Rule Variations and the Impact They Have on Your Blackjack Strategy

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A photograph of a blackjack player placing his bet onto the green felt table with his stacks of casino chips next to him and playing cards in front of him.
BetMGM Jun 25, 2024, 3:32 PM

Blackjack has been a popular game at casinos for as long as casinos have existed. Through all those years, there has been plenty of opportunity for creative casinos and players to add and change the rules of the game to produce new versions of blackjack.

BetMGM is home to many such blackjack variations, some of which are available in a live dealer blackjack format. When playing these variants, it’s important to understand how the rules change the game in order to have a decent chance of winning.

While blackjack is definitely a game of chance in some ways, it’s also a game of skill in some regards. Part of that skill is knowing how to adjust your strategy for blackjack rule variations.

Variations of Blackjack Introduce New Considerations

It might have been months or years since you took the time to register for BetMGM and started playing traditional blackjack games. You may already be familiar with all the jargon; you know what a soft 17 is, for example.

That doesn’t mean there is nothing left for you to learn about this game, though. Rule changes, even subtle ones, can greatly impact how you play the game if you want to win.

As an example, the number of decks of cards the game features can tremendously change the probability of your landing the card you need to get to the number you want. Infinite Blackjack uses eight decks, which takes the RTP for the base game to 99.28%. Meanwhile, BetMGM Blackjack Players Choice uses only six decks, changing that RTP to 99.68%.

Other rules that can change from one blackjack variant to the next include rules for when the dealer must hit or stand, whether insurance is available, the number and types of side bets, and restrictions on when you can surrender.

A couple of examples of situations you will encounter when playing blackjack demonstrate the importance of knowing and adapting to these rule variations.

Surrender Is an Option In Blackjack Variants

Successful players learn the difference between early and late surrenders in blackjack games and when to deploy each. This understanding becomes especially important when playing Multihand Blackjack Surrender on BetMGM.

This game gives you a little assistance when you are in the sticky situation of needing to hit but worried about busting. You can choose to stop playing and get back half of your wager for the up to five hands you can play at one time.

That surrender option enables you to be more adventurous with your plays early on, knowing that if you get into a tight spot, you won’t lose your entire bet. Therefore, you can take a more aggressive strategy than you might in games that don’t have a similar surrender rule.

Playing Online Blackjack Uninsured

Blackjack insurance is another aspect of the game that you probably became familiar with during the course of your play. This common, simple side bet usually pays out 2:1 and can cover your losses when the dealer gets a natural blackjack.

Not all blackjack games afford you the option to buy insurance, however. Among them is Blackjack Xchange.

When playing this game, if the dealer’s up card is an ace, the dealer won’t ask if you want to buy insurance, because the rules don’t allow for it. This changes your strategy in that you have to react very differently when that ace shows.

Blackjack Xchange allows you to essentially trade any cards in your hand for another from the deck, for a price. If the dealer is showing an ace, then, you have to quickly decide what you believe the down card will be and how to craft your own hand to try to best that, potentially paying to swap out a card.

There are many more rule variations besides these examples. For new players interested in blackjack, one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with these differences without a big hit to your bankroll is by using your casino welcome bonus. Even for more experienced players, though, learning about these various rules and the ways they change the game is part of discovering why BetMGM is the best site for playing blackjack online.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.