The object of the game
For every game, you must attempt to obtain two hands whose respective values are greater than that of the dealer's hand, without exceeding 21. At Blackjack Switch, you may choose to switch the second cards dealt in each of your hands unless the dealer draws a blackjack.
Blackjack Switch is played with 6 to 8 decks of 52 cards. Aces count as 1 or 11, face cards count as 10 and all other cards are counted at face value. A blackjack occurs when the two first cards of a hand are an Ace and a 10 or a face card, i.e. a twocard hand with a total value of 21, the highest possible score at blackjack.
The maximum number of players at a Blackjack Switch table is five. Using value chips purchased from the dealer, you must make two identical initial bets, one for each hand to be played. Bets must be made in accordance with the minimum and maximum table limits and must be placed on the designated betting spots before the first card can be dealt, after which time no more initial bets may be placed, changed or withdrawn.
The dealer deals the cards to each player from a "shoe". Only the dealer may touch the cards. The dealer deals a card face up for each of the two hands of each player, and one face up to himself. The dealer then deals a second card face up for each of the two hands of each player, and one face down to himself.
If the dealer's face up card is an Ace, you may wager, on the designated spot, for each of your two hands respectively, an insurance bet equal to one half of the original bet of your hand. If the dealer draws a blackjack, the insurance bet pays 2 to 1. If the dealer fails to draw a blackjack, the insurance bet is lost.
After having received the first two cards of your two hands, and if the dealer did not draw a blackjack, you may choose to either keep your hand as dealt or ask the dealer to switch the second cards dealt to each of your two hands. You cannot obtain a blackjack through a switch ; however, the two-card total will count as a soft 21.
Your other options
For each of your two hands, based on your two-card total and the dealer's face-up card, you have the following options :
- Hit, i.e. draw one or several additional cards to improve your hand without going over 21 ;
- Stand, if you are satisfied with your hand ;
- Split a pair, i.e. split two cards of the same value, up to a maximum of four hands. Each hand is then played separately. Aces may be split only once and you receive only one additional card for each hand. When splitting a hand, you must wager an additional amount equal to the initial bet of your hand. There is no blackjack on split pairs ;
- Double down, i.e. wager an additional amount equal to your original bet after the first two cards are dealt, except if the two cards dealt are a blackjack. You may also double down after splitting a pair, except in the case of a pair of Aces. In all cases, you receive only one additional card after doubling down.
If the total value of your hand is greater than 21, your bet is lost.
If the total value of your hand is 21 or less, and is not a blackjack, and if the total value of the dealer's hand constitutes a hard 22, your bet neither wins nor loses and you take back your bet.
Buster Blackjack side bet
If indicated at the table, you may choose to place a Buster Blackjack side bet, in addition to your initial bets. This bet must be made in accordance with the limits indicated at the table and placed on the table at the designated spot before the first card is dealt. A Buster Blackjack side bet wins if the total value of the dealer's hand is 22 or more, without respect to the result of your hands. A winning Buster Blackjack bet is paid according to the following chart :
|NUMBER OF CARDS IN THE DEALER'S BUSTED HAND
|8 or more||250 to 1|
|7||50 to 1|
|6||15 to 1|
|5||4 to 1|
|3 or 4||2 to 1|
The house strategy
After having revealed his face down card, the dealer completes his hand, as necessary, according to the following house strategy :
Hit on a count of soft 17 or less
Stand on a count of hard 17 or more.
Hand in which an Ace may have the value of either 1 or 11 without the total value of the hand exceeding 21.
Example: A soft 17 is a hand that could be made up of an Ace and a 6 for a total value of 7 or 17.
Hand with no Aces or one in which Aces have only the value of 1.
Example: A hard 17 is a hand that could be made up of a 10, a 6 and an Ace for a total value of 17.
Your bet wins if:
The total value of your hand is 21 or less and exceeds the value of the dealer's hand;
The total value of your hand is 21 or less and the dealer's hand exceeds 21, without being a hard 22;
- Your hand is a blackjack, and the dealer's hand is not.
In Blackjack Switch, all winning bets are paid 1 to 1.
If your hand is a blackjack, your bet is also paid 1 to 1, as long as the dealer does not draw a blackjack himself, which would be considered a tie. When your hand and the dealer's hand tie, neither wins nor loses and you take back your bet.