Blackjack is the most played casino banking game in the world. Also known as, Twenty-one or Pontoon the game has many different variations of game play across different casinos and online gambling sites. The main rules of the game include adding the two values of your initial two cards together to make 21. If the cards do not add up to 21, you can choose to be dealt single cards until you either reach 21, or get to a value nearest to it, without exceeding it. The reasons that make Blackjack such a popular game are that you have chance, skill and card counting all involved. Blackjack is widely confused with the British game Crazy Eights and should not be mixed up with the original casino version.
Originally 21, the game was not so popular when first brought to the tables of the United States shortly after being played in Castalia, then France & Spain around 1602. Due to it not being so popular, casinos decided to give the game a higher than usual 10-1 payout if the player was dealt a "Blackjack" which consisted of either Jack of clubs, or Jack of spades and an Ace of spades. This name then got stuck to the game and has since be referred to and re-named Blackjack.
In Blackjack, the dealer will be playing from one to seven players behind a table. Or online it will be a computerised bot dealing the cards. Each player will be dealt two cards to start the game and will independently play his hand against the dealer. At the beginning of each game the players will place bets in the "betting box" prior to being dealt their initial two cards. The object of the game is to get a higher number than the dealer without going over 21 which would be "busting" or "breaking". The player goes first either acquiring additional cards or sticking with his original hand if he feels its good enough. The dealer will then deal their hand and if they lose, they pay out to each player remaining. If neither players nor the dealers bust, the higher hands win. Sometimes a tie will occur with certain players, when this happens the bets are returned. It is also possible for the dealer to lose to some players, as well as win against others in the same round as the players are only against the dealer and are not playing against each other.
Cards are dealt sometimes from hand-held decks or sometimes from a shuffling machine. If the cards are dealt by hand they are usually faced down, whereas the dealer will have one card facing up called the "upcard" and one facing downwards called the "hole card". If the dealer has less than 17, they must hit, if the dealer has 18 or more, they must stick with those cards unless they contain an Ace which can be either a value of 1 or 11.
The highest hand possible is a "Blackjack" or "natural" which is the initial two-card draw totaling 21. A player who gets a Blackjack is an automatic winner unless the dealer has a black also, this would make the situation a "push" where by the player and dealer comes to a tie. Usually the payout bets is 1:1 but on occasion some casinos will have different payout rates such as 3:2.
After the player received his first two cards they have four options. These options are:
Take another card.
Also known as "stick" or "stay". This means they take no more cards.
Once the player has received their first two cards and before anymore cards are dealt, they have the option to "double down". This option means the player is allowed to double his initial bet in the betting box with the restriction of only taking one more card.
If the player has two of the same valued cards with his original two card hand (4+4) then they can place another bet equal to their original. There hand is then split into two hands and they play them separately giving them the chance to win twice or have a better chance.
At times there is a fifth option called "surrender". This is when the player requires to "surrender" and they give up half their bet in order to not play out the hand.
The player can take as many hits as they want as long as the total is not above 20. After all players have finished their plays, the dealer then reveals their hole card and plays their hand depending on the rules of the table.
The number of decks in a game determines the chances of how a player can win. Here are the percentages of house advantages depending on the amount of decks played in a game. Single deck - 0.17%, Double deck - 0.46%, Four decks - 0.60%, Six decks - 0.64%, Eight decks - 0.66%.