You’d be surprised if you knew how old this game is — some say it’s older than Christianity itself. To really learn how to play Blackjack, one must become familiar with its roots first. After all, it wasn’t only recently that Blackjack became the most popular casino game.
Although many historians tried to find the exact roots of the game, they weren’t entirely successful. The most grounded belief, for now, is that Blackjack emerged in France, in the 1700s, and it was called “Vingt-et-Un.” Roughly translated, this means 21, which gave apparent clues that this was probably the ancestor of the modern Blackjack.
Moreover, there are some claims that it emerged even before the 18th century, but this time in Spain. The only difference was the name — they called it one-and-thirty. Additionally, your score had to be 31 instead of 21. Unlike the modern Blackjack, where you start with two cards, the Spanish 31 required three cards in your hand. So if you really want to know what Blackjack is, you must go back to its roots.
Naturally, some historians found out that Blackjack possibly even dates back to the times of the Roman Empire. Roman soldiers loved to gamble, and so did the citizens — so this theory is not without foundation. No matter how you put it, it appears that Blackjack is a life-long companion of many civilizations — even ours.
How to Play Blackjack
The reasons so many players love this game so much are aplenty — it’s easy to learn, the rules are simple and straightforward, and the payout percentage is fantastic. In most casinos, the payout for Blackjack is 99%, and this goes for online Blackjack as well.
The goal in Blackjack is to beat the dealer — you’re not playing against other gamblers at the table like in poker. And this is what makes Blackjack so interesting and entertaining — there’s a lot of anticipation in it. But before I explain the rules to this ancient game, it might be wise to get familiar with the value of the cards first.
The cards’ value in Blackjack is very simple, here’s how it goes:
- Numerical cards retain their value (an 8 is worth 8 points, for example)
- The Ace card can be worth 11 or 1 point, depending on what you might need
- Face cards are worth 10 points each (King, Queen, Jack)
It might seem too good to be true, but that’s exactly how simple the cards are. The suits are completely irrelevant and don’t play a role in this game at all.
Back to the Rules
Now that you know the simple science behind the cards, it’s time you learned how the game works. The dealer plays a crucial role at the table; you compete against them after all. Then, the dealer will deal two cards to each player at the table — but one of their cards will be faced up. Croupiers do this so players can have the upper hand and decide what their next step shall be. Even if you play Blackjack online, these rules don’t change, so you can test your luck online as well.
Since your goal is to beat the dealer, you always strive for that perfect 21 score, which is the blackjack. In ideal conditions, you would get a face card and an Ace card in your hand, but unfortunately, this doesn’t happen too often. So your next aim should be to get a higher score than the dealer. In most casinos, the dealer has to stop once they get the score of 17, so you can ask them to “hit” you in order to get anything above that number. This is where that Ace card can help you the most.
In most of the cases, if you get that perfect Blackjack hand, you win, but it can happen that the dealer gets one as well. This does mean you’re quite unlucky though, as it almost never happens. But don’t worry, if you both get 21 points, you won’t win, but you will receive your bet back — so you don’t win, but you don’t lose either.
Also, you can play free online Blackjack too. This will help you practice the game before you start gambling for real money. This means that you can play Blackjack for free until you’re ready to invest some money into your luck. What’s worth knowing is that you can always double your bets as well, given that you’re 100% certain you’ve got the winning hand.
Do Blackjack Strategies Exist?
As a matter of fact, they do! The two most popular ones are card counting and the basic Blackjack strategy. What you should know is that even though these strategies are far from illegal, most casinos reserve the right to ban you because of them.
Card counting can be quite tricky — if you miscalculate only one round, you will probably lose money. Even though most casinos are well aware of the fact a lot of players use this method, they allow it because they know not that many people are good at it. However, if you really are a seasoned master of card games, the managers will know you turned the house edge into your favor. The basic Blackjack strategy, on the other hand, uses a chart that you usually have to memorize. You can use these strategies for online Blackjack too, which is what makes them so perfect. So feel free to incorporate these strategies, by all means, just be prepared for the consequences.
It’s Time to Grow up
And growing up means leaving the slots behind. Blackjack is your perfect entrance to the world of serious gambling. And just like yourself, beginners will also ask you — what is Blackjack exactly, and how do you play it? Being the master of this card game, you won’t have any issues helping them become serious players too. I wish you the best of luck!