Blackjack Switch is an interesting and exciting variation of blackjack in which players are each dealt two hands.
Two Blackjack Switch Hands
Players are each dealt two hands, and are allowed to switch the top cards of each hand between the two hands. If a player is dealt a six and a ten, and a ten and a seven, then the player is allowed to switch the ten from the first hand and the seven from the second hand. If they do so, they will then hold one hand that has two tens, and the other hand will hold a seven and a six.
Rules of Blackjack Switch
Essentially, the game is played according to the regular blackjack rules, but there are a number of notable exceptions.
- All the cards for both hands are dealt face up.
- The player receives two hands, and must begin by making two equal bets.
- Although the player does not have to switch the cards in their hands, it is often advisable to do so. In fact, at times, what was two bad blackjack hands can turn into two good blackjack hands by doing the switch. As mentioned above, the switch can only be done with the top card dealt to each hand. To clarify, the top card is the second card that has been dealt to each hand.
- Once the switch has been done, the hands are played out separately. Players may split and double on any of the two hands, and then place bets accordingly.
- The dealer has to hit on a soft 17. A soft blackjack hand is one that contains an Ace.
- There is an unusual rule when the dealer gets 22 points in their hand. If the dealer has a total of 22, except for those who win the hand with blackjacks, all other bets are pushed, or tied. This is an unusual rule in blackjack since in most variations of blackjack games the dealer and the player would both bust on any number over 21. To reiterate, the dealer’s 22 ties, or pushes with any hand that a player holds, except for a hand holding a blackjack. Players would bust on 22 points.
Blackjack Switch Payouts and the House Edge
Players who get a blackjack in Blackjack Switch get paid at 1 to 1. In other variations of blackjack, players usually get paid out 3:2.
The house edge in Blackjack Switch games is 0.16% when played with six decks of cards, and is only 0.18% when played with eight decks of cards.
Since the dealer ends up at somewhat of a disadvantage over the players because players have the advantage of being able to switch cards, the dealer is given some other advantages to level the playing field somewhat. These advantages, as mentioned above, include the push with the players’ hands when the dealer has a total of 22, and also the lower payouts that are offered for a blackjack.
Blackjack Switch Side Bet
There is a side bet in Blackjack Switch that pays out if players have pairs, two pairs, three of a kind, or four of a kind found in their first four cards. Of course, if players do have pairs, then switching cards could begin to become unnecessary. This side bet may be a fun one to place, but players should remember that side bets are there to increase the casino’s house edge, and are usually not profitable for the player. Payout for the Blackjack Switch Side Bet, which is also known as the Super Match side bet, is 1 to 1 for a pair, 5 to 1 for a strip, 8 to 1 for two pairs, and 40 to 1 for four of a kind.
Deciding to Switch
There are times when making a switch of the cards is an obvious advantage to both hands. At other times, the switch is not so obvious, and it is not always better to make one good blackjack hand and one very bad blackjack hand. There are many that are of the opinion that the player should always try to make at least one very good hand if the switch will do this. When making this decision, remember that if one of the hands loses, the initial bet on that hand will be lost.