Hole Card Rules In Online Blackjack Variants

Traditionally three of the hottest land casino spots have been the Las Vegas Strip, Monte Carlo and Atlantic City. The casino games played at each of these places have slightly different rules. This is true of blackjack games as well. The blackjack games offered at the Las Vegas Strip, Monte Carlo and Atlantic City are respectively known as Vegas Strip Blackjack, European Blackjack and Atlantic City Blackjack. All these games can be played at Canadian online casinos powered by Microgaming. The recommended brands are All Slots, Jackpot City and Royal Vegas.

This article explains the differences in the key rule in the online blackjack variants. After the bet is placed, two cards are dealt face up to the player and two cards are dealt to the dealer of which the first is face up and the second is face down. This face down card is known as the hole card and it is around this card that the differences revolve.

In Vegas Strip Blackjack, the first check is the value of the dealer’s face up card. If it is an ace or a 10 value card then the dealer checks for blackjack by peeking at the hole card without exposing it to the player. If the dealer has a blackjack then the player loses immediately, unless the player is also dealt a blackjack. In that case the bet pushes. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, then the player can makes his starting move. The player can split or double or hit or stand. In Vegas Strip Blackjack, this mechanism prevents players from placing the additional bet for split or double when the dealer has a blackjack.

In European Blackjack, the dealer does not check the hole card for blackjack, even if the face up card is an ace or a 10 value card. In the European Blackjack offered by many software providers, the hole card is not even dealt. Such online blackjack variants are called no hole card games. The player starts his move immediately. The player could well split his hand or go for the double down bet. But he has to realise that there is a potential threat of the dealer having a blackjack, which is not there in Vegas Strip Blackjack. So he has to use the split and double moves more judiciously.

Atlantic City Blackjack rules, interestingly, take a middle path. It follows the European Blackjack rule of not checking for blackjack up front. But if the dealer is ultimately dealt a blackjack then the players' wagers on split and double will be returned and they lose only the ante wagers. So the players can play as aggressively as in Vegas Strip Blackjack.

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