Blackjack Switch was patented in 2009 by Geoff Hall and the game has since become a very popular variation of blackjack. It can be found in many casinos both offline and online.
There is a growing trend in casino gambling to create table games which appeal to those who prefer video poker or other electronic gambling games. Blackjack Switch is one of these games. The added elements of Blackjack Switch are designed to appeal to those who like to gamble. While this may provide a nice diversion for gamblers, the house edge in Blackjack Switch is considerably greater than it is in regular blackjack.
The Basics of Blackjack Switch
The primary characteristic of Blackjack Switch is that two hands instead of one are dealt to every playing position. Once the player receives their two hands they then have the option of exchanging the top card of each hand for the other. This is where the game gets its name. A player can switch the top card of each hand. It should be noted that each hand is considered separate and that two initial bets must be placed in order for a player to receive cards.
It would seem that this added element would increase the player’s edge over the house. The casino is in business to make money, however, and they compensate for this added edge with a couple of rule changes that seriously dent the player’s chances of making a profit.
The first of these rule changes is that natural blackjacks (A-10) are paid off at even money odds of 1-1 instead of the 3-2 payoff in regular blackjack. This change alone drops the player’s edge by several percentage points.
The second rule change is even more detrimental to the player. In Switch Blackjack the dealer’s hard total of 22 pushes, or ties, every hand except for a natural blackjack. This renders many elements of basic blackjack strategy obsolete in Switch Blackjack.
How Switch Blackjack is Dealt
The process of dealing Switch Blackjack is exactly the same as regular blackjack. After all players have made at least the minimum bet required the dealer deals each player two hands beginning with the player on his immediate left. The dealer is the last to receive cards and always acts last in a round of play.
Player Options in Switch Blackjack
After players receive their two hands they are permitted to act on those hands in a number of ways. The first decision that a player must make in Blackjack Switch is whether or not they wish to switch the top cards of each hand.
Once this decision has been made the player will then act on each hand separately by exercising one of the standard options in blackjack. A player can choose to stand, hit, double down, or split their hand. In many casinos the rule for splitting is very strict. A player should always check the house rules regarding splitting in Switch Blackjack before sitting down to play.
Dealer Options in Switch Blackjack
After all players have exercised their options and acted on their hands, the dealer will then act on their own hand.
The dealer is bound by strict rules that are the same as the ones found in regular blackjack. The dealer must hit any total of 16 or less, and must stand on any total of 17 or greater. In some casinos the dealer is required to hit a soft 17 which further reduces the player’s edge while they play blackjack online or offline.
The big wrinkle when it comes to the dealer is something we mentioned briefly above. If the dealer’s total becomes a hard 22 (meaning that his hand totals 22 and does not include an ace), all live hands at the table except for a natural blackjack tie the dealer and collect nothing on their original wager. This means that you can have a total of 20 and still only tie the dealer if he has a hard total of 22.
Serious Players Should Avoid Switch Blackjack
Of all of the blackjack variations we have discussed here at Counting Edge, Blackjack Switch is one of the worst for serious blackjack players. The casinos cleverly conceal a greatly reduced edge for the player behind the bells and whistles of Switch Blackjack.
The game was designed for those who prefer gambling over strategy. Indeed, applying proper blackjack strategy in Switch Blackjack becomes nigh impossible. Not only should a player know the proper strategy for acting on their hands after the switch, an entirely different strategy is required to determine whether to switch in the first place. When you add the possibility of counting cards into the mix, Blackjack Switch becomes difficult to be.
No 3-2 payout on blackjacks, and no dealer busting on 22 makes us say no thanks. We’ll pass.
Blackjack Switch At Online Casinos
At CountingEdge.com I present very few online casinos that i find trustworthy, safe, secure, and approved by the player community. Online casinos offer the games for free and a great wait to get used to the rules and practice. If you feel ready to make a deposit you simply play for money. You can use your windows or Mac OSX computer and also an iphone, ipad or android powered device to play casino games at online casinos. Pretty exciting in any case!