Blackjack is a card game where players aim to beat the dealer by getting a hand value as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it. It has become, according to many online casino reviews, a preferred game by many due to its easy gameplay and elegance. Blackjack has evolved into many forms and variants of the game, like Switch Blackjack. In this Switch Blackjack Guide, you will learn the basics: how to play Switch Blackjack and which rules you need to know. Then, we will dive into the best strategies you can use, before wrapping up with some gameplay tips, as well as answering some frequently asked Switch Blackjack questions.
Switch Blackjack Guide: Learn Basic Terms for Switch Blackjack
Any time you learn new casino games, there are new terms you must become familiar with, and for Switch Blackjack there is no exception. Before we can dive into learning how to play the game, there are a few glossary terms that you need to know:
- Bust: A bust occurs when a player’s hand goes over 21; this move constitutes an automatic loss.
- Double Down: If a player receives a strong opening hand, they can choose to double their bet in exchange for one card.
- Hard Hand: Any blackjack hand that does not contain an Ace.
- Hit: When a player opts to “hit”, they indicate to the dealer that they wish to receive another card to add to their hand.
- Hole Card: The dealer’s face-down card.
- Push: When a player’s hand ties with the dealer’s hand; a push neither forfeits nor pays out on a bet.
- Soft Hand: Any blackjack hand that contains an Ace.
- Split: When two cards of the same value are dealt to a player’s opening hand, they have the option to split them into two different hands, which treats each card as its own hand in exchange for a second bet equal to the first one.
- Stand: If a player stands, it tells the dealer that they refuse to receive more cards for their hand.
- Upcard: The dealer’s face-up card.
Switch Blackjack Guide: Learning How to Play
Switch Blackjack is a version of traditional Blackjack that has some minor differences in gameplay and rules. However, the basic goal of the online casino real money game remains the same: get as close to 21 without going over. If your hand is higher than 21, it constitutes a bust, and you immediately forfeit your bet. If you do not go over, your hand must beat the dealers to win.
Switch Blackjack requires you to play two hands at once. At the beginning of each round, players place bets for each hand. Once all bets are placed, the dealer hands out four cards to each player, making two-card hands each. Then, the dealer gives themselves cards, one face-up and one face-down. Once all the cards are dealt, players must make a choice: hit, stand, switch, double down, or split.
Traditional Blackjack rules apply when players choose to hit, stand, double down, or split. Switching, on the other hand, is the move that makes Switch Blackjack unique from other blackjack variations. When a player opts to switch, the dealer takes the two top cards in each hand and swaps them to the other. Once each player has made their decision, the dealer reveals their hole card, and winning hands are paid out. Those whose hands do not beat the dealer’s forfeit their bets and a new round begins.
A Game Exemplified
Here is an example of how Switch Blackjack works:
- Simone places two equal bets of $5 in each betting square. The dealer hands out two cards for each bet, one on top of another. Simone’s first-hand consists of a 4 on the bottom and a K on top. Her second hand is comprised of a Q on the bottom and a 7 on top. The dealer then places a face-down card on the table in front of them and a face-up 4 on top.
- Simone indicates that she wishes to switch, so the dealer swaps the two top cards: K and 7. Her first hand is now 7 and 4, for a total of 11 and her second hand is 20. Simone opts to double down on her first hand, so she places an additional $5 in the first betting square and receives an additional card, which is a 10. Her first hand is now a 21. She opts to stand on the second.
- The dealer reveals his second card, which is a 10. Since his total is 14, he must hit. He adds another card to his hand, which is a 9. Since his total is now 23, he busts. Simone is paid out $10 on her first hand since she doubled down and $5 on her second since she chose to stand.
As you can see, having the ability to switch the top card in each hand can lead to stronger hands that are more likely to beat the dealer and therefore win more money.
Gameplay is not the only thing that is unique in Switch Blackjack Online; some game rules are also modified. Since players have the added benefit of being able to switch hands, casinos make a few tweaks to ensure that the game is still in favor of the casino.
There are five rules of split blackjack that you should know:
- Natural blackjack pays even money, versus standard blackjack payout of 3.
- If the dealer’s hand is 22, all player hands push.
- If the dealer’s upcard is Ace, players can place a side bet on insurance, which pays out :1 if the dealer has blackjack.
- Players are permitted to double down after splitting.
- If a switch results in 21, it only counts as 21, not blackjack.
Another special thing about Switch Blackjack is the “Super Match”, a side bet that pays out when you receive any matching cards. This wager must be placed before any cards are dealt if you want to take advantage of it.
- If you receive two cards of the same rank, it pays out 1:1.
- If you receive three cards of the same rank, it pays out 5:1.
- If your initial cards result in two pairs, it pays out 8:1.
- If all four initial cards are the same rank, it pays out 40:1.
Even though side bets like Super Match can make the game more exciting and potentially more profitable, they are not always smart financial choices. Placing this side bet significantly increases the house advantage, so be wary of placing it if you don’t have the bankroll to back it up.
Switch Blackjack Guide: Best Strategies
The first step to mastering the game is to understand and follow these Switch Blackjack tips and strategies, perfect to understand whether the dealer is in a strong or weak position based on their upcard:
- An upcard of 7-10 or Ace indicates that the dealer is in a strong position since they are more likely to be able to score a 17 or higher without going over.
- An upcard of 3-6 means that the dealer is in a weak position since they are more likely to bust with these small cards in play.
- Since Switch Blackjack features the “push on 22” rule, an upcard is considered a strong position since there is a good chance that a 22 could result from this upcard.
The most successful Switch Blackjack strategies take the dealer’s hand into account while focusing on getting the best possible hands for yourself.
Here are some guidelines that you can follow to apply a winning switch blackjack strategy:
Hard Hand Strategies
When you have a hard hand in switch blackjack, it means that your hand does not include an Ace. Here are some strategy guidelines you can follow when you have a hard hand:
- If the hard total is 5-8, hit
- If it totals 9 versus the dealer’s 6, hit
- If the hard total of 10-11 versus the dealer’s -9, double down
- If it totals 14-16 versus the dealer’s -6, stand
- If the hard total is 17-20, stand
Soft Hand Strategies
In Switch Blackjack, if you have an Ace in your hand, it constitutes a soft hand. Since an Ace can be counted as a 1 or 11 depending on the other cards in your hand, it gives you more flexibility than hard hands, which usually makes it easier to win.
Consider making these moves when you have a soft hand:
- For hands that are A- or A-4, hit
- For hands A-5 versus anything other than the dealer’s 6, hit
- For hands A-7, double down unless the dealer’s upcard is 5-6 – then, stand
- For hand A-8 or A-9, stand
When to Switch
When deciding whether to switch your hands, keep in mind the goal of the game: to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. Winning one hand is better than losing on both, so even if you switch and have one strong hand versus a weak hand on the other, you can still break even. You may not profit from every hand, but focusing on minimizing the amount of money you lose is a great way to increase your bankroll.
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Switch Blackjack Guide FAQs
What happens when the dealer gets 22 in switch blackjack?
The traditional version of blackjack categorizes the dealer’s 22 as a bust, but switch blackjack does not. Instead, when the dealer gets 22, all player’s hands push
How many times can you switch your cards in switch blackjack?
You can switch the top card in each hand as many times as you would like, as long as you do so before hitting, standing, doubling down, or splitting the hand.
Is switch blackjack hard?
Switch blackjack, like all forms of blackjack, has simple rules and is generally considered a good place to start for beginners. If you’re looking for a more exciting form of the popular casino card game, switch blackjack is a great option.
Can you switch the bottom cards in switch blackjack?
Players are only permitted to switch the second card dealt in switch blackjack, which is the top card. Bottom cards must remain in the hand where they were originally dealt.
How many decks are used to play switch blackjack?
Switch blackjack typically consists of using between six and eight 52-card decks.