Blackjack is a favourite online casino table game. It is a card game in which players compete with the dealer for the hand value that is closest to 21 without going over. The game was derived from Vingt-et-un, a 17th century French game, literally meaning “21” and which awarded a special payout for a hand consisting of a Jack and Ace of Spades – a black Jack. French immigrants took the game to the US after the French Revolution and from there it spread to the rest of the world. It is now played at land-based, online and mobile casinos around the world and there are many variations available.
There are a number of different variations of the game of blackjack, but they mostly follow the same basic rules. The game is played with cards which make up each player’s hand and each card has a value which adds up to create a hand total. The aim of the game is to achieve a hand total that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand without going over (bust). Cards two through ten count as their face value; face cards count as ten and an Ace counts as one or eleven, depending on the total value of the hand.
To begin the game, players must place their bets. Each player will then be dealt two cards face up and the dealer will be dealt one card face up and one card face down. You will then need to play your hand. There are a number of options you have:
- Insurance – Players can place a side bet as insurance against the dealer having blackjack. If the dealer does have blackjack, the insurance bet will pay out.
- Surrender – Not all blackjack games give this option and some only allow it after the dealer has checked for blackjack (late surrender), while some may offer it before the dealer has checked for blackjack (early surrender). This allows the player to surrender his hand at the cost of half his bet.
- Split – On your first two cards, if they are the same, you are able to split your hand into two separate hands with two separate bets.
- Double Down – On your first two cards, you may have the option of doubling your bet and receiving one more card to end your turn.
- Hit – Receive one card.
- Stand – Receive no more cards and end your turn.
There are many different variations of the classic blackjack game and many casinos offer a whole suite of these games for their players to choose from. Some of the more popular variations of the games include:
- European Blackjack – While the players are dealt two cards, the dealer is only dealt one card until the player has finished his turn.
- Blackjack Switch – This game plays with two hands of cards per person and players are able to switch the top cards of the two hands in an attempt to create two improved hands.
- Blackjack Surrender – Players have the option of surrendering their hand.
- Blackjack Perfect Pairs – This includes a classic game of blackjack, along with an optional side bet which pays out for pairs in your first two cards.
- Lucky Blackjack – This game is unique in that you do not actually play the game, but rather bet on the outcome of the dealer’s hand.