Blackjack or 21 is the most popular of casino games played in casinos around the world and homes just like yours. You don’t have to be a professional gambler to enjoy playing but the rewards, the thrill is great when you have an opportunity to proudly declare, “Blackjack”, and receive winning for your brilliant play. Learning to play is simple: each player receives two cards from the dealer and has the option to “hit” or receive another card or “stand” stating that you are happy with the cards dealt. All face cards are valued at 10 while the ace can be one or usually 11 and when combined with a face card values 21 or blackjack. But this simple game is complicated in the details, and the strategy playing against the dealer is intense. There are various rules to the game which vary due to the place where Blackjack is played.
Vegas Strip Blackjack
Let’s start at the home of gambling in the United States in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Strip, that mecca of gambling and entertainment known to all American from experience or the movies. Entering a casino in Las Vegas is a thrill and all the senses explode with information. As you amble past the crowded slots machines you will see the world of table games. Here small tables holding a maximum of 5 players are holding court with one dealer and the rules are simple and a smart player can often beat the odds. These are the Blackjack tables. In this game, the dealer must draw to all his totals of 16 or less but must hold (stand) on totals of 17 to 21.
Is a subtle variant of Vegas Strip Blackjack where all the rules hold but there is a progressive jackpot. This game has become popularized by the growing number of electronic machine-oriented blackjack games. Different yes, but still the same fun and strategy.
The European variant that uses 6 decks of cards which effectively eliminates card counting. Aces can still be split but splitting cards valued at 4, 5, or 10 is not allowed. In Europe, the dealer must stand on a soft 17.
Like European Blackjack, this game is played with multiple decks of cards. The biggest difference is that this game of Blackjack is played with a Spanish deck of 48 cards. Here the lucky gambler who has a 21, on his or her first two cards always wins, this lucky player receives 3:2 even if the dealer has 21. Rules concerning doubling are laxer and the player with a poor hand can surrender and get half their initial bet back from the dealer.
This Predecessor of Blackjack was originally called Vingt-Un. Designed to be played by 3 to 10 players. This game became very popular in Europe and found a home in Britain in the 18th century. Pontoon or Vingt-Un is very similar to modern Blackjack. The game of Pontoon itself has been corrupted by local rules and is commonly played by children and families. The later development and variants of Vingt-Un would become the classic game of Blackjack. The game that is now essential in the gambling world.
As the name applies this is the accepted form of playing Blackjack today. The dealer is armed with an 8 deck shoe but has to abide by the stand or hit rules that make Blackjack such an exciting game for the more cautious of players. This one rule about having to stand or to have to accept another card makes this game fascinating. Consider this, suppose you as the player have a hand valued at 12, this would make that hand the weakest of all possible hands in Blackjack but if the dealer has a natural hand greater than 12 but one of the numbers in which the dealer must hit (take a card) and he receives a face card (jack, queen, king) or another high card and he goes bust. Then you as the cautious player have been able to score a win from a garbage hand. Not unlike Poker when a player is bluffing but Blackjack has the added benefit of being played in the open and all cards are shown.
Even though the house (dealer) has a great advantage, the game of Blackjack is great fun to play and a cursory understanding of the rules including, splits and all the local rules are easy to obtain. Simply ask the casino what the rules are for Blackjack. Write them down and memorize them. Blackjack is the one gambling game that is easy to understand, and when the local rules are known the average gambler is not at a great disadvantage as he or she would be against professional crap, roulette, or poker player. Break out a deck of cards and play the game among friends and family. You can be at the house and you can even make all the rules. You must remember that the stand and make rules for the dealer are what makes this an interesting game. Once you know what the game is all about then its time to head to your local casino or book a flight to one of the many gaming capitols of the world. Just make sure you have a round trip ticket and extra shirts.