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The Ins and Outs of Blackjack

Unlike most other casino games, Blackjack is regarded as a game of skill, superb intellectual and mathematical ones at that! This is necessary because successful players of this game are normally required to count and memorize the cards, so as to get a useful edge over the house.

The Ins and Outs of Blackjack

However, the above does not mean that those who are not math-inclined or brighter than an arc lamp are better off not getting involved with blackjack. Such folks can still win at the game though not consistently, given that they will be forced to rely on luck and some cleverness.

Regardless, a proper understanding of this game is required, otherwise, the chances of real success will be slimmer than a mirage.

Blackjack- A History

Exactly when and how the game of Blackjack first began is still hotly debated to this day. The game was first referenced in a book called “Rinconete y Cortadillo”, which was written by the brilliant Spaniard that also penned Don Quixote. Cervantes refers to Blackjack asStand 21, which was apparently due to the fact that then as now, the objective remains to get a hand that is worth 21.

In the US, when the games were first introduced, the casinos of the period changed the rules so as to make gameplay sweeter to sceptical players. This involved a ten-to-one payout which was made when players had a hand consisting of an ace of spades, as well as the jack of clubs or spades- a Blackjack. Later on, the hand and the payout were removed, but the name stuck, replacing the earlier 21 that the game was originally known for.

Blackjack And How It Is Played

Most folks are under the mistaken impression that Blackjack is a game of fun and laughter. That might be true for slots and craps but is certainly not in the case of Blackjack. On the contrary, it is a game that requires enormous amounts of focus and seriousness. During gameplay, there is little to no talking and intentions are communicated with gestures.

There is nothing overly complicated about playing blackjack. The gameplay is performed on a table that seats between 2 and 7 players, all of whom play against the lone dealer. Gameplay begins once the dealer deals two cards apiece to himself and all the other players. One of the dealers’ cards are face up. while the other is face down. The latter is commonly known as the “hole card”.

These cards are dealt from a box known as the shoe. In each shoe are 52 cards and they are valued from 2 to 11.

Hard And Soft Hands

Soft hands are those with an ace. An ace is normally valued at either 1 or 11 depending on the circumstances. This kind of hand gives users added flexibility. Hard hands, on the other hand, lack an ace. Thus, they lack flexibility and can even force players to go over the limit.

Blackjack Table Guide

Once the cards have been dealt, players are required to study it well,  not forgetting the face-up card of the dealer before deciding on a course of action. As the gameplay objective is to get a Blackjack hand, this can be achieved on the initial hand by getting an Ace and a card worth 10. Should such be the case, players can expect to receive a payout of 3:2.

During gameplay, the following actions can be performed:

  • Hit– here, the player takes on additional cards, while being careful that they do not go bust.
  • Stand– the player takes no action and adopts a wait-and-see attitude.
  • Double Down– the bet is doubled and a single card is given to the player.
  • Split- when players receive cards of the same value, they can optionally make them into two different hands, while placing a bet that that is identical to their initial bet. Two additional cards are then received and form the new hands.
  • Surrender- here, the player can opt to receive half the bet amount and concede victory to the dealer. This option is however available only as of the very first decision of any hand.
  • Insurance– this is a totally optional bet that can be worth up to half the initial bet. Insurance is normally offered when the dealer has a face-up card that is an Ace and serves to insure players against total loss were the dealer to get a Blackjack hand.

As to what happens next after all the different varieties of hands have been played by the different players, the dealer merely reveals his face-down card, with winners and losers being announced thereafter. A fresh game is then begun.

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Blog Summary

Blog Name: The Ins and Outs of Blackjack

Posted On: 31/05/2019

Author: Robert Bowron

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