The Very Beginning
Without any doubt, blackjack conveys the most popular casino game in the world. The game of twenty-one first appeared in French casinos around 1700; but that old variation of blackjack is no longer exist. The goal of each round of blackjack is to earn a higher number of points, not exceeding 21. Each card has its value in points, for instance the face value of cards from 2 to 10 corresponds to the point value of these cards while Jacks, Queens and Kings worth 10 points and Aces can worth 1 or 11 points, depending on your wish. You will find that blackjack rules will vary from casino to casino. This tends to make learning blackjack strategy a little more complicated. Keep in mind that many correct moves are fundamental enough, so that they do not deviate from casino to casino.
The Game Course
To win you need to beat the dealer without busting. You bust when your cards total to more than 21 and you lose automatically. The winner is whoever has closest to 21. You reach 21 by adding up the values of the cards.
Before receiving any cards, a player must place a wager. Each player starts with two cards, one of the dealer's cards is face down until the end of the hand. To hit is to ask for an additional card and to stand is to keep what you already have and end your turn. Players who do not bust wait for the dealer's turn. In the end of the game, the dealer turns up the down card. By rule, on counts of 17 or higher, the dealer must stay; on counts of 16 or lower, the dealer must draw.
If you are dealt 21 from the start, you have blackjack. In that case, you will win one and one-half times your bet unless the dealer also has blackjack, in which case it is a Push or a Tie or a Stand-off and you get your bet back. This of course depends on the casino. The remaining players with a higher count than the dealer win an amount equal to their bet. Players with a lower count than the dealer lose their bet. If the dealer busts, all the remaining players win.
Other Blackjack Options
- Insurance: side bet up to half the initial bet against the dealer having a natural 21 allowed only when the dealer's showing card is an Ace. If the dealer has a 10 face down and makes a blackjack, insurance pays at 2-1 odds, but loses if the dealer does not
- Surrender: giving up your hand and lose only half the bet
- Early Surrender: surrender allowed before the dealer checks for blackjack
- Late Surrender: the dealer first checks to see if he has blackjack. If he does, surrender is not permitted
- Double Down: double your initial bet following the initial two-card deal, but you can hit one card only. A good bet if the player is in a strong situation
- Even Money: cashing in your bet immediately at a 1:1 payout ratio when you are dealt a natural blackjack and the dealer's showing card is an Ace.
- Split Hand: split the initial two-card hand into two and play them separately allowed only when the two first cards are of equal value. Use each card as the start to a separate hand and place a second bet equal to the first
- Hard Hand: a hand without an Ace or with an Ace valued at 1, it can only be given one value
- Soft Hand: a hand that contains an Ace counted as 11