Introduction to Blackjack

Introduction to Blackjack Table of Contents

Blackjack is one of the most thrilling casino games which is played by hundreds of players all over the world. It is a fast-paced game which is relatively easy to play. Its straightforward rules and exciting gameplay have attracted a great number of casino enthusiasts over the years. This is one of the reasons why nowadays the game can be easily found in almost every land-based casino as well as online. Blackjack has also many variations which give players the chance to diversify their gaming experience. Some of the versions are so popular that they are offered along with the classic game by a number of casinos.

Blackjack is one of the few casino games which require luck and skill in order to be won. Thus, if you use a reliable strategy, you can significantly influence the outcome of every hand and improve your chances of winning. The game has a fairly low house edge – less than 1%, which you can decrease even more by using some of the well-established techniques for your moves.

Blackjack History

Blackjack in America in the 30sThe history of blackjack, just like many other casino games, is rather controversial as the exact origins of the game still remain unknown. Many historians believe that the game has been played since the beginning of the 17th century. It is considered to have Spanish origins, however during this period of time there were also other French and Italian card games which resembled to some extent blackjack.

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Even though throughout the years blackjack has undergone some major changes, the game we know today still has the same objective and basic rules.

Blackjack Rules

A game of BlackjackThis interesting card game is also referred to as Twenty-One due to the fact that its main objective is to reach this number without going over it. In blackjack, you compete only against the dealer, even though you will be most likely playing on a table with other players. In order to win, you need to form a hand whose total is higher than the dealer’s and if you surpass twenty one, you ‘go bust’ or in other words, you lose your bet.

The best hand you can possibly get in this game consists of two cards whose total is exactly twenty one – a 10-valued card and an Ace. This winning combination is called natural blackjack and its payout is usually 3/2. If you get such a hand, you win automatically, unless the dealer also has a natural as in such cases the result is a tie, meaning that all bets are returned. It should be noted that the payout can vary, depending the casino and the version and thus, it is always recommended to double check the rules of the game just to be on the safe side.

Another important rule which every novice player should get familiar with in order to be able to fully grasp the game is the assigned value of the cards. Queens, Kings and Jacks receive ten points and the rest of the cards are valued as the number written on them. The card that deserves special attention is the Ace as it can be counted as either one or eleven. Whenever you draw an Ace, you can switch its value according to your current needs in order to form a better total or prevent yourself from busting.

Initially, the game was played with a single pack of 52 cards, however nowadays you can find versions that use from one to eight decks. In fact, since games that feature one deck of cards work in favor of blackjack players, especially card counters, it might be hard to find such a version. It is true that it is still possible to play some variations which specifically require the minimum number of decks, however it should be noted that they also have some additional rules which are not beneficial for players so that the casinos can maintain the house edge.

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The cards are dealt from a box called a shoe and the decks are reshuffled after each game.

Blackjack Variations

Vegas Downtown Blackjack ScreenshotThroughout the years, various different versions of blackjack have emerged as the game gained in popularity in a number of countries. Thanks to the huge diversity of variations, it is possible to experience this exciting casino game in a whole new way. All of them have the same basic rules, however they offer some additional features such as side bets in order to make the game even more enticing. Some of the most famous versions are Atlantic City Blackjack, Spanish Blackjack, Blackjack Switch, Pontoon, Perfect Pairs and others.

It is also possible to play the classic game along with some of its most popular variations at a number of online casinos. This way you can enjoy blackjack at the comfort of your home without having to go all the way to a land-based casino. However, prior to playing, it is really important to take your time to carefully read the rules of the particular variation in order to be fully prepared for it.

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Usually, when the game is played online, the rules are clearly displayed on the website of the casino below the respective variation for players’ convenience.

How to Win in Blackjack

Blackjack Betting ChipsOne of the best things about blackjack that appeals to many players is the fact that it is a skill-based game and thus, it is possible to influence its outcome by applying a strategy. When it comes to this card game, it should be noted that there are a number of available strategies which have proven to work over the years. One of them is the so-called basic strategy which many proficient players use. It suggests the best possible move in a certain situation by taking into account the total of their hand and the up card of the dealer.

Another very widespread strategy is the card counting which as its name hints, is a method that enables you to determine the ratio of high value to low value cards by keeping track of the cards on the table. There are many card counting systems which differ from one another in their level of difficulty. Players of all types, regardless of their gaming experience and playing style, have the chance to take advantage of a card counting system if they wish. Some of the most famous systems are Omega II, Wong Halves, K-O System, Hi-Lo System, Red Seven System and others.

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Card counting, combined with the basic strategy, is one of the most efficient strategies when it comes to blackjack.

Conclusion

Blackjack is undoubtedly a casino game which is worth a try due to the fact that it has proven to be extremely entertaining. Many players opt for this game as it evokes in them a feeling of excitement while playing. Its basic rules are very easy to understand which makes it perfect for all types of players. It is a skill-based game and as such, it gives you the opportunity to apply a reliable strategy and this way significantly reduce the house edge and improve your chances of winning.