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Black Jack - Information and Tips

Monday, 12 November 2022 10:15






The history of Blackjack dates back to at least the 17th century. The first written reference to “21”, Blackjack’s precursor, can be found in one of Miguel de Cervantes short stories written between 1601 and 1602. Others credit the origins of Blackjack to French casinos around 1700 and the game called “Vingt-et-Un” (“twenty-one”). The official name of Blackjack comes from having the black of spades for the ace and the jack. The purpose of the game is to reach 21 points without going over. Blackjack came to the United States after the French Revolution. At that time the France government introduced a few laws against gambling while in the US this was a new game and such restrictions weren’t known. It was a perfect time for gamblers since they had the opportunity to discover tips on how to play and make a lot of money. Unfortunately, in the 19th century games like Blackjack became illegal in the United States. Individuals who loved to play that kind of games had to avoid the police and meet in secret places to gamble. However, in 1931 in Las Vegas gambling was legalized. This was a great moment to develop some strategies for winning. Some gamblers like Roger Baldwin, Edward Thorp, Julian Braun, Lawrence Revere and Ken Uston published their theories about effective gambling to the public. Because players started using card counting techniques and computer chips the casinos technology which is able to recognize cheaters. Nowadays, Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in the world and its lovers don’t need to go to casino to gamble, as it is easily available online.


Blackjack rules


Blackjack is a casino game which is played with from one to eight decks. The purpose of Blackjack is to get 21 points or the value as close to 21 as possible without going over. Each card has a different value. Cards from two to nine have a value equal to the one shown on the card. Tens, kings, queens, and jacks equal ten points. The ace can be counted as one or eleven, depending on what will be better for the player in a given card combination. In Blackjack players compete against the dealer. To start the game, players must place a stake on the table using special chips. Then they and the dealer are dealt two cards. Only one of dealers’ cards is uncovered. After that the player has to decide on their next step.


Card values in Blackjack


cards2-9= depends on the face value of the card (e.g. two = 2 points)


cardst = all of these are worth 10


cardsa = 1 or 11


Sample hands


card10cardsa = Typical Blackjack (2 cards worth 21)


card6cardsa = Soft Hand 7/17 (Soft 17)


card6cardsacard10 = with 10 Soft Hand becomes a Hard Hand (Hard 17)


Blackjack chips


Below are the official chip colors and their values used in most casinos:


chippeach - peach chip = $0.25 chipblue  - blue chip = $10  chippurple - purple chip = $500


chipwhite - white chip = $0.50 - $1  chipyellow - yellow chip = $20  chiporange - orange chip = $1,000


chippink - pink chip = $2.50  chipgreen - green chip = $25  chipgrey - grey chip = $5,000


chipred - red chip = $5  chipblack - black chip = $100


The following moves are available to the player:


Stand – the player decides not to take any more cards;


If you want to signal the dealer wave your hand horizontally: 

Hit – the player decides to take another card from the dealer;


If you want to signal the dealer scrape your cards against the table: 


Double down – allows the player to double their bet after receiving the first two cards. After doubling down you can receive only one more card. Some casinos allow players to double after splitting;


To indicate that you want to double down, place additional chips next to the original bet and point with one finger: 


Split – when player’s first two cards have the same value they can split their hand into two separate hands and then play them independently by moving a second bet equal to the first into an area outside the betting area of the primary bet. The two hands are then played in turn;


If you want to split, place additional chips next to the original bet and make a V signal with your fingers: 


Surrender – the player can decide to surrender, at which point the house takes half of his bet and returns the other half to the player. Depending on the rules, surrender is not possible before a dealer check for blackjack.


There is no hand signal to surrender, you have to announce it verbally.


If the player has more than 21 points after getting additional cards, the player automatically busts and the dealer wins. However, if the player has 21 points or less then the dealer has to reveal the covered card and depending on his points he has to take more cards. Depending on house rules, the dealer must hit or stand on soft 17.


Blackjack variations


Blackjack has many more variations than other gambling games. The rules of the game can differ depending on the country or even the city. There are differences in the number of decks used in blackjack. There are also different rules as to when the player is allowed to double or split, or whether the dealer has to hit on a soft 17. Online casinos offer a lot more variation in this respect because of their innovative software. Before starting the game, players should check the information about the blackjack variation and its rules. Some of the variations include:


1) different number of decks - generally, fewer number of decks is better for the player;


2) dealer allowed to hit soft 17 - disadvantageous for the player;


3) double down allowed after splitting - used wisely presents an advantage for the player;


4) re-splitting of Aces allowed - gives player clear advantage;


5) no dealer hole card - to players disadvantage, the dealer doesn't deal a second hand for himself until players have played, which means they can lose the splits and doubles.


Blackjack variation rule affecting house edges


The house edge in blackjack is one of the lowest in comparison to other casino games. Casinos online provide a huge number of variations of blackjack. The players have to remember that blackjack rules can differ in every country, city or casino, as well as each game variation has different rules. Before starting the game, players should read the rules for the specific variation. They ought to focus their attention on how these rules increase or decrease the house edge. One of the most important differences between blackjack games is the number of decks used. Playing with eight decks instead of one can increase the house edge by 0.6%. Because of that most variants of blackjack use a larger number of decks. Another important rule is whether the dealer should stand or hit on a soft 17. The house edge will increase by 0.2% if the dealer decides to hit on a soft 17. There are also restrictions determining when a player can split his hand. If the player is allowed to split his hand only once the house edge increases by about 0.05%. Sometimes in blackjack the player cannot split aces. This situation causes the increase of house edge by about 0.06%. In some games players are not allowed to double if they split their hand. This limitation raises the house edge by about 0.15%.


Blackjack glossary


Anchor - This is the seat to the dealer's right, it will normally be the last seat taken. In other words if there are five chairs at the table and four are filled, the last chair on the right with a player is the anchor.


Banker - This is the person in charge of the betting and money. They collect the winnings and losses.


Bankroll - The bankroll is the amount you are gambling with at the table.


Basic Strategy - A strategy that you use to increase your advantage.


Blackjack - This is the name of the game as well as the objective. You need two cards offering a total of 21 to get the natural Blackjack.


Burn Cards - These are cards that are removed from the deck as the play continues; they are discarded.


Break - When you exceed the hand value of 21.


Bust - Another term for break.


Camouflage - In the case of gambling it is something you do to hide your activities from the casino. You may have disguises, act drunk or you may just mix up your behavior.


Card Counting - When you count cards you try to remember what cards have been played and discarded, to help you figure out the probability of the next card.


Card Sharp - This is an individual who is very handy with cards.


Cut - A method for splitting the deck and placing the cards back together.


Cut Card – A card used to cut the cards after a shuffle.


Deal - Handing out cards to those at the table in the appropriate manner.


Discard Tray - The place where discarded and played cards will be laid.


Double Down - To double down means you are going to place a second bet on the table based on the cards you have in your hand. After you double down you can receive only one more card. Only do this when you feel confident you can win the hand. You must be very good at this game and understand your options. The rules for doubling down will vary.


Draw - When you obtain another card, in Blackjack this is usually referred to as a hit.


Early Surrender - In Blackjack you may surrender your bet before the dealer checks for Blackjack.


Even Money - In Blackjack you can decide to take your pay if you are dealt a natural blackjack and the dealer is showing an ace. This means the dealer doesn't look at their cards and you get 1:1 ratio on the payout.


Face Cards - In a deck of cards you have 4 jacks, 4 queens, and 4 kings- these are considered the face cards.


Face Down Game - In this game one card is dealt face up and the next card is dealt face down, leaving some surprise as to your hand.


Face Up Game - In this game the cards will always be dealt face up.


First Base - First base is the first seat an individual sits in on the dealers left. You would be the first person to get a card.


Hard Hand - This is referred to as Hard Total as well. It is a hand without an ace, or an ace which can only receive the value of one.


Heads Up or Heads On - In this case you only have a dealer and one player at the table playing Blackjack.


Hit - This is when you take another card to help you towards the objective of 21.


Hole Card - The face down card the dealer gets is the hole card. In Poker such as stud or Texas Hold' em it is the card dealt face down to each player.


Insurance - Insurance on your bet is made if the dealer has an ace card face up. It is a secondary bet to the overall game in which you bet whether the dealer has a natural 21. You can win double if the dealer has a natural blackjack, but will lose if he does not.


Late Surrender - This is an option available in some games, only when the dealer doesn't have blackjack.


Natural - For Blackjack you need to have 21 total points. With a natural hand you are dealt 21 in two cards on the initial deal. For baccarat this is considered to be an 8 or 9 total.


Pat - This is an unbusted hand with at least 17 points. For poker it means you don't need any more cards.


Perfect Pairs - With blackjack it is possible to get dealt a pair, and you can place a side bet on this pair. You must decide if you are betting on the pair after the initial deal is over. In Blackjack, you can have a mixed pair, colored pair, or a perfect pair.


Plug - This refers to action with the decks. In blackjack you have a shoe full of cards. When the discarded cards are shuffled and placed back in the shoe there is a cut card that marks the place for where the cards are re-inserted. This tells where the deck needs to be reshuffled in some cases. When cards are added back into the deck other cards are removed. Play will stop when the cut card is reached so that reshuffling can occur. The inserted cards are called the 'Plug.'


Point Count - The net value of the card count at the end of the hand.


Preferential Shuffling - This happens when the cards remaining in the deck or shoe are favorable to the players.


Push - This is a tie, both the dealer and the player have the same total points. The player does not lose their bet or gain any winnings.


Running Count – The count you take from the start of the deck or shoe. At the end of each hand you update the running count by the point count.


Shiner - A device used to cheat by trying to see what the dealer's hole card is, often a mirror of sorts.


Shoe - This is a box used to hold the deck for dealing.


Shuffle - When the cards are mixed in a random fashion by the dealer.


Shuffle Up - this is when the dealer will shuffle before it is needed to stop any card counting.


Soft Hand - The ace will be counted as 11 in this hand, but can change to one if you need a hit.


Split Hand - When you have a pair you can split the cards to have two hands. A new wager or ante bet must be placed on the second hand to be played.


Spooking - This is considered cheating and is illegal. A person standing behind the dealer watches the game to peek at the dealer hole card and relays the information to the player.


Standing Hand - It is commonly referred to as stand, where you will hold on 17 and higher. You will not take another card.


Stand-off - Another word for push and tie, see also (Push).


Stand or Stay - You will not take another card.


Steaming - This defines a player's attitude after a streak of losing. Usually they are angry; it is also a term like 'going on tilt' for poker. You may be more off your game in an angered manner and take more risks.


Stiff Hand - In this type of hand you don't have much of a winning option. In other words you don't have enough to win, but you could bust if you take a hit. Usually this is 12 through 16 points for a hand.


Surrender - In this case you fold, but will get half your bet back. Tell Play - This term is based on the act of observing your opponent to see what they may have in their hand. In blackjack it means observing the dealer. Third Base - Another word for Anchor.


Tie - See Push or Standoff.


True Count - When counting cards this term applies to the adjusted amount of cards left in the deck that have yet to be played.


Upcard - This is the dealer's first card, dealt face up, so that players can see the options and whether they want to continue to play.


Last modified on Monday, 12 November 2022 10:38

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