What is Blackjack?
Blackjack is a casino game whereby players compete against the dealer to reach a score of 21 without going over. It is one of the most popular casino games around, with a thrilling blend of chance, strategy, and skill. The game is also known by other names such as ’21’ and ‘Pontoon’.
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How to Play Blackjack?
Playing blackjack is relatively simple. The aim of the game is to beat the dealer by having a higher hand than the dealer without going over 21. The players start by placing a bet and then each player is dealt two cards, face up. The dealer will also have two cards, but one of the dealer’s cards is face down.
The Cards in Blackjack
Each card in the deck is assigned a point value. The numbers two through ten are worth their face value. Face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are all worth ten. An Ace is worth either one or eleven, depending on what benefits the player the most.
The Dealer’s Hand
The dealer will check to see if they have a blackjack (21). If the dealer does have a blackjack, all players that do not have a blackjack will immediately lose. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, the game continues.
Hitting or Standing
At this point, the players have the opportunity to hit (take an additional card) or stand (not take any more cards). If a player hits and goes over 21, they automatically lose. If the player stands, the dealer will then hit or stand based on their hand.
Winning the Hand
Once all players and the dealer have finished taking cards, the player closest to 21 wins. If a player and the dealer have the same hand, it is a tie and the player’s bet is returned.
There are many variations of blackjack available both in land-based and online casinos. Here are a few of the most popular:
Double Exposure Blackjack
In Double Exposure Blackjack, both of the dealer’s cards are exposed. This adds an element of strategy as players can make decisions based on what they know of the dealer’s hand.
In European Blackjack, the dealer only receives one card face up. This variation also includes the ‘Late Surrender’ option, which allows players to surrender after the dealer checks for blackjack.
In Multi-hand Blackjack, players can play up to five hands at once. This game is perfect for players that want to increase the speed of play and the potential for winning.
Basic Blackjack Strategy
Although blackjack is a game of luck, there are certain strategies that can help increase a player’s chances of winning. Here are some basic strategies for getting the most out of each blackjack hand:
Always Split Aces and Eights
Aces and eights should always be split as the potential to win a hand with two cards is much higher than with one.
Never Take Insurance
Insurance is a side bet offered when the dealer has an ace. This bet is always a bad decision as it increases the house edge.
Hit Soft 17 or Less
Soft 17 is a hand that contains an Ace and a six. In this case, the Ace is counted as 11, making the hand 17. It is best to hit this hand as the chances of the dealer busting are higher.
Stand on Hard 17 or More
Hard 17 is a hand that contains an Ace but is counted as one, making the hand 17. It is best to stand on this hand as the chances of the dealer busting are lower.
Just like in any casino game, there is a certain etiquette that should be followed when playing blackjack. Here are some tips to ensure that you are polite and respectful when playing blackjack:
Don’t Take Too Long
Blackjack is a fast-paced game, so it is important to make decisions quickly. If you take too long to make a decision, it can disrupt the flow of the game and annoy other players.
Don’t Play Out Of Turn
It is important to wait for your turn to make a decision, as playing out of turn can change the outcome of the hand.
Don’t Touch The Cards
The dealer is in charge of dealing the cards, so it is important to not touch the cards. This is to ensure that the game is fair and that the cards are not tampered with.
Don’t Dispute The Results
It is important to accept the results of each hand. Disputes can be disruptive to the game and can also lead to arguments.
Blackjack is a thrilling game of chance and skill that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. It is important to understand the rules and strategies of the game in order to maximize your chances of winning. It is also important to remember the etiquette of the game to ensure that everyone has a pleasant experience.