The best strategy to play European Blackjack

Blackjack variant played at European casinos is called European Blackjack. But there is one major difference between the standard Blackjack and European Blackjack game.  Here the dealer does not receive a hole card until the player acts. This rule changes some decisions for the player related to doubling down 11 against a 10 and splitting 8’s. This is how blackjack is dealt in most European casinos.

  • This variant of Blackjack is generally played with 6 decks. However, there are variants of the game which are played with 2-8 decks;
  • The player loses his total bet, if the dealer has a Blackjack;
  • Splitting 4s, 5s or 10-valued cards isn’t allowed;
  • Aces can be split. However, the player can only receive one other card on each ace;
  • A player can double after a split;
  • The dealer stands on a soft 17;
  • The dealer always draws on 16;
  • An insurance bet can be taken out by the player, if he/she wishes to;
  • Surrender is never allowed during this game.

European Blackjack- The Game Play

European Blackjack

Just like other Blackjack games, European Blackjack is played against the dealer. The game generally uses 6 decks. However, it’s also possible to find variants with 4 or even 8 decks. Moreover, there’s also a variant out there that’s played with 2 decks. In European Blackjack, the dealer takes his hole card after he’s dealt the player’s cards. Fundamentally, the player’s objective in this variant is synonymous to the goal in the classic variant of Blackjack Online. The aim is to beat the dealer at his own game by obtaining a Blackjack, a 21 or an overall score which is closest to 21.

The card values in European Blackjack are essentially the same as those in any other Blackjack games. As per usual, both 10s and face cards are worth 10 points and Aces are worth either 1 or 11. Number cards are also worth the same numerical value. What’s important to note about European Blackjack though is that although many of the rules are the same as its classic cousin, there are a few rule changes which are important to take note of in order for you to play the game well.

European Blackjack Game Rules

European Blackjack is typically played using 6 decks of cards (there are also variants in which 4-8 decks are used too). Cards are typically re-shuffled after each round at land casinos as well as at online casinos. Fundamentally, the rules of European Blackjack are almost the same as those pertaining to Blackjack in its classic form- with a few distinct differences that we mentioned above.

When playing European Blackjack online, you’ll be able to experience all the features that the online variant boasts. Not only does the variant have different game speeds to suit all players, but it also has different moves to choose from just like other variants. These are namely ‘Hit’, ‘Stand’, ‘Split’, ‘Insurance’ and ‘Double’.

How to play European Blackjack online?

Mongoose casino AUD

In order to start playing European Blackjack, you must first head to your favorite Blackjack online casino and register yourself and open your casino account. To play for real money make a deposit or play for free without any deposit.

Now go to table games section and select it as a variant. Once you’ve selected it, simply go on and load the real-money game provided that you’ve already deposited your bankroll.

When the game has loaded, your next move is simply to select how much to bet. Once you’ve decided on the amount to bet, all you have to do is click on the chip.

Next, you should take a deep breath and just wait for your score. Provided that you manage to get a blackjack and the dealer doesn’t have one, you’ll be given your payout immediately. However, if he has a blackjack, you’ll lose all that you’ve bet.

Decide whether to hit, stand, double down or split, if nobody’s won yet

Assuming that you haven’t got a blackjack, you’ll have to decide which move will possibly be able to help you win the prize.

‘Hit’: Selecting the ‘hit’ button will enable you to receive another card to better your initial score. Before you press the button, we always suggest looking at our European Strategy Chart.

‘Split’: Throughout the game of European Blackjack, you’ll notice that the ‘Split’ option will only be activated provided that you have two cards that are of the same value. When you Split your hand, you’ll be left with two hands and an extra bet will be made for the other hand that’s been created. After this occurs, each hand will be played as per usual. So in essence, you’ll be able to receive another card and ‘Hit’ each hand too. This is valid for all pairs which can be split with the exception of a pair of Aces. In the case of Aces, you’ll only be able to receive one more card and you won’t be able to resplit.

The splitting option in this variant allows you to split your hands up to 3 times. However, you’ll only be able to split certain pairs. For example, splitting same-value cards which are not identical is definitely not allowed at any brick-and-mortar casino or online casinos. Hence, for cards to be able to split, they must have the same numerical value.

According to the strategy, players should split 2s, 3s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s and Aces. However, 10s and 5s should never be split and 4s can only be split in certain instances such as when the dealer’s up card is a 5 or a 6.

‘Double’: If you select the ‘Double’ option whilst playing European Blackjack, you’ll be able to double your bet. On doing this, you’ll receive one card and your turn will then end soon after.

‘Insurance’: Whilst playing European Blackjack, you’ll have the option to take ‘Insurance’ when the Dealer’s up card is an ace. Provided that you think that the dealer will draw a card with the value of 10, this might be worth placing a little wager equivalent to half your original wager. If you win, you’ll be able to receive a payout of 2:1.

Once you’ve made your move, the next step is just to wait for the outcome. Provided that you’ve managed to win, you’ll generally be paid out 1:1 in European Blackjack.

Payouts in European Blackjack

In European Blackjack, you can get an excellent payout provided that you win. Below at the table find out what the different payouts are for different hands:

Hand Type




Blackjack formed after a Split


Hand of 21


Other Winning Hands


Insurance Bet


The best strategy to play European Blackjack

Since Blackjack is not only a game of chance but also one which heavily relies on a strategy too, it’s always wiser to use basic strategy rather to just wing it and see what comes out of the game.

In European blackjack, players have to be more conservative in their double down and split attempts, especially, when the dealer’s face up card is an Ace or a 10-value card.

The house edge for European Blackjack using between 4 and 8 decks is at around 0.42%. The change in rule requires an adjustment in the strategy to adopt for this variant of blackjack. Players will tend to play in a more conservative fashion.

  • This becomes true especially when the dealer’s first card is an Ace or 10-value card.
  • The player will have no way of knowing until his hand is complete what the dealer’s hand is.
  • That makes moves like splitting or doubling down risky, especially given that the dealer’s blackjack beats the player’s hand of 21.

Doubling down is also reduced because of the following 2 rules:

  • Doubling down only for hands of 9 to 11.
  • No doubling on 11 against a dealer’s 10.

Splitting is also reduced because of the rule related to splitting: no splitting of 4s, 5s, or 10-value cards that are not alike.

Now head to online Australian casino and play this popular Blackjack/Pontoon variant with real AUD or for free even with your mobile.