Oh goody! It is time for more talk about blackjack games and blackjack variations. This morning I have chosen Blackjack Switch as my variation to compare to good ol’ blackjack.
This blackjack variation can be found scattered throughout brick and mortar casinos, and it is beginning to show its face in some online casinos.
Switch works a little bit differently from other blackjack games. For one thing you are not playing one hand per round, you are playing two. There is no way out of this. If you want to play Switch then you have to play with two hands per round.
The reason players have two hands to play is because they can switch the top two cards.
In fact that is the first playing decision a player makes—to switch or not to switch. When it is time to play out his hand he can switch the top two cards of his hands. This has the benefit of giving players the opportunity to improve their hands.
Let’s say that you are playing Switch and you are dealt a 4/10 on one hand and a 10/6 on the second. When your turn to play comes you can switch the 10 from the first hand with the 6 from the second because they are the top two cards. Once the switch is made you then have a 4/6 and a 10/10, both of which are good hands as you can double down on the 4/6, and the 10/10 is a strong hand to stand on.
While that example is the ideal for what you want to happen in a round of Switch, it does not always happen that way. Sometimes switching the top two cards only improves one hand. Or maybe you only switch them for a shot at minimizing your losses.
But while switching your top two cards seems like an advantage—and it is—there are, like in any blackjack variation, some major down sides.
The most obvious is that if you are playing with two hands per round, you are wagering twice as much per round. On top of the extra wagering, blackjacks on pay even money in this game, which is a 2.27% hit to your blackjack odds.
And for extra fun the dealer does not bust at 22 like he would in any other blackjack game. Instead it becomes a push. So you are not losing money, but you certainly are not winning anything extra.
So once again we have another blackjack game—yet another variation—that on the surface seems like it could be advantageous but really is not. Like with Face Up 21, Switch should be played for very low stakes or just for fun if you are playing online.