How to Play Blackjack Switch: Rules, Strategy & Odds

Posted By: Date: 08/11/2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Blackjack Switch is one of the most intriguing variations of the classic blackjack game ever devised because it gives the player the option to switch their original cards. Each player is required to play two hands of blackjack at a time, thereby giving them the choice to “switch”? the second card dealt to each hand with the other hand. You can even switch the cards to produce a blackjack.

The house edge in Blackjack Switch is extremely low, only 0.17% with a proper strategy. If the standard rules and payouts were the same as traditional blackjack , the edge would actually fall into the player’s favor. However, casinos can’t let that happen, so the payouts have been decreased. A natural blackjack only pays even money, instead of the usual 3 to 2, and a dealer’s 22 will push rather than busting if the player’s total is 21 (not blackjack).

Variations in the rules of Blackjack Switch include the following:

  1. Players must make two equal wagers at the start of the hand, one for each of his two hands to be dealt. Playing just one hand is not an option.
  2. The rules of Switching allow a player to swap out only the second card dealt to each of the player’s hands. Switching can produce a blackjack, which beats a dealer’s 21, but ties a dealer’s natural blackjack. Switching cards is, of course, optional.
  3. Players can double down on any two cards, and may double after a split, but may not double after a hit. To double down, the player must double their bet for that hand, taking one additional card and instantly standing on the total.
  4. Splitting is allowed on any exact pair, including Aces. A player may not split two 10 valued cards if they are not an exact pair (i.e. Q+Q can be split; Q+K cannot). Splitting is allowed up to four hands on each of the player’s individual starting hands, hence a player could end up with a total of 8 hands max. Splitting Aces can produce a hand of 21, but not a natural blackjack.
  5. A tie is a push, even on a natural blackjack.
  6. If the player’s hand totals 21 (not a natural blackjack) and the dealer’s hand totals 22, it will push rather than busting the dealer. If the dealer totals 22 in any other circumstance, the dealer busts.
  7. The dealer will accord to the following rules: The dealer will stand on a hard total of 17, but will hit a Soft 17 (any hand of 17 with an Ace valued at 11). Blackjack Switch is a hole card game, meaning insurance is offered if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, 10 or Face Card. The dealer will peek for blackjack before gameplay proceeds.
  8. If the dealer has blackjack, all insurance bets are paid at 2 to 1, but all original bets are lost. If the dealer does not have blackjack, insurance bets are collected and the game proceeds.

Blackjack Switch Standard Pay Table
Natural Blackjack Pays 1 to 1
Insurance Pays 2 to 1
Beating the Dealer Pays 1 to 1

Note that all Blackjack Switch rules and payouts detailed above are standard, but may vary slightly from one live or online casino to the next.