How to Play European Blackjack?

European Blackjack
European Blackjack

European blackjack, also known as single-deck blackjack, is a version of the card game blackjack played with a single deck of 52 cards.

The game has the same basic rules as other versions of blackjack. The objective is to get a hand value of 21 or as close to 21 as possible without going over.

Many visitors at online casinos ignore the bells and whistles of the pokie machines. Instead, they turn to the Blackjack tables offered.

European Blackjack is one of the games that people love playing. Blackjack, or 21, is the most-played casino game, right behind the popular online casino game of Poker.

European Blackjack or 21, is similar to regular Blackjack, however, in European Blackjack, the Dealer does not receive a second (hole) card until after the player has made all his decisions, including doubling and splitting.

The objective of European Blackjack is for the player to come as close to 21 without going over while still having a higher total than the Dealer.

Before receiving any cards, the Player must place a wager. Once the wager is made, the player is dealt two cards face up.

The dealer is dealt one face-up card. If the total value of the Player’s cards is closer to 21 than the Dealer, the Player wins as much as was wagered.

The Player also wins if the Dealer goes over 21 and the Player has not busted. If the Player’s total goes over 21, the Player loses the amount wagered.

How to play European Blackjack

How to play European Blackjack
How to play European Blackjack

The game uses six decks, which are reshuffled after each hand.

  • Play one hand per round.
  • Dealer stands on soft 17.
  • Double on hard totals of 9 to 11.
  • Split up to three hands.
  • No surrender.
  • Split aces receive only one card.
  • No re-splitting of aces.

For betting, click on a chip to place a bet. Additional clicks on the chip interface will add to the wager. To remove a bet, click on the chip in the betting circle. The minimum amount to bet is $1, while the maximum is $500.

Other rules that may be used in European blackjack include the following:

  • Players may only split a hand once (i.e., create two separate hands from a pair of cards with the same value).
  • Players may only double down on a hand of 9, 10, or 11 (i.e., double their bet and receive one additional card).
  • Players may not surrender their hand (i.e., give up half their bet and fold their hand).

European Blackjack Card Values

Card Values
Card Values

Card suits are irrelevant. Cards 2 to 10 have face value. Jacks, queens, and kings are worth 10. Aces have a value of 1 or 11.

The Player wins when achieving a score of 21 or less but more significant than the Dealer’s final total—achieving a score of 21 or less when the Dealer’s final score exceeds 21.

An ace and any ten-value card on the initial deal are called a Blackjack. Blackjack pays 3 to 2, providing that the Dealer does not also have Blackjack.

On the other hand, a Player and Live Dealer Blackjack results in a tie, known as a push. If the Player’s total is over 21, or if the Dealer achieves a better score, the Player loses—any winning score of 21 after a split is paid 1 to 1.

European Blackjack Strategies


There are as many strategies for European Blackjack as there are players. The goal of the game is essential: get as close to 21 as possible without going over.

Make sure that your hand is higher than the Dealer’s. The methods to get there are vast. Some players will keep their bet the same, while others will vary their bets depending on whether they think the deck is to their advantage or the Dealer’s. It is essential that whatever strategy is used be used consistently.

Anyone playing European Blackjack at the online casinos will lose some hands. The key to a good strategy is to find the one that allows you to win more hands than you lose.

Some blackjack players will wonder if these games are genuinely fair. They will think that the computer sometimes does not deal with a real deck of cards. While they may think this, it is not true.

The European Blackjack machines are designed to replicate a real game experience; the chance to win depends on the player’s skill and the cards’ luck.

European Blackjack Tips to Play and Win

Here are a few tips:

  • Always hit on a hand of 8 or less and stand on a hand of 17 or higher. This basic strategy will help you to play optimally and reduce the house edge (the casino’s advantage over the player).
  • Double down on a hand of 9, 10, or 11 when the Dealer’s upcard is a 2 through 9. This can be a good way to increase your winnings when you have a strong hand and the Dealer is likely to bust.
  • Split a pair of 8s or aces. These hands are likely to win, and splitting them into two hands gives you a better chance of hitting a winning combination.
  • Avoid taking insurance. Insurance is a side bet offered when the Dealer’s upcard is an ace. While it may seem like a good way to protect your hand, the odds of the Dealer having a blackjack are relatively low, and the insurance bet has a high house edge.

Remember that while these strategies can help improve your chances of winning, blackjack is still a game of chance, and there is no foolproof way to guarantee a win.

About the author

Guy Marlow

Guy Marlow

Guy Marlow is a seasoned gaming enthusiast and expert, having spent over a decade immersed in the dynamic world of online pokies.

Away from the digital casino world, Guy is an avid traveller, always on the hunt for the next hidden gem.

His passion for both gaming and storytelling makes him a favourite among NZ's readers.