BlackJack, How to Play The Game
How to Play the Casino Game of BlackJack
Blackjack is one of the most popular of all casino card games especially given its simple premise and rules of play. Also known as twenty-one or pontoon, Blackjack is a game that relies greatly on luck and intuition for successful play, placing more strategy on betting techniques than the cards themselves unlike more complicated casino card games such as poker.
The object of the game of Blackjack is relatively simple: to get as close to or exactly at a number of cards that total the sum of twenty-one. Numbered cards in the deck are worth the value written on them (2 through 10) with face cards (jack, King, Queen) as 10s and an ace as worth either one or eleven depending on how close the player is to being bust (having a number of cards totaling over 21).
Essentially the player is trying to achieve a perfect 21 or “blackjack” without going over. The dealer lays two cards down for themselves with one hidden and one face up. Each player at a casino Blackjack table then tries to beat the dealer by having a total higher than the house without going over twenty-one. If both the player and the dealer have the exact same total then the hand is referred to as a push and neither wins or loses the bet. After seeing their initial cards the player asks to be “hit” and the dealer provides another card. If low numbers continue this process can go for a few hands, but usually players are only hit once or twice before sticking with a high enough value or achieving a perfect Blackjack. It is possible to land a blackjack right from the flop but this is somewhat rare.
Betting on Blackjack comprises one of the most central parts of the game’s enjoyment. Considering that the values of each player’s cards are a secret a typical game of blackjack can end up resembling a poker endgame with opponents competing by bluffing on their hands. Given that there is little complexity in the basic premise of the game, often the most successful Blackjack players will be those who know when to stay or when to bet high on a perfect (or very high) hand. Players must decide from a series of decisions for the betting of each round picking to either hit, stand (stay at the cards already presented), double down (take another card and double their wager), split (have every card be the first in a new hand after doubling but only available when both cards have equal value), or surrender (giving up and forfeiting the bet). It’s important to note that many casinos no longer allow surrendering as an option.
Despite the relative simplicity of Blackjack when compared to other casino card games it enjoys great popularity, which is in fact probably because of its easy learning curve. Blackjack is a game that many card sharks adore because of the quick pacing and heavy emphasis on intelligent betting necessary to succeed. While in recent years Blackjack has taken something of a backseat to online and Casino Poker it has still proven itself to be an enduring classic in the realm of Casino card games.