What Is Blackjack?
Blackjack is an enormously popular casino game, and it is one often requiring more skill than mere luck, especially in comparison to other casino games. Both land based and online blackjack are favourites, and players can choose from playing for free, with minimal bets, or with exorbitant amounts. Regardless, they are guaranteed to have a thrilling time once engaged in play.
The Basics of the Game
Blackjack, also referred to as Twenty-One, is a card game. The goal of the game is to get a hand closest in numeric value to 21, hence the synonymous name, without going over 21. The player’s cards are only compared in value to the cards of the dealer, and the other players are insignificant. As long as the player’s cards equal or surpass the value of the cards of the dealer, a win can be made.
Blackjack follows very strict rules and the player gets to make many of the decisions. This is why it is commonly referred to as a game requiring more skill than other casino games. The value of the cards is the only thing of importance. Cards are taken at face value, while the Jack, Queen, and King are valued at 10. The Ace can either be valued at 1 or at 11. By choosing the Ace to be one or the other, the player can influence the final outcome of the game.
The Rules of the Game
After bets have been placed on the table, each player and the dealer receive two cards. The dealer’s cards are placed one up and one down, giving the players a glimpse of what they’re up against. The players’ cards are laid out either both facing up, both facing down, or one up and one down, depending on the house rules. The total of all the cards in a player’s hand determines his score.
After the first two cards are dealt, the player must decide if he wants a hit, that is, taking another card, in hoping to achieve the elusive 21. Alternatively, the player can decide to stand, that is, not take another card.
If the first two cards equal 21, this is called a blackjack, and the player wins. If the player ties with the dealer, this is called a push or a stand off, and the hand is simply ended.
Before the player decides to take a hit, he may double the bet and only take one more card facing up, which is called doubling down. If the player is dealt a pair, he can split the pair into two hands and play both hands separately, which is referred to as splitting pairs. If the dealer’s card facing up is an Ace, the player can decide to take insurance, which is usually calculated as 50% of the original bet, and is seen as insurance against the dealer having a blackjack.
Playing Blackjack Online
As may be evident, the rules of the game are fairly complicated, and the player’s decisions have a massive effect on the outcome of the game. The rules of online blackjack are the same, but instead of responding to a dealer, there will be buttons that enable the player to hit, stand, buy insurance, double down, etcetera. Furthermore, online blackjack often allows for the opportunity to play free games, giving players new to the game a chance to practice. Online blackjack, then, is great for avid players to practise before playing or to stay at the top of their game.