How To Play European Blackjack

Updated December 6th 2014. Reviewed by Melissa B.888 Casino

I remember when I first started testing sites in the for New Jersey, a friend of mine called me up and said, ‘Hey this Blackjack is broken. It’s only dealing the dealer one card!’ What he didn’t realize is that’s standard European Blackjack, which only deals the dealer one card facing up. The other card which would normally face down (also known as the hole card) is dealt to dealer after all of the players on the table have made their decisions. The biggest difference between American and European Blackjack is the hole card. The dealer doesn’t know if he or she has blackjack because they only have one card. Normally with American Blackjack, the dealer checks to see if they have blackjack prior to the players playing out their hand, and the player decides based on the strength of their hand if they would like to take insurance. No hole card means, no checking for blackjack and also change the way insurance is played out. From a perception standpoint, because the dealer’s second card comes after all of the players on the table have made their decisions, its more frustrating when playing with people who don’t understand the odds.

The other difference between American and European is that the dealer must hit on a soft 17 (which also works in favor of the house). Having grown up playing Blackjack in the US, and then later having managed several online casinos in Europe, I’ve gotten used to European Blackjack, but it still sort of irks me, especially when playing in a land based casino. Frankly, I more like the fact that it’s available on 888Casino’s site for variety but I would I would always opt for the Classic or Premium American Blackjack. For sure, it’s worth a try!

Game Rules: 888Casino’s variant of European Blackjack offers the following rules:
• 8 decks
• Dealer hits on soft 17
• Double down only on 9,10, 11
• Re-splitting allowed twice
• No hitting on split Aces
• Blackjack pays 3/2
• No Surrender option

This version of European Blackjack yields a 99.48% return to player which is slightly less favorable than American Blackjack. But if you are a big blackjack player, you may really like a change from your standard American Blackjack! According to the 888Casino website, it will soon be available in Play Mode so keep checking back here on SmartChoiceCasino.com to see when you can take that test drive for free!

Overall, I really enjoyed 888Casino’s Blackjack. The quality of the graphics and audio far outweighs the slight disadvantage of the house-edge. The face that you can control your game speed using turbo play mode as well as playing up to 5 simultaneous hands is a real plus. Despite a few little hiccups, I give this one a Thumbs Up!