European Blackjack is one of the most popular Blackjack variations played throughout Europe – we look at this single-hand MicrogamingTM game that offers players a lot more than they bargained for. This variant incorporates the use of only two standard decks of 52 playing cards that are shuffled before each game.
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European Blackjack: How cards are Dealt
The way in which cards are dealt in European Blackjack differs from American Blackjack – the European version of Blackjack dictates that the Dealer only receives one card which is dealt facing upwards; the player then completes their hand. Only once the player has completed the dealer receives additional cards.
Players might think that this puts them at an advantage however it is quite deceptive, especially since the Dealer doesn’t peek when their card is a Ten or an Ace. This drastically alters traditional plays that the player may make without thinking twice, such as Double Down and Split decisions.
Players would more often than not Double Down when they have a Ten or Eleven total against a Ten or an Ace. However in this instance players should refrain from doing so as the chance of the Dealer attaining a Blackjack are dramatically increased. Players are however advised to Double Down if they have been dealt two cards that total Nine, Ten or Eleven.
Another situation with a similar idea is when the player has a pair of Eights against the Dealer that has either a Ten or an Ace. In most situations this hand would warrant an automatic Split but in this case it is advised against, as a result of the increased chance of losing against the Dealer due to a possible Blackjack which in this case is very plausible. In this scenario it is advised to rather Hit than continue with a Split which could very well cause the player to lose more real money.
In the normal proceedings of the game the player can opt to Split a hand although they can only do so once, resulting in two separate hands. If the player decides to Split a Pair of Aces then they can be dealt multiple cards to each Ace. If an Ace is dealt a Ten valued card then this is not classed as a Blackjack but simply a 21 hand.
Players may also Split like Ten valued cards such as two Kings but not a Ten and a Queen. Then finally, as with most other version of Blackjack the Dealer must at all times Stand when they have Seventeen.
Now this is where it gets interesting – players can use the “Expert Mode” features to customise their gameplay. There are two options which can make this variant even more entertaining and interesting:
European Blackjack Strategy
The Strategy Table of European Blackjack allows players to dictate the exact actions the program should follow based upon their hand as well as the Dealers first card. Players can choose between two options, namely the use of a preset strategy or the customisation thereof to reflect their own assessments and risk level.
European Blackjack Auto-Play
This option allows the program to independently use the strategy that you have selected and then further allows the player to alter the number of deals, as well as the speed thereof and when to stop the play.
The default chip amount is 2 with the chip sizes ranging from 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 with the limit being 200 and the chips being resized to make up the current real money bet with the least amount of possible chips. The house edge is 0.42% and with a good strategy can be kept relatively low.
Based on the exciting features that European Blackjack offer such as the “Expert Mode” and superb graphics as one has come to expect from MicrogamingTM we give this Table Game 4 out of 5.