Blackjack is a popular variant of poker which belongs to the family of card games. It is popularly known as “twenty-one” & is widely played all over the world. It is a sort of comparison game in which players compete against the dealer & not against each other.
Blackjack is considered as a successor of a game with unknown origin namely “twenty one”. One of the most interesting theories states that when twenty-one reached US, many poker rooms offered special bonus payouts to encourage people & keep their interest. One such bonus was a ten to one payout if the player’s hand includes ace of spades & a black jack (either of clubs or spades). This hand was called a “blackjack” and from then onwards the name got stuck to the game & became popular.
How to Play –
- Blackjack can be played with one or more standard decks of 52 cards. The objective of the game is to reach 21 points or to reach a score higher than the dealer without exceeding 21.
- All players are initially dealt with two cards in hand and have to add the total of their cards.
- After the dealing of cards, each player has following options with their corresponding hand signals – “hit,” “stand,”, “double down,” or “split” & “surrender”.
- Hit – Take another card from the dealer. Signal – (handheld) Scrape cards against table. (Face up) either tap the table or wave hand toward body.
- Stand – do not take any more cards. It is also known as “stand pat”, “stick”, or “stay”. Signal – (handheld) Slide cards under chips. (Face up) Wave hand horizontally.
- Double down – A player is allowed to increase the initial bet by up to 100% in exchange for a commitment to stand even after receiving exactly one more card. Moreover, additional bet can be placed in next to the original bet. Signal – Place additional chips beside the original bet & point with one finger.
- Split – If the first two cards have the same value, the player can split them into two hands, by moving a second bet equal to the first into an area outside the betting box of the original bet. Signal – Place additional chips next to the original bet outside the betting box. Point with two fingers spread into a V formation.
- Surrender – When a player surrenders, about half of the player’s bet is taken in the pot and the other half money is returned to the player. The request for surrender can be made verbally, there is no standard signal.
- For a particular round, any one of the players or the dealer who will be having a score of 21 or the highest score but less than 21 will be declared as the winner. Scoring higher than 21 is termed as “busting” or “going bust” which results in a loss.
- A player may win by having any final score equal to or less than 21 if the dealer busts. If the player and dealer have earned equal points, it is termed as “push”.