Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world. One reason for its popularity is the fact that winning is not solely reliant on luck. A skilled player can significantly increase the odds of beating the house and leaving the table with a fat bankroll.
Also known as 21, playing blackjack at an online casino is very similar to playing at a land based casino. At its most simple, the goal of the game is to get more points than the dealer without ‘busting’ or going over 21 but by learning different strategies and ways to play certain hands blackjack can provide hours of enjoyment with the best odds of winning to be found in any of the casino games.
Casino blackjack is usually played with several decks of 52 cards. After an initial bet each player is dealt two cards face up and the dealer is dealt two cards, one face up, and one face down. Number cards are scored at face value 2-9, aces are 1 or 11 points depending on the hand, and tens and face cards are 10 points each. The value of the hand is the sum of all the cards. Each player may continue to ‘hit’ or receive additional cards until they feel they have enough points to beat the dealer or have gone over 21 in which case they ‘bust’ and will lose. The dealer must hit if they have 16 or under and must stand with 17 or better. An exception is when the dealer has a ‘soft 17′ which is an ace and any group of cards totalling 17. In some casinos the dealer will hit a soft 17. If the player has a higher hand than the dealer without busting, the player wins. However a blackjack is an ace and another 10 point card and beats any other grouping of 21. A winner pays even money and a blackjack usually pays 3 to 2.
Depending on the cards that a player is dealt there are different strategies to play. When a player is dealt two of the same cards most players will opt to ‘split the hand’ or separate the the two like cards and play each of them as its own hand. In other word if the player is dealt two 8’s he can split them, receive another card on each 8 and continue to play each hand separately. Of course each hand requires its own bet so you double your chances but must bet twice as well.
A player may choose to “double down’ right after the deal, this consists of doubling his initial bet but in exchange getting only one more card. A player may choose to double down if he believes he has a good chance of beating the dealer with only one more card.
Blackjack is not a complicated game when played simply. Here is a typical hand of blackjack at an online casino.
The player places an initial bet.
The dealer deals the player two cards face up and himself one up and one down
The player may stand on the deal or hit until he is satisfied and then stand.
The player may double down which means double the bet but then receive only one more card.
The player may split his hand if dealt two like cards, place a bet on each and play each hand individually.
The player will win if he has a hand higher than the dealer and does not bust.
The player will win if the dealer goes over 21.
The player will lose if the dealer is closer to 21 or if the player busts.
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