Importance Of Hole Card In Blackjack


There are two basic blackjack variants at Australian online casinos. American blackjack variants originated in the land casinos of the United States. Vegas Strip Blackjack, Vegas Downtown Blackjack and Atlantic City Blackjack have minor variation in rules, which are not material for this discussion.

European Blackjack developed in the European casinos. There is one fundamental difference between the two. In American blackjack variants the dealer’s first card is dealt face up and the second card is dealt face down. The face down card is also known as the hole card. In European Blackjack the hole card is not dealt. Hence these online blackjack variants are referred as “no hole” games. This difference leads to differences in both the subsequent game play and the strategy.

In American blackjack variants if the dealer’s face up card is an ace or a ten value card the dealer checks the hole card for blackjack. The card is not revealed to the player. If the dealer has a blackjack then you lose the bet. If the dealer does not have a blackjack then you proceed playing the hand in the usual manner. Because there is no hole card in European Blackjack, the dealer does not check for blackjack when his first card is an ace or a ten value card. The player makes his move without knowing whether the dealer has a blackjack or not.

This lack of information puts the player at a slight disadvantage. In online blackjack there are two special moves known as double down and split. In both these moves you have to place another bet equal to the original bet. When you are playing American blackjack variants you make the decision of double down or split after the dealer checks for blackjack. So you are sure that the dealer does not hold a blackjack. In European Blackjack you have to make these decisions without knowing whether the dealer has a blackjack or not. The crucial result of the discussion is that in European Blackjack you can lose the additional double down and split bets to a dealer blackjack, whereas in American blackjack variants you cannot.

There are two corollaries for this result. American blackjack variants offer slightly higher average returns to player than European Blackjack. You can be more aggressive in split and double down moves when American blackjack variants. In European Blackjack you have to be conservative in double down and split moves when the dealer’s face up card is an ace or a ten value card.

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