The rules of blackjack differ depending where you are in the world, and although many people will understand the differences between European Blackjack, Las Vegas Blackjack and Atlantic City Blackjack, what about the others, what about places like Panama, Australia and more? The rules for these variants are often tweaked slightly, and although much of the same remains in comparison to Classic Blackjack or Vegas Blackjack, it pays to understand the differences.
In Panama Blackjack the dealer hits on soft 17s and does not take a hole card. There are 6 decks involved in this game, and they are placed in a shoe. The vast majority of games here use a continuous shuffling machine, also known as a CSM, but that does not apply to all of them. The player can double on their first two cards and they can also double after a split. They can also double on three cards if the totals are between 9 and 11. Surrenders are allowed.
In Australian Blackjack, as in Panama Blackjack, the dealer does not take a hole card. Players may only double when they have been 9 and 11, but they are allowed to double after a split. The decks vary in Australian Blackjack and depend entirely on the casino, as do the dealer’s actions in regards to hitting or standing on soft 17s and the number of splits and re-splits allowed, but in Australian Blackjack, unlike Panama Blackjack, and indeed many other variants, there are no surrenders allowed.
Another variant that experienced blackjack players might encounter on their travels is Californian Blackjack. This game is, as its name suggests, played in California, particular in the Los Angeles area. The rules are considerably different here and 53 card decks are used, with a single joker added to a standard deck. How much the joker is worth depends on the casino; some count it as 2 whilst others count it as 12. Six decks are used and there are bonus payments and other side bets available, including a 2:1 payment if the player holds two jokers and the dealer has none.