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Introduction BlackJack

Blackjack switch is a blackjack variant, which allows the player to do what is normally considered as a classic cheating manoeuver, trading cards between two hands. The player must make two bets of equal size and is allowed to switch the second card dealt to each hand. Of course nothing comes free, a dealer 22 results in a push and blackjacks pay even money. Currently the game is played at Playtech Internet casinos, it has had a run at the Taj Majal in Atlantic City, and other land based casinos have plans to offer the game in the near future inlucing the Four Queens in Las Vegas.

Rules

The following rules apply to the Playtech version. When the Taj Majal offered the game the game ties went to the dealer instead of a dealer 22 pushing. Other variants include the dealer standing on soft 17 and a player blackjack pushing to a dealer 22. So the following rules apply to Playtech only.

All rules are based on conventional blackjack unless otherwise noted.

The player must make two bets of equal size.

Cards will be dealt face up.

The player may switch the 2nd card dealt to each hand. For example if one hand has 5,10 and the other has 10,6 the player may switch the 10 and 6 to have two hands of 11 and 20.

Six decks are used.

ealer hits a soft 17.

Player may double on any 2 cards.

Player may double after a split.

Player may not resplit.

Winning player blackjacks pay even money.

Full European no-peek rule. Player loses total amount bet against a dealer blackjack. A benefit of this rule is that the player can switch to a blackjack, even if the dealer has a blackjack.

A dealer total of 22 will push against any player total of 21 or less. A player blackjack will still beat a dealer 22.

Strategy

The following table shows the basic strategy after the switch decision has been made. The reason for the differences compared to conventional blackjack strategy is the push on 22 rule.

Texas Station (Las Vegas)

No pair: Place the highest card in the high hand and the next two highest cards in the low hand.

One pair: Place the pair in high hand and the next two highest cards in the low hand.

Two pair:

Ace and any other pair – always split.

Face card pair and pair 6’s or higher – always split

Any two pair 6’s or under – never split

With any other 2 pair, split unless the hand contains an ace – then play the ace in the 2 card hand

Three pair: Always play highest pair in low hand. More about situs poker online

Three of a kind:

Always play three of a kind in high hand except break up three aces.

Two three of a kinds – play the lowest 3 of a kind as the high hand and split the higher 3 of a kind

Straight:

Keep as the high hand.

6 card straight – use the highest card in the low hand.

5 or 6 card straight with a pair – use the pair as the low hand.

Straight with 2 pair – play the 2 pair rule.

Flush:

Keep as the high hand.

6 card flush – use the highest card in the low hand.

5 or 6 card flush with a pair – use the pair as the low hand.

Flush with 2 pair – play the 2 pair rule.

Straight and a Flush: A flush and a straight with no pair – play the combination that results in the highest 2 card hand.

Full house: Split except with pair of 2’s and an ace/king can be played in low hand.

Four of a kind: Play according to the rank of the four of a kind:

2 through 6: Always keep together.

7 through 10: Split unless a pair or ace and picture can be played in the low hand.

Jack through king: Split unless hand also contains a pair of 10’s or higher.

Aces: Split unless a pair of 7’s or higher can be played in low hand.

Straight Flush:

Keep as the high hand.

Split 2 pair 10’s and higher, or a pair of aces and any other pair.

Any other two pair with ace – play the 2 pair as high and the ace in the low hand.

Play a straight or flush instead of the straight flush if it causes a picture card or higher to be played in the low hand.

Royal Flush:

Keep as the high hand.

Royal flush with a pair – play the pair in the low hand.

Royal flush with 2 pair – play the 2 pair rule.

Split the royal flush if an ace, king or a pair can be played in the low hand while retaining a straight or flush in the high hand.

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