In 21 blackjack the player bets against the dealer. The goal of the game is to get a higher score than the dealer, trying to reach 21 but not exceeding it. For this reason, blackjack is also called “21”. Whoever exceeds 21 “busts” and loses the game. The bet is made only once at the beginning of each hand to be able to receive the cards, with some exceptions in the case of Insurance or Split, which we will see in detail below. Each participant is initially dealt with only two cards; it will then be up to the player to decide whether to ask for more or to stop. Let’s start by explaining what the value of the cards is.
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The value of the cards
In blackjack they are used from one or 8 standard 52-card decks shuffled together. In this game the suit and the colour of the cards do not matter: only the numerical value is taken into consideration.
- All cards numbered from 2 to 10 retain their value.
- All face cards are worth 10. All Aces are worth either 1 or 11.
A hand consisting of a 10-value card and an Ace is called Blackjack and numerically represents the highest achievable value, that is 21. The value of the Ace is at the player’s discretion: if a hand consists of an Ace and an 8, it is better to consider it an 11 (11 + 8 = 19, a good score), while in a hand consisting of an Ace and 6 it is better to consider it one. (6 + 1 = 7) to be able to ask the house for another card.
How much the winnings are paid out?
In general, winning bets in blackjack are paid 1: 1. This means that by betting £10 in case of winning the player receives £20, of which £10 to cover the bet made and £10 of profit. In the case of winning with a blackjack (ace and king, queen, jack or 10) the bet is paid 3: 2. By betting £10, the player receives £25, of which £15 as a useful win.
If the bank and the player have the same score, even in the case of blackjack, the game ends in a tie and the player is returned the entire amount invested in the bet.
Online blackjack practically follows the same rules seen up to now. A peculiarity to keep in mind concerns the decks used in virtual games: after each game, all the cards are reshuffled into the deck automatically, which is why it is not possible to adopt strategies that require card counting.
Another peculiarity of online blackjack is the variety of tables available: in addition to different games for minimum and maximum stake limits, the number of decks and number of hands, it is sometimes possible to bet on tables that offer some variations compared to the classic rules like those who offer the European style and the Atlantic City style. Interested players are required to check the rules of the game within the casino.