How to win European Blackjack (Rules & Strategy)

Ever wanted to win more from European Blackjack? We reveal the latest tips & strategies...

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Just like the geographical borders of the world, blackjack also has its international differences and one of the main variants you'll find bearing the name of a continent is European blackjack. 

This game is mainly contrasted with Atlantic City rules blackjack which is the main game played in North America. 

Although the games are almost identical there are some subtle differences you need to be aware of when shooting for 21 in a European setting. 

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European Blackjack Rules


Indeed, whether you're actually in a European casino or playing at one of the internet's best blackjack sites, this game will have the following basic rules:

In European blackjack the dealer is not allowed to look (or peek as it's known) at their cards unlike other variants which means it's not hole card game. 

If the player has been dealt two cards that total 9, 10 or 11 in a game of European blackjack they are allowed to double down which means matching their initial stake and receiving one extra card. 


If you decide to Split a hand then you can only Split it once, and by doing so you will be playing two separate hands of Blackjack. 

Regardless of the player's hand or their own, the dealer must stand on 17 at all times. 

  • If the player splits a pair of aces they can then multiple cards to each ace and not just one. 
  • If an ace is combined with a card that has a value of ten (i.e. not a picture card) then this is not classed as a blackjack but simply a 21 hand and paid at a ratio of 1:1. 

Cards that have a value of ten and are the same suit can be split, but tens that are contrast suits cannot be split. 

European Blackjack vs American


As you can see from the above points, European blackjack has a unique set of rules when it comes to dealing with certain combinations of cards. 

Indeed, while some of these are beneficial for the players, such as the dealer having to stand on all forms of 17, others like not being able to split some tens are less favourable. 

However, regardless of these cosmetic differences, European blackjack is still an extremely profitable game to play if you can follow a few simple strategies. 

Whether you use blackjack cheat sheets or card counting techniques, it's possible to reduce the casino's edge to almost nothing with some skilful techniques. 

What is the European Blackjack house edge?

The house edge of European Blackjack is 0.62%.

What is the beat European blackjack strategy?

The best strategy depends on what the dealer has - and what is in your own hand. For each hand type, there is an optimal way to play that will produce the lowest house edge. We recommend always keeping a blackjack strategy chart handy.

Where can I play European blackjack free?

You will be able to play European blackjack for free at the casinos listed on this page. UK players will have to create an account first to see if there are free play options available due to recent regulation changes.

What is European blackjack insurance?

This is a type of sidebet a player can accept if a dealer has a face up Ace card. If the dealer reveals a 21, then the player will gain some of their stake back.


Our Verdict


Although you won't become a huge winner in the game over night, it's certainly possible to make a lot of money in European blackjack when you apply yourself to correct technique and bankroll management.

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