For many gamblers who’ve grown tired of playing Blackjack in its classic form, Blackjack Switch provides an exciting alternative with a bit of twist! Although its rules are predominantly the same, there are a few differences you should be aware of before diving into a real money game. Below we explain how to play it, strategy to use and even give you a list of casinos to choose from.
As stated before, Blackjack Switch is essentially played like a regular game of Blackjack, but with some significant differences.
First of all, you must play at least two hands at a time whilst playing this particular variant of the game. And secondly, you’re allowed to switch your top two cards between your two hands. In other words, if you are dealt one hand containing a 10 and a 6, and another hand with a 5 and a 10, you are allowed to switch the 6 and the 10, creating two new hands: 10, 10 and 5, 6.
Another important rule of blackjack switch is that a dealer's 22 doesn't bust - instead it automatically ties with all player hands except for a natural blackjack. And speaking of naturals, in a normal blackjack switch game they only pay 1:1 instead of the standard 3:2 in regular Blackjack online games.
Blackjack Switch was birthed by card counter Geoff Hall before the millennium. The Blackjack pro, who had been playing the table game for many years, had grown tired of being dealt 2 weak hands, without any prospects of improving them, when playing the table game in its classic form. And it was for this reason that Blackjack Switch initially came about.
The game first made an appearance at the G2E conference in Vegas in 2000. And soon after it was shown to the public, the variant became available in Harvey’s Casino in Iowa in 2001. Eventually in 2003, Hall also modified the game to include the ‘push on 22’ rule. And a few years later in 2009, he chose to patent it.
Since then, Blackjack Switch has become a popular variant of the classic table game at brick and mortar casinos in Vegas as well as online.
If you’re currently reading this page, we bet that you’re wondering how to play this interesting variant of the table game. Well, provided that you’ve never played this variant in your life before, we understand that you might need some guidance as to how to play Blackjack Switch. So, don’t you worry your pretty little head, we’ve got you covered here!
Fundamentally, most of the rules pertaining to this variant of the table game are the same as standard games of Blackjack. However, there are indeed some differences which are worth knowing about before you head to a real-money casino to play this variant. Have a look at our Blackjack Switch rules below to get well on your way to learning them and playing this thrilling variant!
Once you’ve begun your game of Blackjack Switch, you must place a bet on both of your hands and not just one. This inherently means that if you decide to bet $10 on one hand, you must bet $10 on the other too!
Most of the time, when playing Blackjack Online in its classic form, you’ll be given the opportunity to split. Yet, if you opt to play a few other variants of this much-loved table game, you’ll find that sometimes splitting is not allowed at all. Fortunately, if you happen to be a fan of this move, you’re allowed to split up to four hands! When doing this, you’ll need to bet the same amount on each hand.
After you’ve switched the top cards belonging to two hands, you’re allowed to double your bet. When it comes to doubling, you can double on any two hands.
If you’ve switched your two top cards and you manage to obtain a Blackjack thereafter, the Blackjack you obtain will be counted as a 21. This is due to the fact that it is not considered to be a natural Blackjack per se.
Provided that you manage to obtain a Blackjack whilst playing this variant of the game, you’ll always manage to beat a 21.
You’ll be paid even money or 1:1 based on the fact that you’ve managed to gain the most favorable hand in the game – a Blackjack.
A major difference between the classic variant of the game and Blackjack Switch is that a dealer’s 22 hand doesn’t bust. Instead, it will result in a push even against a great hand of 21 or less. The only way you’ll manage to beat the dealer in this case is provided that you’re holding a 21.
Provided that the dealer has acquired a 10 or an Ace, he will typically have a peek at the dealer’s hole card. If he happens to have a natural Blackjack, he will beat you and all the other players at the table (assuming you’re playing at a brick-and-mortar casino of a Live Casino game). Yet, if you or another player has a natural Blackjack too, this will result in a push. Hence, you’ll be given your bet back.
As in our example above, the switch decision is quite easy, but in most situations, the decision whether to switch or not is less obvious. One basic strategy often applied by first-time switch players is to swap cards in order to create one strong hand, a move that most of the times will result in a push, one winning and one losing hand against the dealer. There are however certain situations that indicate that this might not be the best strategy, at least not at all times.
If you are holding an ace in one hand for example, you might even be holding a natural 21 in one hand but a weak second hand, let's say a hard 13. Depending on the dealer's card, a switch decision that would break up the natural blackjack might be the right move here. A, 3 and T, T might be two more playable hands in this situation. You can improve your soft 14 hand by drawing another card without risking going bust at the same time as your 20 hand very well might stand against a dealer's 6 through 9 hand.
This chart shows the mathematically correct ways to play after the switch decision. The reason it differs from the regular blackjack chart is because the dealer must hit on soft 17 and has already checked for a natural blackjack when the game continues.
Therefore, there are not as many occasions where splitting and doubling is beneficial for the player. Also, since the dealer can't go bust on 22, there are more situations where it's mathematically correct for the player to hit, even if risking going bust.
Many online casinos of today (and live casinos too for that matter) offer different variations of the blackjack switch game. In these games, players are often offered side bets where they will be rewarded further for three- and four-of-a-kind hands, small pairs etc. Often there are progressive jackpots connected to hands like four 7's and so on. However, putting money on these side bets (with the exception of the obviously incorrect play to draw another card on 21) generally always increases the casino’s house edge.
For gamblers who’ve never played Blackjack Switch before due to fear that the rules will be too different, we have some fantastic news for you! Blackjack Switch might be slightly different in terms of gameplay, but the low house edge is definitely one of the deciding factors for many gamblers who choose to play the casino game. As a matter of fact, the casino’s edge in Blackjack Switch is a mere 0.58% (when the game is played using optimal strategy) which is the lowest house edge available!
Although Blackjack Switch is tremendously fun to play both at online casinos as well as brick and mortar ones, you must fundamentally understand that the payouts for this game vary to that belonging to its classic cousin. In this game, if you manage to catch a natural Blackjack, you’ll be paid 1:1 rather than 3:2. Hence, any Blackjack obtained in this game is actually less profitable than it is when playing the classic version of it.
For the jaded player, Blackjack Switch is an excellent alternative to playing the table game in its rather plain Jane form. It’s fun, it’s trendy and can be extremely lucrative if played correctly. And it’s mainly due to the fact that there’s huge potential to bag a lot of cash that we always urge you to learn how to play the game by playing Free Blackjack prior to signing up at an online casino. But once you do, learn the rules along with some valuable strategy tips to go along with them, you should definitely have a look at our list of casinos and sign-up to receive an exclusive welcome bonus through CasinoTop10!