Blackjack is also known as ’21’, and the game can be traced back to the 16th century Spanish game ‘veintiuna’. Blackjack was introduced to America and wasn’t very popular until the casinos added a bonus payment to hands containing an Ace and any black Jacks – hence the name Blackjack. These bonus payments eventually faded out of use but the name stuck.
Blackjack is a game where you play against the dealer independently of other players and the aim of the game (and why it is sometimes known as ’21’) is to defeat the dealer by drawing cards whose sum are more than the dealers sum or add up to 21 when the dealers sum of cards is greater than the players sum. If your first two cards total 21 you will have achieved a natural Blackjack, with Blackjack being the highest hand.
Once you have placed your bet, you and the dealer will be dealt two cards each, and your cards are dealt face up, the dealers first card face down. The cards have different values: picture cards have a value of 10 points, and the Ace can be used as 1 or 11 points while all other cards have the same value as is printed on them. Suits have no relevance in Blackjack, and any card combined with an Ace (with a value of 11), other than picture cards with their value of 10, is considered a ‘soft hand’. ‘Hard hands’ are those where there is no Ace or the Ace has a value of 1.
If you are dealt your first two cards and they do not give you a Blackjack then you may refuse any more cards, which is known as a ‘stand’ or you can accept another card, known as a ‘hit’. If you hit, you can keep getting cards dealt until you either stand or ‘bust’, which is where you exceed 21. If you bust, you are out and lose your bet, no matter what the dealers hand is like. However, if the dealer busts by exceeding 21 and you have managed to stand without going bust, then you win. If you finish with the same totals, then you will have a ‘push’ which is a tie.
If you are dealt two cards with the same value you can split them into two separate hands, and make another bet equal to the first, but remember that a hand can only be split once in a game.
Another thing to remember is that blackjack is not a mere game of luck – it is a game of strategy. With blackjack, casinos have a low advantage in comparison to their other games, but despite this blackjack generates a lot of revenue for casinos, which is simply due to the mistakes that players make. These mistakes can be avoided by using the tips on offer at www.blackjack-tip.co.uk, where you can find beginners and advanced tips as well as information on where to find free blackjack cash and reputable sites for playing blackjack.