What is Blackjack?
Blackjack is a card game where a player competes against a dealer to make 21. It’s one of the most popular card games in the world, and many players choose to enjoy Blackjack online. The game almost certainly has its origins in Spain, and its first recorded mention can be found as far back as the 1600s!
How to play Blackjack
The basic principle of Blackjack is exceptionally simple. The game is played with decks of 52 cards and begins with a player being dealt just two. Most variations of the game involve the dealer getting one card, although in the US that’s sometimes two. The player then chooses to draw more cards (sometimes referred to as hitting), or to stick with the total they already have (standing). The aim is to get as close as possible to 21 without going over that total, which is referred to as going bust, and means that you lose.
Once the player has drawn all their cards, the dealer uncovers their first card and takes their turn. When playing Blackjack, casino dealers must hit until they reach 17 and then stand. Once the dealer has completed their round, the person with the highest total wins. It really is that simple to play Blackjack, which is why the game is so popular around the world.
The rules of Blackjack are broadly formalised, but there are some variations. When you visit a Blackjack online casino, it’s always important to familiarise yourself with any nuances so you don’t get caught out by one of the 100+ minor variations. Generally speaking, in casino blackjack, a dealer will take on 5-7 different players at once. The dealer deals from the left and gives each player two cards, followed by a single upturned card for themselves. In some variations, the dealer will receive a second card, which will be placed face down.
The player can choose to hit, stand, double or split. If they hit, they’ll receive another card, while standing ends their round on the current total. Selecting double allows the player to increase their bet, with the prerequisite that they will receive one more card and then stand. Split is slightly more complex. If the player has two same value cards, they can choose to separate them into two different decks. From then on, the player treats both decks separately and draws cards to them individually.
If a player hits 21 they have achieved “blackjack,” won’t receive any more cards and have won the round. There are countless blackjack strategies which centre around this basic principle of getting to (or as close as possible to) 21. Mathematicians have written whole books on the “correct” blackjack strategy, but there is no finite right answer, and the best way to play blackjack ultimately comes down to personal preference.