Modern-day ‘Blackjack’, sometimes referred to by its older name ‘21’, is the result of centuries of gaming evolution with beginnings reaching farther back than anyone can confirm. As one of the few Casino Games that requires careful thinking and a well-developed strategy in order to win, ‘Blackjack’ is one of the most studied and most enjoyed Games in the Casino both in Vegas and Online and is the most widely played casino banking game in the world.
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Blackjack is a comparing card game between a player and dealer and played with one or more decks of 52 cards.
The player or players are dealt an initial two card hand and add the total of their cards. Face cards (Kings, Queens, and Jacks) are counted as ten points. The player and dealer can count their own Ace as 1-point or 11 points.
All other cards are counted as the numeric value shown on the card.
After receiving their initial two cards, players have the option of getting a “hit” (taking additional cards) to bring their total value of cards to 21 points, or as close as possible without exceeding 21 (called “busting”).
If a player holds an ace valued as 11, the hand is called “soft”, meaning that the player cannot go bust by taking an additional card; otherwise, the hand is “hard”.
The dealer has to take hits until his cards total 17 or more points. (In some casinos, the dealer also hits on a “soft” 17, e.g. initial ace and six.)
Players who do not bust and have a total higher than the dealer, win.
The dealer will lose if he or she busts, or has a lesser hand than the player who has not busted. If the player and dealer have the same point total, this is called a “push” and the player typically doesn’t win or lose money on that hand.
The earliest records of similar Games from which ‘Blackjack’ could have developed begin from the early 1700s. Some believe that it derives from Spain where records have been found of a then-popular Game of social strategy called ‘Ventiuna’ or ‘21’. Others think it more likely that the Game, so many are familiar with today, is derived from the French ‘Vingt-et-Un’ or ‘21’ which was also popular around the same time period.
Similarities can easily be recognized with other French Card Games like Chemin de Fer. All these versions have in common a similar system of card value and objective to reach a sum of 21 with the player’s hand.
Whatever the case relating to the origins of ‘Blackjack’ Online, the Card Game was brought to North America with French colonists sometime after the French revolution. ‘Blackjack’, then still known as ‘21’ had found a home and began to thrive in North America.
When Las Vegas first legalized Casinos, many establishments drew interest to the ‘Blackjack’ Tables with a Bonus Payout of 10 to 1 to any player who received the Ace of Spades and a Black Jack. Known as a ‘Blackjack’, the name of this fabled hand stuck to the whole Game.
Throughout its history ‘Blackjack’ has split into several variations, each country or region has its own popular form. Blackjack’s popularity has been partly due to its strategic intrigue and social element.
Later, throughout the 1900s, several significant attempts were made to find the perfect strategy in Blackjack to turn a profit with every card. The most successful of these was Edward O. Thorp’s breakthrough book in 1966 ‘Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One’ in which the author detailed very carefully designed mathematics that allowed players to count the cards in a deck to know which card was coming next.
Several other large attempts have been made at beating the Dealer, but with the recent evolution of Blackjack Online, cheating has become much more difficult if not impossible as counting cards are irrelevant against the computer Dealer.
If you’re into discovering the strategic depth of Blackjack for yourself, then our guide on strategy and useful tips is the perfect place to get you started.
Blackjack can be played with one to eight ordinary decks of cards.
Cards of rank 2 through 10 are counted according to their face value.
All face cards are counted as 10 points.
Aces can be worth either 1 or 11 points.
The highest hand in blackjack is an ace and any 10-point card and is called a blackjack. A winning blackjack pays 3:2. If both player and dealer have blackjack the bet is a push.
Aside from a blackjack, a winning hand pays even money. The player wins if his hand has more points than the dealer, without going over 21. Thus, a 21-point hand is the highest and is why the game is sometimes called 21.
If either the player or dealer goes over 21, it is a break or bust and a busted hand automatically loses. If both the player and the dealer bust the player loses. Herein lies the house advantage. If the player and the dealer tie, the bet is a push.
A round of blackjack begins with each player placing a bet in the circle or logo directly in front of him. Then the dealer will give each player and himself two cards.
Player cards are usually dealt face up. One dealer card is dealt face up (the upcard) and the other face down (the hole card). If the dealer has a ten or an ace as the upcard, it is possible he has a blackjack, in which case all player hands will lose except those with another blackjack. In the U.S. the dealer will check for blackjack immediately, if one is possible, and will collect all losing bets immediately if he does have a blackjack.
In the event the dealer has an ace as the upcard he will allow the players to insure their hands against a blackjack. This is much like any insurance policy in which you are betting something bad will happen. The insurance bet in blackjack pays 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack. If the dealer has an ace showing and a player has a blackjack the dealer may ask “even money?” This is because if the player has a blackjack the net result of both the blackjack and the insurance bet will be an even money win regardless of whether the dealer has a blackjack. After all players have had a chance to accept or decline insurance the dealer will check the hole card.
After it has been established that the dealer does not have a blackjack, the players, in turn, may play their hands.
The following options are available to each player:
If the player is satisfied with his hand as-is, he may stand pat. To signify you wish to stand, wave your hand as if to wave the dealer away. In a single deck game, tuck your cards face down under your bet.
If the player wishes to take another card, he may continue to do so until he either stands or busts. To signify you wish to hit, tap the table with your finger. In a single deck game, scrape your cards lightly against the felt.
If the player feels he needs one and only one more card then he may double his bet and be dealt one more card, good or bad. This option is only offered on the first two cards, and sometimes on the first two cards after splitting. To signify you wish to double, place another wager next to your original wager of equal value. In single deck, place your cards face up by your bet.
If the player’s first two cards are of equal point value he may split them into two hands. In this event, each card is the first card of a new hand. The player must also make another wager, of equal value to the first wager, for the second hand. Splitting after splitting is allowed; however, resplitting aces is often an exception. The player may usually split up to 2 or 3 times if another splitting opportunity arises. Doubling after splitting is usually but not always allowed. To signify you wish to split, put the additional wager next to the original wager. In single deck, place your cards face up by your bet.
Finally, some casinos offer the player the option to surrender on the first two cards. If the player does not like his prospects he may forfeit half the bet as well as his cards. This option is generally only offered after the dealer checks for blackjack, known as “late surrender.”
After all players have played their hands, from the dealer’s left to right, the dealer will play his hand. The dealer has no free will but must always play by certain house rules.
Usually, the rule is that the dealer must hit until he reaches a score of 17 or more. Some casinos stipulate that if the dealer has a soft 17, an ace and any number of cards totaling 6, he must also hit. If the dealer busts, all players that did not bust automatically win.
The popular and classic game of blackjack has been a source of exciting entertainment for many people for hundreds of years. And yet, when one glances at all that is known of blackjack history, the game’s precise date and place of birth remain rather a mystery.
It is believed that casino games similar to the game of blackjack were played in France in the eighteenth century. The game of blackjack appears to have evolved from one original game in particular. This French game was called Vingt et Un, which means “twenty-one” in English. The whole aim of the game of Vingt et Un — and Blackjack — is to obtain a hand of cards which reaches a total of twenty-one — or to come as close as possible to the number twenty-one, without going over the top. Anyone who exceeds the total of twenty-one goes “bust”.
Over the decades, blackjack has proven to be an extremely popular and exciting game. Today, blackjack appears in many different forms in casinos all over the world. At the best online casinos, blackjack is considered to be the most popular game out of all the exhilarating attractions available. Who would have believed that this apparently simple game would evolve in such a way, to become such a great attraction? All those players of the early Vingt et Un game could not possibly have imagined the limelight which would shine on blackjack in later years.
The seeds of the blackjack game were planted long before the creation of the computer and the Internet and those first players all those years ago would probably have been totally dumbstruck by the notion of playing blackjack at an online casino. This is a game with a long history and, nowadays, one can download blackjack games from an online casino or enjoy playing flash blackjack online.
A visitor to one of today’s online casino sites may be totally unaware of the origins and history of blackjack and yet may indulge in the delights of this thrilling game. These days, online blackjack appears in several different and attractive forms. One may almost lose oneself in an array of a single hand, multi-hand, and progressive blackjack games. As a visitor, you may look around the best online casino sites, check out the details, use the handy blackjack tips, then take your pick and try your hand at the choice of blackjack amusement available. Although there are various exciting types of blackjack entertainment that are featured online — like Vegas Strip Blackjack or Multi-Hand Blackjack — these versions are all based on the original game of Blackjack.
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