Blackjack is one of the most famous games in the world. It is also known as “twenty-one” and can be played in every casino in the world. It is a comparing game between the player and the dealer, meaning that the game is a competition between those two and not between players. Blackjack is about getting the closest to 21 points by summing up the face value of all the cards in hand. The game is considered to have appeared in the 16th century, when it was first mentioned in a book of Miguel de Cervantes, who was a passionate gambler. He wrote about a couple of proficient cheaters at “ventiuna”, which is twenty-one in Spanish.
Later, twenty-one was introduced in the USA, where bonuses would be offered as incentives for the players. For instance, you could get a 10:1 payout if you had the ace of spades and the jack of clubs or the jack of spades in hand. Such hand would be called a blackjack and this name has been adopted as the new name of the game, even though the bonus was eliminated from the game. In the modern game, the term “blackjack” is given to any hand consisting of a ten or face card and an ace, regardless of their colours or suits.
The popularity of this game grew due to its tiny house edge (of about 0.5%). Blackjack is also the case of mathematical rather than random house edges, which is another reason players enjoy it.
During the game, there are some terms that players encounter:
Hit – an extra card is dealt from the deck, used to increase the scoreStand – the hand remains unchanged, no other card is being dealtDouble – doubling the initial wagered amount with the condition of dealing one single additional card and then standingSplit – in case there are two cards of the same value, these can be split into two separate hands, with two new cards dealt for each handSurrender – “folding” the hand and receiving half of the stake backInsurance – if the dealer’s shown card is an ace, you can opt for an insurance, which is basically an equal amount to your original bet, which you wager on the dealer having a Blackjack. If he does, the player wins the bet and does not lose the originally placed one.
For the start, the croupier deals two cards to each of the players, who add together the value of their cards. Face cards count as 10 points and aces can count either as 1 or 11 points, which is up to the player or dealer. The number cards count as the value shown on them. After the cards have been dealt, players need to decide whether they get a hit or stand. The dealer or the gambler win if a score of 21 or less is reached. Achieving a score higher than 21 is called busting and indicates a loss. However, if the hand consists of an ace, you can count this as 1 point (even if aces usually count as 11) and avoid busting.
There are many debates regarding the differences in quality between the Random Number Generator Blackjack (which is the traditional online game) and the Live Dealer Blackjack. The RNG Blackjack includes shuffles after each hand and the game shows an advanced degree of randomness. Live Blackjack, on the other hand, can be played through the complete card stack before performing another shuffle. It can also take longer than the RNG game, mainly because cards are dealt and played in real time and obvious delays can arise. Traditional online blackjack is a game to be played alone, and will therefore take you less time than a live game.
As mentioned before, blackjack is one of the games where winnings are big. Yet, to achieve that, correct decisions need to be made with each move. Learn about strategies you can use in our Strategies section.