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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.

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