European Blackjack is increasingly popular amongst Blackjack enthusiasts as it is a very lucrative game to play with just 2 decks of 52 cards which is favourable for the players. This Blackjack variant is played like the conventional Blackjack game with some points that do not vary from one casino to the next.
Players are permitted to double their bets when they have totals between 9 and 11. However they are not allowed to double after splitting a hand and if the dealer shows a Blackjack the player loses the hand even after doubling or splitting.
How the Game Proceeds
The game takes place in the following way online with the first 2 cards being dealt to the player face up after the player decides how much he would like to bet. If the player would like a 3rd card, he must say ‘Hit’ and if not he asks to ‘Stand’.
There is no limit on the number of cards a player may request, however if the points on his cards add up to more than a total of 21 he goes ‘bust’, losing the bet. The whole aim of the game is to get to the number 21 or closer than the dealer can get to that number.
A natural Blackjack is when a player or the dealer has a 10 point card together with an Ace which can be worth 11 points or 1 point according to the needs of the game. When the dealer shows an Ace immediately that his hand is dealt, the player can take out an insurance bet which he will collect in the case of the dealer having a Blackjack.
When large amounts of money are being wagered it is advisable to take out insurance in order to keep the bankroll viable to play more hands.
Players who are dealt two cards that have the same value points on them are allowed to split the hand and ask for another card for each hand after doubling their bets. Each hand is then played in parallel but as a totally separate entity.
Players who have 9 points or higher can ask to double their bets and get a 3rd card dealt to them.
Doubling down is advisable without doubt if you have a total of 11 when you are dealt the initial 2 cards even when the dealer shows that he has a 10 or an Ace. You should also double down when you have a soft 17 or 18 which means that you have an Ace in your hand that can be taken to be worth a 1 or an 11 and the dealer has between 2 and 8 points on the card that is showing.
Splitting your hand
As for splitting your hand it is always advisable to split a hand that has 2 number 8s as a 16 is really not a good hand in the game of blackjack. Never split two 5s as they add up to that all important number 10 which needs just one more card, preferably an Ace to make a number 21. You should consider doubling down or hitting immediately to maximize your position in the game.
A general rule is always to split a pair of Aces so that you can build up two superb hands and hopefully get two winning hands from your lucky position.