A Beginners Guide to Playing Blackjack Switch
Blackjack switch resembles the regular game of blackjack, even though it comes with some significant changes to the rules that govern gameplay, forcing the players to rethink the way the usual game gets played.
Blackjack switch is a new game with a fresh take on the all-time casino favourite, blackjack. While standard blackjack is renowned for its low house edge, which stands at 0,5%, playing blackjack switch reduces the edge even further to a mere 0,1%. This fact alone makes blackjack switch a very attractive game and one that warrants further discussion.
How is Blackjack Switch Played?
Blackjack switch, for the most part, follows the standard rules of blackjack. The game is played using six card decks shuffled through a shoe, with the aim of beating the dealer without exceeding 21. All cards carry the same values as in the regular game, and ace represents both a one and an 11.
After the bets are placed, you receive two faceup cards. Here, before you proceed, you are offered an option to switch or to exchange the two top cards of each hand. Following your decisions to switch, you have to make one of the standard moves (i.e. hit, stand or double). Additionally, you might get an opportunity to split or place insurance on your next move.
When the dealer finishes their round, you will be paid 1:1 when your hand is closer than the dealer’s hand to 21. However, in blackjack switch, should the dealer draw 22, your bet is returned as a push and not a winning, unless you have a blackjack.
Basic Blackjack Switch Strategy
The critical aspect of blackjack switch is knowing when to switch. Start by determining whether the dealer has a weak (three to six), strong (seven or higher) or deuce (any two) faceup card. Following the evaluation of the dealer’s cards, you will need to decide what hands you have.
There are four types of combinations that you might have:
- Winner – blackjack or any total from 18 to 20 that is higher than the dealer’s total
- Loser – any hand that is beaten by the dealer’s strong faceup card (e.g. 19 vs 10)
- Push – this is a hand from 8 to 11 or 18 to 20 that would push the dealer’s strong faceup card (e.g. 8-8 vs 8, or 19 vs 9)
- Chance – this represents any player hard or soft hand with a total of 12 to 17 or 3 to 7 against a dealer’s faceup card from 2 to 6. Therefore, it’s a weak hand combined with a weak dealer total.
As a result, the hands that you would want to hold, ranked from best to worst, are winner, push, chance and loser.
Of these hands, there are nine different combinations possible, that are ranked from best to worst as follows:
Dealer faceup 10 / player hand 9-10 and 10-A
Here, the dealer has a 10, making your hands winner/loser. Should you switch, your hand will become push/push. However, since winner/loser ranks higher than push/push, you will avoid switching.
Dealer faceup 9 / player hand 9-10 and 10-A
Since the player has blackjack and a 19 against a 9, this is a winner/push scenario. Should you switch, you will have 9-A and 10-10 against 9, which is a winner-winner combination. Therefore, it is sometimes best to switch from blackjack, since all winning hands pay the same.
Other Possible Scenarios
Remember that there are instances when switching doesn’t change hand rankings, although this doesn’t mean that one might not be better than the other.
For example, you might have a loser/loser hand that you wish to switch for another loser/loser. If you have two loser hands that you cannot take any action on, but the chance to change it for one hand that you can take action on, then it is worth switching.
There are also times when it is good to switch a winner/winner for another winner/winner. If you can make one of the winners stronger against a strong dealer faceup card, then you should switch. For example, a player has 10-8 and A-9 vs dealer faceup 7. After switching, the player has 19 vs 7 and 19, which is an improvement on the weaker winner hand held prior to the switch.
Although all of these rules sound intimidating, it really takes a short amount of time to master the game. Once familiar with the rules, the gameplay becomes procedural. Good luck!