Many people will know the card game of Pontoon or if you happen to be French then you may know Vingt-et-Un but today the game is known in casinos all over the world as Blackjack gambling. The actual origins of Blackjack are not at all clear but it is believed that at least one form of the game may have been played as early as the 17th century in Spain. Whatever the origins Blackjack gambling is today one of the most popular casino card games in the world and is available at all online casinos and land based casinos alike. There are some minor differences between the games of Pontoon and Blackjack but the idea remains the same and that is to get a higher hand than the dealer without going over 21. Some pundits state the objective of the game as being to get as close as possible to 21 without going bust or over 21 but we disagree as it is perfectly possible to win a hand with a low number nowhere near 21 as we shall try to explain.
In Blackjack gambling each player is dealt two cards including the dealer; all picture cards count for 10 points and an ace can be counted either as 1 or 11 at the players discretion; all other cards count at their face value. Suits and colours play no part in the game. Each player in turn can add to their cards by requesting one from the dealer or they can keep the cards they have. As already stated the objective of the game is to end up with more points in your hand than the dealer but if either player or dealer goes above 21 in the count then that hand loses immediately. The game is played with a number of decks of cards, quite commonly 8 decks are involved and the cards are shuffled regularly; sometimes a casino will play with only one or two decks of cards which will increase your chances of winning.
A normal Blackjack gambling table in a land based casino with casino gambling games will seat 6 players but in online casinos you can play on your own. It is possible for one player to occupy two or more seats which in online casinos is called multi hand blackjack. The game begins with each player placing a bet for that deal. The bet can vary from deal to deal but once play begins can only be increased according to strict rules. After the bets have been placed the deal takes place which involves each player receiving two cards; the dealers cards will be one face up and one face down and this can provide a vital clue to decide your next move. Each player in turn will look at their two cards and assess their chances of beating the dealer. The player can simply keep the cards they have which is called “stand” or they can request another card from the dealer which is called “hit”. A player can hit as many times as they like in a deal but the total of cards in the hand may not exceed 21; if it does the hand is immediately lost. After all players have either decided to stand or are bust the dealer will turn over the second card and will proceed according to strict rules. If the dealers cards amount to 16 or less they will draw another card or cards until the total is 17 or more or it is over 21. If the dealer goes over 21 then all players still in the game will win regardless of the total of their cards. If the dealer has 17 or over but 21 or under then each player evaluates their hand against the dealer and either wins loses or it is a tie; in the event of a tie it is called a push and the player gets the stake returned. The highest hand is clearly 21 and if this can be achieved in two cards ( an ace and a ten) it is called blackjack and pays out at 3:2.
There are one or two variations that we shall try to cover the first of which is the split. If a player is dealt two cards of the same value (ie two kings or two sevens of any suit) they have the option of splitting. To do this they will move the two cards apart and a bet equal to the original bet must be placed on both hands; the dealer will then deal a second card to each hand and the player plays each hand in turn according to the normal rules. There is no obligation to split your cards. If the dealer is showing an ace in their exposed card players may be given the option to take insurance against the dealer having blackjack. This involves pacing another bet half the size of the original bet and if the dealer does have blackjack the bet wins; if not the bet loses.
Doubling up is a method whereby the player can increase their bet. The initial bet is placed before the deal but if after the deal the player feels they can win they are allowed to double the bet but again there are strict rules. By doubling up the player must “hit” one card but only one hit is allowed. Blackjack gambling does give a player a good chance to win as the player is just as likely to draw good cards as the dealer; the casino benefit is purely in the fact that the player must play before the dealer plays and if the player busts (goes over 21) the dealer wins automatically even if the dealer also goes bust in the same hand. Clearly then it is in the interest of the player not to go bust if possible.
The card showing at the dealer hand is critical in decision making. It will not have escaped you that 4 out of every 13 cards has a value of ten which is approaching 31% and therefore 5 out of every 13 has a value of 9 or over which is over 38%. Using this fact, if the dealer is showing a 9 there is a 38% chance that they will end up with 18 or 19 so you can judge your own hand from that. Blackjack is a good game full of strategy but of course luck as well. Try free blackjack first to get to now the game but we are sure you will enjoy it.