Blackjack is the most widely played card game in casinos world wide. Unlike card games such as poker, blackjack is played against the dealer – not against your fellow players.
Blackjack is played with one or several standard (i.e. french) card decks. Each deck contains 52 cards; jokers are not used.
Your aim when playing blackjack is to get a better hand than the dealer. The closer a hand is to 21, the more valuable it is. However, if your hand exceeds 21 it will be removed from the table and you will lose your bet and all chances of winning anything on that hand. Not even if the dealer’s hand also exceeds 21 will you get your bet back.
The exact rules for blackjack vary from casino to casino, so it is important to check the rules before you start betting. We’ve found a great blackjack trainer where you can learn the basic strategy by playing at sverigecasino.com.
Early history of blackjack
Blackjack developed out of a game called twenty-one. In Miguel de Cervantes story “Rinconete y Cortadillo” from the book “Novelas Ejemplares”, we get to meet a couple of card cheaters in Seville who earn money playing ventiuna (the Spanish word for 21). This story was written between 1601 and 1602, so ventiuna has probably been played in Spain since at least the early 1600s. The goal for a ventiuna player was to reach 21 points with out exceeding it, and the ace was worth 1 or 11 points. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
The transformation from 21 to blackjack took place in the United States, where gambling houses begun to offer bonus payouts to make the game more entertaining. One of these bonus payouts was given to any player whose hand consisted of ace of spades + a black jack (i.e. the jack of spades or the jack of clubs). This hand was called a blackjack. In these early days of blackjack, it was not uncommon to get a 1:10 bonus on such a hand. Today, a blackjack normally pays 2:3 (150% of you bet) and most casinos will see any hand consisting of any ace + any ten or face card as a blackjack.
Blackjack is normally a cash game where you can opt to play a single hand and then leave the table if you wish to. There are however quite a few casinos online as well as off line that arrange blackjack tournaments as well.
In brick-and-mortar casinos, a blackjack tournaments usually starts by handing each participant an equal amount of casino chips. They will then play for a certain period of time, or engage in elimination rounds, all depending on the rules for this particular tournament.
In online casinos, players normally don’t start with an equal amount of casino chips. Instead, each of the participants can wager as many or as few casino chips are they wish during the tournament period, and they have to pay for the casino chips themselves. When the tournament is over, the prize is typically awarded to the most profitable player or to the player with the 20 most profitable hands in a row.