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Blackjack: What is It and How to Play

Blackjack: What is It and How to Play


What is blackjack, how is it played and what terms should you know before playing? Find out the answers to these and many other questions in our complete guide to live blackjack.

What is blackjack and what does it consist of?

The first thing we want to tell you is that if you come across the term “blackjack 21” or “twenty one” out there, you should know that they are not referring to different types of blackjack. Both terms refer to the casino game blackjack.

Ok, but what is blackjack and how does it work? This is a very popular casino game around the world where you compete with the dealer. The objective is that you manage to add 21 or a very close value with the cards you have without exceeding this figure. To do this, you will ask the dealer for cards during the development of the game, always being very careful not to go over, because if you do, you lose.

History of blackjack

What if we tell you that the first written reference to blackjack appears in a book by Miguel de Cervantes? Well, that’s right, more specifically in Rinconete and Cortadillo, whose year of writing dates back to between 1601 and 1602, which allows us to deduce that this game was already played before. Of course, this book was not talking about blackjack per se, but about “twenty-one”, the card game in which you had to add 21 without going over and where the ace was worth one or eleven points. The game was also popular in other countries such as France and Italy, although in the latter the rules were a bit different and it was known as the “17 and a half”.

The French took care of taking it to the United States. In some casinos in this country they added an extra to the excitement of the game with a special bet. If a player managed to win with an ace and a J of spades, a card called blackjack, he was paid 10 to 1, a name which, in the end, triumphed over the game of twenty-one.

With what cards is blackjack played online?

If you have already wondered what cards are used in blackjack, let us tell you that, both in the physical version and in the online version, it is played with one or more 52-card English decks without the jokers.

Value of cards in blackjack

Before explaining how to play blackjack, it is important that you know the value of blackjack cards. As you will see below, they are very easy to memorize:

Ace: It can be worth 1 or 11.

Numbers from 2 to 10: They have the same value as the number.

J, Q and K: They have a value of 10.

How to play blackjack online?

That blackjack is so popular is no coincidence. This game fulfills several of the premises that many players look for in games of chance. It’s easy to play, it’s a challenge for the mind and it can be very fun. As you already know, the objective of the game is to add a value very close to 21 with your cards, without going over. So far so good, but how to play blackjack online?

The online version of blackjack is played like the traditional one. As in many other casino games, the first thing you have to do is to place a bet. After that, the dealer will give you two cards. Seeing what your cards add up to, you must decide whether to hit another card, stand, double down, or split. It’s important to  keep in mind that you will win the game in blackjack 21 if you have a value closer to 21 than the dealer, you get 21 or if the dealer exceeds this number, but also that you will lose if it is you who exceeds 21.

And what about the dealer? He will always have one of his cards open, which will help you to get an idea if you are closer to 21 than him or not and he is also the last to play. Another important detail that you must take into account is that the dealer does not have the freedom of decision that you have in the game, since he must follow specific rules, such as the obligation to ask for a card if it does not exceed 16 and to stand if he has over 17 to 21.

Types of blackjack

There are different types of blackjack. Here are some of the ones you should know about:

  • Classic Blackjack: In this case, the dealer starts the game with the card up and you can make an insurance bet.
  • European Blackjack: In this case, the dealer only gives himself the face up card and does not deal the second until his turn to play.
  • American Blackjack: Here, the dealer does deal both cards and if one of them has a value of 10 or is an ace, he can uncover the other one and see if he makes blackjack. If you do, the game is over and only players who also had blackjack can keep the bet. The others lose.
  • Blackjack Multihand: In this option, the players do not compete against each other, but only against the dealer.

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