Nearly every blackjack player has looked down at their cards, at one point or another, and wished they could switch it with a previous hand. Quite possibly, you played two hands at once and wished you could move the cards to make two better hands. If so, then we have the perfect game for you in Blackjack Switch.
The game is relatively new, as it was just conceived by a card counter at a Las Vegas casino. He was inspired to create the game and convinced an Iowa casino to try it first. After some modifications, the game began to appear at Las Vegas casinos and beyond by 2003. Now, online casinos regularly offer Blackjack Switch as a variation for their players.
Top Blackjack Switch Casinos:
This blackjack variation is based on a simple premise. Each player is dealt two hands, and the second card of each can be switched if it will make a better hand. However, the dealer has an ace up his or her sleeve as well. If the dealer makes 22, it is a push for all hands except blackjack, which pays even money. If the player gets a second chance, the house edge is going take some of its advantages back.
Nevertheless, the rules of Blackjack Switch are an exciting change for players seeking a new take on an old game. In order to maintain a good player’s edge, there must be some basic strategy employed, but it will definitely add a thrill to your next blackjack session.
How to Play
The basic rules of blackjack apply to Blackjack Switch, as the standard 52-card decks are used, either six or eight at a time. Wagering must be the same for each of the two hands dealt to a player. Cards will be dealt face up. And a dealer’s blackjack will immediately nullify all other hands besides another blackjack, which will be considered a push.
Online casinos may vary with some of the splitting and doubling rules, as happens in standard blackjack. But the new rules for playing with a switching component are relatively simple. A player can switch the second card dealt in both hands. The part that players should heed is the new blackjack strategy guidelines for moving hands in order of their power and chances to win.
First, let’s look at the basic rules for most online Blackjack Switch games:
- Dealers typically hit on a soft 17, but some Canadian casinos do require the dealer to stand.
- A player can switch cards to create a 21-point blackjack hand.
- Doubling is allowed on any two cards and after a split.
- Splitting can happen for a maximum of four hands.
- Blackjack pays even money.
- A dealer showing 22 against a player’s 21 or less will result in a push. But a player’s blackjack will beat the dealer’s 22.
- The super match side bet is based on the initial four cards before switching. In a six-deck game, the bet pays 1:1 for a pair, 5:1 for three of a kind, 8:1 for two pairs, and 40:1 for four of a kind.
The majority of blackjack experts agree on the following hand strength list, with the best hand listed first:
- Total of 21
- Total of 20
- Total of 19
- Two aces
- Total of 11
- Total of 10
- Total of 9
- Total of 18 or 8
- Two eights with a 2-8 showing for the dealer
- Total of 17 or 7
- Any splitting hand
- Total of 12
- Total of 13
From that point, there are certain guidelines to follow, the first two based on the dealer’s showing.
- If the dealer shows a 7 or 8, make your weakest of the two hands as high as possible by switching cards.
- If the dealer shows anything but a 7 or 8, switch cards to make your highest hand as strong as possible.
- If you have two aces and a 3 and 8, do not switch cards between hands.
- If you have two aces and a 2 and 9, and the dealer shows 2-6, do not switch cards between your two hands.
- If you have two aces with a 2 and 8, do not switch cards.
After the switch, the strategy becomes more complicated. The main points to note are that doubling and splitting are not as beneficial as in standard blackjack. Caution should be applied when choosing to split or double. On the other hand, a player should hit more often in Blackjack Switch because of the dealer’s chances of hitting 22 and pushing so many other hands.
Edges and Probabilities
Players should look for games that require dealers to stand on a soft 17, but it varies greatly from casino to casino.
- If the dealer stands on a soft 17, the house edge decreases by 0.3%.
- If the dealer must hit a soft 17 and a switched blackjack counts as 21, the house edge is .58%.
Most casinos use six decks for Blackjack Switch.
- If eight decks are used, the house edge increases by 0.02%.
The rules may vary per online casino as to whether a player’s blackjack is an automatic winner.
- If the switched blackjack automatically wins, the house edge decreases by 0.21%.
The Super Match side bet is chosen by most players due to odds on the four cards originally dealt.
- A pair typically pays 1:1 and offers 136,401,408 combinations with a 0.35205% chance of hitting.
- Three of a kind typically pays 5:1 and offers 7,577,856 combinations with a 0.019567% chance of hitting.
- Two pair typically pays 8:1 and offers 5,941,728 combinations with a 0.015342% chance of hitting.
- Four of a kind typically pays 40:1 and offers 138,138 combinations with a 0.000357% chance of hitting.