Blackjack

Rules of Blackjack


History of blackjack

The real origin of the game is unknown although some Historians defend that it comes from Spain due to a Cervantes’s reference in the seventeenth century to a card game called “Veintiuno”. Other Historians support that it derives from the Italian game “Siete y Medio” or from the French games of the same century, such as “Chemin Fer” or “French Ferme”.

All of them agree, however, that it started to be played at the French casinos where it was called “Vingt-et-un”. After the French revolution, the game emigrated to America where it started to be played in a clandestine way until it was legitimated in Nevada in 1931 when Las Vegas was born. From that time on, its ascending career started.

Aim of the game

Blackjack (American variation) is a card game that consists of adding up more points with your cards than the dealer without exceeding 21. If a player gets 21 points in the 2 first cards, he/she has a “blackjack”.

Value of the cards

  • The “ace” is worth 1 or 11 points.
  • The “J”, “Q”, “K” are worth 10 points.
  • The other cards, their own value.

How to play blackjack

Each player has several options on his/her turn, whenever he/she does not have a “blackjack”:

  • Hit. The dealer gives one more card to the player. If the cards add up to more than 21 points, the player automatically loses and passes the turn.
  • Stand. The player keeps the cards he/she has and passes the turn to the following player.

Other options:

  • Surrender. The player can surrender before doing any other actions. He/she will recover half of the amount bet.
  • Double down. A player can double the bet if he/she has 9, 10 or 11 points. If it is doubled, the dealer gives one more card to the player and finishes the turn.
  • Split. When the 2 first cards have the same value, it is possible to divide them into 2 independent plays having their own bet.
    • If 2 aces are split, only one card is given to each play and the turn finishes.
    • It is not possible to have a “blackjack” after splitting.
    • It is possible to split only once in this variation.
  • Insurance. When the dealer’s faced up card is an ace, it is possible to bet the dealer has a blackjack. The player must make an additional bet of half of the amount bet before. This play is decided at the moment. If the player gets it right, the dealer will pay 2 to 1; otherwise the insurance is lost and the game keeps its course.

The dealer

When all the players finish their turn, the dealer has his/her turn. He/she is obliged to give himself/herself cards until his/her play adds up to 17 points or more. It is not possible to double down, split, surrender or take insurance.

Each player’s bet is decided at the end depending on whether a player exceeds the dealer or not. If there is a tie, the player recovers the bet made. It is also considered a tie if both the dealer and the player have blackjack.

The bets

  • The winning hand pays 1 to 1.
  • Insurance pays 2 to 1.
  • Blackjack pays 3 to 2.

Play blackjack

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