The Basics of Blackjack
Blackjack is a card game where the goal is to reach a total card value of 21 or closer than the dealer’s. In blackjack, aces and face cards count as one or eleven, while all other cards are valued according to their index value. When a player has two cards of the same rank, the hand is known as a blackjack. The suits do not matter in blackjack, and the player can split his cards and play independently.
The best possible hand in blackjack is a 21 or ‘natural’ hand. This hand is made up of an Ace, a King, a Queen, or a Jack. This hand is virtually unbeatable. If the dealer has a blackjack, a tie is declared, or a push occurs.
A blackjack game starts with each player placing a bet. Once all of the players have placed their bets, the dealer deals out two cards to them and one card to himself. Players then have to make a decision whether to hit, stand, or double down. In hand-held games, the player has to scratch the card lightly on the felt or make a beckoning motion with his finger.
Blackjack is played with a standard 52-card deck. Cards with face values two to ten are counted at face value, while aces count for one or eleven points. In this game, the player’s hand must total more than the dealer’s hand. In addition, the player must hold an ace and a 10-value card in order to win.
Blackjack has gone through a number of changes in its history. The game has been referred to as “vingt-e-un” – pronounced van-tay-uhn – and was thought to be a precursor to the game’s modern-day name “21.” It is believed that blackjack’s name came from a French word that means “20 and one.” In fact, the original version of blackjack was called ‘vingt-e-un’ because the dealer’s hand totaled 21.
The rules of blackjack differ from casino to casino. Generally, players are allowed to bet on an ace when hitting, and they can buy insurance if the dealer’s hole card is an ace. The payout for this bet is two to one. The insurance bet is a side bet that can be placed before the dealer checks a face-down card.
Whether you play face-down or handheld versions of blackjack, the goal is the same: to beat the dealer and get the highest total point score possible. If you are able to beat the dealer’s hand, you win, and if you are not over 21 when the dealer busts, you lose. Remember, the house has a 5 percent house edge in blackjack.
Another option is to double your bet. During the middle of a hand, if the dealer has a low card, doubling down is a good way to end a player’s betting early. However, if the dealer has a high card, doubling down may not be the best option.