Blackjack (also known as
Twenty-one, Vingt-et-un (French for Twenty-one), or Pontoon is the
most widely played casino banking game in the world. Much of
blackjack's popularity is due to the mix of chance with elements
of skill, and the publicity that surrounds card counting
(calculating the probability of advantages based on the ratio of
high cards to low cards). The casino version of the game should
not be confused with the British card game Black Jack.
A round of blackjack begins with each player placing a bet in the
circle or logo directly in front of him. Then the dealer will give
each player and himself two cards. Player cards are usually dealt
face up. One dealer card is dealt face up (the up card) and the
other face down (the hole card). If the dealer has a ten or an ace
as the up card it is possible he has a blackjack, in which case
all player hands will lose except those with another blackjack. In
the U.S. the dealer will check for
blackjack immediately, if one
is possible, and will collect all losing bets immediately if he
does have a blackjack.
Casinos did their best to hamper the "counters" by increasing the
number of decks and introducing more frequent shuffling. However
these changes have done nothing to affect the popularity of
blackjack and it remains the most played table game in casinos to
today either onland or at the ever increasing online casinos.
The purpose is to get a hand-value as close to 21 but not over it.
A player who hits and gets a hand-value over 21 immediately loses
his bet. When the player is satisfied with his hand (for example
19, a ten and a nine, which is a pretty good hand) he stands. The
dealer then turns his second card up, and if his hand-value is
less than 16 or 16 he has to take one more card. If the dealers
hand-value is 17 or more he has to stand.
If by chance a player is dealt a hand of two cards of the same
value he or she can elect to split the pair into two separate
hands. If a player decides to split, the wager amount remains the
same for both hands and each hand is played separately. In the
situation that the player believes his or her hand is a winner the
player can double down. By doubling the player is deciding to
double the wager amount and to be dealt one additional card. On
the contrary when a player believes his or her hand could loose
because the dealers up card is an ace, the player can choose to
buy insurance. Insurance protects players from a dealer blackjack.