Blackjack Overview and Articles

The game blackjack is the most played casino banking game in the world. Banking meaning one or more people wagering against the bank represented by the dealer. The object of blackjack is very simple: to beat the dealer. The basics of blackjack is to achieve a higher total under 21 than the dealer. Each player is dealt two cards from a shoe containing one or more packs of 52 cards. Picture cards, better known as face cards are counted as 10 points, an Ace is either 1 or 11 and the rest of the cards in the deck are counted as their numerical value printed on the card.

Winning a hand of blackjack can be done in 3 ways: by getting 21 with the first two cards (known as blackjack) without the dealer getting blackjack, Forcing the dealer to draw additional cards which makes him/her exceed 21 or have a higher total (under 21) than the dealer .

Blackjack Terminology

Beginner or old time player, you will have noticed that blackjack players seem to hold to an unwritten code through a system of specific terminology and lingo unique to the game. Let us explain.

Blackjack Odds

In blackjack the house maintains the advantage simply because the player makes the first move.

Blackjack Strategy

Understanding the basic concept of blackjack is one thing, however understanding when to hit, stand, double or split will help you lower the house edge and win more hands throughout the shoe. Playing by a simple strategy is only relevant over multiple hands and should help you to to limit your loses and maximise winning hands whilst playing through the shoe.

Basic strategy gives the player good grounding to play any variation of Blackjack found in all London Casinos with some slight changes depending on the game variant. There are more advanced blackjack strategies such as card counting whereby a player attempts to remember which cards have been dealt and then tries to predict which cards are going to be dealt.

Card Counting in Blackjack

Card counting is not illegal at all - it is the one trick in blackjack that shifts the odds to the player. This is the reason that casinos would like you to believe that it is illegal.

Blackjack Insurance and Even Money

Insurance is offered to all players at the blackjack table when the dealer’s up-card is an ace to insure themselves against losing their bet to a dealers' blackjack.

Why Hit on Soft 17?

Soft 17 is one of the blackjack hands that often appears at the top of the most misplayed hands list.

Blackjack Surrender

In Blackjack Surrender is a rule variation that changes from casino to casino and table to table.

Game Variants

The first reference to a game related to blackjack was in 1601, in Don Quixote written by Miguel de Cervantes. The story follows two card sharks, Rinconete and Cortadillo who work their way around Seville cheating at a game called Ventiuna, Spanish for 21.

Later references appear in mainland Europe but when the game 21 was introduced to the United States the various gambling houses were soon to introduce their own variation known today as Blackjack. This came about when payouts based on cards dawn from the deck were awarded to players in the hope that more people would chance their luck.

An example of one of these bets was if a player was lucky enough to be dealt an ace of spades and a black Jack (spades or clubs) they were awarded 10/1. As more and more people became familiar with Blackjack, different variations started appearing of which most can still be found today in Casino around London.

Blackjack Switch

Blackjack switch is a variation of the game 21 that offers just that option to switch the top 2 cards to make two very powerful hands.

Progressive Blackjack

Progressive betting when applied to blackjack is based on basic strategy and includes a variation of the bet amount based on the previous hand.

Spanish 21

Spanish 21 is played with a regular deck of cards with the 10’s removed. Out of 52 cards, 16 cards in a deck have a value of 10, that’s a 30% chance that the next card will be a 10 value card.

Famous Blackjack Players

There have been occasions when casinos have banned players not for cheating but just simply being far to skilled at lowering the house edge using a particular strategy and maximising on their winning hands resulting in the house losing millions. In some cases, players of this calibre have had books written and later movies made about their gambling exploits.

Over time, such players have had a role in the development of the game based on the gambling houses and later casinos changing certain elements of Blackjack to protect the house from such card sharks.

Famous Blackjack Players

The impact that these people have had on blackjack, the rules and how casinos deal with skilled players.

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