• Easy gameplay
  • Available in almost any casino
  • Unlimited playing time
  • Many game variations
  • Few bet varieties

Blackjack or black jack is one of the most fashionable card games in the world. Its immense popularity derives from the easy play, rules, fast gameplay, and simple card counting strategy. Nevertheless, Blackjack wasn’t always so famous and casino houses had even to encourage gamblers with various bonuses and modified rules. Gambling Geeks has covered everything about Blackjack, from the game’s roots to winning strategies in this useful guide.

History of Blackjack

The origin of the Blackjack card game is still controversial as researchers have not yet considered the most probable version. However, most agree that the game originated in gambling clubs in France around the 18th century as a card game called “vingt-et-un” (twenty-one from French). Later, French colonists brought the game to North America. The game used to be called “21” until 1930.

As we have mentioned, casino operators in the United States needed to draw attention to this gambling, so they decided to offer a special bet. If a player’s hand featured one of black jacks (the Jack of Spades or the Jack of Clubs) and the Ace of Spades, it would pay 10:1 odds on the bet. This bet is not relevant today, but the name Blackjack or “black jack” still remains until today. 

Thanks to the Internet and wide use of smartphones, the game has spread from land-based casinos to the World Wide Web and now is available worldwide. Moreover, you can play Blackjack online for free or place real-money bets at the selected online casinos by Gambling Geeks where you can find different variations of this appealing game.

  • Live BlackJack - Game Review by Gambling Geeks

Game Objective

There is a wrong belief that your goal in Blackjack is to simply score as many as possible points but not more than 21. But in sober fact, a player just has to beat the dealer by scoring more points. The game can be played with one, and up to eight card decks, excluding Jokers. 

The more decks are used, the fewer chances to form the black jack hand that consists of an Ace and a dressed card. This is the only card combination in the game that has a name and it is superior to any other cards.

Card Value in Blackjack

In Blackjack, the value of the cards are stable and the main objective is to reach 21 points using the possible least number of cards. The cards have the following value:

  • Number cards 2-10 give the corresponding amount of points
  • Face cards K, Q, J counts 10 points
  • Ace can be 1 or 11 points. More often, Ace gives 11, but if the hand exceeds 21 points, it counts as 1.
Any hand that has Ace called “soft”, while other hands are “hard”.

The Gameplay

Before the game starts, all the players have to make their stakes. Each player, including the dealer, receives 2 cards. Then players are offered to HIT another card to improve his/her hand. Also, there is an option to STAND to continue playing with the сurrent cards. As a rule, the dealer keeps hitting additional cards to reach a hard of 16 points. The dealer stops when reaching 17 points.

Blackjack Variations 

The rules of Blackjack are easy to learn in a few minutes. However, there are several variations of Blackjack that are different by rules and options available. The ShowLion online casino offers several types of Blackjack that you can play online for free or with a live dealer with real money bets.

Table Blackjack

  • American Blackjack
  • Live Casino Blackjack Standard 114
  • Blackjack 3 Hand
  • European Blackjack 
  • Vegas Single Deck Blackjack
  • Spanish 21 Blackjack, and many others.

Live Blackjack

  • Unlimited Blackjack
  • Live Blackjack112
  • VIP Live Blackjack, and more.

Note that live dealer Blackjack applies specific rules and cannot be played in demo mode.

Additional Blackjack Options

The card game of Blackjack has also many favorable options for players in different cases:

  • SPLIT —  is a situation that can happen at the beginning of the game when a player has a hand of 2 of a kind cards. In this case, a player can choose to spit these cards into two different hands and play with them separately. However, it is not allowed to split two Aces but to hit the third card. If the Ace comes again, you can make another split. The number of possible splits varies but usually does not exceed three. 
Tip: Ace and any ten-point card obtained as a result of a split are not considered blackjack and are counted as 21 points (this means that such a hand will lose if the dealer has blackjack).
  • DOUBLE — an option when a player can double the initial stake after receiving the first two cards. But mind, that you can take only one additional card after using the Double option. 
Tip: Use this approach only when your hand is low or the dealer’s hand is close to 21.
  • SURRENDER — this is when you decide to drop your hand before taking the third card. Not all the casinos and online games provide this feature though. 
Tip: If you surrender you gave up half of your initial bet.
  • INSURANCE — if the dealer’s first card is Ace, a player can make a side bet of  ½ of the original wager with odds 2:1 if the dealer forms blackjack hand. Otherwise, it is a tie. 
Tip: Insurance doesn’t always favour the player since there is a high number of 10-value cards still left undealt.

These are four main options that you can find in most land-based and online versions of Blackjack. But depending on the game, you can also find several other offers such as Settlement, Reshuffling, etc. You can discover all the opportunities of the specific game by learning the description. 

Basic Winning Tactics in Blackjack

When playing such an exciting game as Blackjack, you have to understand that the outcome depends not only on luck but on carefully selected strategy. There are multiple tactics used in Blackjack, but we’d like to highlight the most common one that lowers the house edge up to 0.5%.

Most payers follow the simple approach to lower the possibility to bust. For instance, when receiving a hand of 12 points, a player doesn’t want to get a 10-value card which is the most common. That’s why they usually pass the game. This tactic is not very profitable though, because it decreases our winning chance by 4%.

As you can see, the table allows for the possibilities while the house edge is only 0.5% higher than yours. In other words, the chance of your winning is 49.79% versus 50.25% of the casino. These odds are even better than in Roulette. 

Everything is plain and simple. Consider playing Blackjack by this strategy and you will both increase your odds and decrease the likelihood to lose money.

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