European Blackjack – Rules, Tips, Strategy, and Differences

While European blackjack is one of the most popular variations of blackjack abroad, it is becoming increasingly popular online and in American brick-and-mortar casinos. Despite its many similarities with classic blackjack, there are a few key differences in gameplay and strategy found below.

What is European blackjack?

European Blackjack is a variation of blackjack that features one main difference: the dealer only receives one card until the player finishes their turn. After the player’s turn, the dealer then receives their hole card.

Online and live dealer blackjack usually play European BJ with six decks, although there are games played with two, four, or eight decks. Other than that, the gameplay is essentially the same, save for a couple of different rules.  

Where Can I Play European Blackjack?

European blackjack is most popular abroad, but it is available in many domestic casinos.  The casinos you see listed below offer multiple variations of blackjack, including European Blackjack as well as a secure, reliable and high-quality gaming environment.  Each of these brands legally accepts USA players and is located within an overseas jurisdiction that has authorized online gambling.

Top Online Casinos Offering European Blackjack Games

Site NameBJ BonusU.S.Visit Site
Bovada Casino100% Max $3,000US Players AcceptedVisit Site
Slotslv Casino200% Max $1,000US Players AcceptedVisit Site
Cafe Casino500% Max $5,000US Players AcceptedVisit Site
Ignition Casino100% Max $1,000US Players AcceptedVisit Site

Mobile European Blackjack Apps

There are several state-regulated online casinos that offer mobile casino options; however you must be present within that state in order to partake.  However, all of the online casinos we have recommended on this page also provide a mobile version of their casino through a web-based application. 

With the use of responsive technology, these mobile casinos are compatible with nearly all mobile networks, operating systems and manufacturer specifications.

Rule differences between European and Classic blackjack

Most rules between the two games remain unchanged. However, when playing European 21, a player cannot surrender. It is also important to remember that the dealer stands on a soft 17 but always draws on a 16.

European blackjack strategy

Like in classic blackjack, a player’s cards, in relation to the dealer’s cards, dictate strategy in European blackjack. Because casinos usually play European 21 with six decks, the strategy below caters to those parameters. However, players can use this cheat sheet for four and eight deck games.

When to Hit:

  • Pairs of 2’s and 3’s if the dealer’s card is 8-A;
  • Pairs of 4’s if the dealer’s card is 2-4 or 7-A;
  • Pairs of 5’s if the dealer’s card is 10-A;
  • Pairs of 6’s if the dealer’s card is 7-A;
  • Pairs of 7’s if the dealer’s card is 8-A;
  • Pairs of 8’s if the dealer’s card is 10-A;
  • Pairs of aces if the dealer’s card is an ace.
  • All hard hands equaling 5-8;
  • Hard hands equaling 9 if the dealer’s card is 2 or 7-A;
  • Hard hands equaling 10-11 if the dealer’s card is 10-A;
  • Hard hands equaling 12 if the dealer’s card is 2-3 or 7-A;
  • Hard hands equaling 13-16 if the dealer’s card is 7-A;
  • All soft hands equaling 13-17;
  • Soft hands equaling 18 if the dealer’s card is 9-A.

When to Stand:

  • Pairs of 9’s if the dealer’s card is 7 or 10-A;
  • All pairs of 10’s;
  • Hard hands equaling 12 if the dealer’s card is 4-6;
  • Hard hands equaling 13-16 if the dealer’s card is 2-6;
  • All hard hands equaling 17-21;
  • Soft hands equaling 18 if the dealer’s card is 2-8;
  • All soft hands equaling 19-21.

When to Split Pairs:

  • Pairs of 2’s and 3’s if the dealer’s card is 2-7;
  • Pairs of 4’s if the dealer’s card is 5-6;
  • Pairs of 6’s if the dealer’s card is 2-6;
  • Pairs of 7’s if the dealer’s card is 2-7;
  • Pairs of 8’s if the dealer’s card is 2-9;
  • Pairs of 9’s if the dealer’s card is 2-6 or 8-9;
  • Pairs of aces if the dealer’s card is 2-10.

When to Double Down:

  • Pairs of 5’s if the dealer’s card is 2-9;
  • Hard hands equaling 9 if the dealer’s card is 3-6;
  • Hard hands equaling 10-11 if the dealer’s card is 2-9;

When to use insurance:

  • Mathematically, never. There’s only a 30% chance to win this bet.

FAQs

Is free play available for European blackjack?

Yes! The casinos we list on this page all offer free play gaming options, allowing you to try out their games before taking any type of real financial risk.

Do I need to know how to play classic blackjack?

It would help. European Blackjack is a variation of classic 21, so a basic understanding of the game would aid in success. Keep in mind that blackjack is one of the easiest card games to learn, lending to the game’s extreme popularity.