Blackjack is one of the most famous casino table games in the world. The game became public in the 1960s.

Commonly, blackjack is called Twenty-One or Vingt-et-un (which is French for Twenty-One). The objective of the game is to accumulate cards with a total of 21 points, or close to it, without going over it. When your card’s total is more than 21, you automatically lose. The player’s card should beat the dealer’s card. The secret in beating the dealer is by learning even the basic strategy for hitting, standing, doubling down and splitting fairs.

How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack is normally played on an arch-shaped table. A maximum of 6 to 7 players can play and are positioned outside the table while the dealer is on the other side. There are about 6 to 8 decks of cards used and shuffled together by the dealers, after which the dealer puts the card in a dispensing box called “shoe”.

Before the players receive any card they must put up a wager first, then they will be dealt with two cards face up. The dealer will then get one card face up and one face down. Each player will either stay with his/her cards or take one more card to get closer to 21. The dealer will wait for all the players to be done – getting a card or staying with what they have – then turns his/her card up. If the dealer’s card is17 or higher, the dealer must stay but if it is 16 or lower, the dealer must draw.

If a player gets a total of 21 with his/her first 2 cards that is called Blackjack and they win automatically. If the player’s first two cards do not add up to 21, the player must decide whether to hit – take a card; stand – end their turn; double – double the wager, take a single card and finish; split – if the two cards have the same value, separate them to make two hands; or surrender ¬– give up half the bet and retire from the game. The dealer, on the other hand, is never allowed doubles, splits or surrenders. If the dealer loses, all the player hands win. A side bet called insurance is provided whenever you play a blackjack game. This can be played when the dealer’s up card is an ace.

Blackjack Variations

There are many variations to Blackjack. These variations are sometimes good for the player but there are some that can be bad as well. Here are some of them:

  • Double down after splitting pairs permitted – good for the player, the players must choose a game where doubling after splits is allowed.
  • Re-splitting of aces permitted – some casinos only allow a player to receive one more card when the player splits aces. If in case the player then gets another ace, some casino will allow the resulting pair to be re-split. If the casino allows the player to re-split his/her aces, then this is good for the player.
  • Early surrender – when the house allows the player to surrender half of his original bet before the dealer checks for blackjack this is early surrender. Although this is a great advantage for the player, it also can be misused.
  • Late surrender – allows the player to give up half the bet after the dealer checks for blackjack.

There are still some variations of blackjack out there. Whatever you choose to play make sure that you get the advantage over the dealer to have bigger chance of winning. The key to playing good and eventually winning is to practice and master the skill.