Blackjack As well as being one of the oldest casino games in the world, Blackjack is also the most popular. The history of Blackjack is steeped in mystery but the first written account of this game was discovered in the novel “Rinconete y Cortadillo” written in 1601. Of course the game has changed since then, and head into any casino and you will see that Blackjack takes prised of place, with hungry patrons surrounding the Blackjack dealers, hitting and sticking like their lives depend upon it!
Blackjack Game Basics
When this game hit online casino sites, its popularity skyrocketed. Why? Because whilst this game is interesting and extremely thrilling, it is also very easy to win. On the other hand, this makes online Blackjack very easy to lose, too, so like anything else, this game requires a lot of practise and the utilisation of some strategy, hints and tips! Luckily for you, this is exactly what you will find on these pages!
Remember – just like every other online casino game, Blackjack now offers fans hundreds of variations and nowadays you will find the likes of Double Exposure Blackjack, Blackjack Switch, Spanish 21 and so much more, but on this page we are purely speaking of straight up online Blackjack in its most simple form to help your first grasp the basics.
How to play
Blackjack in its most pure form is a game played between you and the dealer. Using one deck of cards, the dealer shuffles and draws himself and the player 2 cards each. He places on of yours face up and the other face down. The aim of the game is to hit the number 21 before your dealer using the amounts on the cards. For example, if your first 2 cards are a 10 and a 7, you have 17. You then must decide whether you want to “stick” and hope that the dealer draws less than your amount of goes over 21 – which is referred to as “going bust” – or “twist” and the dealer with deal you another card. Again, if you end up with over 21 you have gone bust and the game begins again.
The basic rules of traditional Blackjack are very simple – all you have to do is hit 21 before the dealer without going bust! Of course this varies with every different kind of Blackjack game and as you delve deeper into the world of online Blackjack you will find that the rules get more and more complex. The game is typically played with up to seven players but the outcome of the cards of other players do not matter to you – your game is played between you and the dealer. At the beginning of each game, you place your bet and the dealer will deal. At land based casinos, dealers typically hold either 2 decks – referred to as the “pitch” – or 6 decks – referred to as the “shoe”. However, online casino sites allow players to play as many as 8 decks. When the dealer deals himself 2 cards, he leaves one face up and one face down, however when he deals your cards he will deal them both face up, traditionally. Typically the Ace card is worth 11 points, but could also count as 1 depending on the game – if this is the case, the denomination of the Ace card is left to the players own discretion. The Jack, Queen and King – referred to as the “face cards” are worth 10 and the numbered cards are of course simply worth the number that they display.
Bust – hitting over 21
Double Down – issues player another card and doubles their initial bet
Flat Bet – betting equal amounts on each hand
Hard Total – a hand that does not contain an Ace. Also refers to a hand in which the Ace represents 1 and not 11
Hole Card – refers to the face down dealer card
Pat Hand – a first time hand that adds to a hard 17 and above
Push – when the player and the dealer are tied
Soft Total – a hand of cards with an Ace holding the value of 11
Split – the player’s cards are split into 2 and the dealer deals them another 2 cards, making 2 Blackjack hands
Stick/Stand – when you are happy with your cards and wish to stick with the ones you have
Stiff Card – cards 2 to 6, obliging you to hit/twist
Stiff Hand – a hand adding to 12-16, which will cause you to go bust face card or 10
Surrender – the act of halving your bet when you think you have lost
Ten Poor Deck – a containing a low amount of 10 cards
Ten Rich Deck – a deck containing a high amount of 10 value cards
Twist/Hit – when you wish to be dealt another card in the hopes of hitting 21
Unfavourable Deck – when a deck contains cards favourable for the dealer
Upcard – the dealer’s card that has been placed face up
Blackjack is one of the rare casino games in which strategy, hints and tips are used mostly to instil confidence in the players. Though millions of players may disagree, there is no sure-fire way to win a Blackjack game – it is a game of chance that requires practise and skill to an extent but mostly relies on luck! With that being said, a lot of Blackjack players swear by the “card counting” strategy. This is a strategy was invented by Edward Thorpe in 1962 and basically involves trying to keep track of the amount of high and low value cards that have already been seen and using this to determine what you think will come next.
Wiki’s Final Thought
The game of online Blackjack has been dubbed “the game of many faces” due to the fact that there are simply so many variations. Remember that we are talking about basic Blackjack rules and strategy – the best way to get to know the game of Blackjack that you are about to play is utilise the excellent free play mode offered by the majority of online casino sites!