Blackjack is a hugely entertaining and popular gambling game that has many different variations. The objective for the player however, remains the same: Beat the dealer, but don’t bust the house!
The very last person to play before the dealer.
The first card placed faced down after the dealer has re-shuffled.
When your cards collective total more than 21.
First player to act, closest to the dealer’s left.
In Blackjack, the Ace card can count either as eleven or one. When the value is changed, for example an ace and a nine, the total is known as a “soft twenty”.
The card the dealer plays face down that is only revealed after all players have taken action.
When both the dealer and player have the same card total, they both get their bets back.
A low value card that forces the dealer to hit.
A stiff hand will comprise of a stiff card and have a value between 12 and 16, meaning the dealer has to hit, but will likely bust.
When the dealer’s hand is just too good, surrendering means forfeiting half the wagered bet and not playing any further.
As already mentioned, there are many variations of Blackjack. Some games can be played with more than one deck, and in others the dealers can follow different rules. Payouts between the variations also vary. Some of these variations include:
The most significant differences in the European version of Blackjack are that the game is played with 2 decks, and if the dealer reaches a Blackjack it beats any other 21 value hand at the table. Blackjack payout is 3:2
Often referred to as the early version of Blackjack, Pontoon pays 2:1 on any 5-card hand or a pontoon (same things as Blackjack), even after splitting. There is no dealer upward facing card, and the dealer wins on ties.
In this version players are permitted to play two hands simultaneously against the dealer.
6 to 8 Spanish decks (same as the regular 52 card deck, minus the four tens) are used in Spanish 21. This shifts the odds greatly in the dealer’s favour, but the game is counter-balanced with rules and bonuses to benefit the player.
As the name implies, the dealer plays his cards face-up, so that the players always know what he has. The twist is that the dealer always wins on ties.
See beginner with an additional split on a pair.
See intermediate with Double Down on 9, 10 and 11.
Conventional wisdom amongst novice Blackjack players is that the objective of the game is to get a total as close to 21 as possible. But as you can see from the guidelines above, this is not the case. The player simply has to beat the dealer, and can achieve it with a total of 19, 15, or 12.
Before committing to real money games, we suggest you first practice your new-found Blackjack strategy skills in free play mode.