GLOBAL POKER’S GUIDE TO
PREMIUM BLACKJACK
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GLOBAL POKER's PREMIUM BLACKJACK

This guide is an overview of the general game of Premium Blackjack. For Global Poker’s Premium Blackjack Rules, head over to our Global Poker Blackjack Rules page.

Premium blackjack is a relatively new blackjack variant adapted from a European version of the game. Blackjack is already considered to be one of the best games to play at the casino due to the low house edge and the comparative ease with which players can pick up the game, but the premium version takes this one step further and increases the odds for players to come away with a win.

THE RULES

The sole objective of premium blackjack is to beat the dealer's cards without exceeding 21. Each player receives two cards at the start of the game and takes a turn against the dealer. Premium blackjack follows a lot of the same rules and gameplay as Classic Blackjack, however, there are several key differences.

PREMIUM BLACKJACK

Deck Count

At Global Poker, with both our Classic Blackjack and Premium Blackjack variants, we use six, 52-card decks. Other sites might use eight decks, depending on their own house rules.

Cards the Dealer Receives

In Classic Blackjack, the dealer only gets one card, and there’s no peeking for Blackjack.

In Premium Blackjack, the dealer receives two cards at the start of play, one face down and another face up. If the first card is a 10 value, the dealer peeks for Blackjack. If the second card is an ace—meaning the dealer has Blackjack—the hand is ended and the player will only lose their original play amount.

At Global Poker, our dealer stands on soft 17.

Other Premium Blackjack Rules

Card Values

All the cards in premium blackjack correspond to their listed numerical value for 2 to 10, while the face cards—Jack, Queen and King—count as 10. Suits don't matter. Ace can be used as either 1 or 11. However, if using the ace as 11 puts your score over 21, it’s automatically changed to 1. Any two-card combination of 10 and an ace is called blackjack—the best hand in the game! It's unbeatable unless the dealer also has blackjack.

Player Options

When the game starts, players have several options to choose from. If there are several people at the same table, the person to the left of the dealer goes first and tries to make the best hand possible. Play continues clockwise around the table, with the dealer going last.

Hit—Receive another card from the dealer. Many casinos cap the total number of cards at five. If at any time during play, the total value of your cards exceeds 21, you bust, losing the round, and your bet.

Stand—Stay with the current score and don't receive more cards.

Double Down—An option to double the bet and receive only one more card.

Split—If the first two cards dealt are the same value, you can choose to split and create two separate hands, but it requires an additional bet equal to your first one. Once the cards are split, both hands are treated independently. You can usually split twice, for a total of three hands. Aces can only be re-split once, and receive only one extra card on each split hand.

Push—A draw. When a player and the dealer end up with the same score, the bet is returned, nothing is lost, but nothing is gained.

Table

Single-player tables provide the chance to have multiple hands playing at once, with no timer or pressure from other players to hurry up. The greatest benefit of a single player table is the ability to take your time. There are also multiplayer tables, which is the traditional option when playing blackjack. As the name suggests, there will be other players at the table, and a timer to ensure the game moves at a reasonable pace. Every table will also have a minimum bet, and a maximum. They can range from low stakes, all the way through to the high-stakes tables for the high rollers.

House Rules

Premium blackjack will have the same ruleset at most casinos, but there might also be a slight variation, or "House Rules." Regardless of how well you can play blackjack, it's always a good idea to check if there are house rules before you start.

Common House Rules

Deck Change

Most casinos will stick to four decks for premium blackjack, but some can have six or more.

Seventeens

Dealers are usually required to hit until they reach at least 17 and then stand, but this can vary between casinos.

Other Common House Rules

  • A split hand with an ace and a card valued at 10 doesn't count as blackjack.
  • A two-card 21, or a 'Natural' beats a multiple-card 21.
  • Hands can only be split once per round.
  • Once a hand is split, it removes the double down option.

How to Play Premium Blackjack

Players Win When:
  • The value of the cards is less than 21, but the dealer exceeds 21.
  • You finish the round with a higher score than the dealer without exceeding 21.
  • You are dealt two cards at the start of play that equals 21, an ace and a card valued at 10.
Dealer Wins When:
  • Player score exceeds 21.
  • The dealer has a higher score than the player, but doesn't exceed 21.
Pay Scale
  • A win pays 1:1.
    • Example—Play 20 would win 40.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
    • Example—A play of 12 would receive 6 as insurance.
  • Blackjack, or a two-card 21, receives a bonus at 3:2.
    • Example—A play of 10 would receive 15.
Premium Blackjack Gameplay

All players put in whatever chips they’re going to play, which must adhere to the limits of the table. Everyone at the table receives two face-up cards each, while the dealer receives one face-up card. The game starts with the person immediately to the left of the dealer, whose options are to stand, hit, double down or split. Anyone who busts is eliminated from the game until the next round. Play continues around the table clockwise, with each player given the same options. The dealer plays last and will hit until they either bust or reach the casino’s predetermined score limit, which is usually around the 17 mark.

Premium Blackjack Strategies

Avoid Unnecessary Bets

Splitting, doubling down, and insurance can increase your winnings, but they can also increase losses. While they may be tempting, over the long run, these side plays lose you more than they gain. Save your chips and pick your spots.

Know The Odds

Blackjack is different from a lot of other casino games because the players can bust out and end the game before the dealer has even played their hand. There are a few ways to try and counteract the dealer's advantage. The easiest is to learn the odds of busting out on each hand. It doesn't guarantee a win, but at least you have all the information needed to make the best possible decision.

Hand ValueOdds of Busting
21100%
2092%
1985%
1877%
1769%
1662%
1558%
1456%
1339%
1231%
11 and below0%
Don't Worry About Hitting 21

Aim for a score of 17 to 20, and stand; it puts pressure on the dealer and still leaves you with a decent chance of winning the hand. Too many players get caught up trying to hit 21 and forget they don't always have to get the high score to win. You just have to beat the dealer.

Plan Your Bankroll

Planning out your bankroll in advance won’t increase your odds of winning, but it does provide peace of mind so you can have complete focus on the task. Work out how much you are willing to play, set a limit, and don't go over. If you find yourself tempted to keep playing after losses, walk away and come back another day.

Three Reasons to Try Premium Blackjack

  1. New Rules
  2. It’s always fun trying something new. Premium blackjack has the same goal as every other version of the game, but its ruleset is different enough to warrant a few hands at the tables. The lower deck count and loss of the dealer's second card make it a unique experience that ultimately favors the player.

  3. Better Odds for Success
  4. Classic Blackjack has a theoretical return to the player (RTP) that sits around 99.4 per cent, while premium black increases the RTP to 99.67 per cent. The RTP measures how much will be returned to the player over a set period. While this can change depending on the player's skill level, it is still some of the best odds you can get for a casino game.

  5. Fast and Simple
  6. Blackjack is very fast and simple to play, making it very popular with people who are time poor. Playing a few hands doesn't require hours at the tables, and the rules can be learnt in a few minutes.

Blackjack Variations

Blackjack is still one of the most played games at online casinos, but this hasn't stopped people from trying to improve on the classic game with new variations on the rules. Some of these variants, like premium blackjack, become very popular and eventually stay long term, while others fade away, never to be seen again.

Other Common Online Blackjack Variations

Progressive

Players can make a side play to go in a draw and win a jackpot which is fueled by a small amount from every play made. Depending on the number of players, the total can reach big numbers before it's won.

Double Exposure

Both of the dealer's cards are exposed at the start of play, but unlike other games of blackjack, they will always hit on a soft 17. Players lose insurance, surrender, and multiple splits as an option.

Pontoon

Similar to Spanish 21, the deck has no tens and any score under 15 isn't counted. There is an option to surrender.

Blackjack Surrender

The main features that set this game apart from the rest, is the chance to surrender and the 7 card Charlie rule. If someone has 7 cards that are equal to or under 21, it beats everything except a two-card blackjack.

Bonus Blackjack

Plays like every other game, except for an additional side play which pays if a player hits a two-card blackjack. It doesn't matter if the dealer also hits a two-card blackjack.

Blackjack Tournaments

Similar to Texas Hold’em poker tournaments, you buy-in for a fixed amount and play to be the last person standing and win the top prize. Anyone who loses all their chips is eliminated.

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