Blackjack switch can be found at most major online casinos as well as some brick-and-mortar US casinos and other casinos around the world.
Screenshot from Europa Casino's Blackjack Switch
Blackjack Switch Rules
Blackjack switch uses many of the basic blackjack rules, but each player is dealt two hands to begin the game. The same starting bet must be wagered on both hands and the cards are dealt face up.
One both hands are dealt – and this is the key to this game – you’ll then have the option of swapping the second card dealt from one hand to the other.
Example: You’re dealt a 10 and a 6 for one hand (for a total of 16 – a terrible blackjack hand) and a 5 and a 10 for the other hand (a total of 15 for another poor hand).
Blackjack switch lets you exchange the second cards, so that you swap the 6 and the 10; your first hand is now a 10 and a 10 (for a total of 20 – much better) and your second hand is now a 5 and a 6 (for 11, which is a great hand to double down on).
You only get to switch cards one time, and after that the hand proceeds as normal based on blackjack rules, as far as options to split or double down, etc.
Blackjack Switch Odds
If being able to switch cards seems too good to be true, keep in mind a few other differences.
The biggest is that blackjacks only pay even money at 1:1 instead of the normal 3:2 as is the case in normal blackjack, which is a substantial drawback.
Another rule difference in blackjack switch is that the dealer doesn’t bust if they draw to 22 – a dealer 22 is a push and means that all hands are a tie.
As far as blackjack switch odds, the casino does have a very small edge of around 0.5% for most games – essentially the same as standard blackjack. That makes it one of the better casino games for the player, roughly on par with other games such as video poker and craps.
Blackjack Switch Strategy
Blackjack switch strategy can get complicated if you want to play perfectly according to the odds, but a good basic strategy follows, using this ranking as far as what starting hands are best at switch:
If the dealer has a 7 or an 8 showing, then try to balance your hands so that the weakest hand is as high on the ranking list above.
If the dealer has anything other than a 7 or an 8, make one of your hands as strong as possible and take your chances with the other.
Example: If you’re dealt a 10 9 and a 8 8 and the dealer is showing a 7, you’ll want to switch your second cards so that you instead have 10 8 and 8 9; your first hand goes down slightly from a 19 to an 18 but your second hand improves greatly to 17 from 16.
If you’ve got A 5 and 9 10 versus the dealer showing a 10, you’ll want to switch your second cards. This gives you A 10 and 5 9, so you’ve got one strong hand for 21 and another with 14 that you’ll hope to get lucky with.
One of the enjoyable aspects of blackjack switch and a big part of the strategy is that you’ll often find yourself winning with one hand and losing with the other; the end result is a push where you don’t win or lose but get to play another round.
This means that you can usually play more hands with the same bankroll, as pushes and ties are more common than in normal blackjack so you get more play for your money, much like in Pai Gow poker (another card game with two hands and lots of pushes).
Where to Play Blackjack Switch
Quite a few online casinos offer blackjack switch – both US casinos and European. For more detailed information about different sites, go to the list of the best blackjack sites and read the casino reviews.