How to Play Blackjack

 
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Blackjack is one of the most widely known and popular card games played in traditional casinos today. Blackjack uses a traditional deck, complete with 52 cards. The game itself can be played with as little as two people, one playing the game, the other, playing as the dealer. However, the game of blackjack can seat between 5 and 7 players when participating in a traditional casino setting.

Before blackjack was given its name, it was previously known as the game of twenty one, which was developed from an unknown origin. The very first references of the game blackjack were found within a Spanish book written by Miguel de Cervantes. Within the book, Cervantes creates a game using a traditional deck of cards stating that the objective of the game is to reach a total of 21 points without going over when drawing cards. Additionally, the rules of making aces a value of 1 and 11 were also included in the rules within his book.

As the game of 21 became introduced into the United States, there were often incentives and bonuses given to players to encourage participating and betting. The biggest incentive that was given to players was if the player's hand included both a black jack card and an ace of spades. This bonus lead to coining the term "black jack", which later became the official name of the game in casinos across the country.

Blackjack today refers to any hand that is played with the cards totaling exactly 21, regardless of the color of the cards. There are rule variations depending on whether the game is being played for fun or at a classic casino. Understanding casino rules can greatly help improve the chances of winning, regardless of the amount of money that is bet.

 

Playing Blackjack


Playing blackjack is possible after the dealer is finished handing out the proper amount of cards to those who are participating. Each player is traditionally dealt two cards facing up, visible to the players themselves as well as those around them. When the dealer's cards are placed, one is face up and the other, down, leaving a mystery to those who have already placed bets.

Players are then required to make a decision on taking another card, folding or choosing from another option that may be more valuable such as choosing to "split" or "double down", both additional options in the game of Blackjack. Understanding different choices when playing blackjack can help with gaining an advantage and getting ahead when placing real bets.

Stating "hit" during a game of blackjack will cause the dealer to give the player another card. If the player is still under 21 with low cards, choosing "hit" again may be the wisest option. However, if the player finds him or herself over 21, they are out of the game entirely.

Choosing to "stand" is another option in blackjack. Standing means to stay with the current cards in a player's hand without folding or asking for another.

To "double down" is to increase the initial bet by taking another card and then choosing to stand without changing one's mind. When a player chooses to "split", it must be done in the beginning of the hand. Splitting can be done only when both cards dealt to a player have the same value. A split hand allows the player to utilize both hands during a round of blackjack.

In blackjack, it is also possible to "surrender" in the beginning of a round. Surrendering forfeits half of what the player has chosen to bet, returning the remaining money to the player without requiring the player to stay in the game.