Where casino games are concerned, there’s a general consensus that you can’t improve on the classics. Games like roulette and craps have been focal points of casinos in the US since the first casino arrived in Las Vegas in the early 20th century and across the rest of the world for even longer.
Today, of course, it is as common to visit a casino online as in the physical world, and an interesting thing is starting to happen. New variations on casino classics are emerging and starting to gain popularity. There are two drivers for this. One is that the online market is so competitive, casinos are eager to try new things, so they stand out. The second is that they do not have the same space limitations, so devoting some room to a new game that might or might not prove popular is not as big risk as it would be in a real world casino.
Introducing Blackjack Switch
Blackjack is another of those games that many would consider sacrosanct. And it’s true that classic blackjack will always be one of the most popular US casino games among those who pursue online gambling for real money. It combines simplicity with a skill element that means real money returns can be improved if you follow the optimum strategy. Other online gambling games like roulette don’t give you that as they are purely down to chance.
That hasn’t deterred game developers from devising new variations on this iconic game, and one that has managed to gain momentum and garner popularity among gamblers is called blackjack switch. It’s the brainchild of legendary casino game inventor Geoff Hall. He patented it in 2009, although its popularity has really spiked in online casinos over the past year or two.
The game proceeds like normal blackjack, with the following exceptions:
- The player places two identical stakes and is dealt two hands face up.
- The player can choose to switch the top cards on the two hands
- A natural blackjack pays out even money, not 2:1 as is common in regular blackjack
- If the dealer scores 22, the game is a push unless the player has a natural blackjack (not created by a switch or a split)
Other than those details, the other blackjack rules remain unchanged. The player can split pairs and double down as usual, and the rules for the dealer hitting or standing on soft 17 are as per the table.
Blackjack switch strategy
Broadly speaking, the same basic strategy rules that apply to traditional blackjack should also be used in blackjack switch. One small detail that differs is that experts recommend you always hit on soft 13, 14 or 15 regardless of the dealer’s upcard. Other than that, stick with standard basic strategy and you won’t go far wrong.
The super match side bet
In most casino games, side bets are best avoided as they offer a poor return. Switch blackjack’s super match side bet pays out if your four dealt cards contain a pair, two pair, three of a kind or four of a kind. The house edge is only 2.5 percent, so this is one side bet worth considering.