Different Blackjack Games to Try Out

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Casino games.
Casino games. Source: Freepik

Whether playing in-person or online, blackjack is by far the most popular card game in 21st century casinos. To understand how it developed, we have to look back to the heart of Europe more than 300 years ago.

While there are some dissenting opinions, many historians believe an early form of blackjack was first played in Rome. Most, however, agree that it was being played in a different but recognizable form in 18th century France.

Once established in France, the game traveled across Europe, shared by existing players with the people they encountered. Later, after blackjack players found themselves on ships to the ‘new world’, variations arrived on the shores of America.

After finding a home in U.S. gaming halls of the 1800s, blackjack rules gradually became standardized across the country. The 20th century brought dedicated gaming cities such as Las Vegas, and blackjack was quickly established in that world.

After more than a century of dominating real-world casinos, blackjack found an exciting new home online. Through innovative platforms such as Virgin Games, players around the world were given access to blackjack games through their PCs.

Online play heralded a new era for blackjack as it became more accessible to more people than ever before. When the shift from static PCs and consoles to mobile devices came along, the growth of online blackjack only intensified.

Today, we can play blackjack on our phones, tablets, laptops, through VR, and of course, in person. We can enjoy long sessions and tournaments, or simply play for a few minutes at any time, wherever we are.

When a game enjoys enduring popularity in the way blackjack has, it’s common for several variations to develop. Here is a rundown of some of the most popular blackjack games today, and how you can try them out.

Blackjack Games

Vegas Strip

Also known as American Blackjack, Classic Blackjack, or simply Blackjack, Vegas Strip is the most common form you will find. Using four decks, this single or multi-hand game sees the dealer receive their hole (face down) card before play begins.

Splitting and doubling down are both allowed on the Vegas Strip, while dealers stand on 17 and peek for blackjack. Payouts for blackjack wins are generally 3/2 but can sometimes be offered at just 6/5.

Atlantic City

Named after the destination where it developed, the main difference in Atlantic City Blackjack is that it uses eight decks. By expanding the number of decks, counting cards is made far more challenging, even for experienced players.

On the other hand, Atlantic City Blackjack gives back to the player with a ‘late surrender’ option. This allows, in certain circumstances, players to abandon their hands in the middle of play and retrieve half their stake.


Though it has now been superseded by U.S. versions, European casinos have historically favored their own variation of blackjack. Played with between two and six decks, the key difference is when the dealer receives their hole (face down) card.

Rather than getting both cards at once, the dealer receives their hole card only after the players receive theirs. As such, there is no peeking for blackjack and if both dealer and player have blackjack a tie is called.

Double Exposure

Much rarer, but still available, Double Exposure Blackjack offers a distinct advantage to players over other forms. There are no multiple splits, insurance, or surrender, but the important difference comes in how the dealer’s cards are presented.

As the name suggests, the dealer is double exposed, meaning both their cards are laid face up. This is obviously a huge advantage to players, who know exactly what they need to achieve.


A new kid on the block, Blackjack Switch was introduced in 2009 and is already hugely popular. At the start, everything is doubled, each player makes two bets and receives two hands.

The big change in Switch is that players can then rearrange their two hands, swapping cards between them to their advantage. In return, Switch only pays 2/1 for blackjack and the dealer only busts on 23 or higher.

How to try

Depending on where you live, your local casino is likely to offer just one or two of these blackjack variations. For a wider selection, you could travel to a large gamingdestination like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Macau, or Monaco.

Alternatively, you could gather friends together to arrange a game and try new variations in your own homes. By far the easiest way to enjoy the wide range of blackjack games, however, is online.

So, why not satisfy your curiosity today on your favorite online platform? If you’re new to online casino, the established and widely trusted Virgin Games is a great place to start.

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