Blackjack remains the game that people want to play

Merge Gaming Side Games - BlackjackAs you would expect from a game which is built around such a simple concept, the exact origins of blackjack is unclear. The first recorded reference to a game of “twenty-one” appears in a book which was written by Miguel de Cervantes. This Spanish author is best known for writing Don Quixote and was a keen gambler in his spare time. The book ‘Novelas Ejemplares’ features two characters from Seville who are known cheaters with a talent for cheating at the game of Ventiuna, which is Spanish for 21. The rules of the game are outlines as aiming to reach 21 points without going bust and that the Ace can be either 1 or 11. This is pretty much the rough outline of what is known as blackjack today, which is quite a journey since the short story is said to date back to 1601 or 1602. It is therefore likely that the game was being played before then but even if it does hail back to this time, which is quite a history.

Blackjack has a strong and noble history

The modern name of blackjack was bestowed upon the game when it was introduced to America. To stimulate interest in the game, bonus pay-outs were offered to players depending on certain hands being the winning hand. A 10 to 1 bonus pay-out was awarded if the winning hand consisted of the Ace of Spades and a black jack card. This winning hand was naturally christened the blackjack and because this was a rather lucrative bonus, it became synonymous with the game. Even after the bonus payment for this hand was withdrawn, the name stuck and is the common term for the game in the modern era. No matter what you call it, this game has such a simple set-up that it can be played and enjoyed by players of all ages and skill groups.

However, like all of the best games, just because blackjack is easy to master does not mean that it is easy to win. There are many different strategies that some people will say will win a game of blackjack but it is clear that there is not one single way to guarantee being a winner. The unpredictable nature of the cards ensures that there will always be an element of luck to the game which means that every player has a chance of winning. In the long run, experienced players who know when it is best to stick or twist will win more than they lose but each game is an independent outcome which could go either way.

Rules of blackjack are not difficult to understand

Even though rules of online blackjack for home play can be easily adapted when it comes to casino play, there is a great deal of uniformity.  The main point of the game is to achieve a higher score than the dealer holds but without exceeding (busting/breaking) 21. A player will be dealt two cards and then they will have a number of options to choose from when it is their turn. They can:

  • Hit (take a card)
  • Stand (end their turn and play with what they hold)
  • Double (double the wager, take a single card and then finish)
  • Split (If their two cards hold the same value, split them up to make two hands)
  • Surrender (Give away a half-bet and retire from the game)

Number cards represent the expected value while all of the face cards (Jack, Queen and King) count for 10. The Ace card can either count as 1 or 11, whatever suits the player best. If the players hand exceeds 21, they are bust and all of their bets are forfeited. The dealer’s hand plays out until a score of 21 is breached or a value of 17 or higher (but not over 21) is obtained. If the dealer busts, players still in the game wins. If the dealer remains in play, any hand that is higher than the dealers wins and any hand that is lower than the dealers losers. In the event of a tie, bets are normally refunded but in the case of a blackjack hand, the blackjack bet will always win over any other score of 21.

Getting lucky with a blackjack sidebet

In order to add extra interest points on the game, some casinos will provide a number of side bets for blackjack. Some examples of these side bets include:

  • Lucky Lucky – The players hand and dealers card sum to 19, 20 or 21
  • Perfect Pairs – The initial hand of the player is a pair
  • Royal Match – The initial hand is suited, connected and suited or a suited K-Q combination
  • 21+3 – The player’s initial hand and the dealer’s card equates to a flush, a straight or a 3 of a kind poker hand
  • Lucky Ladies – The initial hand of the player amounts to 20
  • In Bet – The upcard of the dealer falls in between the value of the two cards held by the player
  • Bust It – The first card that is drawn to the dealer will lead to a dealer bust
  • Match The Dealer – If either of the two cards dealt to the player is the same as the card of the dealer

These side bets are introduced in an attempt to keep the game of blackjack interesting and exciting but in reality, the game is pretty good as it is without any tinkering or tampering. The history of blackjack indicates that it has lasted for centuries without much alteration and the future seems equally bright for the game.

The emergence of online gaming has helped to breathe new life into the game of blackjack and allow new players to experience the game. Playing card games has always been a social way to interact with others but for one reason or another, not everyone is able to play card games with friends, colleagues or family members. The emergence of online gaming has enabled anyone with internet access to get involved with blackjack. Whether it is playing by themselves or against others in a blackjack tournament, there is no doubt that the popularity of blackjack is higher today than it has been at any point in its friendly.