Without a doubt, one of the most famous and popular casino games is Blackjack. It is also famous for being one of the games where a talented and skilled player can beat the house. It is also known as twenty-one. This is due to the target that the players are trying to achieve in Blackjack which is 21. This takes us to the goal of the game.
The target of the game is to reach 21 and not to go over it. You win the hand if you score a 21, if you are closer to twenty-one than the dealer or if the dealer goes over twenty-one. If it is a tie then your bet is refunded. You start with two cards and you keep asking for more cards until you decide to hold or go over twenty-one. Also, the dealer will have to keep dealing more cards to himself as long as he is under sixteen and he is obligated to stop once he reaches 17.
The value of the Blackjack hand depends on the face value of the cards you have been dealt. For instance, the normal playing cards from 2 to 10 have that value. Face cards are valued by 10 and the ace can be valued for one or eleven, whichever serves you better. When the ace is counted for 11, it is called a soft hand. For instance, if you get an ace and a five, it is a soft sixteen but if you get a nine and a seven, it is a hard sixteen.
This game is between you and the house’s dealer only as there is no competition between you and the other players on the table. This is why Blackjack is looked upon as a single game at most online casinos.
One of the most popular and famous online gambling games is Blackjack. It is famously known for being the only casino game where a player with a specific set of skills can actually beat the casino. As a result of the growing popularity of Blackjack, the casinos started to pay more attention to Blackjack by giving it the same treatment as Poker by applying the style of poker tournament onto Blackjack. This new approach succeeded greatly and now there are many Blackjack competitions that get aired on T.V such as the WSOB (World Series of Blackjack).
Online tournaments for Blackjack
The usual Blackjack game doesn’t get affected with the hands of the other players because it is basically between you and the house’s dealer. On the other hand, in online Blackjack tournaments, the hands of the other players are very important. This is due to the fact that you no longer want to beat the dealer only but you also want to beat the other players in order to win the biggest amount of money you can in order to avoid being eliminated.
The game has the same rules but the only difference as mentioned is that you are trying to beat the other players on the table to earn more money than all of them. This is due to the fact that only the top two winners will proceed to the next round and the rest of the players on the table will be eliminated. This is why Blackjack has a fixed time limit or a number of hands, unlike Poker.
Blackjack is one of the favorite card games for millions and millions of players around the world. The game is not a competitive game as players do not play against each other. All of the players seated at a blackjack table will only try to beat the hand of the dealer and not other players’ hands. This game can be found in every single land-based and online casino. Thousands of gamblers flock to the blackjack tables because it is fun and it is not entirely based on luck, so skilled and professional players can have better chances of beating the house. One of the used techniques in Blackjack is card counting.
The Purpose of the Game
The game’s purpose is to get a hand that has a total of 21 or as close as possible to that number without passing it. The hand total depends on the cards. The value of the card is the number of the card, so seven counts as 7 points, eight counts as 8 points, and two counts as 2 points. Kings, Queens and Jacks count as 10, as for the Ace, it can count as one or eleven, depending on the hand. If it counts as an eleven, the hand total is soft. For example, An ace and a seven form a soft eighteen and it forms a hard eight.
The Gaming Procedure
The table of blackjack has an oval shape where the dealer sits at the center and at the arc the players will be seated. The game will start as each player will set his stakes, at any Blackjack table, there would be a minimum stake that players have to place. After all the players place their chips, the dealer will start dealing with the cards. The cards will come from one or more than one deck of cards, depending on the version of the game as there are numerous blackjack versions. Each player will be dealt two cards. These two cards will be facing up for everyone to see, including the dealer and the other players. The dealer will then deal himself his hand. This hand consists of one card that everyone can see and another card that is facing down. Some games allow the dealer to peak and see his “hole” card and other games do not allow it.
Each player, according to the order of the play, will be asked to make one of two decisions. They will be asked if they want to “Hit” and get an additional card or if they want to “stand” which means that they do not want another card. Players can keep asking for more cards until they stand or until they “bust”. Busting means that the player has gone over 21 and he will automatically lose.
After all of the players decide, it is the dealer’s turn. He will show his “hole” card and he will keep hitting until he passes or gets the hand total of seventeen. Some games would require the dealer to stop at any seventeen, whether hard or soft and others require a hard seventeen. After the dealer stands, his hand will be compared with every single hand on the table. Then, each player will get his winnings chips if he beat the hand of the dealer or he will lose them if the dealer beats him.
The “Hit” and “Stand” decisions are the two main decisions that players will have to take but there are other decisions that players will be able to take during the gameplay, these decisions include:
Players who get dealt two identical cards, in the beginning, will be able to split them. Splitting means that each card will form a new hand and the dealer will give each new hand an additional card, this way, these new split hands will have two cards. Some games would allow players to split unlike ten-value cards such as a Jack and a Ten or a Queen and a King and others would only allow the splitting of identical cards such as two tens, two jacks, and so on.
When players split and form two hands, if one of these hands forms a pair, it will split again to form four hands. Each hand will have the same wager that players have placed at the beginning of the game. Some games allow splitting of Aces but games that allow that will only allow players to hit once after they split the ace. Also, if players get a blackjack on a split ace, it pays even money as a normal win and not as a Blackjack win.
Insurance is a side bet that players will be able to place if the showing card of the dealer is an Ace. Players will win that side bet if the dealer hits a blackjack.
Players can choose to double their wagers after they get dealt the two initial cards. Some games allow players to double down at any hand total and some games only allow doubling down on a hand total of nine, ten or eleven. After players double down, they will only get one more card.
Other Side Bets:
There are numerous side bets that players can place that vary between one Blackjack version and another. For example, some games will offer players a game of Hi-Lo. Players will wager in this side bet whether the hand total of the first two cards is equal to 13, less than 13, or more than 13. Another side bet is called “Perfect Pairs” which pays players who get a perfect pair for their initial blackjack hand.
Some games would allow the player to surrender his hand and lose half of the wager after the first 2 cards are dealt. If players believe that the dealer has a better hand or that if they will lose, they should surrender and keep half the wager instead of losing it all.