Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games around hands down. Some refer to the game as 21 and some just call it Blackjack some even refer to it as beat the dealer which came from a popular book written by Edward O Thorpe in 1963. Whichever name you choose to go by, it’s all the same game.
The game can be played with as little as one deck of 52 cards up to eight decks of cards, this really depends on how many players are playing along with you. In land based casinos the cards are traditionally dealt out & shuffled by hand when there are only two decks being used. Anything more than that requires what is called a shoe which is basically just a box on the table that holds the cards partnered with a shuffler. The difference between these two methods is this, in games where the dealer holds the cards they are dealt face down and the players are allowed to touch their cards. If the dealer is using a shoe, the cards are dealt dace up and the players are not allowed to touch their cards. In online casinos the software varies.
In Blackjack players want to beat the dealer with a score of 21 or less if the player goes over 21 this is called a “bust” and the bet is lost. If the player obtains an Ace and a 10 card this is called a “Blackjack” which has the highest payout. Card values are pretty important to understand when it comes to numbered cards 2 through 10, these are taken at face value. For example a 2 card is worth two points, a 10 card is worth ten points & so on. Jacks, Queens & Kings are all worth ten points and Aces. are worth 11 or 1 point depending on the hand you have in front of you. You may hear the term “hard hand” any hand that doesn’t contain an ace is referred to as a hard hand because it only has one value. Alternatively a hand containing an ace will be called a “soft hand.”
Blackjack comes with a few options throughout the game. Hitting in blackjack means that the player wants to draw another card in land based casinos, the player will tap the table in front of them. To stand in blackjack means that the player has enough to equal a high amount close to 21 and doesn’t want to go over. Doubling down is only allowed after the player has received their first two cards. This is where a player will receive a third card and doubling the bet. Splitting is where the player was dealt two cards of the same rank, the player can choose to make an additional bet an split the hands into two separate hands. The dealer will give the player a third card for his first hand where he will then need to decide whether to hit or stand and then on to the next hand.
Insurance is offered in most online casinos and in land based casinos when the dealer’s up card is an ace the insurance option is offered to the player. Insurance is basically a side bet half the amount of the initial bet. This is basically the player guessing that the dealer has a 10 card and will hit Blackjack on this hand. If the dealer does have a ten the player is paid 2 to 1 and the original bet is lost. If the dealer doesn’t the player loses their insurance bet.
The game is pretty easy in the beginning the player will first make their bet, in most casinos there is a minimum bet amount so be aware of these. After the bets are in, the players are dealt their cards. In this game the player is against the dealer and the others at the table are against the dealer as well, no matter what their hand is you’re still against the dealer on your own.