Online blackjack is probably the most popular card game players play against the dealer. As online casinos have become aware of its growing popularity, the race is on for new variations to the classic blackjack game we all know and love.
Today, Gamblers Pro takes a closer look at Blackjack Switch which is being offered at casino.com UK.
What is Blackjack Switch?
With online blackjack switch, a player plays two hands per game – which is the same as playing at a casino which allows you to play multi-hands on a single table. However, as the word ‘switch’ suggests, this variant on blackjack allows the player to swap cards between the two hands they have been dealt. This gives the game an extra dynamic as it involves applying the correct ‘switching strategy’ on top of playing the standard optimal blackjack strategy when playing the hands.
Blackjack Switch Rules at casino.com UK
Often casinos, whether they be land-based or online, have their own little tweaks to the rules of play so it is important to understand them before jumping in head first.
- Played using six decks
- Blackjack pays 1:1
- Dealer must hit on soft 17
- Both bets for the two hands must be of equal size
- Insurance is available if the dealer’s up-card is an ace.
- You can only switch the ‘top’ cards –the two cards which were dealt second
- Splitting available on any cards of equal value
- Double available on any two cards. Player automatically stands after doubling
- Switching hands to make a hand of 21 is counted as blackjack (some casinos only count this as 21 therefore it can be pushed or beaten by the dealer)
- If the dealer hits 22, it will push (tie) all player hands which are 21 or lower. The player only wins if he/she is holding blackjack
Here are a few screenshots taken from a sample game of blackjack switch on casino.com/uk
The table as it is when you begin. click on the chip amount you want to bet and then click in the ‘Place Your Bet’ circle.
Once the bets have been placed, hit ‘DEAL’.
As you can see, the two hands have been dealt. we are holding a 4 and a 8 (12) in the left hand and a 8 and a 9 (17) in the right. the dealer is showing a 9.
If we click switch, the two top cards swap hands; giving us 4,9 and 8,8
According to the correct blackjack switching strategy, we should switch back to the original hand strengths. I have done that below. I stood on the 17 and hit on the 12. the dealer revealed 19 and so it wasn’t to be.
Insurance; Yes or No?
You might feel compelled to save yourself a little if the dealer is showing an ace but statistically you are better NOT taking insurance.
Experienced players generally know without too much thought if they need to switch or not. For those who are unsure, here is a Blackjack Switching Calculator developed by Jing Ding which can be found at wizardofodds.com. This calculator is specifically designed for Playtech’s Blackjack Switch which is what casino.com uses.
Super Match Side Bet
Players have the option to place this side bet which is based on the four cards the player has been dealt.
The payout is as follows:
one pair 1:1, 3 of a kind 5:1, two pairs 8:1, 4 of a kind 40:1
Overall, this holds a casino advantage of 2.55% so if you are playing on a budget and want to keep things tight, it is best avoided as you will lose in the long run.
Casino Advantage / House Edge
Playing with the correct strategy can reduce the house edge down to less than 0.5% which is what makes Blackjack Switch an attractive game for online players.
Gamblers Pro Verdict
We feel this is one of the better variations of online blackjack that are available. Game play is medium-paced as the player needs to work out their options before committing so you are not burning through 200 hours an hour like you can do with a classic form of online blackjack. Of course, you are playing 2 hands a game so all told, after a bit of practice, a player will probably end up making nearly the same number of bets during their game time in comparison to the classic single-handed game.
Blackjack only paying at 1:1 is a bit of a bummer and the ‘push’ bet with the dealer hitting 22 can be annoying when it pops up – especially if you are holding hands of 20 and 21 respectively. That said, the ability to switch, obviously gives the player a better chance of making one strong hand so it all evens itself out.