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Blackjack History

The game of blackjack is commonly thought to have derived from the French parlour game vingt-et-un, or 21. Popular amongst the French in the early eighteenth century, vingt-et-un travelled to the United States where the game’s moniker was changed to blackjack based on the original rules.

In the 1950s and 1960s after the legalized gambling boom, everyone wanted to learn how to play blackjack to beat the house. Books explaining complicated blackjack theory and strategy were published, immediately hitting the best-seller list. One such book encouraged blackjack fans to employ a mathematical strategy to get a slight advantage over the house. The imagination of the public was fired and blackjack soon became the most popular casino game in the United States with millions trying their luck at casinos all over the country.

However with all the success that blackjack players were enjoying over the casinos, it wasn’t long before the casinos attempted to change the rules, making it more difficult to calculate the odds on a game of blackjack. The subsequent public backlash however inevitably forced the casinos to return to the original rules of blackjack and to employ alternative methods for ensuring the house edge remained healthy. These included introducing additional packs of cards into each game and the use of shuffling machines used to shuffle the cards more frequently, thereby breaking up patterns that made card counting an effective practice adopted by many blackjack fans.

Blackjack Rules

The object of a game of blackjack is simple – a player plays against the dealer to obtain a hand with a total as close to 21 as possible without actually reaching 21. Aces are worth one or eleven, depending on which value the player wishes. Face cards – king, queen, jack – and the number ten are worth ten points. For example, a king of hearts and a three of hearts make a total of 13. All other number cards retain their numerical value for the purposes of blackjack. Hence seven of spades and seven of diamonds equal 14. Suit is irrelevant in blackjack. The player’s final score is determining by adding up the value of their cards.

A ‘hard hand’ in blackjack is one that does not contain an Ace, or when the Ace is valued as one. When an Ace is counted as eleven, this is referred to as a ‘soft hand.’

Blackjack is played at its own table with space for seven players plus the dealer. The dealer is positioned behind the table which is of a semicircular shape. The dealer’s responsibility is to deal the cards to each player and to take the bets, changing the money into playing chips. Each blackjack table in a casino has a minimum and maximum bet which is worth noting before you join a game.

Once the player has received his chips from the dealer he is ready to place a bet on the game. This is done by placing the chips in the betting square on the table in front of him. The dealer places the shuffled cards – up to two packs – in a ‘shoe’ or box. The shuffled cards are cut by a nominated interchangeable player who cuts the cards by placing a colored card in the pack at whichever point he wishes the dealer to cut from.

It is worth at this point discussing a few house rules concerning blackjack. Every casino has its own house rules but generally if a dealer has a total hand of 17 or more, he must stand. If he has a total of 16 or less he must draw another card.

The only way to achieve an instant win is to have a ‘blackjack’, that is to receive a total of 21 in the first cards that you are dealt with. Many casinos have bonuses for players fortunate enough to win outright in this way. Generally the payoff is three to two.

When dealing, the dealer discards or ‘burns’ the first card. He must then ensure that all players have finished placing their bets before dealing each a hand. The first player to receive cards is the one located immediately to the dealer’s left. Both the player’s two cards are dealt face down. When all players have been dealt their two cards, the dealer deals himself one card (face up) and a second card (face down.)

If a player has a total close to 21, he may stand. If not, he asks the dealer for a hit or a third card. If the third card pushes his total over 21, he has gone bust and is out of the game. If at the end of the game, the player’s total is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, he wins. If not, he loses. If the dealer does not go bust, he takes the loser’s chips and pays out the winners.

If both player and dealer are dealt a natural or blackjack hand, a tie occurs. In this instance, the player is not paid out immediately. In these cases, an insurance bet can be paid by the player to protect himself. An insurance bet involves the player betting half of his original bet again. Generally this isn’t a favourable bet to make (insurance against the dealer getting a blackjack hand) as the bet is lost when the dealer does not get a blackjack hand. If the dealer does get a blackjack hand, the player’s insurance bet is paid out at two to one but his original bet is lost.

A player is always able to increase his bets should he feel that the game is proceeding in his favor. To do so he can ‘double down’ which means making a second bet that is the same amount as his original bet. A player can only double down after checking both his cards. In exchange for this double down bet, the player has to take one more card.

The player indicates to the dealer that he wants to double down by placing a second bet equal in value to his original bet in the circle in front of him. The player then receives an extra card from the dealer. If the player wins he receives even money for both bets, therefore doubling his overall win. If a tie occurs, both bets are returned to the player but there is no payout.

‘Splitting’ is also another way in which a player can increase a bet. In this instance, a pair of cards are dealt, for example two of diamonds and two of clubs, which means that the player can split his hand and effectively play two hands of blackjack. The dealer will deal cards to the player’s first hand until he goes bust, and then to the second. All blackjack rules apply to each hand but views each hand as a separate, unique hand despite the fact that both are held by the same player. Again, the player’s second bet on the split hand must be equal in value to the original bet and placed beside it on the blackjack table.

Certain signs or gestures exist to help the blackjack game proceed in an orderly fashion. This is also because due to the security surrounding high profile games such as blackjack, no verbal communication is permitted to take place between the dealer and the players. To deal with this situation, the following signals have been developed to help players indicate the course of play they wish to follow. If a player is waving his hand palm towards the table, it means he wishes to stand. If he scratches the table with a finger, it means he wishes to hit or be dealt another card.

Blackjack Strategy

Unlike other casino games based on luck, blackjack lends itself to a number of strategies that can be employed to make a player more successful. The following information forms part of a blackjack strategy that you can use to improve and to master the game of blackjack.

For years potential blackjack strategies have been tried and tested by mathematicians and scientists. Computer simulations have sought to come up with the winning strategy in order to beat the dealer. Although various strategies exist, the best way to win at blackjack is to study the rules until you are completely familiar with them. The best way to master strategy is to practice it. By employing basic blackjack strategy a player can efficiently reduce house odds to as low as 0.5 percent from the customary 5 percent.

A strategy will depend on the nature of the blackjack game, namely how many decks of cards are being used. The rules below indicate the actions that should become second nature to the blackjack player.

For blackjack involved a single deck of cards:

The Player’s Hand vs the Dealer’s Up Card

8 double on 5 to 6, otherwise hit

9 double on 2 to 6, otherwise hit

10 double on 2 to 9, otherwise hit

11 always double

12 stand on 4 to 6, otherwise hit

13 to 16 stand on 2 to 6, otherwise hit

17 to 21 always stand

A 2 to A5 double on 4 to 6, otherwise hit

A 7 double on 3 to 6, stand on 2, 7, 8 or A

A 8 double on 6, otherwise stand

A 9 always stand

A A always split

2 2 split on 3 to 7, otherwise hit

3 3 split on 4 to 7 otherwise hit

4 4 double on 5 to 6, otherwise hit

5 5 double on 2 to 9, otherwise hit

6 6 split on 2 to 6, otherwise hit

7 7 split on 2 to 7, stand on 10, otherwise hit

8 8 always split

9 9 split on 2 to 9, stand on 7

10 10 always stand

For multiple packs of cards, the following strategy applies

5 to 8 always hit

9 double on 3 to 6, otherwise hit

10 double on 2 to 9, otherwise hit

11 double on 2 to 10, otherwise hit

12 stand on 4 to 6, otherwise hit

13 stand on 2 to 6, otherwise hit

14 stand on 2 to 6, otherwise hit

15 stand on 2 to 6, otherwise hit

16 stand on 2 to 6, otherwise hit

17 always stand

18 always stand

A 2 double on 5 and 6, otherwise hit

A 3 double on 5 and 6, otherwise hit

A 4 double on 4 to 6, otherwise hit

A 5 double on 4 to 6, otherwise hit

A 6 double on 3 to 6, otherwise hit

A 7 double on 3 to 6, stand on 2,7, or 8, hit on 9, 10 or A

A 8 always stand

A 9 always stand

A 10 always stand

A A always split

2 2 split on 2 and 7, otherwise hit

3 3 split on 2 and 7, otherwise hit

4 4 split on 5 and 6, otherwise hit

5 5 always stand

6 6 split on 2 and 6, otherwise hit

7 7 split on 2 and 7, otherwise hit

8 8 split

9 9 split on 2 to 6 and 8 to 9, stand on 7, 10 and A

10 10 always stand

Sometimes the casino will allow a player to use the double down rule after he has split a pair. Assuming this is the case, the following rules apply to using the double down rule with a single deck of cards.

2 2 split on 2 to 7, otherwise hit

3 3 split on 2 to 7, otherwise hit

4 4 split on 4, 5 or 6

6 6 split on 2 to 7, otherwise hit

7 7 split on 2 to 8, stand on 10, otherwise hit

Likewise the following rules can be used to double down using multi decks of cards.

2 2 split on 4 to 7, otherwise hit

3 3 split on 4 to 7, otherwise hit

4 4 always hit

6 6 split on 3 to 6, otherwise hit

Blackjack Tips

Want to know how to beat the casino at blackjack while avoiding all the customary pitfalls along the way? Blackjack is one of the casino’s most popular and glamorous games. It’s easy to lose one’s head at the blackjack table, especially for first-time and extremely novice players. The casino has numerous ways to entice you into playing and betting more of your hard-earned cash. But by exercising a sound blackjack strategy and by keeping a healthy perspective on the ups and downs of gambling in general, you can make the casinos work for you.

One of the first things you need before you frequent the blackjack table is a sound understanding of the rules and a solid blackjack strategy. A blackjack strategy will stop you from betting away your life savings whether you’re on a winning or a losing streak. Useful blackjack information can be gathered from a variety of sources today – from books and gambling magazines to tutorials and guides online. It’s also worth trying out your blackjack techniques in one of many software simulations you can find today to help you improve your blackjack game.

Be aware of the tricks the casino uses in its attempts to keep you there at the gaming tables. Gambling takes place in a controlled environment where the casino can control the lighting, the temperature and the colors a player is exposed to. Keep a healthy check on reality by wearing a watch. Take regular breaks away from the table and when you feel you need a change, experience some of the live entertainment most casinos offer as a break from your chosen game.

The secret to making your money last longer – aside from disciplining yourself to exercise a sound money management strategy – is to frequent tables where there are more players. This slows down the sequence of play in most games, giving you more space and time to make decisions and to concentrate on your individual game. Your money will last longer too if you’re not one of only a few players constantly placing bets.

You should only increase the amount that you are betting if you are on a winning streak. Remember the rule ‘a fool and his money are easily parted!’ It is tempting but futile to bet larger sums of money out of desperation when you are losing consistently. Don’t be tempted to bet more to alleviate loses. Generally in these situations you will end up losing more than you bargained for.

It is also smart to play at tables where the player’s odds are slightly more favourable than at others. For example, some casinos allow the banker to hit on 17 while others don’t. It is better to play at a table where this rule is not in play as it overly favors the dealer. Also try and play at a blackjack table where only a few decks of cards are used. The higher the number of cards, the less chance you have of spotting trends and patterns and winning with a card counting strategy.

Some trends can help you to decide on a course of action. It is commonly thought that when the dealer’s cards range from 2 to 6 he is more likely to break or go bust. Usually when he holds a 7 through to an Ace he will stand to finalize his blackjack hand. When the dealer has a 6 it is better to stand than to take a final hit.

You should also be cautious about the amounts you are betting. A good general rule is to bet no more than 40 times your average bet.

By using basic strategies, studying the rules and learning as much as you can about the game of blackjack, you can help reduce the casino’s advantage to less than 1%. You will also increase your enjoyment of the game and of course, your chances of winning.


Do you want to learn how to play Blackjack?

We’ll share with you everything you need to play a solid game of Blackjack,from card values to payouts and more.Playing good Blackjack is about strategically considering all the possibilities and choosing the move that statistically gives you the greatest expected return.Apply your mind carefully and you’ll have a greater chance of beating the dealer and walking away from the table richer than when you arrived.So let’s have a look at some basic rules:

1.Basic Blackjack

Blackjack is played against the house,the object of the game is to take cards as close as possible to,but not exceeding a value of 21 and beat the dealer’s total.If,however your hand goes over 21,You are considerd to have busted and will forfeit your bet immediately,regardless of the dealer’s hand.

2.Card values

King,Queens and Jacks (known as face cards) are worth 10 points each.Numbered cards (2 through 10) retain their face value.Aces can count either 1 point or 11 points,depending on which value advantages the player.After receiving your first two cards,a player has a number of options to consider.Initially,the decision will be whether to Hit or Stand-these are two most basic choices in Blackjack.

Hit:To Hit is to request another card from the dealer.If your third card gives you a total of more than 21,you are immediately bust and out of the round.If not,you may continue hitting until you are satisfied with your hand.

Stand:To Stand is satisfied with your current hand.Convinced that taking any more cards will be more of a risk than a potential reward.

Double down:Doubling down is allowed straight after the first two cards are dealt.The player is allowed to place an additional bet equal to the original wager.The player will receive one more card and then Stand.He cannot ask for more Hits after this third card.

Split:If your first two cards hold the same value (for example,two twos or two eights) you can Split them into two separate playing hands.A Split hand becomes two separate bets and the dealer will Hit you with a further card on each of the splits.Generally you will not be allowed to Hit,Double down or Re-split after Splitting your cards.Take note of each table’s individual rules on this.

Surrender:Surrender is offered in when the dealer’s upcard (the card you can see) is either an ACE or TEN value.A player who has Surrendered forfeits half his bet to the house.The round ends and a new round can commence.

Insurance:Where the dealer’s Up-card is an ACE a player can take Insurance against the chance that the dealer has Blackjack (also called a Natural or a Snapper).Insurance is generally limited to half of the original bet and pays out at 2:1.

Push:If both the dealer and the player came out with same total,it’s called a “Push”,or Tie,and no money changes hands.


The Payouts in Blackjack are quite simple:

Should you beat the dealer with a high combination than his,you will receive a 1:1 Payout.In other words,if you bet 10,you will win another 10.

Should you Hit a “Blackjack” (this is a 10-value card plus an ace),you will receive a 3:2 Payout.In other words,if you bet 10,you will win another 15.

Casinos can also offer various sidebets such as “Perfect Pairs” and the like,depending on where you play.The Payouts for these bets will be indicated on or next to table.

And there you have it-the basics of how to play Blackjack.

Blackjack or 21

Here we describe the rules of blackjack and tips to help you win when gaming online. At Blackjack never forget that to win you need to beat the dealer. Too many players try to reach 21 and forget that the goal of this card game is to defeat the dealer. Sure – reaching 21 is great but you will lose a lot of money trying to get 21 when you could just defeat the dealer and make money.

You can beat the dealer with a hand total of 3, if the dealer busts. So stop worrying about getting 21 instead of trying to get a hand that will beat the dealer.


Place a bet to get a card. Online gamessuch as these can also be played without gambling; you can play this card game for fun as well.
Each player gets two cards. One is placed face down and the other face-up.
Now is the time to make a correct decision according to the card you have. Games are won or lost by these decisions – think and act accordingly. Look at your opponents’ cards. Remember that you win by defeating the casino or house and not by reaching 21.
If you do get 21, you will win a higher amount of money. An Ace and a 10 point card (10, Jack, Queen, or King) on the first two cards only, is considered a natural blackjack and is usually paid back at three to two. However, if the dealer also gets a natural blackjack, it is a tie.

But if you don’t get blackjack, you have to choose from these options:
Hit or Stand – the casino or house dealer gives you a card. An online game could become very interesting depending upon your cards.
Double Down – doubling your bet on your initial two cards and drawing only one more card to improve your hand. You want to do this if you have a good chance of beating the dealer without going over 21, with just one more card. In other words, double down on a 9, 10, or 11, or even less if the dealer is showing busting cards.
Split Pair – splitting your pair into two separate hands. You play each new hand separately. Aces receive only one additional card and after the split. If you get 21 after a split does not count as a natural blackjack. You should spilt aces or eights.
Insurance – insuring yourself against losing if the casino shows an ace. You shouldn’t take insurance. Avoid this bet because you can either cut even or lose.
Surrender – forfeiting half of your bet and leaving the sessions if your cards are bad.