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Blackjack is now one of the most popular of the table games that you will find in online casinos. There is not many casinos that will not offer blackjack due to the demand it generates. Often the casinos will include several versions of blackjack and will include progressive blackjack as well. Some people know the game as 21, Pontoon and Vingt-et-un. History has shown that blackjack was first played in France during the early 17th century.
Eventually blackjack made its way to the United States as world travel became a reality. It began to be played in saloons and gambling establishments quickly gaining a loyal legion of players due to its ease of play and the opportunities it presented for winning money.
Playing blackjack is not a complicated thing to do. The objective of the game is to use two or more cards to get as close to a total of 21 as possible without going over. You are playing against the dealer and any other players who are seated at the table. The way this is done is with the use of playing cards. The cards 2-9 have a face value, face cards are valued at 10 and the ace may be used as a 1 or 11. Players win if his total is better than that of the dealer without going over 21. If the total exceeds 21 it is referred to “going bust” Should the dealer and the player have totals that are equal it is called a “push”
The game begins when players place a wager within the circle in front of them that is found on a blackjack table. Each player will be dealt two cards – both of which are face up. The dealer on the other hand will receive two cards – one face up and the other face down. Each player is then able to, when it is their turn, to act on the two cards in their hand. They may hit, stand, split or they can double down. Should they elect to stand then no additional cards will be dealt in their hand. If they elect to hit then they will receive another card and this will continue until the stand or go bust. Should they chose to split their hand – this means take the two cards they were dealt and split them into two hands – they will play out each hand until the bust or stand for each. This will also require that they place an additional wager for the split hand. If a player opts to double down an additional wager equal to their initial wager will be required. They will be dealt one extra card and the sum total of the 3 cards will be their end result.
Often a dealer will be showing a face card in their hand. In this case all players have the option to take insurance again the dealer having blackjack. If the dealer has blackjack then insurance will allow players odds of 2-1.
Betting Options for Blackjack
It is imperative to remember that blackjack is not simply a game of chance but it is also a game of skill therefore it is important to understand the different ways you can bet in blackjack but also understand some basic blackjack strategy.
Hit – means to take a card. This is also referred to as a “draw”. This is only done should a player need to take another card in order to improve their chances of getting closer to 21. To alert the dealer you wish to hit simply tap your hand on the table in front of you or if playing online click on the hit button.
Stay or Stand – This means you are choosing to end your hand and stay with the sum total of the cards you have in your hand. To alert the dealer you wish to stand you may say “stand” or wave your hand back and forth over your cards. If playing online simply click on the stand button.
Double Down – This will double your initial bet. You will be dealt one more card only. This may only be done after the first two cards have been dealt. The total of the 3 cards in your hand will stay.
Split – This will split your two cards into two separate ands. Each hand will then be played as per standard blackjack rules. A Split may only occur if a players two cards are of equal value.
Surrender – Surrender will allow a player to back out of a hand after the first two cards have been dealt. This will require the forfeiture equal to half of the amount they wagered. Two surrender options can be chosen – early surrender or late surrender. Early surrender is only available if the dealer checks for potential blackjack. Late surrender will apply to forfeiting half your wager as mentioned above.
Insurance – Insurance is an additional wager that is offered if the dealer has a face card or ace showing in his hand – insurance pays 2 – 1 odds.
Basic Blackjack Strategies and Tips
• Do not use never bust or copy the dealer. Also never assume a ten hole strategy as it will increase the edge for the house.
• Taking insurance is never a smart bet – This is only done by those who count cards.
• Be sure you are familiar with basic strategy for blackjack. Take the time to memorize each and practise to ensure you understand how to apply them.
• If unable to split due to split limitations be sure to look up your hand as a hard total.
• Never split 4’s, 5’s or face cards.
• Should you sum total equal between 13 and 16 and should the dealer be showing a six or less you should elect to stand. The odds are in favor that the dealer will bust.