or 11. If players have two cards of the same value, they can split and play two hands simultaneously, but are not allowed to split fours, fives, and tens.

Once players make all these moves, the dealer deals the second card. Dealers are expected to hit on 16 and stand on 17. If the dealer busts, all player hands that haven’t busted are considered to be winners. If the dealer stands on 17 and has a hand of higher value than the players’ hands, the dealer wins; but if the player’s hand is of higher value, the player wins. In case of a tie, players get back their bets. If both player and dealer go bust, the dealer wins.