Blackjack Switch Review
Blackjack Switch is one of the most interesting variants of blackjack that you can play online. But even more than that, it’s also one of the best blackjack games when it comes to return-to-player (RTP) percentage. With a house edge of merely 0.13%, you will hardly find a real-money game online that gives you better odds.
Basically, the biggest difference between the classic blackjack game and Blackjack Switch is the fact that the players can switch the top cards of the two hands they are dealt. This specific rule gives the players a huge advantage which is countered by two additional rules: a natural blackjack pays 1:1 instead of 3:2 and a dealer 22 is a push and not a bust against all hands except for a natural. The game was conceived by Geoff Hall who officially presented it at the Las VEgas G2E conference in 2000 (source: Wikipedia). On the Internet, this particular blackjack variation is offered exclusively by the software provider Playtech. Check a quick overview of the game in the table below:
- Basic Game Rules
- Return to Player: 99.87% Blackjack pays: 1 to 1
- Decks: 6
- Insurance: yes
- Multihand: yes
- Side bets: yes
- Surrender: no
- Split and Double Rules
- Split: any pair
- Resplit: Up to 3 hands
- Double: any two cards
- Double after split: yes
- Hit split aces: no
- Dealer Rules
- Hits: soft 17
- Peeks for Blackjack: yes
- Special Game Rules: Dealer 22 is a push except against a natural blackjack.
- Bonus:200% up to £300
- Bonus code:not required
- Wagering contribution:5%
Blackjack Switch Rules
As in any other blackjack game, your goal when playing Blackjack Switch is to get a higher hand than the dealer’s without going over 21, i.e. without going ‘bust’. As I already mentioned, the online version of the game is offered exclusively by Playtech and is played with 6 standard decks. The table layout featrues two betting boxes, as opposed to one, because of the fact that every game the player is dealt two hands. There’s also an additional betting box for the side bet ‘Super Match’ which we’ll discuss a little bit further down the page.
The game begins after you’ve placed your bets. Note that if you place for example a £1 bet on the first hand, another £1 will be automatically placed on the second hand. Once you’ve selected the amount you want to bet, press the ‘deal’ button. You’ll receive two pairs of cards facing up, while the dealer will receive one upcard and one card facing down. Then you’ll be able to choose between the following options: switch, hit (ask for another card), stand (accept your hand as it is), double (double the bet amount and get one and only one more card) or split in case you have a pair.
Another option available in blackjack switch is to take ‘insurance’ if the dealer’s upcard is an ace. After you’ve decided whether to pay the additional bet, the dealer will peek for blackjack and if they have one, you automatically loose the hand. If they have a blackjack and you’ve accepted the insurance though, you’ll get the value of your initial bet back. The dealer also peeks for blackjack if they have a 10-valued card, but in that case no insurance is offered.
When your turn to play is finished, i.e. you’ve pressed ‘stand’ or busted for both hands, it’s the dealer’s turn. As opposed to the player, the dealer doesn’t have the option to choose but rather acts on specific rules. They have to ‘hit’ until they get a hand valued at least 17 and then stand. As opposed to most blackjack variations, the dealer does have to hit a soft 17 (A and 6), i.e. a hand that can be counted as 7 or 17. Another specific rule in Blackjack Switch is that a dealer 22 hand is not a bust but a push (both parties receive back their bets) except against a natural blackjack, in which case the player wins. Otherwise, the hand with the higher count wins.
Side Bet – Super Match
The side bet featured in Blackjack Switch is called Super Match and rewards the following combinations with the following payouts: a pair – 1:1, three of a kind – 5:1, two pairs – 9:1 and four of a kind – 40:1. The side bet is not obligatory, i.e. you can decide whether or not to bet on a match and if you decide to do so, you’ll have to bet additional chips.
House Edge – Blackjack Switch vs Blackjack Odds
The different online casino software providers have different interpretations of what a ‘classic’ or ‘normal’ blackjack game is. If you look at NetEnt’s Blackjack, the theoretical return-to-player percentage is 99.75% while for Playtech’s Blackjack it is 99.53%. And still, that’s nowhere near the 99.87% of RTP offered by Blackjack Switch. That means that when you play this variation of the game with perfect strategy, the house edge is only 0.13%. In fact, as you can see in the chart below, Blackjack Switch is Playtech’s most advantageous blackjack game.
The only ‘classic’ variation of blackjack you can find online that offers an RTP percentage that high is Microgaming’s Classic Blackjack. In fact, the game has the same house edge as the one of Blackjack Switch – 0.13%. Therefore, if you prefer to play the normal version of the game rather than Blackjack Switch, you can pick any operator from our list of the best Microgaming casinos on the UK market and enjoy a more ‘classic’ blackjack with the same theoretical return.
Blackjack Switch Strategy
The optimal strategy for Blackjack Switch consists of two parts. The first is making the decision whether to switch the top cards of your two hands. This decision isn’t as simple as it may seem, because usually when you improve the value of one hand you decrease the value of the other. In most of the cases it’s not that easy to evaluate which is better – to switch or not, and this is why I would recommend you to use a switch calculator which will calculate the expected value of the hands with and without a switch. The second part of the strategy is to simply follow the Blackjack Switch chart that you can see below.
Only if you follow the above-presented strategy, you’ll be expected to have the lowest house edge of 0.13%. Then, you can lower it more or even overcome the rest of the house edge by taking advantage of the many bonus opportunities all Playtech-powered Casinos offer.
As you might have noticed, not one of the two parts of the Blackjack Switch strategy takes into account the side bet option that the game gives you. The reason for that is that the Super Match side bet has a house edge of over 2.5% which makes it very disadvantageous for the player. Thus, if you want to have the best odds possible when playing Blackjack Switch online, you should never take the Super Match bet.
Available Bonus Offers Clearable on Blackjack Switch
Blackjack Switch is a game that you will find in all major Playtech casinos, but not all of them offer bonuses that you can play the game with. For example, a casino might offer all its new users a nice welcome bonus of 100% up to £200 but if the wagering contribution of Blackjack Switch for that bonus is 0%, there’s no point in considering it. In the table below you can see a list of the top Playtech Casinos that allow you to wager their welcome bonuses on the game plus information about the playthrough requirements and the minimum deposit you have to make. Note that at all the below-mentioned casinos the wagering contribution of Blackjack Switch is 5%.
Blackjack Switch is one of the best blackjack variations you can choose to play online not only because of its low house edge but also because of the unique experience it offers. If you’re looking for something more than the standard blackjack version, we would definitely recommend you claim one of the bonuses we mentioned above and start playing right away!
Can I play Blackjack Switch on iPhone or Android Smartphone?
Unfortunately, Playtech haven’t yet developed a mobile version of this particular blackjack variant. That said, considering the fact that mobile is going bigger and bigger by the minute, I personally wouldn’t be surprised if they soon launch more blackjack variations and why not even Blackjack Switch for mobile devices.