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With its easy-to-learn gameplay, fast pacing, and potential for dynamic strategy, it’s no wonder that Blackjack is such a popular casino game.
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How To Play Blackjack
Like the ever-popular slots and roulette, Blackjack’s multi-generational popularity lies in how simple it is.
Every game of Blackjack makes use of a standard 52-card deck, though more may be used as more players participate. The game starts with players making their bets. After this, the dealer deals two cards to each player. She also deals two cards to herself, with one face-down.
Each card has a score value. Numbered cards use their number as their value, while kings, queens, and jacks have a value of 10. The ace can be used as a 1 or an 11. The goal of the game is to beat the dealer score, while not exceeding a score of 21.
As the game progresses, players have the option to Hit, Stand, Split, Double Down, or Surrender.
Hit means that you draw another card from the dealer, increasing your score by the value of the card you receive. If your score goes above 21, then you’re “Bust” and lose your bet. If your score hits 21
Stand means that a player will not accept any further cards. This is done when you believe that you have a score that could beat the dealer, and that drawing another card might bring your score over 21.
If your first two cards are the same, then you have the option to Split. This means that you take out a second bet and create a separate hand with one of your cards, while the dealer gives you a card for your first hand. You play the first hand normally until you Bust or Stand, then play again with the second hand. This is only valid for the first move.
Doubling Down means that you receive only one more card and automatically Stand, but your original bet is doubled. It’s literally a gamble to do this!
When you Surrender, you stop playing, but get half of your original bet back.
If you have the same score as the dealer when you Stand, it’s a “Push” and nothing happens to the bet.
After the dealer deals all players their cards, she puts up her own card. The dealer must Stand if the value is 17. If the value is 16 and lower, she must Hit until she meets or exceeds 17, at which point she must Stand immediately. If the dealer Busts, then everyone wins regardless of their score.
Blackjack payouts are 1:1. You win whatever the value of your bet is. If you win a bet of £10, then you win £10 right back.
If your initial deal is an Ace, and a 10, Jack, Queen, or King, this is what’s known as a “Natural 21,” and you get a payout of 3:2, getting your bet back by 1.5 times. For example, if you get a natural on a bet of £10, you get $15.
History Of Blackjack
Every version of Blackjack has its origins in a game that was called “21” in any number of languages. The first time the game was ever referenced was in a short story from the 1600s, Rinconete y Cortadillo, by Miguel de Cervantes, who is best known for writing the classic novel, Don Quixote. Here, a precursor to Blackjack called veintiuna, which means 21 in Spanish, is described.
In the 1700s, a game called Vingt-et-Un, which once again is French for 21, was popular in French casinos. French settlers brought the game to North America, where it spread rapidly.
In the twentieth century, some American casinos had promotions in the form of bonus payouts if players were dealt an Ace of Spades, and a Jack of Clubs or Jack of Spades, both of which were black-coloured jacks. The result was the name “Blackjack,” which stuck long after the bonuses ended.
Today, with the rising popularity of online Blackjack, UK online casinos often feature plenty of options that you can select from.
The fundamental strategy of Blackjack is to be aware of the probability of Busting with a Hit. Every time you Hit, you have a certain chance of Busting depending on the score of your hand. You need to take this into account when making your next call.
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It’s not enough to just consider your own hand. You have to look at the dealer’s hand and determine their probability of Busting as well. In this table, we look at the dealer’s chance of Busting if they hit on a “Soft” 17, which is a hand with a value of 17 that has an Ace among the cards.
Use both odds tables to make a decision with your hand against the dealer’s possible cards. One example strategy derived from this is that you should almost always Stand when your score is a hard 12 (without an Ace), and the dealer’s face-up card is a 4, 5, or 6. Meanwhile, if the dealer’s face-up card is a 7, 8, 9 or 10-scorecard, then you need to Hit until you reach 17 or more.
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