Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, played all over the world in gambling venues, online and at people homes. Its simplicity to learn makes it a great game for beginners, but to become a master at it takes years.
A brief history to blackjack
Blackjack is of an unknown origin, though it is thought to have originated in the beginning of the 17th century in Europe. The first acknowledged reference to blackjack, is by Miguel de Cervantes, in a short story, where the characters play a game of 'ventiuna'. It continued to be reference, most notably in Spain and France, where the alternative name 'vingt-et-un' (the French term) comes from.
Blackjack made its way to the United States but was a game that gambling houses had to promote in an ethicising way to get people to play. One of the ways of drawing players in, was to give those who received a natural blackjack, ten times their stake back. This is where the name 'blackjack' originates from, and still sticks today.
An overview of blackjack
Blackjack requires the players to beat the dealer in a game of 21. The aim of the game is for the player to have a higher hand than the dealer and get 21, or be as close to 21 as possible.
Players will place their bets and receive their initial hand of two cards. Depending upon the initial two cards, players can request more cards in order to get closer to the goal of 21, or stand if they think that their hand is close enough to 21 to win. Players whose cards exceed 21 will be 'bust' and automatically lose.
Dealers will take their turn once players have taken their turns. The dealer must 'stand' if their hand is anything higher than 17. The dealer must 'hit' if their hand is 17 or below.
Cards are valued at the number that is printed. Picture cards are worth 10, and aces are 1 or 11.
Terms used in blackjack
'Blackjack' or a 'natural' blackjack is when your initial cards are a picture card and an ace, giving you 21 straight away. This is an automatic win.
'Hit' is when you request more cards from the dealer after your initial hand in order to reach the goal of 21. You can 'hit' as many times are you like. There is a danger of going 'bust' with the more times you 'hit' however.
'Stand' is when you are happy with the hand you have been dealt with and do not request a 'hit'.
Others important blackjack terms
Insurance is offered for when the dealer has an ace as the card they lay down face up. If players suspect the dealer may have 'blackjack' they can place an additional bet (half their original stake) and have a protection against the dealer winning.
Double down can be offered when a player has a certain value for their hand, this allows players to double their stake and receive another card - which they must stand with if they do 'double down'.
Splitting is when a player receives pairs as the initial hand. They are then allowed to double their stake by splitting their two cards, to become two different hands. Players are then allowed to play both hands.
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