Brief Guide to Blackjack
The origin of Blackjack is not hugely clear, however it is believed to have originated in French casinos in the early 1700s where it was known as "vingt-et-un" 21. The game later became known as Blackjack because if a player held a Jack of Spades and an Ace of Spades as the first two cards, then the player was paid out extra.
This game has been played was imported into the rest of Europe and the United States during the 1800's. However, it was soon obvious that Blackjack was a game of chance and was out-lawed in most countries if playing for money. In 1931, casino gambling was legalised in the state of Nevada where Blackjack became one of the main games offered to gamblers. For European countries, the game was adopted in casinos as a popluar card game that could be easily learnt.
Objective of Blackjack
The objective of Blackjack is get as close to 21 points as possible without going over. If you go over 21 you have gone bust and are therefore out. While numbered cards are worth their face values, face cards (Jack, Queen and King) are worth 10 each and the Ace card can be worth either 1 or 11.
A player has to try and get a higher value than the dealer without exceeding 21 to beat the dealer. A tie, known as a “push”, results if both the player and the dealer getting equal card values. In this situation the bet is shared.
How Blackjack is played
The player places a bet. Then the dealer deals two cards (usually facing upwards) to the player and one card to them self. The dealer draws a second card for them self and places it face down. The player is then asked if they wants another card (hit) or if they wish to stand. The player may request as many hits as they would like until the total value of their cards reaches 21 or they bust. If the player busts, the house will win. If the player stops at a total card value that is as close to 21 without going bust, then the dealer will reveal the value of his/her second card. If the value of the dealer's second card gives him a Blackjack then the house (casino) will win. The dealer must keep drawing cards until the total value of their cards is 17 or more. If the dealer goes over 21, then the player will win. Whoever comes as close to 21 points as possible without going over 21 is the winner.
Blackjack is just as popular today as it was back in the 1800's. It is by far the most popular table game in the casino. This is mainly due to the fact that it is very easy to learn and play.
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