18 July 2010
Another name for Blackjack is vingt-et-un, French for twenty-one. In this gambling card game, “21” is the magic number. Each player will receive one card facing down, betting that his card plus added cards dealt facing up will defeat the Dealer’s hand without going over a total of 21.
In this card game, an ace is counted as one or eleven. Each face card (King, Queen, Jack) has a value of 10, and all the remaining cards count depending on their face value. A Blackjack is achieved when the first two cards will sum up to 21. A sum going over the number 21 is called a “bust” and the hand will automatically lose. This will remain true even if later on the Dealer also gets a burst.
When all bets are placed, the game is started by the Dealer. One card face up is given to each player including himself. A second deal of card, face up, is given to each player excluding the Dealer’s hand, which should face down this time and must go under the first card. Each player will then decide if they would like to call for “hits” or as for additional cards if they feel like needing it to beat the Dealer’s card. These hits can be made as many times as you want until you are convinced. Another call that can be made is a “stand”, meaning the player waits for the Dealer’s hand to be revealed because he is confident with his/her hand.
When all the players have their hands complete, the Dealer now looks at his hand. If the hand has a total of 16 or less, the Dealer must draw one card. If the hand has a total of 17 or more the Dealer must stand. If his hand exceeds the sum of 21, he bursts and all the players with 21 or less are winners. However, there are times when the player’s hand has the same point total as the Dealer’s, the player will “push” and the bet will be left by the Dealer. Those with the winning bets will be paid with the same amount that they wagered at the start of the game.
A Blackjack is achieved if the first two cards drawn total 21. If you have an Ace coupled with a King, a Queen, a jack, or a 10, you have a Blackjack. A “push” or a standoff happens if both the Dealer and the player have a Blackjack. Unlike other card combinations, a winning Blackjack will be paid 3:2. A Dealer’s two-card total of 21 or a Blackjack beats a Player’s three-card total of 21.
A player may surrender half of his original bet if he doesn’t feel very lucky on that draw. However, this can only be done only after the first two cards were received. Surrender means that the dealer has to take the player’s card alongside with half of his bet.
In Blackjack, there is also an “insurance” policy or bet. An insurance bet can be made after the initial deal if the Dealer’s face up card is an Ace. This time, the player is betting that the Dealer’s face down card is a King, Queen, Jack, or a 10. A player can bet up to 50% of his original bet. Only a Blackjack on the Dealer’s hand pays 2 to 1. In all other point totals, the insurance bet loses.
There are times when a pair appears on the first cards handed down, the player may decide to split the cards into two hands. This means that the second hand must have an equal bet with the first and it can only be played only after the first hand is completed.
There are other rules in Blackjack to be explored. Possibilities are a thousand and one and a sound logic is really needed to win in this game.