Blackjack game is based on the French game “twenty-one”, which does not offer 3: 2 chances of winning a Blackjack game. The name Black Jack comes from a promotion in which the poker players could win 1 if they received the ace of spades and a blackjack. The insurance bet has a very high house advantage – much higher than the blackjack game itself. Blackjack is also called a tournament game Played by the name of Elimination Blackjack.
Table of Contents
- 1 Blackjack Rules
- 2 Blackjack Card Values
- 3 Types of Blackjack
- 4 How to Win at Blackjack – Best Strategies
- 5 Blackjack Terms and Glossary
- 6 Fun Facts About Blackjack
- 7 Blackjack History and Origin of the Game
- 8 Conclusion
In classic blackjack, the poker game dealer faces one to seven players from behind a kidney-shaped table. Each player plays his hand independently against the poker dealer. At the beginning of each round, the blackjack player places a bet in the “betting box” and receives an initial hand of two cards. The object of the Blackjack is to get a higher card total than the table game dealer, but without going over 21 which is called “busting”, “breaking”, or any other terms. (The spot cards count 2 to 9; the 10, jack, queen, and king count as ten; an ace can be either 1 or 11 at the player’s choice). The gambler goes first and plays his hand by taking additional cards if he desires. If he busts, he loses. Then the card game dealer plays his or her hand. If he or she busts, he loses to all remaining players. If neither busts, the higher hand total wins. If a player ties with the game dealer the hand is a “push” and the poker game player’s bet is returned. It is possible for the poker dealer to lose to some players but still beat other players in the same round. Learning blackjack rules is easy but crucial for a newbie when starting to play blackjack online or in land-based casinos.
Blackjack Card Values
- Aces value either 1 or 11 points.
- J, Q, K e 10 each value 10 points.
- Cards from 2 – 9 each have their nominative value.
Types of Blackjack
- European Blackjack
- Vegas Blackjack
- Classic Blackjack
- Surrender Blackjack
- Live-Aces Blackjack
- 6-deck Blackjack
- Double-deck Blackjack
- Single-deck Blackjack
- Blackjack Swap
How to Win at Blackjack – Best Strategies
Blackjack is a game where a player using even the simplest strategy can reduce an important part of the house edge. We will introduce you to the basic strategies so that you, too, can easily reduce the casino chances of winning at Blackjack.
Blackjack house edge at casinos
Before you can become a blackjack high roller, there are a few basic facts you need to know about the standard blackjack house edge at most casinos. Of course, it all depends on how you play, but we’ll get to that a little later. If you were to just sit at a blackjack table and play mindlessly, the blackjack house edge would be a little over 5%. That is of course much higher than we would like it to be. The good news is that this house edge can be reduced fairly easily by using a few simple strategies and choosing a casino with favorable blackjack rules.
Notice how many decks of cards are in use
The important information you need to know before you start playing is how many decks of cards are in use and whether the table dealer does not need to continue dealing the cards on a soft 17. Most online and land-based casinos use six decks of cards as standard. But remember, most does not mean all, and you can find a single or double deck game among online casinos if you shop around.
Blackjack house advantage
The basic rule is: the lower the number of card decks used, the lower the blackjack house advantage. It is also easier for you to count cards when fewer decks are used. You also need to know the rules about the soft and hard 17s before you sit at a table. (Quick reminder about the blackjack game rules: Soft 17 is an Ace and a 6.) Do not sit at a table where the poker dealer is obliged to deal another card on a Soft 17 (hit). With this simple rule, a casino can increase its house edge by 0.3%. Everything counts when it comes to winning blackjack.
Card counting in Blackjack
The final and most controversial strategy on how to reduce the casino’s chances of winning is to count cards. Blackjack card counting systems work by giving numerical values for each card that a poker player keeps in his mind. This tactic has proven itself empirically, but very few people have the math skills to actually put it into practice on site. Most people memorize a few basic rules about when to share, take, or stand, and that’s fine. The numbers really show a difference between pure gamblers and gamblers using even a basic strategy. Remember that the casino will automatically have a little over 5% advantage on blackjack if you only play on a lucky basis. If you play with good strategy even most of the time (even if you make a few small mistakes), you can reduce the house edge to 1-2%. You won’t find a better odds game in the casino lobby. Blackjack is really the only game where a little practice and caution can bring real profits.
Blackjack Terms and Glossary
If you play casino games, especially in real casinos, you have probably heard some terminology that is unique to them.
- BlackjackHit: Take another card.
- Stand: Take no more cards, also “stick” or “stay”.
- Double down: After receiving his first two cards and before any more are dealt with him, a player has the option to “double down”. To “double down” means the player is allowed to double his initial bet in exchange for receiving only one more card from the game dealer. The hand played consists of his original two cards plus one more from the game dealer. To do this he moves a second bet equal to the first into the betting box next to his original bet. (If desired, the gambler is usually allowed to “double down for less,” although this is generally not a good idea as the player should only double in favorable situations but should then increase the bet as much as possible.)
- Split a pair: If his first two cards are a “pair,” meaning two cards of the same value, the poker game player can “split the pair.” To do this, he moves a second bet equal to the first into the betting box next to his original bet. The dealer splits the cards to create two hands, placing one bet with each hand. The player then plays two separate hands.
- Surrender: Some casinos offer an option called “Surrender.” After the poker dealer has checked for blackjack, the gambler may “surrender” by giving up half his bet and not playing out the hand.
Even if you mainly play online, you may have read books or articles in which these terms appear, and you may not have fully understood them then either. But no worry! Here are some explanations of the most important Blackjack game terms.
|Black Jack||A ten and an ace on the first two cards result in 21 – called Black Jack. Blackjack usually pays 3-to-2 unless the table dealer also got a blackjack.|
|Bust / go bankrupt||Exceed the total number 21. A bust means an automatic loss. Also refers to a complete loss of bankroll. “I gambled for three hours and then I busted and had to stop playing.”|
|Break||Similar to a bust|
|Counting/card counting||Keeping an eye on the ten-point cards in a card deck and then increasing the bet if the card deck contains more ten-point cards. Thus, the player can achieve a small betting advantage.|
|Double||Place an additional bet in addition to your original stake. The player making this bet will receive an extra card to improve their hand.|
|Double for Less||If a player doesn’t have enough money to double, they can “Double for less”. This means that he can only place half of the bet amount and still receive another card.|
|Five Card Charlie||When a player is dealt five cards without busting. In normal blackjack, this is nothing special. However, there are Blackjack poker game versions in which the player wins immediately with a Five Card Charlie.|
|Hard hand||A hand that you bust (go bankrupt) if you catch it. Basically, this is any hand that has a score of 12 or higher without an ace.|
|Insurance||If the dealer has an ace, you can place a side bet as to whether he or she will catch blackjack. If the dealer then gets Blackjack, the gambler loses nothing (he does not win anything on an insurance bet either). However, if the dealer does not get blackjack, the player loses half his bet and the game continues.
Important tip: Mathematically speaking, the insurance bet is beneficial for the dealer. Therefore, you should NEVER make this bet!
|Soft hand||A hand in which you cannot bust (go bankrupt) with any other card. Any hand totaling 11 or less, or any two card combination where one of the cards is an ace.|
|Spanish 21||A Black Jack game variation in which there are no cards of ten. In general, this version of the Blackjack game is not a good choice for the gambler because the house advantage is higher here than with normal Blackjack.|
|Wonging||Watching a blackjack game without playing yourself and then taking part when the number of points is advantageous for the player. This game strategy was named after the professional blackjack player Stanford Wong.|
Fun Facts About Blackjack
- There is a Blackjack Hall of Fame at the Barona Casino in San Diego, California, which started in 2002. Seven players were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002 and one additional player is inducted each year.
- Card counting in casinos is legal, but some casinos may take action against card counters. In Atlantic City, the law does not allow casinos to kick out card counters, but the dealer is permitted to request a normal wager from a suspected card counter.
- Dr. Edward O. Thorp, the author of Beat the Dealer, is considered to be the father of card counting. However, card counting records existed much earlier than the book was published in 1962
- “Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions” is a book about a group of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who developed a card counting system that they used in Las Vegas won so much that the casinos banned them from entering. The film for the book is called “21”.
- Busting Vegas, a sequel to Bringing Down the House, details the adventures of another group of MIT students who used a different card counting method to beat Vegas casinos.
- “The Last Casino” is a Canadian film about a professor who is in serious debt but has been banned from all local casinos. He teaches three students how to count cards to win at blackjack so they can save him from a threatening bookmaker.
- A player’s move affects the other players’ chances of winning less than the randomness of the cards.
- A player’s position at the table does not affect their chances of winning in any way unless the gambler is counting cards. When the player counts cards, the following rule applies: the more cards the player sees before making his move, the better.
- The deck of cards from multiple decks in a land-based casino is called a shoe, but trying this shoe on is not a good idea.
- In a land-based casino, if you touch your cards and remove them from the dealer’s view, you will be immediately seen as a cheater.
- At most land-based casinos, the dealer will tell you exactly which move is best (based on the basic strategy) if you are unsure of what to do.
- There is a book in Las Vegas with all the names of the players who tried to cheat or count cards. Most casinos will not allow these players to enter.
- Doubling Down means doubling the bet, not the cards. If you “double down” you only get one extra card.
- Some beginners confuse the split with the double down because the split brings twice as many hands and doubles the bet.
- There was once the “surrender” move, which meant that you forfeit half the bet and then get half back if the dealer has a higher card than the ace. This move has the same chance of winning as the insurance, so it is a bad move. The surrender is no longer available at most casinos.
- Blackjack is so popular that students have developed a program that allows them to play blackjack on their calculator even though no bets have been made.
- The house edge in blackjack dictates that if you got an 18 on every hand you would lose in the long run.
- European casinos will count an ace as a one when you double down and have an ace as your hole card.
Blackjack History and Origin of the Game
The forerunner of the blackjack game known today was the game “twenty-one”. This game has an origin unknown to this day. The first written mention comes from a book by Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, and a well-known gamer himself. The main characters of his story “Rinconete y Cortadillo”, from “Novelas ejemplares”, are a pair of villains from Seville. These two are professional cheats in the game “veintiuna” (Spanish for twenty-one). The object of this game is to get to the number 21 without surpassing it and Cervantes wrote in his story that the ace has a value of 1 or 11. The game is played with the Spanish Baraja, without the ten card, so that it is similar to the game Spanish 21, which is also known today.
Blackjack first appeared in French casinos around the year 1700. There it comes from the old French card games “Chemin de Fer” and “French Ferme”. In France, Black Jack is called “Vingt-et-Un” which means twenty-one.
When the game 21 came to America after the French Revolution, it wasn’t very popular. Therefore, the domestic casinos tried to integrate various bonuses into the game in order to get more players to the tables. One such bonus was a 10-to-1 payout if the gambler got the ace of spades with a blackjack (either a jack of clubs or a jack of spades). This hand was called “Black Jack” and slowly became the name of the card game itself, although the special bonus was soon removed. In the modern version of blackjack, a “natural” or “blackjack” is simply an ace plus a ten-value card.
Blackjack game became very popular around 1800 in the USA and is still the most popular casino table game in the world.
Blackjack has a long history as one of the world’s most popular casino games. While the simplicity of the blackjack poker game explains in part its popularity, the main reason blackjack has become so popular over the centuries is its relatively low casino win advantage over gamblers.