Why American Blackjack is better than European Blackjack


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When it comes to roulette, many players are aware that it's better to use the European wheel over the American wheel. After all, European roulette contains one less house-friendly number than American roulette, thus bringing the house edge down from 5.26% to 2.70%.

But people should never take this to mean that the European version of casinos games is always superior to the American version. And this brings us to American and European blackjack, where one selection has a decided advantage in terms of the house edge.

The Differences

There are a few slight rule differences that every player should be aware of when switching between European and American blackjack. This being said, here's a look at the biggest differences:

- Players can surrender in American blackjack, which saves half of a bet. However, European blackjack doesn't allow the surrender rule.

- The American game allows players to double down on any hand. Unfortunately, people can only double down on a score total of 9, 10 and 11 in the European version.

- Dealers are dealt one face-up and one face-down card in American blackjack before players act. European blackjack only sees the dealer dealt one face-up card before players act; this means players don't know if the dealer has a blackjack or not when the upcard is an ace.

More Freedom means Less House Edge

As you can see from the rules we've shown above, the American game allows players more room to maneuver around - especially when it comes to doubling down. Because players can double down on any hand in the American version, they can lower the house edge by 0.2%. The surrender rule that's allowed in the American game also gives players a slight advantage and drops the house edge by 0.1%.

Finally, because American dealers peek to see if they've got a blackjack, players without a blackjack automatically lose and can't bet any major money. Contrast this to European blackjack where the 'no peek' rule means one could bet lots of money, only to find out that the dealer has a blackjack.

So overall, your chances of winning are somewhat better in American blackjack. Sure you may not notice the difference over the short-term; however, those who play lots of blackjack should definitely consider this version.