Blackjack Switch, though considerably less common than classic Blackjack, can still be found in a number of land-based and online casinos. This fun variant allows for what would otherwise constitute as cheating - namely, switching cards between two hands. This patented game was invented by Geoff Hall who, when playing regular Blackjack, was annoyed at how his two weak hands could easily be improved if he was simply able to trade cards between them. Just like that, Blackjack Switch was invented! This guide will explain the game’s rules, and list the best online casinos for playing Blackjack Switch.
Screenshot from Europa Casino's Blackjack Switch
Blackjack Switch Rules
In Blackjack Switch, you’ll be playing according to most of the basic blackjack rules (for more info about how to train for success, visit our Blackjack Trainer page). The key difference is that each player is dealt two hands instead of one at the beginning of the game. The same starting bet must be wagered on both hands and the cards are dealt face up.
Once both hands are dealt – and this is the unique rule to this game – players then have the option of swapping the second card dealt from one hand to the other. Obviously you would only choose to switch the hands if your odds are improved by this decision.
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). Now, in Blackjack Switch, you would be able to 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, in terms of having the options to split or double down etc.
Blackjack Switch Odds
Blackjack Switch may seem like a no-brainer choice in that it increases odds in favor of the player, but keep in mind some other Blackjack Switch rules that to some extent restores the house edge.
The most significant of these is that Blackjack Switch pays even money at 1:1 instead of the normal 3:2 as is the case in regular blackjack, which is inarguably 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.
When it comes to overall Blackjack Switch odds, the casino has 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 most 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. In other words, you’ll have more play for your money - similar to Pai Gow poker (another card game with two hands and lots of pushes).
Blackjack Switch Casinos
A good number of both American and European online casinos offer Blackjack Switch – both American and European casinos. If you'd like to try the game for free before playing with real money, you can find cost-free Blackjack Switch on our Free Casino Games page. For more detailed information about different sites, go to our Blackjack online page where you'll find a comprehensive list of the best blackjack sites and read the Casino Reviews.
What are the odds in Blackjack Switch?
With six decks and under Las Vegas rules, the house edge in Blackjack Switch is 0.58%, making it one of the more profitable casino games.
Does Blackjack Switch have better odds than normal Blackjack?
The probability of a win in regular Blackjack is 42.22% (not including ties) which gives both games similar probabilities.
How many decks are used in Blackjack Switch?
Blackjack Switch uses between 6 and 8 decks.
Where can I play Blackjack Switch online?
A number of online casinos offer Blackjack Switch games. You’re more likely to find this variant at online casinos which specialize in Blackjack or at larger and more well-established casinos that offer a wider variety of games.