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Blackjack Game Variations

The original blackjack (21) game has evolved into a great variety of other blackjack games. Much of these games have the same rules as blackjack but with minor rule changes, bonuses and payout odds. Many of these games have different types of side bets and other fun features to wager with. So if you are looking to spice up the old traditional blackjack game, then read about a few of these.

The types of games below are usually the most common ones out there. As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of blackjack game varieties out there. Most of them usually just use a combination of the features mentioned below or used different numbers of decks in play. As you know, the number of 52 card decks being played can alter the odds dramatically. Theoretically, there are countless combinations of blackjack rules out there, each combination making a new type of game!

Spanish 21

Spanish 21 is a blackjack variant similar to the original game invented hundreds of years ago. When the game was invented, there were no number 10 cards used. This means that there was Jacks, Queens and Kings that counted as 10 points, but no actual non-faced 10 point cards. This game usually uses multiple decks as well.

The slight rule changed the odds in favor of the casino, so the rules had to be slightly adjusted to attract players. In this blackjack variety, players who get 21 points automatically win, even if the dealer gets a 21 at the same time. Other side bets include bonus 678 bets that pay 3:2 odds or 2:1 if there is a spade flush (same suit). A big bonus is offered when a player gets three sevens (777) and the dealer has a 7. The player will win $1000 with the triple sevens.

Blackjack Switch

This is one of more exotic blackjack game variations. The player will be dealt two game hands with identical bets for each hand. This means you are playing two hands of blackjack at the same time with two separate bets in play.

As the name of the game says, you are allowed to switch your second cards around. So if you have two bad hands, you will have this ability to switch cards from both hands and possibly make two great hands. Normally this extra option to improve your odds would beat the house edge. So the casino had to alter the traditional blackjack game rules around by now making the dealer safe on a 22. This means when the dealer gets 22 points, the entire bet is "pushed" and returned to the player, which is the same action taken if there is a tie. These 22 points would make the dealer go bust in a normal blackjack game, so this extra rule puts the odds back in favor of the casino.

Double Exposure

If you are looking for a game where the dealer has both cards facing up in blackjack, double exposure is the game you are looking for. Normally the dealer always has one card (hole card) facing down and you can't see this until your done with you're turn. In the game of double exposure blackjack, this hole card is facing up, which is almost like cheating in a way if this was normal blackjack! Again, this exposure variation alters the rules around to give the advantage back to the casino.

Because double exposure blackjack gives this massive advantage to the player, there must be massive changes to the game rules. Now when a player ties the dealer, the dealer will win the bet rather than "pushing" or returning the bet to the player. This still doesn't give the edge back to the casino. In addition, a 21 blackjack is now worth 1:1 odds or $1 won for every $1 wagered in order to bring the odds back to the dealer.

Bust Out

You will be very lucky and fortunate to find this game in casinos today. This 21 game offers a side bet when the dealer has a large chance of busting out. When the dealer has a hand where he must hit again, players can place a side bet that the dealer will go bust if a 10 is drawn. This side bet pays odds of 2:1 or $2 for every $1 wagered.

When playing bust out, you would think that when the dealer has a stiff hand like a 16 would be perfect. This is because a 10 card would make him go bust and it's so probable too. Normally the odds would be in favor of the casino as well. Bust out is a rare game to find because the card counters took a huge advantage of the game. The card counters keep track of when there are more 10's in the deck and can easily know when the smaller cards are gone. That means that even novice card counters can really make a fortune off this game when they make a huge 2:1 payoff when easily knowing when the deck is full of 10 point cards. Therefore this game has been removed from many casinos because of how easily the blackjack game can be taken advantage of!

21 Madness

This is actually a fun and exciting variation of blackjack. The game is the same as the original 21 game and uses the same rules, but there is a bonus side bet available. A player can bet $1 extra for the side bet. Then when a player is dealt a natural blackjack (about 4.82% chance) and the dealer doesn't have one at the same time, the side bet is won. The side bet pays between 5:1 and 1000:1 odds or $5 to $1000. The amount of money is determined by a varying chance.

Royal Match

Royal match is a different type of blackjack game with additional side bet options. Players make a bet that the two cards initially dealt will be a flush, or of the same suit. Normally the payout is 3 to 1 on all wagers on the side bet. The big bonus applies when you match two royal cards of the same suit such as the king and queens. When you match these royal cards in a flush, you will be paid 10:1 odds or $10 on the dollar.

Over/Under 13

Another good game variation is over/under 13 blackjack. This game also has an additional side bet feature that can be wagered on. The blackjack game itself uses all the same rules as the traditional version. For the side bet, you are betting that your initial two card hand will have a total of more than 14 or less than 13. Notice that you can't bet on the total being 13 exactly.

That is why the game is called over/under 13, you are betting if your total will be above or below 13. The payout is 1:1 on the side bet, but the casino always wins when your total is 13 exactly. Also note, for the purpose of this side game, all aces will be counted as 1 point instead of 1 and 11, so this lowers your odds a little bit.


This almost sounds like a type of roulette bet. Red/Black is a type of blackjack that follows all the same rules as the original, but has additional side bet options that players can use. Much like over/under 13, the bonus is a side bet on whether the dealer up card will be red or black. This is almost like roulette, a 50/50 type of bet. The problem here would mean the casino would make no profit in the long run and so wouldn't you. Therefore the casino always wins when the dealer has an up card of 2. This is like the zero slot in the roulette wheel. The difference is you can't bet for the 2 card.

The red/black side bet pays 1:1 in this game as well. There is one option to help improve your odds a little bit with the side bet. You could always count the 2's in the deck and try determining how many are left to be dealt, but you could never get odds better than 50/50 because of the equal numbers of black and red cards in the deck. Of course you could always count the colors in the deck in addition to the 2's. If you got a bunch of red cards for a long time, there is likely to be a high probability of getting black cards. This is why I bring up roulette. This is a roulette players dream because the chances and odds of getting certain colors in red/black blackjack is determined by the previous hand!

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