The main objective of blackjack is for one to accumulate cards that can be totalled to a number of points that is either 21 or any value close to it. Any excess to the value of 21is automatically perceived as a loss. While the game is much-coveted for its tricky yet-easy-win mechanism, it is also famous for the unique tag phrase its common patrons announce or shout for every promising round: “winner, winner – chicken dinner!” Having said all these, blackjack is truly a game of suspense, thrill, and fun with nothing short of class and quality bets.
Blackjack is, by far, the most controversial game. Who can ever forget the famous movie “21″ that featured the game in a very unique manner as Statistics prodigies try to beat its system by counting the numbers to win loads and loads of chips of money? Blackjack or more commonly known as Twenty-One ignited the casino revolution upon the release of Edward O Thorp’s book ‘Beat the Dealer’. The book, which was released in 1963, contained the detailed objectives and instructions of the casino game’s gameplay. From then on, casino patrons and aspiring gamblers began to crave more of this unique, easy-to-play, but classy and upscale game.
The setup of baccarat is simple. The croupier is standing halfway down the table, where he can be conspicuously seen by both the players and the dealers. On this spot, he is expected to make call on hands and or direct players on the gaming procedure. On the other hand, the two dealers stay behind the area where the chip rack stays. They primarily serve as the people who will pay or take the bets of the players depending on the results as verified by the croupier. The 14 gamblers are evenly distributed on both ends.
The Two Types of Blackjack
The number of decks used in blackjack may vary from one, two, four, six, and eight. Other casinos utilize automatic shuffling machines for fast and convenient shuffling. The two basic types of blackjack is the manual or hand held and the other regarded as the shoe game. The difference lies on how the cards are shuffled and stacked. In the manual type, the cards are shuffled manually by the dealer and are placed face down with the player allowed to pick up the cards to be privately seen. On the other hand, the shoe game requires a contraption that is generally referred to as the shoe; this shuffles the cards. The cards are then placed face up with the player not allowed to touch them whatsoever. Amidst the given differences, the game play for the two remains quite similar if not the same.
In blackjack, the players are not pitted against each other; rather each of them tries, as much as possible to beat the house, or simply, the dealer. To win, one must have cards that total to a point that is higher than the dealer’s cards without exceeding the maximum number of points: 21. Again, one must be wary not to get caught up in the idea of beating the dealer or getting higher points than the other. If one goes over 21 with the intent of simply beating the house, he is said to “bust.” When this happens, one automatically loses on the said round whether or not the house busts as well. On the other hand, if the house busts, the player automatically wins.
The Values of the Cards
2-10 cards are counted based on their numeric face value, regardless of their suit. Face cards are counted as 10 each.
Aces are valued as either one or eleven depending on the situation.
When the player or the house does not have an ace in his hand, he is referred to as a hard hand, which means he gets only the values of what his cards have, literally. On the other hand, when one has an ace in his hand, he is referred to as a soft hand, which signifies that his total points will be determined based on the changing value of the ace. For example when one receives three cards wherein if all three were totalled -with the ace counted as eleven – to 21, the value of the ace shall be eleven and not one. Thus, the player, by default, wins the round. On the other hand, when the total goes higher than 21 if the ace is counted as eleven, the player will simply be spared from the “bust” by taking the ace as a hard hand 1.
Other Bet Options
Even Money – this option is best exemplified when the player cashes out his bet at a 1:1 ratio of pay-out after observing that the dealer has an ace for a showing card and a natural blackjack on the very least.
Split Hand – when the player splits his first two-card hand and plays or bets on them separately, it is called a split hand. However, this is only allowed if both cards are having the same value.
Double Down – this is done when the player becomes complacent enough after receiving the initial two-card deal. He is allowed to double his bet.
Insurance – This bet is only allowed when the dealer has an ace for his showing card. The player gets the option to side bet at least half the initial wager thinking of the possibility that the house has a blackjack or a 21 as point value. If the dealer has a blackjack, the insurance will pay at 2-1 odds. On the other hand, if the house doesn’t have a 21, the player loses.
Surrender – this is observed when the player gives up his bet and only loses half of what he has wagered.
Early Surrender – the player is allowed to surrender his hand before the house checks its cards for blackjack.
Late Surrender – in this instance, the dealer will first check his cards for a blackjack. If he doesn’t have one, a surrender form the player will be allowed, if he has one, the player will automatically lose since surrender will not be permitted.