A look at Blackjack Switch

One of the amazing things about blackjack is the fact that there are so many variants to choose from. This choice means that you can spice things up a bit and add variety to your game. In this article we´re going to take a closer look at Blackjack Switch. But first, let’s imagine that you took a seat at a table and you stole a glance at another player’s cards. 

Now, let’s say that the cards that you’ve seen could give you a better hand if you were able to switch them. Of course, if this is something that you tried to do in a regular game of blackjack, you’d be branded a cheat and probably asked to leave. However, what Blackjack Switch offers is the opportunity to switch cards between hands while staying within the rules.

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How does Blackjack Switch work?

When playing Blackjack Switch, the game takes place on a regular-sized blackjack table. You’ll usually find that six decks of cards are used although casinos are free to use more or less if they choose to. Every player has two betting spots, rather than the usual one, and identical wagers must be placed on both hands. Each of these hands is played independently.

With wagers placed, this is how the game then plays out:

  • With bets placed, the dealer will then deals one upcard to each betting box as well as dealing one to themselves 
  • A second card is then dealt to each player, face up, before dealing a face-down card to themselves
  • The dealer will then ask each player if they want to switch the top card
  • If a player says that they want to switch, the dealer then switches the two top cards in the player’s two hands
  • The player then starts with the hand on their right-hand side and has to decide whether to hit, stand, split or double down
  • This is then repeated with the hand on the left-hand side
  • The dealer will then reveal their down card and act according to the house rules
  • Losing bets are collected and the winner is paid

A look at the rules of Blackjack Switch

As with all variants of blackjack, the rules of Blackjack Switch will vary from one casino to another. However, here’s a look at the ones that you’re most likely to come across:

  • Either six or eights decks are usually used
  • Dealers have to hit soft 17
  • You can double down on any two cards
  • You can split any two cards of the same rank
  • You’re able to double after pair splitting
  • You can resplit up to four hands
  • With an Ace or 10 upcard, the dealer will peek for blackjack
  • If the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, the insurance bet is available 

As well as these rules, some casinos also include two additional ones which are particularly player-friendly:

  • The dealer must stand on soft 17
  • Late surrender is allowed

Just be sure to check the rules of the casino that you’re playing at so that you know exactly where you stand. 

Are there any watch outs?

While there are casinos that will introduce additional player-friendly rules, there are other rules that you need to keep an eye out for. These Blackjack Switch rules are casino-friendly and will have an impact on your game. Let’s take a look at what these are:

  • All player’s hands push when the dealer’s hand totals 22 (the exception here is a player’s blackjack)
  • Rather than paying 3:2, a player’s blackjack pays even money

Now, these rules aren’t a reason to avoid Blackjack Switch. They are simply things to be mindful of before you start to play. 

A look at Blackjack Switch strategy 

If you want to take Blackjack Switch seriously, then there are two strategies that you need to learn. Here’s a look at what these are:

Switching strategy

There are times when switching will just make sense. However, there are other times when you may look at your cards and be left feeling a little confused about the best course of action. When that’s the case, switching strategy exists to guide you. The Big Book of Blackjack by Arnold Snyder is a great resource here and gives you all of the information that you need to master this. Within the book, you’ll find that there’s an abundance of practice hands to help you to learn.

Basic playing strategy

Following the decision to switch or not, you then face the same decisions that you do in a regular game of blackjack: do you split, double, hit or stand? If you’ve already mastered basic strategy, you need to be aware that there are some differences when it comes to Blackjack Switch. That’s because of the push-22 rule. The changes that you’ll find are that there are fewer situations where you should double down or split while there are more scenarios where you should hit.

Blackjack Switch and the house edge

The house edge will vary depending on the rules being used and the number of decks. If you’re playing a six-deck game and following standard Las Vegas rules where the dealer hits soft 17 and where a switched blackjack counts as ordinary 21, the house edge is 0.58%. This is assuming that you’re using both of the strategies mentioned above. If the rules state that the dealer stands on soft 17, the house edge goes down to 0.28%.

Does card counting work with Blackjack Switch?

Card counting can be used to gain an advantage when playing Blackjack Switch. However, it gets a little tricky and it needs you to master both the switching and basic playing strategy. While possible, it is more difficult than card counting during a standard game. 

Final thoughts

Blackjack Switch is a great variant of the traditional game and one that is certainly worth a look. You just need to be sure that you’re clear on the rules that are being applied at your casino of choice and, if you want to increase your win potential, you need to take the time to master the two strategies. 

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100% up to $1.000 on First Deposit
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Blackjack Switch