Blackjack

No online casino or any casino for that fact would be complete without Blackjack. This one on one card game will always be a favourite among any gambler and for good reason. Unlike games like keno or scratch cards which depend almost entirely on luck, blackjack can be influenced by strategy. If there ever was a card game to make sure money off, it would be blackjack.

The following outline gives a brief history of blackjack and the basic rules of standard blackjack. Players should bear in mind that blackjack rules vary from casino to casino.

History

The exact history of the game of Blackjack is not completely transparent and still eludes researchers today. However, many agree that it probably originated in France around 1700, where it was called Vingt-et-Un which translated to twenty-one. There are other versions such as ‘One and Thirty’ in Spain where you get to a total of 31 with a minimum of three cards.

Among the various versions, ‘21’ continued to grow in popularity and Blackjack is now available anywhere where you find a pack of cards. The game was termed “Blackjack” when, to attract more attention to the game, some casinos offered a special bet: A hand that featured the Ace of Spades plus either of the Blackjacks in the deck (the Jack of Clubs or the Jack of Spades) would pay 10-to-1 odds on the player’s bet. Some casinos may not offer those odds but the name stuck.

Game settings and card values

The ‘Shoe’ is a device that sits on the dealer’s left hand side that the dealer draws the cards from. This device usually holds 6 to 8 decks of cards.

Not all cards are of face value in blackjack. The cards 10, J, Q and K are values as 10. Aces can be valued at one or eleven (11). The rest are valued in their original face value.

How to Play: Basic Rules

In Blackjack, your hand competes with the dealer’s hand, regardless of the number of players on the table. The objective is to end up with a hand total closer to 21 than the dealer, without going over 21. Going over 21 is referred to as ‘Busting’ and results in an instant loss for the player. After all bets have been placed, the game begins with the player being dealt 2 cards faced up. The dealer also gets 2 cards, but one of them is dealt face-down so that players cannot see its value.

Blackjack-605X440

Blackjack – Ace and Jack or Ace with any other card with value of 10; results in an instant win for the player

The action starts after the player and the dealer receive 2 cards each, that is, unless the dealer is showing an ace, in which case players are first offered ‘Insurance’. Insurance bets are not mandatory, and cost half the amount of your original bet to play. The insurance is offered in case the dealer has a blackjack (a card value of 10 with an Ace). After the player has taken or passed on Insurance bets, the dealer checks their hidden card. If the hidden card is valued 10, they have a blackjack. The card is flipped, and insurance bets are paid 2 to 1.

BJ-Insurance-605X440

Blackjack Insurance – After dealer recieves an Ace, player has the option of having an Insurance in case the dealer has a blackjack. Insurance pays are placed separately.

Hit or Stand

If a player is dealt a 21 with their first 2 cards, the have a blackjack, and are immediately paid at 2 to 1 (odds might differ with the variation of blackjack). If the player has any other card total than a blackjack, it’s their turn to act. A player may ‘Hit’ to receive another card, or ‘Stand’ to stay with their current card total. The player may take as many cards as desired – until they reach a total they’re happy with, or Bust trying.

Split

If the player is dealt a matching pair of cards (like two 5’s for example), they may also split. This is done by placing another wager of the same size as the initial bet beside the first bet. The dealer will split your hand into two separate hands for you, each with one card from the original pair. Each hand will receive another card creating a total of 2 independent hands with the player. Then, the players can proceed normally with a hit or a stand.

BJ-Split-605X440

Blackjack Split – When the players received 3 identical cards, thyey have the option of splitting meaning separating the two cards to make two separate hands

Double Down

When a player has only their cards in a hand, they may be allowed to ‘Double Down’ as well. When a player doubles down, they double down their original bet, and receive only one more card. Some table rules will allow the player to double down on any first 2 cards but most casinos or BJ variations will only allow Doubling when the player has certain hand totals, usually 9 through 11.

BJ-Double-down-605X440

Blackjack Double Down – If the player recieved a card total of 9, 10 or 11 on the first two cards, he has the option of doubling his bet to receive one extra card.

Dealer’s move

After all players on the table have finished playing their hands, the dealer plays their hand out last. The dealer must always follow a fixed rule for how to play their hand. Normal table rules dictate the dealer must draw cards until their hand has a value of 17 or higher, which means the dealer must ‘Hit’ until they receive a card total or 17 or more, after which they cannot take any more cards to improve their hand total, regardless of what players have. Just like the players, the dealer can also ‘Bust’ by drawing a hand that totals more than 21, in which case all players who still remain in the hand win their bets.

If the dealer does not bust, remaining players who have a hand total closer to 21 than the dealer win. Players with a total lower than the dealer lose their bet and those who have the same total tie; which is termed as a ‘Push’ in blackjack and the player’s bet is returned.

Back to the top