Blackjack is the American version of a popular international card game referred to as Twenty-One. It is a comparing card game between one or more players and a dealer, where each player in turn competes against the dealer. Players do not compete against each other. Blackjack is without a doubt the most popular casino card game.
History of Blackjack
Games looking like blackjack have been around since the 15th century, but the main predecessor of the modern-day casino favorite was a 17th-century game called “Venti-Un”. Much like blackjack, the goal in this game was to get as close as possible to 21 without going over, and aces were worth either 1 or 11 points.
The game migrated to the United States in the early 1800s, brought over by French colonists who were settling in New Orleans. It spread throughout the country from there, eventually appearing in Nevada as a legal betting option in 1931.
While blackjack has been developing for centuries, the present version only bears a passing similarity to its Old World counterpart. It’s been refined and modified by casinos and gamblers alike, both trying to find the ideal balance of skill and chance.
How to play Blackjack
How to play Blackjack
- Make a bet
Make a bet from $1 to All In (each casino table has minimum and maximum betting requirements)
- Dealer gives cards
Everyone at the table receives two cards. The player cards are dealt facing upwards, while the dealer receives one down (hole card) and one up (upcard).
If the dealer’s upcard is worth 10 points, he immediately checks his hole card for a possible blackjack. If this is the case, then he gives everyone the bad news and collects all bets.
- Make a bet
You can double your bet anytime before you make your next move
- Make a move
Player has the following options:
Hit – The player takes an add 1 card
Stand – The player receives no additional cards
Split – The player splits matching cards into two hands
Double Down – The player doubles his wager and add 1 card
Surrender – The player gives up, losing half of his initial bet
- Dealer move
The dealer will reveal his hidden card. If he has 16 or lower he must Hit and take additional card. He will stop hitting when he has 17 or more
- Deciding on winner
You win when the combined value of your cards is greater than that of the dealer. If your hand value exceeds 21 you loose.
How to count value of cards?
Blackjack is played with a conventional deck of 52 playing cards.
- 2 through 10 count at face value, i.e. a 2 counts as two, a 9 counts as nine.
- Face cards (J,Q,K) count as 10.
- Ace can count as a 1 or an 11 depending on which value helps the hand the most.
Basic Strategy in Blackjack
- Always stand on 17 through 20.
- Hit on a total of 5 through 8.
- Hit on a total of 9. Double down if the dealer shows a 3 to 6 on their up card.
- Hit on a 10 if the dealer shows a 10 or ace. Otherwise, double down.
- When your total is 11, hit on a dealer ace and double down on anything else.
- Stand if you have a total of 12 and the dealer shows a 4 through 6. Otherwise, go ahead and hit.
- Stand on a total of 13 through 16 when the dealer shows a 2 through 6. Otherwise, hit.
- When holding an A/2, double if the dealer shows a 5 or 6. Hit on anything else.
- When holding an A/3, double down on a dealer 5 or 6. Hit on any other total.
- When holding an A/4 or A/5, double down if the dealer shows a 4 through 6. Otherwise, hit.
- When holding an A/6, double down on a dealer 3 through 6. Otherwise, hit.
- When holding an A/7, double down on a dealer 3 through 6. Stand on a 2, 7, or 8, and hit on a 9, 10, or ace.
- When holding an A/8 through A/10, always stand.
- When holding an A/A, always split.
- When holding a 2/2 or 3/3, split when the dealer’s total is 2 through 7. Hit on any other total.
- When holding a 4/4, split unless the dealer has a 5 or 6. In that situation, hitting is the best option.
- When holding a 5/5, double on a dealer 2 through 9 and hit on a 10 or ace.
- When holding a 6/6, split if the dealer has a total of 2 through 6. Hit on anything else.
- When holding a 7/7, split on a dealer total of 2 through 7. Otherwise, the player is advised to hit.
- When holding an 8/8, always split.
- When holding a 9/9, split on a dealer 2 through 6, 8, or 9. Stand if the dealer has a 7, 10, or ace.
- When holding a 10/10, always stand.