Blackjack is the most widely played casino game in the world. It is also known as Twenty-One and Pontoon in English and Vingt-et-un in French. The standard Blackjack game is of Anglo-American origin and played with one or more decks containing 52 cards. Blackjack is one of the few games where the players have an edge over the casino. One can learn the game fast, as it is easy to understand. The blend of chance, skill and myths surrounding the playing strategy also contribute to the popularity of this casino game. This uncomplicated method of playing is the main reason behind the popularity of Blackjack as the foremost table game in the casino world. With the advent of online casinos, Blackjack has come into being in popular forms like Hand Blackjack, Caribbean Stud and Deuces Wild.
The main objective in the Blackjack casino game is to collect cards with total points close to 21. Face cards like jacks, queens and kings are of 10 points while aces are either 1 or 11 depending on the circumstances. All other cards are represented by their number. The players need to add value to their two cards in hand till they reach 21 points. Blackjack is played with from 1 to 8 decks of cards. If the decks are more, the casino is in advantage. In case of less number of decks, the player has the edge. Most online casinos offer single or double-deck Blackjack with limited amount of tables.
Blackjack is played on a points system. Every card has numeric values. Twenty-One is the target that one needs to achieve and players focus on getting as close to that number as possible. Each table accommodates six players at the maximum. The game begins with players putting their bets. Once the dealer decides that no further bet is placed, the cards are dealt with. The cards of the players are dealt face-up, while the dealer takes the first card face-down and the second face-up. Though the players can choose from a number of options after first two cards are dealt out, it is best to decide whether to hit or stand after analysing the dealer’s up-card. They can hit as many times as they please. Players with cards of 21-point numeric value in their hands win automatically and get paid 3:2 on their bet. Those who beat the dealer’s hole cards get double their betting amount. However, they should have a card value equal to or less than 21. But in case the player’s cards total more than 21 points, he loses. To win, he needs to beat the dealer without busting or going over 21 points. In case of tie, the player gets his amount back. Players with higher count than the dealer win a double of their bet, but those with lower count lose.
There are many terms that one needs to understand and use while playing Blackjack.
Insurance: It is a betting option while playing Blackjack. A player can put a side bet allowed up to half of the initial bet against the dealer. The only condition is that he has 21 points at the initial count.
Surrender: It refers to giving up in the first round and losing only half the bet. This option is given to players who think they cannot win against the dealer. Surrender is allowed before the dealer checks for Blackjack. However, once the dealer checks to see his cards, surrender is not accepted.
Double Down: A player is allowed to double his bet after the first two cards are dealt. Such an increase in bet normally means the player has a greater chance of winning hand on the taking his third card. There are many online casinos that allow double down after splitting. In case of double down, the player has to take one additional card only.
Even Money: It refers to cashing at a 1:1 payout ratio immediately after having a natural Blackjack and the dealer’s up card is an Ace.
Split Hand: It is done when a player gets two identically numbered cards. Both cards are split and a new bet is placed. Each card is made a separate hand and two equal bets are placed.
Hard Hand: It occurs when an ace in a player’s hand can be used as one only. For example, an ace is of only one when other two cards are an eight and a nine.
Soft Hand: It occurs when the player has an ace that is worth 11.
Hit: A player takes another card after the initial two cards are dealt out. A player is allowed to hit as many times as he wants.
Stand: It refers to a player’s decision not to take any more cards.
Bust: It refers to total card value in hand going beyond 21 points.
Blackjack is known for various myths surrounding the strategy to win the game. There are many researches and propositions regarding strategy to win Blackjack game. Over the years, the experts of the game have come up with different strategies to win the game. The basic strategy entails the need to purchase cards and strategize for eight hands. This can be practised at online casinos offering free games. Card counting strategy is the most favoured way to win a Blackjack game. During the game course, the dealer progressively exposes cards dealt to him and other players. A careful observation of the cards allows one to make inferences about distributed and undistributed cards. The player can increase his bet in case there are many aces and tens left in the deck, as there is a greater chance of winning a Blackjack. In hand, the composition of cards needs a careful observation while forging a strategy to win a Blackjack game. Shuffle tracking is among the many other techniques used to win a Blackjack game.