Few individuals would have difficulty in simple arithmetic, and maybe this is the driving force behind this card game. But you might want to learn how to play blackjack before rushing to a betting house or casino. The allure of rushing to a table and ensuring you can beat your dealer with the highest combination seems so simple a task. However easy it might seem, like any other game, probabilities and odds are in place.
A little history behind the Blackjack
A quick flashback to 1601 and “Novellas Ejemplares” written by Miguel de Cervantes depicts a card game analogous to blackjack. While the setting of the book is in Spain, perhaps this is among the first written record on this intriguing game. However, Historians place the 17th century to its genesis. Today blackjack is one of the most popular games to play online and well as in land-based casinos. Let’s take a quick look at how to play the game, followed by some of the best places to play online.
This game involves players playing against a dealer. A win is guaranteed by beating the dealer with the highest valued card combination totaling to 21 on your first two cards. Alternatively having a final score higher than the dealer but not exceeding 21 is a guaranteed win. However in certain circumstances, the dealer and player end up having the same value of cards. This is normally referred to as a “push”. A push does not however, lead to a loss of bet or gain, the status quo remains. Another instance is when a player’s combination of card value goes above 21.This results to an outright loss and is often referred to as a “burst”. During a burst, the bettor loses the bet he had placed. In certain situations, there is lack of a clear winner; in this case any player who has a total card value slightly above the entire table wins the bet.
Cards have specific values. An ace has either 1 or 11 as the value. Kings, queens and, jacks often referred to as “face cards” usually have a value of ten points. The remaining card values are equivalent to their numerical notation in their face.
52 cards are normally the standard accepted playing number of cards. Initially, at the inception of the game, only one set of 52 cards were used, with time however, this changed. It is not uncommon for a dealer to play with more than one set of cards.
The game is normally arranged in such a way that the dealer sits at the front of the players who normally are in a semi-circular arrangement. The dealer issues two cards to each player. Upon the reception of card, the player has to use a hand signal to indicate his options. The options are normally four but certain gambling houses offer a fifth one; “surrender.”
A “stay” or stick is normally an indication by the player unwillingness to take more cards. Otherwise known as stay, stand pat or stand. This is usually signaled by a player waves his hand horizontally in face up games or sliding cards under chips in games where cards are hand held.
At certain times, the player can ask for additional cards, in such games, the player asks for more cards. They usually signal the dealer using table taps or waving hands towards the body. This is usually referred to as a hit.