What Is the Difference Between American and European Blackjack?


There are several versions of blackjack, the most popular being European and American. In general, the rules for both are similar; but there are several slight differences that may affect how you think about the game. It is therefore important to be aware of these differences in order to play your best.

  • American blackjack makes use of what is called a ‘hole card,’ which the dealer places face down on the table at the very beginning of the game. In European blackjack, by contrast, the dealer puts places one card face up on the table when the game starts, and only after all the players receive their cards does the dealer receive a second card.
  • European blackjack requires 2 decks of cards, while American blackjack uses from 6 to 8.
  • In American blackjack, you can double down and win on any value. In the European game, you can only double down when you have cards valued at 9, 10, or 11.
  • Also in American blackjack, you can split a hand three times regardless of the value of your cards. In European blackjack, it is possible to split a hand only once, and only with kings, queens, jacks, and 10s.
  • There are specific tactics and strategies for each type of game. American blackjack allows for a more aggressive kind of play, since there are no limitations concerning doubling down. In the European game, players focus more on the various rules.

These differences may not seem very significant, but awareness of them can help you to choose the proper strategy and tactics to improve your odds. To sum up, the rules of American blackjack are in general less strict and more flexible than those of European blackjack.