Blackjack

One of the most widely played casino games in the world, blackjack or “Twenty One” dates back to the seventeenth century. The game was even mentioned in a book written by Miguel Cervantes, who is famous for penning “Don Quixote.” If you know how to play, you have better odds of winning in blackjack compared to other casino games.

 

How to Play

The object of blackjack is to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 points as possible without going over. Each card is assigned a numerical value, with cards 2-10 being worth the number on the card; aces are worth either 1 or 11 points, the player’s preference; all face cards are worth 10 points.

To start off, the dealer gives each player two cards face up and gives himself one card face up and one card face down (the hole card). If the dealer starts off with blackjack, one ace and a 10-point card, all players lose. When it is a player’s turn, he has the choice to hit or stand. If he hits, he receives another card to add to his total. If he stands, he doesn’t want any more cards. If you go over 21, you bust and lose.

Each player is playing against the dealer, or the house. If the player doesn’t bust and chooses to stand, as long as his point value is higher than the dealer’s, he wins. That is the most basic way to play the game, but the player has other options during the game to increase his winnings.

During the game, the player has the option to double down after receiving his first two cards. If you double down, you choose to double your original wager and can receive only one additional card. Something else you can do is split your cards if you are dealt a pair. After you indicate you want to split, the dealer will split your cards and you can place an additional wager, and then you play out each hand. If the up card for the dealer is an ace, players can purchase insurance. This is basically a side wager you make that says you think the dealer as a 10 as his hold card; if you are right, you are paid 2 to 1.

If you want to increase your chances of winning during blackjack, it is important to learn when to hit or stand on cards. For example, if you have eight points or less in your hand, you always hit and if you have 17-21 points, you stand. If you’re new to the game, get together with a friend and start practising. It helps to refer to a strategy guide, something readily available online, so you can get the hang of when to stand or hit, depending on the cards that you have and the dealer’s up card. For example, statistically speaking, you are more likely to win if you stand on 16 when the dealer’s up card is anything above a 6. Becoming familiar with the odds of busting or getting 21 points in different situations will only increase the likelihood of winning.

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