European Blackjack is played with two standard decks of 52 playing cards that are shuffled before each game. Player is dealt two cards face up. The dealer is dealt one card face up. The "No Peek" rule in European Blackjack means that the dealer cannot check to see if he has blackjack until the second dealer card is dealt, after you have finished your hand. Therefore, if the dealer does end up with blackjack, you will lose any additional bets made.
“European Blackjack” is quite similar to traditional Blackjack. In fact, two 52-card decks are used, though some online casinos may provide up to 6 decks. Unlike all other Blackjack versions including classic Blackjack, “European Blackjack” provides that the dealer checks his second card only when the player has completed his own hand.
However, “European Blackjack” is like original Blackjack. The player is dealt two cards face-up and may draw other cards in order to increase his score. The purpose of this game is the same of classic Blackjack: the player has to beat the dealer without exceeding 21. If he exceeds 21, goes bust and the dealer wins, irrespective of his cards.
The dealer has to draw more cards until he gets 17. If the dealer has a Blackjack (21 points with his first cards), the player will lose his own bet. However, he can take insurance in order to protect his hand, but only if the first card dealt is an ace. Insurance pays 2 to 1 on the initial bet.
In “European Blackjack” the player may double down only on totals of 9-11. Doubling is allowed also after splitting a pair, but the player can’t re-split (in other words, splitting that hand again after one initial split). As in traditional Blackjack, cards have their nominal value except the ace that may have a value of 1 or 11 according to the player’s choice.
Among the variants of classic Blackjack, “European Blackjack” is the one who looks more like the original version. The fact that the dealer is dealt his second card only when the player has completed all his moves, in fact, doesn’t affect the game neither at strategy nor probabilistic levels; this rule is just another way for distinguishing “European Blackjack” from classic Blackjack.