The cards are always stacked, the felt is always brushed and the croupier is always waiting to deal your cards at any Blackjack table that you choose.
Blackjack dates back around 250 years when it was known as “Vingt-et-Un” by the French, which means the number 21. French Canadian fur trappers and other immigrants who travelled to the US brought the game with them, sparking a huge surge in popularity despite its difficulty.
Following this, the US changed the game’s name and its rules in order to make the odds a little more favourable to players. The changes led to a belief that the game can be beating, prompting another surge in popularity. Blackjack is still played to this day.
How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack is basically a card comparing game similar to Baccarat. If you’re looking to find out how to play Blackjack, just read on.
Several players compete against a dealer to try and reach or get as close as possible to the value of 21 without exceeding it. The game is played with a full deck of 52 cards and, before the game begins, a wager is placed on the table.
Two cards are dealt to the player and two to the dealer. Each card is assigned a value and it’s important to remember what they are. For example, Jack, Queen, King and ten cards all have a value of ten while cards numbered two-nine are counted at face value.
Following Blackjack rules, the player then adds the two cards together in order to get as close to 21 as possible. If the total of the hand is low, they can request a third, fourth and fifth card. However, if their hand combination exceeds 21, they lose the game. Meanwhile, dealers cannot ask for more cards if their hand exceeds the total of 17.
If the banker and player have the same hand value at the end of the game, the round will be considered a “push” and a another round, featuring the same wager plus new ones, will be played and the winner takes all.
Aside from getting as close as possible to the number 21, there also other ways of winning Blackjack games. Players can attempt to draw 21 points on their first two cards, which is referred to as a “Natural” or “Blackjack”, though it’s rare or they can let the dealer draw additional cards until their hand goes over 21.
Playing Online Blackjack
Online Blackjack games follow the same rules, but in this version you’ll be tapping at a screen rather than handling actual cards. An online game of Blackjack starts with players selecting how much they want to bet on winning. After clicking the “Deal” button, players will be dealt two cards.
After calculating the total of their hands, players can then either:
- Hit: Take another card to get closer to 21. However, players must remember that an extra hand may push them over 21 and automatically lose the game.
- Stand: Players can choose to ‘Stand’ if they believe their cards are strong enough to beat the dealer, this option stops them from receiving any more cards.
- Double: This option allows the player to double their original bet and receive one more card.
After selecting an action, the dealer with either take more cards or reveal their hand, finishing the game. Winnings are awarded out to whoever won and a new round can be played. See? Blackjack is easy to play.
Blackjack Game Variations
Due to its popularity, you probably won’t be surprised to discover that there are numerous variations of the hit casino game. It’s important to understand that rules differ according to the variation being played, so do your research!
Three Card Blackjack is one of the easiest versions of the game available. It’s played with a single 52-card deck but each round starts with players placing an ante bet on the game. Once all bets have been made, the dealer gives each player three cards face-down before dealing their own cards face-up. The players then select any two of their three cards to create a combination towards 21 without exceeding the number but beating the dealer’s total.
The European variation of Blackjack is similar to the original, except it generally uses six decks of 52 cards. In this version, the dealer doesn’t receive a second card until all the players have selected their actions in regard to their hands. The main goal of the game remains the same.
Multi-hand Blackjack is played with five decks of 52 cards and allows players to play with up to five hands at once. The goal of the game is exactly the same, however. There are also a few more rules that stop players from doing certain actions throughout the game.
Spanish 21 is another variation of Blackjack which is similar to Pontoon. In this game, all cards with a value of 10 are removed from the deck. This makes the game a little more difficult, but there are additional rules to help the player. For example, players can double down on any totals.
Pontoon: How to Play and Pontoon Rules
Pontoon is a hugely popular variation of Blackjack frequently played in the UK though it differs somewhat from the original Blackjack. According to Pontoon rules, the game is played with one deck of 52 cards for a game featuring between five and eight players at real casinos. However, if eight or more people are playing, the game uses two decks of 52 cards.
One player is selected to act as the banker by drawing the highest card before playing. Later on, whenever a player and the banker have two hands of equal value, the banker wins. In addition to this, Pontoon players use the phrases “Twist” (Hit), “Stick” (Stand) and “Buy” (Double).
Also, the hand combination of an ace and a ten is called “Pontoon” and not Blackjack. It doesn’t stop there, however, as three Australian versions of Pontoon exist. They’re called Federal Pontoon, Jupiters 21 and Treasury 21. Each variation is played at a specific Australian casino and differs slightly from the original Pontoon card game.