Blackjack Switch is a game based around an old way of cheating at this classic card game. You always play two hands at a time at these tables. However, you get an opportunity to switch the two back cards of each hand to form two new hands. This adds new strategies and a lot of action.
Casinos with Blackjack Switch
An Introduction to Blackjack Switch
Generally speaking, most blackjack variations have differences within some really basic rules. The payout for a blackjack might differ. Your ability to split, double and surrender might change to have different conditions. However, Blackjack Switch actually adds a different game mechanic.
This mechanic allows you to switch cards between two hands played at the same time. As a result, you can form two completely new hands.
What you get from this is a completely different experience with a strategic decision that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s the sort of thing that really steps outside of the box a bit without being so far out that players can’t relate. It’s not surprising that it’s one of the most popular non-standard variations of the game running.
The strategies involved in this game are pretty easy to learn compared to other blackjack games. However, the switching decision is definitely a bit different compared to everything else.
Rules and Game Procedure
The rules of Blackjack Switch are pretty important to actually read and not skip over. The compensation given to the house for the player having the switch option is substantial. In what follows, we’ll break down these rules and how the game actually proceeds with this new option.
General Rule Set
The following are the basic rules that players need to know before getting started playing Blackjack Switch online.
- You’ll usually be playing with eight decks but sometimes six. They’re shuffled after each hand online.
- The dealer hits on a soft total of 17.
- You’re forced to play two hands on each round, and each must have the same size wager.
- The dealer peeks for blackjack and will push with a player blackjack and beat everything else.
- After the dealer peeks, you get the chance to switch the back two cards (and back two cards only). You only get this opportunity once during the hand.
- If you switch into a 21-point total, it does not count as a blackjack.
- You can double with any two cards, and that includes doubling after a switch or split.
- Re-splitting is available up to a total of four hands (including the two you start with).
In exchange for having the switching option, the house gets compensation in two ways:
- Winning with a blackjack only pays 1:1.
- If the dealer busts out with a 22 against a player who didn’t bust, then the result of the hand is a push. The exception to this is a player blackjack, which will win against a dealer 22.
As you can see, there’s quite a bit in the details to know for this game. That’s especially the case if you’re a strategically minded player. However, it’s also the case if you’re a casual fan.
With those rules above in mind, let’s look at the overall gameplay procedure for Blackjack Switch. This will essentially break down like an example hand.
- The player makes two equal wagers on two hands, one wager on each. Two cards are dealt face-up to each of those spots on the table. The dealer receives one card face-up and another face-down.
- If the dealer has an ace or ten-point card showing, the other card is checked for blackjack.
- After the peek (if needed), the player is given the option to switch. This will switch the second card dealt to each hand. No other combination of cards is available for this option.
- The player is then given a choice to double, surrender, split, hit or stand according to the rules of that particular variation. (See above.)
- If the player goes over 21, he or she automatically loses.
- Once the player’s turn is over, the dealer will turn over the face-down card and hit repeatedly until a total of at least 17 is reached.
- If the player didn’t bust by going over 21, but the dealer does, the player wins unless the dealer has a total of 22. In that case, the hand is a push.
- If neither bust, the highest total wins. Ties are a push.
All wins come at 1:1 in this game. There are no bonus payouts of any kind, even for blackjack.
The player has a few betting options that can be available. The exact options will depend on the software provider of the game. However, when they are available, they work as follows:
- Hit – Receive an additional card.
- Stand – Receive no more cards, and end the player’s turn.
- Double – Exactly one card is dealt to the player, and the end of the player’s turn is forced. However, the player also adds an additional wager to that hand worth the size of the original bet.
- Split – Available only with two cards of matching rank, the player “splits” the two cards into two new hands. An additional wager equal to the original is also added for the extra hand.
- Surrender – The player gives up his or her cards and all chances of winning the hand. In return, one-half of the wager is returned to the player.
Note that surrendering generally isn’t available for Blackjack Switch, but some exceptions exist. With that said, the other four standard betting options are generally available with pretty liberal rules. This includes things like being able to split up to four hands and double after splits.
How to Win at Blackjack Switch
To have the best chances to win at this game, you need to focus on two areas of strategy. One is the switching decision, and the other is playing well after that decision.
Our strategy guide on Blackjack Switch covers the details of how to make this work. However, for most players, the switching decision is the only thing that will give them a lot of trouble since there’s not really anything to compare it to.
The basic idea behind strategy for the switch is based on two ideas depending on the dealer’s card. Against a 7 or 8, you want to switch if it’ll maximize the value of your weakest hand. Against other dealer cards, you’ll want to switch only if it maximizes the value of your strongest hand. There are some other nuances, but that covers the basics.
The thing to know about Blackjack Switch is that it actually offers a chance to switch cards between two different starting hands. This is a tactic that has been used to try to cheat at blackjack in live settings for at least a century. In fact, much of how the game is dealt is based around preventing this method of cheating since it’s very effective when it’s able to be used with an unaware dealer.
In this online version, you’re allowed to make that move, and the house gets certain compensation. This actually smooths out the volatility a bit if you know how to play the switching decision well. The game has a high payout rate well over 99 percent for correct play also, and that makes it attractive for people who are looking to get the house edge as small as possible.
Overall, it’s a terrific game that has a place in every blackjack player’s repertoire.
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