Blackjack Switch

Blackjack Switch Game Icon

Blackjack Switch is a popular variant that uses the same rules as the traditional table game but incorporates one major difference. You are allowed to switch the second card of your two hands. This adds a higher level of excitement, especially when the second cards are beneficial in winning.

This Blackjack Switch Complete Guide will walk you through the rules and structure, the optimal strategy chart, and advice on how to switch the cards correctly. 

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Blackjack Switch Game Rules

Blackjack Switch Game Logo

Blackjack Switch is an offshoot of traditional blackjack, so the basic rules remain standard across both games unless otherwise noted.

Each hand begins by placing a mandatory ante bet (in this case, two ante bets). The objective is to reach a total of 21, or closest to it, without going over or “busting.” The options all remain the same, Hit, Split, Double, and Stand.

Forming a blackjack (any 10-value card plus an Ace) creates an automatic winner, with one exception, which we explain below. This variant has several slight rule differences that will affect how you play.

Card Values

Blackjack Switch uses a standard 52-card deck, with each card between 2 and 10 holding a value equal to its numerical rank. All face cards (J, Q, K) have a 10 value, and all Aces have are worth 1 or 11, following the normal game rules. Depending on your location, the dealer will use either a six or eight-deck shoe.

blackjack rules chart - card values

Blackjack Switch Special Rules

Blackjack Switch is based on several adjustments to the traditional rules, so we’ll review each addition individually before discussing how the overall game is affected.

  • The Dealer Must Peek at Hole Card to Check for Blackjacks

    Whenever the dealer shows an Ace or a 10-value card as their up card, they must check their hole card. Whenever the dealer’s hole card matches with their up card to create a blackjack, the dealer will turn their cards face up, and all player hands will be declared immediate losers – except for those holding 21, who will have their bets returned in a push.
  • The Dealer Must Hit on Soft 17’s

    In cases where the dealer’s hand totals a 17 while using an ace, typically known as a “soft 17,” because the value is variable at this time, the dealer has to hit and take another card.
  • You Can Switch Cards to Form a Blackjack

    When the cards align so that you can switch them to form a blackjack, you receive credit for a 21 totalbut the hand won’t be an automatic winner. The only time you’ll receive an immediate payout is when the hand occurs naturally, or your first two cards are an ace and a 10-value.
  • Winning Blackjack Hands Payout at Even Money

    Whenever you form a 21, either by switching cards or receiving a “natural,” the payout for winning stands at even money. Rather than the 3 to 2 or 6 to 5 payout premiums typically awarded under the traditional format, Blackjack Switch compensates for its generous rules by lowering the payout to even money.
  • Dealer Hands Totaling 22 Will Push Against Player Hands

    The so-called “22 push” rule means that when the dealer busts but lands on a total of exactly 22, players left with live hands fail to win like they usually would. Instead, all pending bets are returned as a push – even switched blackjacks. On the other hand, natural blackjacks are immune to the “22 push” rule and pay even money.
  • Double Down After Splitting

    You can double down on one or both of the newly created two-card starting hands following a split hand. The double down will cost an additional wager equal to the original ante bet.
  • Split Hands and Re-Split up to Four Times

    Whenever your two-card starting hand contains identical values, you can split the hand and form two new hands. This move requires an additional wager equal to the ante bet put up, and the dealer then distributes a single card to each of the split cards to form two new two-card starting hands.

Blackjack Switch Table Layout

Take a look at this table setup to familiarize yourself with the game before playing at casinos.

Blackjack Switch Game Layout Setup

How to Play Blackjack Switch

Blackjack Switch is a relatively easy and dynamic table game variant. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to learn how to play and get started today.

  1. Make Your Initial Bets

    The first thing you need to do is place a bet on both of the hands. This means that if you decide to bet $5 on one hand, you must bet $5 on the other as well.
  2. Cards Are Dealt

    After all the bets have been made, the dealer will give each player two hands of two cards. The dealer will deal one hand for themselves.
  3. Switch, Hit, or Stand

    At this point, you have to analyze your cards and decide whether to hit, stand, switch, double your bet, or split your hand. This is where you have the option to switch two of your cards to create two new hands. The goal is to get as close to 21 as possible. Remember to see what card the dealer is showing to choose the optimal strategy.
  4. Dealer Plays Their Hand

    Once you make your decisions, the dealer plays their hand and compares with each gambler to see who wins or loses. The winners receive their respective payouts.
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Blackjack Switch Game Example

The main rule that makes Blackjack Switch an exciting option is being able to switch the second cards. You need to bet on two hands each round, instead of just one that regular games require. Below is an example of a hand and using the ability to switch to make better hands. You can click on the images to enlarge.

1. Place Bets

Blackjack Switch place bets and analyze cards

Once you place your bets, you receive two cards for each hand. You need to analyze them and see if there is any benefit in switching the second card.

In this case, we have a Queen-Seven and a Four-Ten, with the second cards being the Seven and Ten. If you switch those two cards, you get much better hands.

2. Make Choices

Blackjack Switch look at New Hands and Make Choices

You now have a 20 and an 11. Both of these hands, up against a dealer’s Six, should give you winning hands. You Stand on the Twenty since it is already as good as it can get.

You either take a Hit or a Double on the Eleven, as the second card has no chances of busting. The dealer has higher odds of busting with a Six card showing.

3. Dealer Plays

Blackjack Switch have Optimal Hands to Win Blackjack Switch online

It is now the dealer’s turn. If they get a soft 17, they must hit. In this case, the dealer is showing a Six and their second card turned out to be a Queen, giving him a total of 16.

They take a Hit and end up getting an Eight, giving them a total of 24 and busting. This gives both players’ hands a win, paying them 1-to-1 on both of their bets.

Blackjack Switch Strategy

blackjack rules intro

The house edge is the most important strategic element of any casino game. Titles with high house edges are designed to be unbeatable.” In the long run, you have no realistic expectation for overcoming the steep odds against you.

Blackjack for real money has long been a favorite, as it offers a low house edge of under 0.50% if you use the optimal strategy. The traditional game offers a favorable house edge of around 1.5%, even if you know nothing about basic strategy charts and prefer to follow your gut instinct instead.

Blackjack Switch House Edge

Blackjack Switch was designed to replicate the favorable conditions created by the classic title. Under the rules described above, the overall house edge stands at 0.58% (when using optimal strategy).

This makes it a worthy alternative, as you don’t have to sacrifice much of the expected return in exchange for the livelier experience. When using a basic strategy, the overall probabilities for this variant replicate the traditional game to perfection.

Play Free Blackjack Switch Online

Do you want to test your skills and practice Blackjack Switch before playing for real money? Try this free demo of this fun and exciting variant.

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What Is Blackjack Switch?

Geoff Hall Blackjack Switch Game Creator
Geoff Hall

Geoff Hall filed the original trademark application for Blackjack Switch in 2001. The former gambler found himself one night playing a pair of hands simultaneously and noticed that both hands could be improved by switching one of the cards.

Struck by inspiration, Hall quickly developed a new casino game based on the concept of the switching card. He launched the title at the 2000 G2E Gaming Industry Conference in Las Vegas and secured his first agreement to run the game in Harvey’s Casino in Iowa.

The variant proved to be a hit, both with casual gamblers and casino table fans. Today, Blackjack Switch is found in gambling meccas like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, tribal-operated casinos, and gambling sites.

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Make Your Bets and Play Blackjack Switch

If you want to add some variety to your casino gameplay, Blackjack Switch is an excellent option. The variant allows you to trade cards between two hands, letting you mix things up. This casino table game offers one of the lowest house edges of any variant. Take into account these rules and strategies when trying Blackjack Switch to increase your odds of winning!

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FAQ – Blackjack Switch

The following queries are some of the most common questions we receive about playing Blackjack Switch.

How do you play Blackjack Switch?

Blackjack Switch has similar rules as the traditional game. You are dealt two hands at a time and need to make two bets of equal amounts. Once your cards are dealt, you need to decide whether to hit, stand, split, or switch your cards between your two hands. The goal is to get as close as possible to 21. After the dealer plays their hand, payouts are distributed. Blackjack Switch pays 1:1 instead of the standard 3:2 in the traditional title.

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About the Author
Neil White

Neil White - Editor in Chief

His drive and passion for casinos and the most popular games keep him in touch with the latest news and interests to provide the best for his readers.