The Game of Twenty One
Blackjack, also referred to as Twenty One, is one of the most popular card games, and certainly one of the most popular casino card games, played today. It is often said that blackjack requires more skill than other casino games, and this is primarily because more decisions that may affect the outcome of the game are up to the player.
The game is popular both in land-based and online casinos and while a certain amount of skill is required for any play, it is relatively open in terms of betting. Players can choose to access free games online, they can play with minimal bets, both online and in actual casinos, and they can bet high amounts, though these bets are usually reserved for actual casinos.
The Objective of the Game
Blackjack, as said, is a card game, and the objective of the game is to achieve a hand value that is closest to twenty one, without going over that figure. The game is always only played against the dealer, no matter how many other players may be at the table. Since the other players are virtually insignificant, this allows small and high bets to be played at the same table. Every one is playing their own game.
In blackjack, the only thing of importance is the value of the cards. The suit is irrelevant. Cards are generally taken at face value, though all the face cards are valued at ten. The ace can hold a value of either one or eleven, which is at the player’s discretion. Because of the ace’s ability to be one or the other, it can have an enormous effect on the outcome of the game.
The Rules of the Game
Blackjack follows very strict rules, even though the player does get to make quite a few decisions.
After bets have been placed, two cards are dealt to each player and to the dealer. The dealer’s cards are placed one facing up and one facing down, giving the players a possible indication of what they’re competing against. The players’ cards are laid out either facing down, facing up, or one facing down and the other up, depending on the casino house rules. The total value of all the cards in a player’s hand determines the final score.
After the first two cards have been dealt, the players can decide various things. They must decide if they want a hit, that is, if they want to take another card, in the hopes of achieving a twenty one. They can also decide to stand, which means that they won’t be taking another card. Before they decide to take a hit, they can double the bet and only take one more card facing up, which is termed doubling down. If the player has received a pair, they may be split into two hands and played separately, which is referred to as splitting pairs. If the dealer’s card that was previously shown as facing up is an ace, the player can also decide to take insurance in case the dealer has a blackjack. This is generally calculated as 50% of the original bet.
If the player’s first two cards equal twenty one, this is referred to as achieving blackjack, and the player wins. If the player ties with a dealer, the hand is simply ended and any bets returned. If play continues after the first two cards, whoever has the hand value closest to twenty one will win.
Blackjack remains a firm favourite with players in New Zealand and across the globe and the fact that a player can influence its outcome using skill and strategy makes it all the more appealing.