Blackjack was first played in French casinos in the 17th century. At that time the game was called Vingt-et-Un, which translates from French to 21. Although, some people believe that the game dates as far back as the Roman era and it was played with numbered slabs of wood instead of cards.
Whatever its origins, the game took off in North America in the early 18th Century. Soon, it was seen in gambling houses across the continent. The game was still called 21 until the mid 20th century.
At this point, casinos were trying to think of a way to advertise the game to new customers. They settled on paying out a bonus pot if the Ace of Spades was dealt with either of the Black Jacks (the jack of clubs or the jack of spades). The name stuck.
Blackjack isn’t just played in physical casinos anymore. You can play blackjack online too.
In this article, we are going to talk you through everything you need to know to start playing Blackjack.
Blackjack – the cards, the rules, and tips
The aim of Blackjack is to get as close a score as you can to 21. You are playing against the dealer and others at the table. If you go over 21 you automatically lose your money – this is called going bust.
Before we dive into the rules of Blackjack you will need to know the value of each of the cards in the game.
Some casinos have different rules on the value of aces – some consider it worth 1 point, some consider it worth 11, and most allow it to both.
Ace – 1 and/or 11 points
2 (any suit) – 2 points
3 (any suit) – 3 points
4 (any suit) – 4 points
5 (any suit) – 5 points
6 (any suit) – 6 points
7 (any suit) – 7 points
8 (any suit) – 8 points
9 (any suit) – 9 points
10 (any suit) – 10 points
Jacks, Queens, Kings (any suit) – 10 points each
As we mentioned, Blackjack used to be known as 21. This is because the aim of the game is to score 21 points – no more, no less.
The person you get the closest (below only) to 21 wins the round. All the players are playing against the dealer. You get a payout if you beat the dealer.
The game begins with the dealer giving everybody, including themself, two cards. The players are given time to look at their cards before being asked if they want to take another card or stick.
The player has to decide if their score is good enough to stick – if it should be a number in the high teens, a 20 or a 21. If they want to fold because they have a bad hand. Or if they want to take another card and try to get their score closer to 21.
It is impossible to score above 21 with two cards.
If they want another card they will tell the dealer to ‘hit’ them and they will be given a third card. The more times the player takes a new card, the more likely they are to go over 21.
If the player or the dealer goes over 21 points then they are considered a bust. If they go bust they are out for the rest of the round and the player will forfeit their money. If all the players go bust then the dealer wins. If the dealer goes bust then the player will win unless they also go bust during that round.
The player will win if they get 21 exactly or they get closer to 21 than the dealer does.
The player will get a bonus payment if they play the Ace of Spades with either of the black Jacks.
Here are 3 tips that will improve your chances of winning a round of Blackjack:
1 – Only play Blackjack when you are sober, drinking affects your ability to think critically which is essential when playing Blackjack.
2 – Set yourself a budget for the evening and spread it out evenly across games. Don’t go in too heavily in your early games or you may run out of money very quickly.
3 – Never use the Martingale Betting System. This system suggests that if you lose a bet, you bet double the money next time. Then when you eventually win you theoretically will get all your money back. It has been proven multiple times that this doesn’t work in the gambler’s favor.