Blackjack Switch is based on conventional Blackjack rules with a few twists and exceptions. Two hands, instead of just a single one, are dealt to the player and the player is initially allowed to "switch" the second cards dealt between the two hands. This option allows for the player to make more Blackjack hands than in the classical version. Still, nothing comes without a price and the player’s natural blackjacks are paid only 1:1 instead of the usual 3:2. Also, when the dealer has 22 it is not counted as a bust but rather it pushes all players’ hands except a natural blackjack. The game uses six or eight decks.
The object of Blackjack Switch is for the total of your cards in either hand be closer to 21 than the ones in the dealer’s hands, without exceeding 21. The card values and the rules are the same as in standard Blackjack, so it is useful to go over regular Blackjack rules if you are unfamiliar with the game. You have two hands that you play with, in turn - first the right and then the left, after which the dealer plays his hand. Because of this you are always placing two equal size bets.
The game allows you to hit, split, double, take insurance just like in standard Blackjack. The main rules are as follows:
The Switch decision is at times obvious, especially if switching can change a stiff hand into a blackjack. Still, you have borderline and counter-intuitive cases and the switching strategy is hard to summarise. Often the best way to go about this is to choose the option that will form or preserve the best single hand. But the good news is that we have a calculator that can do all the hard work for you! It is located to the right - all you have to do is enter your cards for each hand along with the dealer's card and click the button to be told whether to switch.
Post switch strategy is a little different to normal basic strategy because of the dealer pushing with a hand totalling 22. See the chart below for reference.
Use this calculator to determine whether to switch, then play the hands as per the strategy table below.
|Blackjack Switch basic strategy: post switch|
|2,2 / 3,3||H||H||H||P||P||P||H||H||H||H|
How to use this chart:
Find the row corresponding to your hand using the leftmost column, then scan across until you reach the column matching the dealer's visible card. Then do what that cell says according to this key:
Strategy chart courtesy of Wizard of Odds.
It is useful to note that Blackjack Switch offers the lowest house edge of all the non-traditional types of Blackjack games. Under the standard rules the house edge is 0.58%. Keep an eye out for the following variations to the rules which can make a significant difference to the house edge, often in the player's favour (note negative values are better as they imply a lower house edge):
Blackjack Switch is available for play almost exclusively at online casinos that use software from Playtech. Unfortunately this means that it is hard to find a game of Blackjack Switch at other casinos, especially those that accept American players. If you would like to sharpen your skills, feel free to try our free Blackjack Switch game which is the same one offered by Playtech casinos.
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