Blackjack is without doubt one of the most popular casino card games, it is thought it originated in French Casinos around 1700 where it was called Vingt-et-Un which translates as 21.
Blackjack is normally played with either four or six decks of cards, some casinos also offer ‘single deck’ blackjack which as the name suggests is played with one deck. In Blackjack, you are playing against the dealer and the aim of the game is to score 21 or to get closer to 21 than the dealer.
The game begins with each player making a bet, they are then dealt two cards which are placed face up, the dealer is dealt one card face up and one face down. Once the players have received their cards, they need to make a decision on whether they want to ‘draw’ and receive more cards in order to improve their score or ‘stand’ sticking with their original hand. As long as the total score of your cards does not exceed 21 there is no limit as to how many cards can be drawn, if your total exceeds 21 then you have ‘bust’. Aces count as one or eleven and picture cards count as ten.
If you are dealt an ace and a ten as your first two cards then this is Blackjack and an automatic win, unless the dealer gets the same in which case it is known as a ‘push’ and nobody wins. However, a score of 21 achieved with three cards is beaten by two cards Blackjack.
There are a number of options available to you when you receive your cards these include:
A player has the option to double their bet and only receive one further card
If a player is dealt two cards of the same denomination they can split them into two hands with each hand having an equivalent wager to the original bet.
If a player is lucky enough to be dealt a Blackjack and the dealer’s first card is an ace, they can place an insurance wager on half of their bet.