Blackjack Game Variations

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games due to its  low house edge, and gameplay that combines both luck and skill. The popularity of the game has generated a number of game variations all offering certain twists on the original game. Read this article to learn more about the different game types.

    In this article you will find
  • Spanish Blackjack
  • Hi-Lo-13 Blackjack
  • Pontoon
  • Double Exposure
  • Other Blackjack Games

Spanish Blackjack

Spanish blackjack also known as Spanish 21 is a fun variant offered at most online casinos.  The main difference to standard online blackjack  is the use of six to eight Spanish decks of cards. A Spanish deck includes only 48 cards because the four 10’s are left out. Different online casinos have various rules for Spanish Blackjack but the most common rule is to find the dealer standing on a soft-17.  In Spanish Blackjack a 21 always wins and a player's blackjack always beats a dealer blackjack. 

Hi-Lo-13 Blackjack

Hi-Lo 13 Blackjack is played just like the traditional version with the exception of a side bet on the value of the player’s first two cards dealt.

  • You can bet that your total will be under 13 or over 13 as an even money proposition. 
  • You can also bet that your total will be exactly 13 which pays 10-1. 

The advantage of playing Hi-Lo-13 Blackjack is that you can win the Hi-Lo side bet regardless of your luck against the dealer - this can be used to hedge your main blackjack bet. Because the bet on 13 carries a higher house edge, our tip for playing this blackjack game is to alternate hi and lo bets throughout each gaming session to increase your chances of a profit over the long term.


Like Spanish Blackjack, Pontoon is played with six to eight Spanish decks (again all 10 cards taken out). While this gives the dealer an advantage not seen in traditional blackjack -  all of the other rules for Pontoon favor the player resulting in a blackjack game with a very low house edge of under 0.5% making it one of the best games to play

  • In Pontoon the dealer hits on a soft 17 resulting in the dealer going bust more frequently. 
  • The player can double after splitting
  • A player's 21 or blackjack automatically wins regardless of the dealer’s hand.

Double Exposure

In this blackjack game the dealer doesn't get a hole card that is revealed after you hit or stay put. With the ability to see the dealers’ hole card you automatically know whether you will have a chance or not and this is a great player advantage. However, there are other rule changes with Double Exposure blackjack that favor the dealer including:

  • The dealer winning on any push except a player blackjack
  • The dealer can't double after splitting
  • The dealer can't split non-identical 10 value cards (for example a Jack and a King).

Other Blackjack Games

Some other blackjack variants you may have heard of include Blackjack surrender, Blackjack switch, and Progressive Blackjack  -  like the variations above they all have their own rules with according player and house advantages. The best way to learn these blackjack games is to visit one of our recommended casinos and play for free with a practice account so you can learn the nuances and strategies unique to each type of game.

Many major online casinos offer the above versions of blackjack including those powered by Playtech and Microgaming. Check out our list of recommended casinos to play the classic version of blackjack along with its exciting variations.

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