Blackjack is one of the all-time classic casino games. One of the main reasons for its popularity is its simplicity. It doesn’t require a great deal of knowledge, experience or skill to try to get a card hand as close as possible to 21 without exceeding that total, and the result is that anyone can play and have as good a chance of winning as the next person.
However, this very simplicity means that a number of blackjack variants have developed in order to add an extra layer of complexity and interest to the game. One of them is blackjack switch, invented by Geoff Hall and introduced in Las Vegas in 2001. The game’s main innovation is that players hold two hands and are allowed to switch cards between them at a certain point in the game.
It’s really not cheating
In normal blackjack, of course, swapping over your cards would be considered cheating, but in blackjack switch it’s an allowed strategy. Blackjack switch can be played in a live environment or at the best NJ online casino, where it’s available alongside a wide range of other table games and over 500 slots. Online, casino games can be played 24-hours a day for real money and on a variety of devices, from your PC to your phone, and they’ve become massively popular for convenience and security.
The basic rules are the same as traditional blackjack, with a hand going bust if it adds up to 22 or more. In blackjack switch, however, an exception is made for the dealer, who can play a hand of exactly 22. This pushes against any player’s hand and can only be beaten by a natural blackjack, that is, one that was made without switching or splitting.
Another difference is that a blackjack only pays out at even odds (1:1) rather than the standard 3:2.
Time to deal
Blackjack switch is played with 4-8 decks shuffled together. Each player has two betting boxes and initially lays down two identical wagers, one for each hand. As the game progresses, the wagers can be doubled and split independently, and are resolved separately too. The dealer then moves left to right, dealing one card to each box, face up, until each player has two cards, but each card is in a separate box, or hand. After dealing their own card, they repeat the process until each player has two separate hands of two cards each.
Here comes the switch
Each player now has the option to switch their top cards, i.e., the second card they were dealt in each hand. So, if they have a 10 and a 6 in one hand, adding up to 16, and a 5 and a 9 in the other, adding up to 14 – two quite average hands – they may want to switch the 6 and the 9, giving them a 19 and an 11, both of which have stronger potential. However, players are not obliged to switch and can stick with their hands as they are.
After switching, or not, players are asked if they want to hit, stand or double, as in traditional blackjack. As you can see, blackjack switch allows for more strategy and is a way for experienced players to stay interested in the game.