Understanding Blackjack: Concepts, Gameplay, and Mechanics
Blackjack or 21 is perhaps the most compelling form of gambling to date. It has very simple mechanics that are easy-to-follow yet could be very tricky and complicated if not formally grapsed. Based on its name alone, one can infer that the game revolves around the idea that one should get a hand that is worth 21 or somewhere close to the said value. Having cards that are way to far from the standard value will ultimately lead to a loss. With this kind of mechanics, players could not help but get hooked up with the fast pacing and thrilling gameplay. For beginners however, it is important that they fully understand what blackjack is all about before even landing on their first gaming bet.
Most casinos have special Blackjack Bonuses!
Where to Play
You can play Blackjack on your PC, Tablet or Smartphone!
Blackjack can be found in many different variations!
Humble Beginnings: The History of Blackjack
While many would claim that it was Edward O Thorp who established this famous gambling diversion, credible texts and ancient documents prove that the game was already in existence centuries before Thorp wrote ‘Beat the Dealer,’ the alleged source of the game. Moreover, historians and modern-day professionals point out that Thorp’s creation was nothing but a refined textbook on blackjack that presents the most comprehensive details of its rules, instructions, mechanics, and betting system. Therefore, it is not surprising that this book has become the standard when it comes to playing blackjack. Consequently, this paved the way to the inevitable success of blackjack both as a gambling form and as a favourite pastime. However, the game is gaining a controversial reputation lately because statisticians and mathematicians opine that they already have devised a way to conquer the game. Despite this inadequacies and frivolous speculations about the game’s mechanics, blackjack continues to win the hearts of many.
Perhaps unknown to many beginners in the game, blackjack actually has two major classifications based on the shuffling mechanism of the cards as well as the manner of how they are stacked. Generally speaking, the number of decks used in a round or two may vary; many casinos utilize at least two decks while others go for at least six or eight decks to cater to larger number of players. This does not affect the classification of blackjack. There are two types of blackjack: manual and shoe game. The manual type – like what its name says – is where a dealer manually shuffles all the decks of cards. Moreover, the cards are laid down face-down for private viewing of each player. On the other hand, shoe game makes use of a shuffling device referred to as ‘shoe.’ Then, the cards are placed face-up for public viewing plus players are not allowed to touch them anymore.
Gaming Mechanics – Playing with the Cards
The game itself may be played by many people; however, it’s a duel between two parties only: the house which is represented by the dealer and the players, themselves. Every player has equal opportunity of winning since each should focus solely on beating the hands of the dealer. To do this, je should at least get a pair of cards having a value worth 21 or somewhere close to it, but not merely above it. Exceeding the standard value will automatically lead to a loss. When this happens, the player is referred to as having a bust regardless of whether the house also has a bust or not. Therefore, the key to winning a round or two is by going for cards that are lower or equal to the standard value.
- Value System
Despite having certain complexities in terms of its classifications and whatnot, blackjack is governed by a standard set of values.
- cards from 2 to 10 have the same value like what their figures say
- face cards are considered to have the value of ten only regardless of their rank
- if in case, the player does not have any ace in his hands, then he is considered to have a ‘hard hand’ and the value of his cards will be taken as is.
- On the other hand, if the player has an ace, he has a ‘soft hand’ and his total value will depend on the value of the number cards plus the value of the ace, which could either be 1 or 11. An ace card will be taken as 11 if it will total to 21. Players who have this hand will most likely win the round. However, the said card will be taken as 1 if the hand will not total to a value of 21. Contrariwise, if the player pushes to take the ace card as 11 although the total value will exceed 21, his has a bust in his hands and he will lose the round.
- Wagering Modes and Other Options
- When the dealer has an ace for his showing card in a certain round, players are given the option to wager an insurance. This refers to the capacity of the player to side bet half of his bet, considering the strong chance of the house to have a 21. If indeed the dealer has a 21 value, the insurance bet will ensure players with a 2-1 odss payout. On the contrary, if the dealer does not have a 21, the player loses his insurance.
- Players are also provided with the option to surrender prior to revealing his hand. Automatically, the player will lose half of his bet to the house. In addition, there is also the option of early surrender. In this case, the player surrenders his hand before the dealer even views his cards. There is also the option of late surrender wherein the player only announces his surrender after the dealer has seen his cards. If it’s a 21, the surrender is withdrawn and the player loses the round.
- Even money is a betting option that allows players to cash out a 1:1 ratio of his bet due to his hunch that the dealer has a 21 after finding out that the latter’s showing card is an ace
- Split hand is an option where the player divides his two cards and bets on them separately. This is done when a player has received two identical cards and this option enables players to win two separate winnings for a single round.
- Double down is an option where players can double his wager on his cards, believing that he is to win despite only seeing his first card. This also increases the chances of winning more in a certain round.