Blackjack is one of the most popular and well-known casino card games available. It originated in France in the 17th century, from a game called Vingt-en-Un, which literally means “21”. The player received a special payout for a hand containing a Jack and Ace of Spades – a black Jack, this is probably where the game we play today gained its name. The rules of Vingt-en-Un are very similar to today’s game, although the concept of going bust is thought to come from an Italian game called Seven-and-a-Half, played around the same time period. The game arrived in the US after the French Revolution, and became immediately popular. It was played underground when gambling became illegal in the US, but quickly re-emerged once betting was legalized in Nevada in 1931. The game moved to the digital realm with the launch of the first online casinos in the mid-1990s, and today online blackjack is one of the most popular card games at any casino. Many online casinos – and above all, Casino Midas – offer a wide range of variations for their players to choose from.
Basics of 21 Blackjack
The aim of the game is to create a hand with a value closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand, without going bust (going over 21). Each card in a game of 21 blackjack has a specific value, all of which are combined to create your final hand total. Cards 1 through 10 carry their face value; face cards are valued at 10; and an Ace is valued at one or eleven, depending on the value of the other cards in your hand.
Black Jack rules are simple to master. To begin a game, you must place your bet, and will then be dealt two cards face up. The dealer will be dealt one card face up and one card face down. From here, players will need to choose an action to perform, and once the player has completed their hand, the dealer will play according to the house rules of the casino. The dealer is required to hit on a soft 17, but must stand on a hard 17. Once the dealer’s hand is complete, you will be paid out for any wins.
There are a number of different actions that can be taken in a game of 21 blackjack.
- Insurance – If the dealer’s up card is an Ace, you are able to take out an insurance bet against him having blackjack. Insurance costs half the amount of the original bet and the bet pays out 2 to 1.
- Hit – You will receive one more card. You can continue to hit until you choose to stand or you go bust.
- Stand – Receive no more cards and end your turn.
- Double Down – On your first two cards you are able to double your bet and receive one more card to end your turn.
- Split – If your first two cards carry the same value, you are able to split them into two hands, with two separate but identical bets, and can play them as two separate hands. If you split two Aces, you are only able to hit once per hand.
Winning at Online Blackjack
The highest hand combination is Blackjack – an Ace and a card valued at 10, to make a hand of 21 with two cards. Blackjack pays out at 3 to 2, and if your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s (without going over), you win even money.
If the dealer goes bust and you do not, you also win even money. If the dealer’s hand wins, you lose your bet. If your hand and the dealer’s hand are valued the same, the bet is a push.
Black Jack Odds
The casino odds for a game of blackjack can be as high as 7-8%, although they are typically closer to 2-5%. However, by using an optimal strategy you can reduce the house edge to as low as 0.5%, which helps to make it is a popular game of skill.
If players try to use a similar strategy to the dealer (which is standing on hands of 17 or above, and taking hits on anything below 16), they will experience a bust 29% of times. However, while this might seem a logical strategy to use, the dealer takes bets from players going bust. Still, as players received a payment of three for two whenever the dealer gives a black jack, the house edge drops to around 6%.
The important part of any blackjack game is to have fun, so provided you play sensibly and pay attention to the house edge, you'll win no matter what your winnings.