european blackjack

If you’re used to playing at online casinos, then you will probably have seen different variants of blackjack floating around. The main two variants happen to be European blackjack and American/classic blackjack.

The difference in gameplay is quite subtle, but overall, European blackjack is thought to be a riskier game. So it’s perfect for those out for an adrenaline rush!

Let’s take a quite peek at European blackjack rules.

How to Play European Blackjack

European Blackjack is a fast and exhilarating card game, which involves counting card values. The aim is for the player to reach the number 21 with their card values – and make sure not to go over.

The order of play is thus: players place bets, the dealer deals two cards to everyone including himself, and the game begins.

There is only one betting round. Players can take several actions to maximize their chances of getting as close as possible to 21. These include: doubling down, splitting, and taking hits, just like in American blackjack.

There’s only one difference in European blackjack, but it ends up affecting gameplay quite drastically.

European Blackjack: The Hole Card

As we mentioned, in the very beginning of the game, after players are dealt their cards, the dealer will deal himself his own hand.

This is where the main difference lies. The dealer’s two cards are the upcard, which is dealt face up, and the hole card, which is dealt face-down. The use of the hole card is what defines European blackjack.

  • American blackjack: hole card is dealt straight away & checked if upcard is an Ace
  • European blackjack: hole card is dealt only after the betting/action round is over

This means that certain game features will no longer be available for the players. Namely, there is no insurance bet in European blackjack. Plus, the dealer will not check his hole card to preemptively announce a blackjack before players can take hits and bet extra.