Blackjack Guide and Introduction

Blackjack, or 21, is the ever popular casino card game in which the goal is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. With a history dating back to the 17th century, blackjack has been a part of the gambling world for centuries. It wasn’t always the most popular casino game, however.

When blackjack first appeared in casinos in the United States, it was met with a cold reception. Gamblers weren’t particularly interested in the game and it struggled, finding a home in only the smallest casinos.

In an attempt to increase interest in the game, casino owners added a special payout for players who received an ace of spades and either one of the black jacks. Interest in the game suddenly soared and because of the extra payout, it became known as the game of “blackjack.”

Today, blackjack is the most popular card game in the world thanks to its simple rules and low house edge. The game is the perfect combination of skill and luck, making it appealing to gamblers of all types. In addition to that, blackjack always remains in the spotlight thanks to all the hype that surrounds card counting.

How to Play Blackjack

The object of the game is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. Multiple people can play at a time but each player competes individually against the dealer. If the player can get closer to 21 than the dealer, the player wins. If the dealer gets closer, the dealer wins.

Number cards (2-10) are ranked at face value and face cards (Jack through King) are worth 10 points each. Aces can be worth either 11 or 1. For example, a hand that contains a King and a 7 is worth 17 points. A hand with an Ace and a 4 can be worth either 15 or 5 points.

At the beginning of each hand, the dealer gives each player two cards face down. The dealer then receives one card face up and one card face down. Each player then has the option to hit (receive another card) or stand (stop receiving cards). Any time a player hits, that player is dealt one card face up. Players may hit as many times as they wish.

After all the players have made their decisions, the dealer then checks his hand. If the dealer has 16 points or less, he has to hit. If the dealer has 17 points or more, he stands.

If the dealer busts (goes over 21), each other player who didn’t bust wins. In all other cases, the dealer’s hand is compared to each player’s hand. Players who are closer to 21 win their bets and players who don’t come closer to 21 than the dealer lose. Ties are considered a push and the bet is returned to the player. Remember; each player plays individually against the dealer. The dealer can win over some players and lose to others in the same round.

All winning bets are paid even money except in the case of blackjacks. When a player is dealt an Ace and a face card, that player automatically has 21 points and a “blackjack.” That player will win the hand (unless the dealer also has a blackjack) and will be paid 3:2 on his money. For example, if that player had bet $10 on the hand, that player would win $15.

Some casinos also allow players to win if they achieve a “Five Card Charlie.” If a player is able to keep hitting until that player has a total of 5 cards without going over 21, it’s an automatic win unless the dealer has a blackjack.