Blackjack, or 21, is a popular card game played worldwide. You may have heard of it, or even attempted to play it, but if you are one of the many people who wants to learn how to play then keep reading and we will show you the basics.
Let’s start off with some history. Blackjack, formerly known as ‘Vingt-et-Un’ or ‘21’, is a simple card game that dates to the 1700s and has remained at the forefront of casino gambling for 400 years. Historians agree, although to some debate, that the game originated in France, with the cards deriving from an early and very popular form of baccarat. Due to its lengthy existence, Blackjack has cycled through a variation of names and playstyles, until eventually landing on the modern version we know and love playing.
In modern times, the world of online casinos has taken over and Blackjack is still thriving in terms of its active players. A huge amount of casino sites have seen a rise in players, and Blackjack is one of the easiest games to learn, so new players and casino veterans alike flocked to this game in its digital form. Traditionally, the game would be played with one 52-card deck, but as time progressed and the game grew in popularity, people demanded that they could play faster, and in-turn make faster returns on their money. This was the sole reason that casinos both physical and digital decided to use multiple decks instead of just one, thus creating a whole new layer to the game of Blackjack. In online casinos now such as Casino77 you will find multiple variations of Blackjack such as European Blackjack and Atlantic City Blackjack.
As mentioned previously, Blackjack is played with one or multiple traditional decks of cards. These decks contain 52 cards, divided evenly into four ‘suits’ known as Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds. There are thirteen cards within each suit, and every card in a suit has its own value or ‘rank’. Depending on what game you are playing, these ranks mean different things, but looking at them as plain cards they mean the following:
Every card is easily recognisable by the signature symbol of its suit present on each card. The values on these cards are mirrored in the other 3 sets, with the 1 of Diamonds holding the same value as the 1 of Clubs, the 1 of Spades and the 1 of Hearts. The King, Queen and Jack are collectively known as ‘Picture cards’ or ‘Face cards’, which I will use as the reference name further into this guide. The suits are only important in rare variations of Blackjack, so for the most part you can ignore them.
Now that the none-game values have been established, we will explain how the values of each card are assigned within Blackjack. The ‘Number’ cards from 2 to 10 hold their respective value, but the Ace (A) can either be a 1 or an 11. You will need to check the casinos specific rules on this card, as it may vary from place to place and is a very important piece of information. Face Cards all hold a value of 10. There are 4 cards of each value per deck, so keep track of how many decks you are playing with in your game.
In Blackjack, you are not playing against other players, you are playing to beat the Dealer. The aim of the game is to get the combined value of your cards as close to 21 as possible without going over or ‘bust’. The Dealer plays an important role in the game; not only does he create the play by giving you your cards, but he is also your only opponent and could be the difference between winning and losing. At the start of a round you place your initial bet value and then each player is dealt 2 cards facing upwards. At this stage in the play, you are given 4 options to choose from, and you must choose wisely as your money is riding on it!
Depending on what cards you start with in your initial hand, and/or how much risk you want to take with your money, your options are very clear. Of course, the fun of gambling is taking risks, but you always need to remember to be responsible with your wagers. Once each player has made their final hands, or has gone Bust, the houses hand is dealt by the Dealer with one card facing up and one facing down. This is where the value of your hand becomes important, as the Dealer has the chance to beat you by getting a higher value without going bust. Some casinos have a rule in place meaning the Dealer must stick at a certain value such as 16 or 17 which gives a lot of lenience to the players and increases their chance of winning. Again, you will need to check the specific rules of the casino you are playing in.
To win, your hand must beat the Dealer’s hand, or the Dealer must go bust. To draw or ‘push’, your hand must draw with the Dealer’s hand. If your final hand value is lower than the Dealer’s when they decide to Stick, you lose, and the house wins your money. In the case of a win, most casinos will pay out on a 1/1 scale, meaning you will receive the value of your initial wager, plus that same value on top. For example, if you wagered £10 and beat the Dealer, your return would be £10 from your initial wager, plus £10 in pure winnings. In the occasion that you receive Blackjack (a value of 21) on your initial 2 cards, the usual pay-out is on a 3/2 scale, meaning you receive your initial wager, plus another half of your wager on top. Basically, if you wagered £10 and were dealt an Ace and a Queen, you would win your original £10, plus £5 on top as this is half of your wager value.
Casinos have a mathematical strategy in place to maximise their returns from your money, and Blackjack is no exception. The advantage is that if you know how to play well, you have a better chance of beating the house edge because Blackjack has the lowest out of any game you could choose. The house edge is a calculated percentage of each bet that the casino expects to keep. For most casinos, the house edge of Blackjack is as little as 0.5%. These edges can be looked at as an expected hourly loss. Keno has a house edge of 40%, so if you wagered £100 total over an hour, the casino would be expecting to earn £40, and you would go broke fairly quickly at that rate. When you compare this to Blackjack at the same wagering, 0.5% of £100 is only a loss of £5 per hour. Clearly Blackjack has the better odds.
In conclusion, Blackjack is a good casino card game for you to learn. It is simple to get the hang of and it has decent odds. You can practice different strategies and betting styles but always remember to gamble responsibly and read any terms and conditions.
What is Blackjack?
Blackjack is both the game in which you aim to hold a hand adding up to 21, and the name given to a 2-card hand of a Picture card and an Ace.
How do you play Blackjack?
To play Blackjack, you get 2 cards and can ask for additional cards until you are close to or hit a value of 21. If you go over, you lose. If the dealer gets higher, you lose
Which cards make Blackjack?
A perfect Blackjack hand consists of a Picture (Jack, Queen or King) card and an Ace.
Does Blackjack automatically win?
Yes. If you get Blackjack on your first two cards, you automatically win.