Hole Card Rules in American Blackjack vs European Blackjack

Online Blackjack has found great popularity worldwide, but few people know that there are actually three variations of the popular casino game, each of which is played abiding by a unique set of rules. There are blackjack card rules variations from Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Europe, each of which is named for the place from which they originated.

The Hole Card

The hole card is the name for the first face down card dealt to each player. In both versions of American blackjack (Las Vegas and Atlantic City), the dealer receives two cards; one is dealt face down, the other face up. In European blackjack, the face down card isn't initially dealt; this version is sometimes called the "no hole" variation of blackjack. The hole card in European blackjack is dealt after the players play through their hands.


If the face up card is an ace, players can make an insurance bet; the hole card is checked to see if the dealer has blackjack. The same thing occurs if the face up card is a ten, but there is no insurance bet. In either case, if there is blackjack, the hand is immediately ended and the player does not play through the hand. Since the hold card isn't dealt until the players have played through their hands, the rules are different in regards to insurance in the European variation. If the face up card is an ace, the option is given to the players to place an insurance bet. Once those bets are placed, the dealer then deals a card face up. If it is a card with a value of 10, insurance bets are paid out.

Splits and Additional Wagers

American blackjack, in online gambling, allows players to make additional wagers or splits after the dealer verifies that there are no blackjacks. In European blackjack, players can decide this without checking for blackjacks, which makes the risk a little bit higher than that of American blackjack.

Blackjack cards rules vary from casino to casino; the hole card plays a huge part in how and what players should bet. Understanding the differences between these rules will help players better understand proper betting and game play no matter what version they are playing.