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The Rules for Playing Blackjack

Published on: 03/07/2012

Blackjack has always been one of the most loved and most frequently played of all card games in the casino. It is an extremely old game, and can trace its provenance back to the middle of the 18th century in France. There the game was known as vingt-et-un (twenty one). By the nineteenth century the card game had crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and infiltrated the New World. In the United States the game was slightly modified: a bonus was given for any hand which held both the jack of spades and an ace. This led to the title Black Jack.

Blackjack has morphed into numerous different variants throughout the years: Spanish Blackjack and fun 21 are just two different types, and can be played with one deck, or many. The essence of the game usually remains unchanged: the player is required to form a hand which is valued at higher than the dealer`s or the player`s, but lower than twenty one

In the majority of the variants of the game of blackjack, up to six players place bets, and the participants and the dealer get two cards. By simply adding the value of the cards up, the players calculate their accumulated score. The numbered cards simply count at face value, while the three face cards - those being the king, queen and jack, are worth ten points. The ace can vary in value, according to the player’s choice, being rated at one or eleven.

In some versions of the game, the cards dealt to the players are faced up, while in others the cards are faced down. Often the dealer’s very first card is left up on the table for all the players to see. This card is then known as the up card. The dealer`s second card, which is obscured from view, is known as the hole card, or down card. In the situation that the dealer has an upcard valued at ten, they will look at the down card. If this card is an ace, it is flipped over, forming the blackjack hand. In these situations, all players lose, with the exception of those who also hold a hand adding up to twenty one, who tie with the dealer. In the situation that the down card is not an ace, the players have a certain number of options: they can hit, which means they request another card; they can stand, which means they keep the hand they hold; they can split, where they break a matched pair and form two new hands; and they can double down, which means they raise the starting bet, receiver one extra card, and then stand. In certain betting venues there is a fifth option available to the player, which is to surrender. This means the player resigns, and half their bet is given back to them. If the dealer’s up card is an ace, the participants are presented with the option to purchase insurance, which entails betting an extra quantity equivalent to half of the original bet. If the dealer then looks at the down card and sees a card valued at ten, which will form a pair worth twenty one, the insured players retain their wagers, while the uninsured players relinquish them. Those having blackjack are spared. If however, the down card is not valued at ten, those insured players lose, and the game continues.

Taking turns, the players each draw cards, with the objective being to get as close as possible to twenty one, but without going over this number. This routine continues, only stopping when the player chooses to stand, or busts by exceeding twenty one. The dealer is the last participant to draw cards. If the dealer busts, the remaining players are all winners, whatever hand they hold. The players also win if their hands are closer to twenty one than the dealer`s. Many blackjack table`s demand that the dealer stands on what is called a "soft 17", which is any added card combination, containing an ace which is valued as eleven. Other tables stipulate that the dealer take cards until they acquire a "hard 17" or more. There are many variants in different casinos. for those players just beginning, a basic strategy is to play as dealer, standing whenever a hand is worth seventeen or greater. An improvement of this strategy used by those beginning is simply to always stand when holding twelve or greater verses an up card valued at 3 - 6. Other simplifying methods are never to split tens, nor take insurance or surrender. Though the rules for blackjack are simple, to become a skilled player, and a consistent winner demands a sharp eye for numbers, and the stomach to take some daring risks. Many claim Blackjack to be the game best suited to the skilled player, who can turn the house edge to their advantage, through a combination of strategic thought, attentive betting, and keen observation of all the cards played.

Published on: 03/07/2012 © Bet Bind
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