American vs European Blackjack 2023

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Bonnie Evans | January 5, 2023 | Updated on: July 8th, 2024

The matchup between American vs European blackjack is quite the rumble. Blackjack is played and loved by many US player, and it only fits to have more than one variant. In this case, American and European blackjack are what people refer to as standard or traditional blackjack. Often taking the title of the most classic tables of 21, the two variations of blackjack have slight differences that players need to be aware of.european vs american blackjackThe critical difference between the two is one card. Casual blackjack players and new players need to recognize this difference and how it changes the experience of the entire game. The one card is not the only difference. Some of the rules are different, which impacts the strategies that you may want to use. We have created a guide that looks into both American blackjack rules and strategy and likewise with the European variant. At the end of the guide, you will be able to tell the variations apart, play, and choose your favorite online blackjack.

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The Aim of American and European Blackjack

Regardless of the blackjack variation, the aim is to always get to 21 without going over. Not forgetting that you also have to beat the dealer’s hand. The hand that’s closer to 21 wins. In terms of card values, both American and European blackjack use the standard blackjack values. Cards 2-9 keep their face value. Ten to a King are valued at 10 points, and the Ace is valued at 1 or 11 depending on how you play it.

American Blackjack

American blackjack is the umbrella of other blackjack variations that were created in the country – Atlantic City Blackjack, Super Fun 21, and Spanish 21. Games are played with six to eight decks of cards. Each type has its own set of rules; however, they all carry the following rules with some variations changing the rules slightly.

American Blackjack Rules

  • The dealer can peek their hole card.
  • Dealers stand on a soft 17.
  • Splitting an Ace means you cannot get blackjack.
  • Players can double down even after splitting.
  • Players are allowed to split up to three times.
  • Players can only split Aces once.

American Blackjack Strategy

Having a good playing American blackjack strategy or even just a few useful blackjack tips is sure to increase your odds of winning.

Hard hand

  • Hit when the dealer is showing 2 – A vs your 4 – 8
  • Double down when the dealer is showing 2 – 6 vs your 9
  • Stand when the dealer is showing 2 – 6 vs your 12 – 16
  • Stand when the dealer is showing 2 – A vs your 17 – 21

Soft Hand

  • Hit when the dealer is showing 2 – A vs your 13 – 15
  • Hit when the dealer is showing 7 – A vs your 16 – 18
  • Double Down when the dealer is showing 2 – 6 vs your 16 – 18
  • Stand when the dealer is showing 2 – A vs your 19 – 21

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European Blackjack

European blackjack uses fewer decks, and this has resulted in this 21-variant gaining its popularity at both online and land-based casinos. Using only two decks of cards also lowers the house edge. Furthermore, the European blackjack has fixed rules, so you don’t have to worry about game consistency.

What Is European Blackjack?

Blackjack is a game that by most accounts started in Europe. A highly popular game in countries around the world, there are some distinct differences between what is regarded as traditional Blackjack and European Blackjack. European Blackjack has some basic rules that every casino player should understand. For example, the casino dealer has to draw until 16, the casino dealer must stand on a soft 17, the game utilizes eight decks of cards that are shuffled thoroughly after each round of play and the game pays 3:2. Casino players will also find that European Blackjack does not allow for re-splitting and that insurance pays 2:1. In addition to this, double downs are allowed on 9,10 as well as 11 and on splits. Many of the rules are very similar to that of traditional Blackjack, but there are also some differences.

In the game of European Blackjack, since eight decks of cards are used, they have shuffled again after each play. This is often noted as a very crazy process for some card counters because it essentially makes it quite a problem trying to card count. Since it is difficult to establish a count in the game, there is also the thought that this game is unfavorable to the casino player, but that does not mean that the casino player cannot win and win big.

There are some significant differences between what is known as regular Blackjack and that of European Blackjack. One of the most notable aspects is that rule that does not allow the casino dealer to look at their hidden card until each casino player has acted on their respective hands. This basically means that the casino dealer will not check to see if they have 21 until every other individual playing has. In the American version of Blackjack, the casino dealer can make the decision before other casino players. For this reason, some casino enthusiasts denote that European Blackjack is more favorable as opposed to less favorable.

Casino players seeking to play European Blackjack may have to search far and wide to find it because most casinos online tend to have the American version. Yet, with the popularity of Blackjack in general, this has allowed for more casinos to offer European Blackjack. The web-based casinos that do offer the variation, tend to offer it on mobile phones and on tablet computers for even more playing possibilities. If the casino player is one that prefers online playing versus land casinos, then European Blackjack will overall be easier to find and play. European Blackjack is one of the more fascinating and interesting versions of Blackjack because of the different rules that are associated with it. Many casino enthusiasts are conflicted about whether these rules make it more favorable or less favorable, however, the variant is still fun and exciting to engage in especially with other casino players that also enjoy Blackjack. Despite having to locate European Blackjack in the many different casinos, finding a casino that has is not as difficult as one might think.

European Blackjack Rules

  • The dealer does not have a hole card.
  • If both the player and dealer get blackjack, it is a push.
  • If the dealer gets blackjack, it beat any other hand valued at 21.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Players cannot double down after splitting their hands.
  • Players can only double down on a hard 9, 10 or 11.
  • Splitting is allowed once.
  • Players can only split equal valued cards. Two Kings may be split but a King and Queen may not.
  • If the dealer’s card is an Ace, players can take the insurance bet.
  • Players cannot surrender.

European Blackjack Strategy

This blackjack variation has a much smaller house edge when compared to the American blackjack. Using a proper strategy is key. We have explained the hard and soft hand strategies rather than playing them on a confusing blackjack strategy table.

Hard Hand

  • Hit when the dealer is showing 2 – A vs your 5 – 8
  • Double down when the dealer is showing 3 – 6 vs your 9
  • Double down when the dealer is showing 2 – 9 vs your 10 or 11
  • Stand when the dealer is showing 4 – 6 vs your 12
  • Stand when the dealer is showing 2 – 6 vs your 13 – 16
  • Stand when the dealer is showing 2 – A vs your 17 – 21

Soft Hand

  • Hit when the dealer is showing 2 – A vs your 13 – 17
  • Hit when the dealer is showing 9 – A vs your 18
  • Stand when the dealer is showing 2 – 8 vs your 18
  • Stand when the dealer is showing 2 – A vs your 19 – 21



When it comes to picking a more favourable game of blackjack, American blackjack comes out on top. Both games have their distinct advantages which we cannot take away from. The American blackjack rules are more user-friendly and much more flexible than the European rules. Regardless of which game you choose to play, it is crucial that you can tell the games apart and play to each game’s weaknesses and strengths. If you are looking for a game with a better winning chance, we would recommend that you play American Blackjack.

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