European Blackjack

European Blackjack stands as a prominent variant of the classic card game, drawing in countless enthusiasts with its distinctive rules and strategic depth. Its popularity spans across the globe, making it a staple not only in physical casinos but also in the burgeoning realm of online gambling platforms. 

This version of blackjack intrigues players with its slight variations from other forms, such as American Blackjack, offering a unique gameplay experience that emphasises strategy and skill. The core objective remains unchanged: players strive to achieve a hand total closer to 21 than the dealer’s, without exceeding 21, to win. 

The widespread availability of European Blackjack, both in traditional casinos and online, underscores its enduring appeal and accessibility to players at all levels.

Basics of European Blackjack

European Blackjack adheres to the foundational principles of blackjack, with players and the dealer aiming for a hand total that’s as close to 21 as possible without busting. 

This variant typically utilises two to eight standard decks of cards, a detail that significantly influences the game’s odds and strategy. The fewer the decks, the lower the house edge, which can be advantageous to the player.

The aim is to achieve a hand total that’s closer to 21 than that of the dealer’s without exceeding 21. Players must decide whether to “hit” (take another card), “stand” (keep their current hand), “double down” (double their bet in exchange for one additional card), or “split” (if they have a pair, separate them into two hands) based on their initial hand and the dealer’s visible card.

Mechanics of European Blackjack

As with traditional online blackjack real money, the value of cards in European Blackjack ranges from the number cards counting as their face value, face cards (King, Queen, Jack) being valued at 10, and Aces being either 1 or 11, depending on which value benefits the player’s hand the most.

In European Blackjack strategy, the deal begins with the player receiving two face-up cards, while the dealer gets one face-up card. Unlike American Blackjack, there’s no hole card (a second card dealt face down to the dealer) in the European variant until after the players have made their decisions regarding their hands. This rule affects the game’s strategy, particularly in scenarios involving doubling down and splitting pairs.

The number of decks used in European Blackjack affects the game’s odds. Generally, fewer decks mean a lower house edge, which is advantageous for players. The specific rules regarding doubling down, splitting, and the dealer’s actions on soft 17 (a hand containing an Ace valued as 11, adding up to a soft total of 17) also impact the strategy and odds of the game.

Comparison of European Blackjack versus other Blackjack


European Blackjack

American Blackjack

Standard Blackjack

Number of Decks

Typically 2 to 8

Usually 6 to 8

Varies, but commonly 1 to 8

Dealer’s Hole Card

No hole card until players make decisions

Dealer receives a hole card before players make decisions

Varies, but the American version with a hole card is common

Doubling Down

Restricted to certain totals (usually 9, 10, or 11)

More flexible, often allowed on any total

Similar to American blackjack, but rules can vary


Players can usually only split once

Players can often split multiple times

Similar to American, with variations depending on the casino

Dealer Stand/Hit on Soft 17

Usually stands on all 17s

Rules can vary; may hit or stand on soft 17

Similar to American, with variations

Surrender Option

Rarely offered

Often available, allowing players to forfeit half their bet

Varies, not universally available

Double Down after Split

Generally not allowed

Often allowed

Rules vary

Blackjack Payout

Typically 3:2

Typically 3:2, but some tables offer 6:5

Varies, but 3:2 is standard for traditional versions

Variations and Side Bets of European Blackjacks

European Blackjack, a beloved variant of the classic game, has inspired numerous adaptations across both brick-and-mortar and online casinos. These variations introduce unique rules and exciting side bets, adding layers of complexity and the potential for additional winnings. 

Here’s a look at some popular variations and common side bets found in European Blackjack card game:

Popular Variations

  • European Blackjack Gold: Often found in online platforms, this version enhances the standard game with superior graphics and sound effects. The rules closely adhere to traditional European Blackjack, with minor adjustments to splitting and doubling down options to increase the game’s excitement.
  • Multi-Hand European Blackjack: Allows players to play multiple hands simultaneously against the dealer. This version appeals to those seeking a faster pace and more action, as managing several hands requires strategic thinking and careful bankroll management.
  • European Blackjack Redeal: Unique to certain online casinos, this variation gives players the option to redeal either their hand, the dealer’s hand, or the last card dealt, at a certain cost. This added choice introduces new strategic decisions.

Common Side Bets

  • Perfect Pairs: This side bet wagers on the chance of the first two cards dealt to a hand being a pair. Payouts increase for pairs of the same colour or suit, with perfect pairs (identical cards) offering the highest payout. The odds and appeal lie in the potential for a significant win from a small additional bet.
  • 21+3: Combines blackjack online for free and three-card poker by betting on the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s up card forming a winning three-card poker hand, such as a flush, straight, three of a kind, or straight flush. This side bet offers the excitement of poker hand combinations with potentially high payouts.

How to Play European Blackjack

How to Play Blackjack 3 Hand

Account Creation

Sign up and create an account on BP9 if you haven’t already. Ensure your account is verified to enable deposits and gameplay.


Deposit Funds

Access the cashier section of BP9 and deposit funds into your account using one of the available payment methods.


Navigate to European Blackjack

Browse through the casino’s game library and select European Blackjack. BP9 may offer multiple variations, so choose the one that appeals to you most.


Place Your Bets

Before the round begins, place your main bet along with any side bets like Perfect Pairs or 21+3 if you’re interested.


Play Your Hands

Follow the basic rules of European Blackjack, making decisions on whether to hit, stand, double down, or split based on your and the dealer’s cards.


End of Round

After all hands are played, the game will settle bets based on the outcomes. Winning hands will be paid according to the game’s paytable.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Playing European Blackjack

European Blackjack online offers the following pros and cons for its players:


✅Lower House Edge: European Blackjack often features a lower house edge compared to other variants, especially if played with optimal strategy, offering better chances for players to win.

✅Simplicity and Strategy: The rules of European Blackjack are straightforward, making it easy for beginners to learn while still offering depth in strategy for more experienced players.

✅No Hole Card Rule: This rule adds an element of strategy, as players must complete their actions without knowing if the dealer has blackjack, influencing more cautious play.

✅Double Down Restrictions: The restrictions on doubling down can actually benefit players by preventing risky doubles on unfavourable hands.


❌Limited Splitting: Often, you’re only allowed to split once, which can be limiting if you’re dealt another pair after splitting.

❌Risk of Losing Multiple Hands: Playing multiple hands increases exposure and can lead to larger overall losses if not managed carefully.

❌Complexity for New Players: The nuances and specific rule differences may initially confuse players accustomed to other blackjack variants.


To play 21, also known as blackjack, aim to beat the dealer by having a hand total that’s closer to 21 than the dealer’s without going over. Each player starts with two cards, and you can choose to “hit” (take another card) to get closer to 21, “stand” (keep your current hand), or take other actions like “doubling down” (double your bet for one additional card) or “splitting” (if you have two cards of the same value, you can split them into two separate hands).

Before any cards are dealt, place your bet by putting chips in the betting circle or square in front of you. After receiving your two initial cards, decide whether to hit, stand, double down, or split based on the dealer’s visible card and your hand’s total value. After all players have completed their hands, the dealer reveals their hidden card and plays according to the casino’s rules, usually standing on 17 and hitting on 16.

The number of decks used in blackjack varies by casino and specific game variant. Typically, it ranges from one to eight decks. Traditional casinos often use six to eight decks, while online versions and specific variations might use fewer for different strategic and house edge implications.

There’s no limit to how many cards you can draw in blackjack, as long as your total hand value does not exceed 21. The game continues with players and the dealer taking turns drawing cards until they choose to stand or until their hand exceeds 21 (“busts”). The objective is to achieve the best hand total, ideally 21, without busting.