How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack has been captivating card game lovers for hundreds of years and the draw has only increased through the years alongside better technology and bigger payouts. Players from all over the world have come to love this game that goes by many names. Whether you call it 21, Spanish 21, Pontoon, or some other variation, Blackjack will always be a name you can say which card players of every background will know.

History of Blackjack

The game of blackjack has deep roots in the world of gambling. Because the game is so old, it is very difficult to say for sure it was started here by a single person or persons. The consensus in the world of Blackjack is the game quite possibly grew its following in French casinos during the 1700s, with a pedigree stemming from the French games Chemin de Fer, and French Ferme.

Contrary to that version of events, some believe the game is Spanish in origin. One of the earliest mentions of the game surfaced in Miguel Cervantes classic novel Don Quixote. Cervantes’ infatuation with gamblers and games of skill and chance often led to the inclusion of these activities in his writing. These stories date back to the 1600s, which is a testament to what is easily the most popular banking card game in the world.

The game reached the US and was popularized in Nevada during the early 1930s. At this point, the game was still referred to as 21. In order to give the game more appeal, venues highlighted a special bet, referred to as Blackjack. In this case, either black Jack in the deck, paired with an Ace of Spades, to make a natural would payout at 10:1. The game’s popularity only grew from there to the point where you have the game we are discussing here today.

How To Play Blackjack

When it comes to casino table games, Blackjack can be considered one of the easiest games in the genre for both inexperienced and experienced players. It’s one of those activities that takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master. Fortunately, you won’t need to spend a lifetime practicing before you can start winning money and having fun while doing it. One of the biggest draws of online Blackjack is that it removes the pressures of a busy casino atmosphere, where sights, sounds, and even smells can distract from the game at hand. You can play at your own pace and at the stakes you want without ever feeling rushed or having to wait for a seat to open up at your favorite table.

When it comes to the basic goal of the game, most people mistakenly believe it is to hold a hand valued at 21 without going over. While that result will deliver the highest payout, it’s all for naught if the player fails to beat the dealer’s hand. So, it is more accurate to say that the object of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand without going bust. We’ll get into the more common Blackjack terms and actions later in this guide.

The game can be played using one or multiple decks of playing cards. The number of decks will directly influence the house edge, as it makes it harder for the player to predict which cards are in play and which remain in the deck or decks. There are several ways to reach the high-paying hands in Blackjack, many of which are even higher paying than a natural 21 if using multiple decks.

Here is a basic guide to how the game is played, which will get you into the game quickly. To begin, the highest value hand you can achieve in Blackjack is one worth 21 points. Anything with a point value higher than this amount is a hand that goes ‘bust’ and is considered a loss for the player or dealer. The point systems is arranged in such a way that numbered cards are worth their face value in points, i.e. card 2-10 are worth 2, 3, 4 points and so on. Face cards, the Jack, Queen, and King, are worth 10 points each. Aces are worth either 1 or 11 depending on how the player or dealer choose to use them.

When the game begins, two cards are dealt to each participant, one face up and one face down. The dealer receives cards in the same fashion. Play begins with the first player to the left of the dealer. That player can choose to ‘stand’ with their current cards and pass play to the next player or choose to ‘hit’ and receive another card from the dealer. A player can hit as many times as they like so long as they do not go bust. When they have completed their turn, the next participant will have an opportunity to make use of the same actions. Once all players have completed their turns, the dealer flips over their face down card and will proceed to draw cards and stay in accordance with the house rules. On some tables it is customary for a dealer to stay at 16, at others it is 17. If the dealer goes bust, all participants remaining in play win. There are several more actions to make use of beyond ‘hit’ and ‘stand’, but in the interest of getting players up to sped as quickly as possible, these are the two most important actions to know when playing Blackjack.

Play Free Blackjack

When it comes to the game of Blackjack, and so many other products, some players just aren’t confident enough to get started without a try before they buy. Fortunately, many casinos understand this desire and provide players with the option to demo some or all of their Blackjack games for free. This means you can get a feel for the style of Blackjack that has caught your eye, without ever having to commit to a real money wager before you are ready. That’s something you just can’t do at a real casino Blackjack table.

Blackjack Games

There are dozens of Blackjack variations played in brick and mortar casinos and online venues. Some are proprietary creations of certain casinos, others are made by game studios for many venues to offer. Here are a few of the most popular online Blackjack games you can expect to find.

Classic Blackjack

This is the most popular style of the game and also the most straightforward. New players will want to begin playing a classic version, just to get a feel for the standard progression. However, many Blackjack connoisseurs claim classic Blackjack as their favorite variation. The game is played with anywhere between 1 and 8 decks of playing cards and adheres to the most basic rule set. All a player needs to do to win is hold a hand of higher value than the dealer’s. the highest payout in Classic Blackjack is a Natural Blackjack, which is a 21-point hand achieved on the initial 2-card deal at the beginning of the game.

Progressive Jackpot Blackjack

Progressive Blackjack is very similar to classic Blackjack with one big difference. In this version, players can place an additional wager on the table for a chance to win the progressive jackpot. This jackpot is increasing at a constant rate and will continue to do so until won. Otherwise the game is played the same as Classic Blackjack. Some versions or progressive Blackjack include additional actions like ‘split’ and ‘double’, which we’ll cover later in this guide.

European Blackjack

This European style of Blackjack has a unique take on the game. Cards are dealt differently to the players and there are only two decks of playing cards used. Both cards are deal face up for players, while the dealer receives one face up and one face down. After the player decides how to play their hand, the dealer’s hole card is revealed.

Spanish 21

Played with anywhere between six and eight decks of playing cards, Spanish 21 is similar to Classic Blackjack. However, all 10’s are removed from the game. The result is a slightly increased house edge but more favorable actions for the player, such as ‘surrender’ and ‘double down’.

Blackjack Switch

A unique mechanic makes Blackjack Switch a popular choice among players. In this version of the game, players can be dealt two hands and switch cards between the two for a more favorable result in both cases/. Blackjack pays out at 1:1 instead of the standard 3:2 in this version of the game.

Live Blackjack

When it comes to getting the real casino experience without any of the aggravation, Live Blackjack is the only way to play. Using live streaming video and sound, players are transported to a real casino where a private Blackjack table and croupier are waiting to engage them. Players can enjoy the game just like any other online table, only they can interact with the dealer by chatting and tipping as they play. When you want the in-person experience but can’t make the trip, Live Blackjack is the next best thing.

You’ve got all the information at your fingertips thanks to our useful guides and reviews on where to find the best Blackjack offers. All that’s left is for you to make the call on where to play next.

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