American VS European Blackjack: Rules, Tips & Tricks

American/Europe Blackjack

American and European Blackjack are very similar games. However, the difference is important to know as it greatly affects the strategy that you may choose to adopt.

There are key different rules in the game, but if you play your cards right and learn these important rules for both, then you can sit on whatever table you like and still prosper.

Check out our top picks for you to bear in mind when playing the variations below.


The first thing you are likely to notice about the two games is the amount of decks that are used.  European Blackjack will generally only use 1 or 2 Decks, whereas American Blackjack will use between 6-8, this obviously makes a big difference in your chances, as more decks mean a higher house advantage and more unpredictable game-play, making card counting more difficult.

The Hole Card

Perhaps the biggest difference in the games is the Hole Card.  Essentially, this allows for the dealer to look at his second card before the player/s hand/s are completed if there is a chance of Blackjack, so  for example, if their first card is an Ace card. In this situation, if the dealer looks and it is indeed, Blackjack, then the game is over and the house wins, without the need to player any further and all bets are collected.

This rule is non-existent in European Blackjack. As such, if you generally only play European Blackjack, this is a rule you definitely need to look out for if you find yourself at an American table. This being said, it can also play to your advantage because if the game ends immediately, it can prevent bigger losses if you opt to double up or split.

Late Surrender

This is another rule that only exists in American Blackjack. It gives the player the opportunity to “Surrender” after their first two cards are dealt.

This means that the player will only lose 50% of hs take, instead of the full wager amount. This is very handy if the player has bet high, only to find himself in a position that is difficult to win. Although this does have it benefits, you may also find yourself in a position where you are kicking yourself when the final cards are revealed.

Doubling Down

As you probably are aware, doubling down allows you to double your wager if you feel you are in a comfortable position to beat the dealer. However, when you can do this varies between the two gaming styles.

In European Blackjack, this is only permitted on hands with a value of 9,10 or 11, whereas in American Blackjack, players can double down with any total.  


This rule is allowed in both versions of the game and allows players to divide his original hand into two separate hands, doubling your bet and thus, raising your potential winnings. This gives the player the opportunity to play a weak dealer card to his advantage.

The difference lies in the amount of times that this can be done. European rules allows this only once and only on cards that equal the amount of 10, i.e. 10’s, Jacks, Queens and Kings.

American rules allow you time split up to 3 times making up to 4 hands. There is also no rules about which cards can be split on. American rules players can once per game also take a card to Split Aces.


As you can see, although both games appear the same at a glance, it is only through playing you would notice these crucial differences. American Blackjack, as you can see, has more intricate game-play, with much more in the game to spice it up and this adds an extra dimension.

This said, both have their charms and it is all a matter of preference. What is essential is that you are aware of which table you are playing at and the rules that apply, so that you can use them to your advantage.  For example, if you are playing European Blackjack, you need to be slightly more reserved in your choices. With no limit to doubling down or splitting in the American Version, it means you can be more aggressive in your game-play and really push the limits.

Whichever you choose to play, make sure you keep this list in the forefront of your mind so that you can not only show competence wherever you are playing, but also be always able to cash in on your rivals ignorance.

Uptown Aces have both games on offer, so you can put what you’ve learned into practice right now!