Blackjack: Nothing Beats 21

September 28th, 2009 Blackjack

Another widely played game in casinos is Blackjack.  Blackjack, or Twenty-one, or Pontoon, as it is also known, is a mix of chance and skill. Once you have read though the tips below and checked out the best methodology, you can play blackjack online and see if your newest strategy pays off.

The basic rules of the game involve adding the value of the first two cards, and hoping that the value it reaps is twenty-one.  Should the value be less than twenty-one, the player may either choose to be dealt single cards until he reaches the value of twenty-one, reach a value they feel comfortable to play, or reach a value that exceeds twenty-one.  The winner is the player who holds a hand with a value of, or the one nearest to twenty-one without exceeding it.

Blackjack is played in casinos with a lot of variations, those in table rules.   Just to sum it all up, the jackpot is when the player gets an exact value of twenty-one in the first two cards dealt to him, or he is the one with the nearest (but not exceeding) the value of twenty-one.

There are four standard options that a player has right after receiving his first two cards.  These may be:

  • Hit – to take another card.
  • Stand – to take no more cards.  This is also known as “stick” or “stay”.
  • Double down – before accepting any more cards, the player is allowed to double his initial bet in exchange for limiting himself to getting only one more card from the dealer.
  • Split A Pair – This happens when the first two cards of the player are of the same value or a “pair”.  He can split a pair when he moves a second bet equal to that of the first into the betting box, next to his original bet.  The player then plays two separate hands, as the dealer split the cards to create two hands – placing one bet with each hand.
  • Surrender – A player may “surrender” by giving half of his bet and not playing out the hand.  This is done after the dealer has checked for blackjack.  This is a fifth option that is offered by some casinos.

Much of blackjack’s popularity is because of the publicity surrounding card counting, which is the probability of advantages based on the ratio of high cards to low cards.  Card counting, if done correctly, can give the player an advantage ranging from 0 to 2% over the house (casino).

Card counting mentally is legal and isn’t considered as cheating.  However, most casinos ban players who count cards, and so the players must be careful not to signal that they are counting.  Most importantly, electronic or other counting devices are illegal whatsoever.  Hidden cameras referred to as “eye in the sky” are located about the table in casinos, behind one-way glass to be able to detect dealers or players who cheat.

It is unlike other card games out there.  Blackjack is by nature a game of chance, as well as skill – and mastering it is truly interesting.


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