Blackjack is probably the one casino game that most people have tried beating. In the 1960s, a practical system of counting cards was released to the public with the aim of giving the players an advantage over the house. However, few people have actually managed to count the cards and beat the system. Different casinos have also come up with ingenious ways of fixing this problem. Some of them have opted to use more than one deck of cards while others remove some cards from the deck in order to beat the system of counting cards. Learning how to play blackjack is more or less the same as learning how to play 21.
Blackjack the game
Most commonly, the game is played using either one or two standard 52 card decks. Each of the denominations on the deck of cards is usually assigned a point value. The universal counting for cards applies in this case: the cards 2-10 are worth their face value while Kings, Queens and Jacks are worth 10 points. Aces are usually counted as either 1 or 11 depending with the situation. The idea behind this game, like in 21 is to get as close as possible to 21 without going overboard. If a person can get 21 from two cards, that would be the best total of all.
How is blackjack played?
In a game of blackjack, the game begins when you place a bet. Placing a bet is usually done by placing a number of chips in the betting square or on the table in front of you. After the players have placed their bets each player is given two cards by the dealer, with the dealer also taking two for himself. From the dealer’s side, one card is often left face up while the other is placed face down. Depending with the kind of game, the cards that are dealt can either be dealt face up or face down. For instance, in a shoe game, all player cards are dealt face up. In this game, the players are not permitted to touch their cards. On the other hand, in a single or double-deck game, the dealer will deal the cards face down and the
players may pick them up with one hand
Once the dealer has handed out the cards to the players, the game now rests with the players as they determine what to do. At this point the players have a number of options available to them. The dealer is required by house rules to draw more cards until he gets to a minimum of 17. In some casinos, the dealer may draw a soft 17; this refers to the total value of 17 together with an ace that can be counted as a 7. Either way, before he draws another card, the players are required to determine whether to hit, double down, stand, split or insure.
Hit: hitting refers to taking another card from the deck. This is usually done in the hope that the new card with take your total count closer to 21. If the player picks a card and the total value exceeds 21, then he is said to have had a bust and therefore loses the bet. If you hit, you take another card or cards in hopes of getting closer to 21. If the player’s total exceeds 21 after hitting, the player is said to “bust” and loses the bet. Depending with the kind of game, the player will signal using the accepted indicators that he wants another card. In most cases, casinos will have cameras so that they can record all signals in case of a dispute.
The other option is to stand. This option means that the player chooses not to draw anymore cards. Choosing not to pick another card is often a strategy employed by people who would like to watch the game first before committing to another card.
A player may also choose to double down. What this means is that the player will elect to double his or her original bet regardless of the denomination. In some casinos, this is usually restricted, especially for the first round of cards. In some cases, you can o0nly double down if the first two cards that you have total to either 10 or 11. Ideally, doubling down increases the value of your bet and the risk you expose yourself to.
A split on the other hand is a situation in which you have two cards of the same denomination. In such a case, you may choose to make a second bet that’s equal to your first bet and split the pair by taking each card as a first in the pair. Afterwards, you play as normal until you either bust out or stand.
In blackjack there is an option for taking insurance. This is basically the option that the dealer has a card whose value is 10 thus can complete a blackjack play. Sometimes the insurance can be taken for half the size of the original bet. The net effect of taking insurance is that if you win the insurance and lose the bet, you are even. In most cases dealers will advise the players with blackjacks to take the insurance in the off chance that it will work for them.
Once these options have been chosen, the dealer then deals another card until he gets to a minimum of 17. Not all blackjack games are similar and you may find that the rules vary slightly from time to time and location. It is important to acclimatize yourself with these rules before the game. It takes a short time to learn how to play blackjack; however, over time the experience makes the game much simpler and more fun.