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Online Blackjack Switch
Every blackjack player has found themselves in a situation where they are sitting at the table next to a friend, with both of them staring at terrible hands. But a solution would be available, if only it were legal: what if the two players could trade a card, suddenly making both hands much more playable? Unfortunately, that’s a tactic that is likely to get both players thrown out of a casino for cheating, rather than helping their chances.
But in Blackjack Switch, that’s exactly what you’re allowed to do. In this variation on the classic card game, you’ll make two bets to play two separate hands, and have the option of switching two of the cards if that will help your chances. It’s an entertaining twist that makes the game way more complex, but also greatly improves your chances of creating winning hands each time you play.
How to Play
Blackjack Switch uses most of the rules of traditional blackjack, so if you understand how to play that version of the game, you’ll have a grasp of the basic gameplay here as well. However, there are some important changes that you’ll need to be aware of before you jump into your first hand.
At the beginning of each hand, the player is required to make two bets of equal size, each of which will be associated with one of two hands. The player is then dealt two standard blackjack hands face up. As usual, the dealer will check for a blackjack; if he has one, all player bets immediately lose (except for blackjacks, which push).
The player then has the option to switch the second cards dealt to each hand. In most online versions of the game, this will be the “top” card. It’s important to remember which cards can be switched, as the player doesn’t have the ability to make whatever hands they desire out of the four cards they have been dealt. However, if you make a mistake while switching, games will typically give you the option to freely switch back and forth as much as you want until you are satisfied with your decision.
After deciding on the switch, the player will then play out the two hands as normal. The options to hit, stand, split and double can be utilized just as in a normal blackjack game. Once the player finishes player their hands, the dealer will reveal their second card, and finish playing their hand, standing on all hands of 18 or more as well as “hard” 17s.
The hands are then scored as in regular blackjack, with a couple of notable changes. First, the player will only win even money on all wins, including natural blackjacks. Secondly, a dealer hand of 22 will push against any non-blackjack hand for the player.
Simple to Master Strategy
There are two places where players implement strategy: first in the decision of whether or not to switch the cards in their hands, and then secondly in the more traditional playing of their hands. Both of these decisions are important in getting the best odds possible, making this more complex than standard blackjack in a number of ways.
Thankfully, there is plenty of information available on how to best play your hands. Many switching strategies are available that can help you come very close to the optimal returns on this game. On the most basic level, the general idea is to balance your hands to avoid having a very weak hand against a dealer showing a seven or an eight, while against other dealer cards, you should strive to make your better hand as strong as possible.
It’s also important to use a strategy specific to this game when playing your hands. The fact that the dealer will push with you on a 22 forces some serious changes to traditional blackjack strategy.
Why Play This Game?
Blackjack Switch is another game in this family of card games that comes with a very fair house edge, usually clocking in at around 0.6%. It is also a strategically complex game, one that allows you to make tough decisions in interesting spots on a pretty frequent basis.
Obviously, that’s not something that would appeal to every player: if you want to just sit back, relax, and let hands play out by themselves most of the time, this is not the game for you. But the combination of a low house edge and the opportunity to really think about the game while you play make this an excellent choice for players who enjoy challenging themselves and getting rewarded for playing a casino game well.
Because of the amount of moving parts involved in the game, you won’t find many Blackjack Switch tables in live casinos around the world. However, it is a popular choice online, with most Internet casinos offering it with rules similar to those described here.
If you’d like to play this interesting table game online, you can get started by signing up for an account at any of our recommended online casino sites (check out the reviews here). Once you open your free account, you’ll be able to start playing for free or for real money today!