The object of European Blackjack is the same as traditional Blackjack in that the player plays against the dealer and the winner is the person who can come as close to 21 in card value without going over.
European Blackjack begins with the player making a bet of at least the table minimum. The dealer will deal the player two cards face up and will be dealt one card face up. The dealer will only receive a second card once the player has made all of their final decisions. This means that the dealer may not be dealt a second card until all players have decided to stay or happen to bust by going over 21. The player wins the amount of money they wagered if: the dealer busts and the player does not or if neither party busts and the player comes closer to 21. The player loses if they go over 21 or if the dealer comes closer to 21 than they do.
In European Blackjack, the value of the cards remains unchanged from traditional Blackjack, so: suits don’t matter, cards 2 through 10 are face value, face cards are given a value of 10, and Aces count as either 1 or 11, player’s choice.
The rest of the rules of European Blackjack differ slightly from those of traditional Blackjack in that: European Blackjack deals from a deck of 6 cards that is reshuffled after each hand, no option to surrender exists, and a player may not re-split Aces. Also, in European Blackjack, the dealer stands on soft 17, the player may split up to three hands, and a player will only receive one card if splitting Aces.
When the first two cards are dealt for the player, the player can decide to “hit” or “stand”. A player who “hits” will receive another card and may continue to hit until they are satisfied with the total of the cards or until they bust. When the player is satisfied with the value of their cards, they may “stay”. When every player at the table has decides to stay or bust, the dealer will deal themselves cards based on the dealing rules of the game. If the dealer busts, every player at the table who did not bust wins 1 to 1. If the dealer stands on any value, every player at the table who came closer to 21 than the dealer wins 1 to 1. If a dealer and a player do not bust, but the dealer gets closer to 21 than the player, the player loses and surrenders their bet.
Any player, including the dealer, who reaches the exact amount of 21 with their cards wins Blackjack and wins the hand. If a dealer and player tie on any amount, including 21, the hand is a “push”, meaning the player loses no money but wins no money.
Players may purchase insurance in the event they think the dealer’s second card following an Ace will have a value of 10 (giving them an automatic win). If the dealer is dealt a 10 value card and the player can’t reach at least a push with the dealer, the player will be paid 2 to 1 on their insurance. The insurance is actually a side bet that the player makes with the dealer, essentially betting that the dealer has 21. If the dealer doesn’t turn up a 10 value card as their second card, the insurance of the player is lost, but the player may still profit from the results of their hand against their original bet.