Blackjack Switch Online
Blackjack Switch online is a popular blackjack variation that can be found at casinos all over the internet. It uses the same gameplay and similar rules are traditional blackjack, but incorporates one difference that makes the game much more interesting to play. Players are allowed to switch the second card of their two hands. They would have to place a bet of equal size and create two separate hands, and once the dealer gives them the second card on each hand, the player can choose to switch them. This gives players a higher level of excitement, especially when the second cards in Blackjack Switch online are very helpful in winning.
This page was written with the beginner in mind, so we’ll run through the game’s basic rules and structure, along with a review of the main differences between online Blackjack Switch and the traditional form of blackjack. From there, you’ll find a handy guide to locating this exciting new blackjack variant, both in brick and mortar and online casinos. Players will get an introduction to basic blackjack strategy for Blackjack Switch online, including the optimal strategy chart devised by game theory experts, and advice on how to properly manage the all-important switching of the cards.
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Playing Blackjack Switch Online
The main rule that makes Blackjack Switch online an interesting game to play is the player’s ability to switch the second cards dealt to them. Players will need to bet on two hands each round, instead of just one hand that regular blackjack games require. Below is a great example of playing a hand of online Blackjack Switch and using the ability to switch cards to make better hands.
Place Your Bets and Analyze Hands
Once you have joined a Blackjack Switch online table, you will need to place your initial bets. As mentioned before, you will need to place two equal bets on two separate hands to start playing. Once you have placed your bets, you will receive two cards for each hand.
During this step, you will need to analyze the two cards and see if there is any benefit of switching the second cards with each other. In this case, we have a Queen-Seven and a Four-Ten, with the second cards being the Seven and Ten. If we switch those two cards, we will get much better hands.
*click images to enlarge
Use Blackjack Strategy to Play
Now that you have switched both of the second cards, you are now left with amazing hands; a 20 and an 11. Both of these hands, going up against a dealer’s Six should give you winning hands. All you have to do now is play according to the basic blackjack strategy.
You would choose to Stand on the Twenty, since it is already as good as it can get without risking a possible bust. You would either take a Hit or a Double on the Eleven, as the second card has no chances of busting your hand. The strategy here is that the dealer has higher odds of busting with a Six card showing.
Dealer Plays and Payouts
Once you have finished making your player decisions, it is now the dealers turn to play. They will go through the same decisions, and follow the table rules for the house hand. If they get a soft 17, they must hit. Following all of the rules mentioned below.
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. This is the worst hand possible for a dealer or player, as the odds of busting are much higher. They take a Hit and end up getting an Eight, giving them a total of 24 and busting. This gives both of the players hands a win, paying them 1-to-1 (Even Money) on both of their bets.
Players need to see if switching their second cards will give them better hands than they currently have, as well as seeing what card the dealer is showing to make the optimum Blackjack Switch online decisions.
Blackjack Switch Rules
Blackjack Switch online is an offshoot of traditional blackjack, so unless otherwise noted, the basic rules remain standard across both games.
This means that players will begin each hand by placing a mandatory ante bet (in this case, two ante bets), the objective of the game is to reach a total of 21, or closest to it, without going over or “busting.” The player options all remain the same, Hit, Split, Double, and Stand; based on the rules below.
Forming a blackjack (any 10-value card plus an Ace) creates an automatic winner; with one exception, which will be explained below. Blackjack Switch online has several slight rule differences that will affect how the game is played.
Six or Eight Deck Tables
A standard 52-card deck of playing cards is used in Blackjack Switch online, with each card between 2 and 10 holding a value equal to its numerical rank. All face cards (J, Q, K) are valued at 10, and all Aces hold a variable value of either 1 or 11 depending on the situation. Depending on your location, either a six- or eight-deck shoe will be used.
Online Blackjack Switch Rules
Blackjack Switch is based on several key adjustments to the rules, so we’ll review each addition individually, explaining the rule itself before discussing ways in which the overall game is affected:
The Dealer Receives One Up Card and One Hole Card to Begin
An element of “American” blackjack, the two-card rule simply means that the dealer will receive their two-card starting hand along with players. One of the dealer’s cards will be face up on the table to see, while the other will remain face down until all player actions have been completed.
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 use the table scanner to 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 players holding blackjack, 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 will be forced to hit and take another card. This is another element common to “European” blackjack, and over the long run, the dealer hitting on soft 17s benefits the house.
Player Cards Are Dealt Face-Up
In most forms of blackjack, the player receives one up card and one hole card, providing the game with the element of partial information. In Blackjack Switch, however, all cards in a player hand will be dealt out face up.
Players Must Place Two Ante Wagers of Equal Size Before Each Hand
In the game of Blackjack Switch, all players at the table are in control of two hands each, so a pair of mandatory ante bets are This is akin to playing two spots during a normal game of blackjack, so you’ll simply place one chip a piece near the betting circle, and the dealer will distribute four cards to form a pair of two-card hands.
Players Can Opt to Switch the Second Cards Dealt to Each Hand
The rule which gives Blackjack Switch its name, this provision allows players to exchange the second card dealt out to each of their hands. As an example, let’s suppose you’ve been dealt the 4-9 on one hand, and the 7-A on the other. In normal blackjack, the 13 total would be a poor starting hand while the soft-18 would be considered strong. However, in Blackjack Switch, the best play would be to switch the 9 and the A between the two hands, thus creating new hands of 4-7 and 9-A. With an 11 total for one hand and a 20 for the other, the ability to switch your second cards instantly improves your situation under this scenario.
Players Can Switch Their Cards to Form a Blackjack
When the cards align in such a way that you can switch them to form a blackjack, you’ll be given credit for a 21 total – but the hand won’t be an automatic winner. As you’ll see in the next section, one particular casino in Las Vegas does choose to award an automatic winner to switched blackjacks, but for the most part, when you switch cards to form the game’s best hand, Blackjack Switch will not reward you with an immediate payout. The only time you’ll receive an immediate payout on blackjack is when the hand occurs naturally, or your first two cards are an ace and a 10-value.
Hands with Winning Blackjack Payout at Even Money
Whenever you form a blackjack, either by switching cards or receiving a “natural,” the payout for winning blackjacks stands at even money. Rather than the 3 to 2 or 6 to 5 payout premiums typically awarded for blackjacks under the traditional format, Blackjack Switch compensates for its generous rules by lowering the payout for blackjacks to even money.
Dealer Hands Totaling Exactly 22 Will Push Against All Live Player Hands
This unique rule, which the game’s inventor devised in order to satisfy the demands of casino operators, gives the house an additional way to avoid paying players. The so-called “22 push” rule simply means that when the dealer happens to bust, but lands on a total of exactly 22, players left with live hands fail to win like they normally would. Instead, all pending bets are returned as a push – even switched blackjacks. Natural blackjacks, on the other hand, are immune to the “22 push” rule, and they will be paid out at even money despite the dealer holding a 22 total.
Players Can Double Down on Any Two Cards
At any point in the hand, when holding two cards of any value, players can exercise their option to double down. This move requires an additional wager equal to the ante bet be put up, and the dealer will then distribute a single additional card to complete the hand.
Players Can Split Hands and Re-Split up to Four Times
Whenever the player’s two-card starting hand contains identical values, the player may opt to split the hand and form two new hands. This move requires an additional wager equal to the ante bet be put up, and the dealer will then distribute a single card to each of the split cards to form two new two-card starting hands. Should any of the newly created hands contain identical values, players may elect to re-split by following the same Re-splitting can occur up to four times.
Players Can Double Down After Splitting
Following a split hand, players may then opt to double down on one or both of the newly created two-card starting hands. The double down will cost an additional wager equal to the original ante bet.
For players who happen to find themselves in Russia, the rules of that nation are slightly different. There, players are permitted to surrender early, forfeiting the hand in exchange for half of their ante bet being returned. The dealer also takes only a single up card, an extension of “European” blackjack rules, before taking their second card only after all player action has been completed. Finally, Russian rules for Blackjack Switch dictate that dealers must stand on soft 17 totals.
Best Casinos to Play Blackjack Switch
When it comes to live versions of Blackjack Switch played in brick and mortar casinos, your options for finding the game are only limited by your physical location.
The game has become a standard offering for casinos of every size and scale, so unless you simply can’t find a gambling establishment nearby, you should be able to locate a Blackjack Switch table without too much trouble.
Even if you do have multiple casino options in your area, it never hurts to place a few phone calls and ask for the table games manager. Inquiring about the status of your favorite games will only take a few minutes of your time, and you’ll be able to compile an accurate list of the available games in your area. And for the casinos that don’t currently carry Blackjack Switch among their table game selection, a few calls of this nature just may prompt someone in a position of authority to explore adding the game sometime down the road.
When you find yourself in Sin City, and Blackjack Switch is on your mind, head to the little-known Best Western Plus Casino Royale. Located on The Strip across from The Mirage, this small gambling hall offers a unique rule for Blackjack Switch which significantly favors the player.
In most versions of Blackjack Switch found both live and online, switching your two hands to form a blackjack simply produces a 21 total and not an immediate winner. This can leave players vulnerable to the dreaded “22 push,” as whenever the dealer makes a total of exactly 22, the player’s 21 total will result in a tie rather than a win.
When you play Blackjack Switch at the Best Western Plus Casino Royale, the dealer will immediately pay off your switched blackjacks at the usual even money rate. This removes any chance of seeing your sweet blackjack and 21 total turns into nothing more than a push, tilting the odds in favor of the player on a meaningful level.
All things considered, if you’re on The Strip and searching for a Blackjack Switch game, take your bankroll to the Best Western Plus Casino Royale to give yourself an immediate leg up in terms of overall expectation.
For players interested in playing Blackjack Switch online from home, the vast majority of online casino platforms which are powered by Playtech software will be running the game. Our most recommended casinos to play Blackjack Switch online at is:
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Online Blackjack Switch Strategy
The most important strategic element of any casino game concerns the role of the house edge. Simply put, games with high house edges are designed to be “unbeatable,” and over the infinite long run, players have no realistic expectation for overcoming the steep odds against them.
Blackjack has long been a favorite for sharp gamblers, as the game offers an astoundingly low house edge of under 0.50 percent, assuming optimal strategy is being used. Even for players who know nothing about basic strategy charts, preferring to follow their gut instinct and intuition instead, traditional blackjack offers a favorable house edge of around 1.5 percent.
Low Enough House Edge
Thankfully for blackjack specialists, the game of Blackjack Switch online was designed to replicate the favorable conditions created by the classic game. The overall house edge on the game, under the rules described above, stands at 0.58 percent (when players are using optimal strategy, which will be presented below).
This makes Blackjack Switch online a respectable alternative to regular blackjack, as players don’t have to sacrifice much of their precious expected return in exchange for the livelier gameplay experience. With other blackjack variants out there like Blackjack Plus, which carries an obscene house edge of 6.36 percent, tweaking the rules just a little bit can wreak havoc on the player’s bottom line. But when playing Blackjack Switch, and using basic strategy, the overall probabilities for this variant replicate traditional blackjack to perfection.
Rule Changes Increase Edge
Of course, a few subtle variations of the online Blackjack Switch rules have cropped up over the years, and these wrinkles change the overall house edge on the game. Using eight decks in the shoe, rather than six decks, increases the house edge slightly to 0.60 percent. When you find a game like that run by the Best Western Plus Casino Royale in Las Vegas, which deems switched blackjacks to be automatic winners, the house edge plummets to just 0.18 percent. All blackjacks being declared automatic winners produces a lower house edge of 0.37 percent, and the Russian rules mandating the dealer to stand on soft 17s creates a house edge of 0.28 percent.
Use Basic Strategy
When it comes to playing your cards correctly, either during the basic decision-making process of blackjack, or the crucial choice to switch cards, the industry’s most reliable resource has come through for players once again.
Courtesy of Michael Shackleford, the renowned game theorist, and mathematician behind the curtain at The Wizard of Odds website has created a comprehensive resource on Blackjack Switch basic strategy. Here you will find a detailed basic strategy chart for the basic decisions in the game (hit, stand, double down, or split), along with advice on exactly how to switch your cards when the situation arises.
Blackjack Switch Online History
The original trademark application for a hybrid table game known as Blackjack Switch was filed by Geoff Hall in 2001.
According to Hall’s recollection of the events, the former card counter and advantage play blackjack specialist found himself sitting at the table one evening lamenting his poor luck. Playing a pair of hands simultaneously, Hall noticed that even as he endured a rough run of cards, both hands could usually be improved simply by switching one of the cards from each hand.
Struck by this stroke of inspiration, Hall quickly went to work on the development of a new casino table game based on the switching cards concept, and Blackjack Switch was born. Hall debuted his new game at the 2000 G2E gaming industry conference in Las Vegas, before securing his first agreement to run the game in a live casino, in this case, Harvey’s Casino in Iowa.
During the testing phase for Blackjack Switch, Hall realized that the game could be enhanced, at least from the house’s perspective, by introducing a rule stating that any dealer hand totaling 22 results in a push for players left with live hands, and not a win. Although this provision gave the house a subtle boost to its overall edge against players, casino operators were a fan of the modification, and Blackjack Switch eventually gained admittance to the gaming floor of the Four Queens casino in Downtown Las Vegas.
Became Popular at Casinos
The game proved to be a hit, both with casual gamblers and blackjack aficionados. Soon enough Blackjack Switch became a staple in the pits of casinos and card rooms around America and all over the world. Today, Blackjack Switch can easily be found in gambling meccas like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, tribal operated casinos located on reservation land, and even over the internet via online casinos.
The industry-leading software provider Playtech, which powers hundreds of online casino platforms serving customers across the planet, holds the sole rights to run Blackjack Switch games online. This means you can find a seemingly endless selection of reputable, well-ran online casinos which host Blackjack Switch games.