Online Blackjack Switch Games
Blackjack Switch is gaining popularity as a simple yet unique variation of standard Blackjack that deals players two hands and allows them to swap the second cards dealt to each hand. Blackjack Switch can be found at many casinos, including those that use the Playtech software.
What makes Blackjack Switch fun to play?
The advantage of Blackjack Switch is that players may produce two excellent hands from two average hands by simply swapping cards from each hand. This advantage to the player is made up for in some ways, but it certainly provides a strategic challenge, as players must try to beat the dealer on both hands.
How is Blackjack Switch different from standard Blackjack?
There are not many differences in rules between Blackjack Switch and standard Blackjack, but the differences make for profoundly unique play experiences. The first difference, for which Blackjack Switch is named, is that players are dealt two hands, and they may switch the second cards dealt to each of those hands. The player places an equal bet on each hand before being dealt cards, so to win overall, a player will generally need to win on both hands or else win after doubling down on one hand.
The switch rule gives players an advantage in some ways, but there are several rules that balance this. For one, a player blackjack hand pays only even money rather than 3:2, as it would at most standard Blackjack tables. Also, the dealer pushes on a 22, rather than busting. This will not beat a player blackjack hand, but a player hands that only has a point value of 21 will be pushed if the dealer hits 22. This greatly decreases the value of trying to draw to 21, as it slightly reduces the likelihood of a dealer bust.
Other miscellaneous rules differences include the dealer hitting on soft 17, as well as 6 or 8 decks normally being used, resplitting allowed up to 4 hands, and players being allowed to double down after splitting on any 2 cards. Different casinos may use slightly different rules, however, such as limiting the number of hands that can be split. Also, whether a switched hand blackjack counts as a natural or a 21 will vary between casinos.
Blackjack Switch Example Play
For this example, we will assume that the player places a total $20 bet, $10 on each hand. He is dealt a 4/10 and an Ace/7 against a dealer 9. The player chooses to switch for a 4/7 and an Ace/10. This casino counts switched blackjacks as naturals. The player obviously stands on the blackjack and decides to double down on the 4/7 hand as it is valued at 11. The player draws a Jack, and stands, with two great hands.
The dealer flips over the hole card, a 7. At just 16, the dealer must hit, and gets another 6 for a 22. In standard blackjack, this would be a dealer bust, but in Blackjack Switch it pushes lower player scores. The player wins on his blackjack bet but loses on the 21, getting paid even money on the blackjack hand and getting pushed on the 21-point hand. The player has made a profit of $10.
Blackjack Switch Strategy
Blackjack Switch strategy actually mostly uses defensive normal Blackjack strategy once you know the hands you are playing with. You must usually hit on anything below 17 that is up against a dealer 7 or higher, stand on anything above 17, and double down on 10 or 11 point hands unless the dealer is showing a 10 point card or an Ace, when you hit instead. If the dealer is showing a low card, then it can sometimes be preferable to stand even on hands as low as 12 points. For instance, if the dealer shows a 3 through 6 and you have 13, stand. If the dealer shows a 5 or 6 and you have 12, stand. When against any other dealer cards, it is always advisable to hit on 12 and13. Anything lower than 9 should also be hit, as it is too low to stand on and too low for doubling down to be worthwhile.
While it may seem that deciding on when to switch cards between hands would be a complex decision, it is mostly just common sense. The thing to remember, though, is that it is better to make the best single hand than to try to make two hands that merely have potential for improvement. Blackjack Switch is an incredibly defensive game, despite the switch rule allowing players to often create monster hands.
By placing two bets, player will generally have to win on both hands in order to make a profit. Much more often, both hands will be lost or else one hand will win, while the other loses. Losing on one hand and getting pushed on the other can slowly bleed players dry. Patience is the key to Blackjack Switch, as precocious players who cannot stand getting draws will often lose their money in this game in short time.
Any opportunity to split your hand in Blackjack Switch must be thought through completely, as you will already be struggling to turn a profit by creating two strong hands every turn. The more hands you add to the equation, the more hands that have to win in order to break even. This does give opportunity for greater profits, however, so splitting Aces is always advisable if allowed. Splitting 8s can be good if up against anything other than a dealer 10-point card or Ace. 6s may be split against dealer 4 to 6, and 9s may be split against dealer 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9, but should otherwise stand. 7s should be split against dealer 3 to 7, but should stand against dealer 2, and should be hit against any other dealer card. Splitting is otherwise inadvisable in Blackjack Switch.