What Are the Differences Between American Blackjack and European Blackjack?

Today’s post will explain the differences between American and European blackjack if you are a world traveler. This is especially true if you are planning a Euro-trip with a few casinos in your itinerary.

Many people believe there are no cultural differences between the US, Europe and the rest of the world. However, this is not true. There are cultural differences between Phoenix, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

You can be sure to discover cultural differences across the Atlantic. The casino scene is no exception. We will be discussing the differences between American and European blackjack, and we will also discuss the rules.

American Blackjack Rules

This section is optional if you are an avid blackjack player. We assume that you are new to American blackjack so we will explain the rules in this section.

We all know American blackjack is called blackjack. So we’ll refer to it that way in today’s post.

Blackjack’s Objective Is Simple

You win if you get 21 points or as close as possible to 21. If your hand is closer than 21 than the dealer’s, you win. However, if you get over 21 or the dealer is closer than 21 than you, you will lose.

The game can be played with a single 52-card deck, or several decks at different casinos. There are no fixed number of decks. However, the most common number is between 2-8. Most sources will tell you that the number is closer to 6-8.

A minimum bet will be displayed at each table of blackjack. These may vary in stakes so it is easy to find the right game. You can place bets as low as $2 at some casinos. This is a good option for beginners.

Each card has a different value. 2-10 cards are at face value. Jacks, queens and kings count 10 and 11 and 1 respectively depending on how high or low they need to be. The dealer will have one of each face-up card and you are dealt two cards.

The round begins in clockwise order starting at the dealer’s right. Each player must first decide whether they want to use the side rules (this can only be done once), or stand with their hand, also known as a hit.

You can play as many cards as your heart desires in most online and in-person casinos that offer blackjack. Keep in mind that there are rules against it.

After all players have decided whether to stand or bust, the dealer takes their turn and flips over their hole cards. They could have a blackjack that is worth 21 points such as a jack or an ace. If their hand is lower than 17, they must hit regardless. They will be at or above 17.

European Blackjack Rules

Let’s now compare European blackjack to blackjack. The European version of blackjack has only 2 decks. They also remove the jokers. The cards also have the same value in blackjack as they do with blackjack.

The first difference between European and blackjack is that you get both cards facedown in European blackjack. It’s almost like Texas Hold’em in a poker tournament.

The dealer also gets the first card, known as the open card. It is dealt face-up. After the other players have taken their stand, or busted, they will each deal a second card to themselves and hit until they either hold or bust.

There are also some differences between European Blackjack and American blackjack.

If the dealer receives their second card after players have played, they will not be able to check for a natural Blackjack. You, the player, will not be able to tell if a dealer has a Blackjack until they have played their hand.

The key differences between European blackjack and blackjack are that you don’t get the cards dealt face up. Instead, they are dealt face down in Europe. If the dealer’s first card is an ace or 10 value, they may not be able to check for natural blackjack.

You can also play European blackjack with only 2 decks, rather than 6-8 in blackjack.

Also Read: Differences Between Blackjack and Poker Players

Standard Options in Blackjack & European Blackjack

You might be curious about standard blackjack options, and whether or not they are the same thing as the European version. These options include hits and stands as described above.

You will still have the option to double down, split, or surrender. These options will be explained in detail and we’ll let you know if any differences exist between the two games.

These options are also called side rules.

If you think your hand will beat the dealer’s, you can double down on your initial bet. This can be done with almost any hand of blackjack. However, in European blackjack this must be done using a 9, 10, through king or an Ace (11).

Splitting is when you have two cards with the same face value. You can play with two hands. Splitting means that the dealer will give you another card. Blackjack allows you to split again if you have a pair of cards with face value.

You now have two hands and the game treats each hand individually. You cannot split aces and take more cards than the first, so there is some risk. If you have a 10 through King as your second card, you won’t be eligible for a blackjack bonus.

However, if the 21 opponent has more than two cards, it will still win. The bonus will not be awarded to you.

The European version allows you only to split pairs with the same face value one time. This rule could also be applicable to American casinos.

You can surrender to the dealer just like you would in blackjack. You can surrender if your hand is not equal to the dealer’s. This will allow you to keep half of your original wager. This is only possible if the dealer has blackjack.

This option is not available in European blackjack. You must keep your eyes open until the end.

American Blackjack or European Blackjack

Are you familiar with the rules of both American and European Blackjack?

It all comes down to how you see the rules and which ones you prefer. Let’s take a look at surrendering. However, you now know that you can get back half your chips. Blackjack may be a better choice than European if you value this and are prone to cold streaks.

Most European games have fewer decks than American, so you and your fellow players may be able to play with fewer decks. However, this is not always true. You will find that some European games have more decks than others, while those in the States tend to use smaller decks.

It’s important to remember this when playing the game.

It is a good idea to play the two versions together with your friends. You might be more familiar with American versions than your friends. You might find it easier to play the European version.

Each version of blackjack has its pros and cons. This is true regardless of which game you choose to play. You can try them all, then decide which one you prefer.


Blackjack and European blackjack are very similar. In the American game you face your cards, while in Europe you face them down. The European dealer receives one card, while the American dealer receives a face-up and facedown card.

The European game might offer a slight advantage if you are looking for something that requires fewer decks. They do have stricter side rules and you can’t surrender a hand.

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