The Story of Blackjack

Blackjack appears to have originated in the early 18th century among the casinos of France. It was first known simply as vingt-et-un, the French translation for twenty-one, and both the rules and the odds were somewhat different from those of its modern derivative. In England, a game known as Pontoon remains popular and closely parallels the modern Blackjack game.

Blackjack has grown steadily since its inception and is generally recognized as the world’s most popular casino game today. This popularity is evident not only at land-based casinos but among the internet gambling community also. Upon its first appearance in the US, “twenty-one” was received somewhat indifferently.

To promote greater interest casinos became highly, notably in offering increasingly attractive odds. It was one of these specially conceived bonuses that eventually resulted in the renaming of vingt-et-un to Blackjack. One casino offered players odds of 10 to 1 for a hand made up of the ace of spades and a blackjack. Although these generous odds are no longer offered, the name has persisted.

The object of Blackjack is a simple one. Despite this, many millions of words of advice on winning strategies have been published over the years. Individual players pit their skills against those of a dealer in an attempt to assemble a hand that exceeds that of the dealer in value whilst not exceeding a total of twenty-one. In the event of the latter occurrence, the player’s hand is described as a “bust” and his or her stake accrues to the house.

There are a number of common variations of Blackjack but in its simplest form; the dealer deals two cards to each player ending with himself. The Player’s cards are dealt facedown while the second of the dealer’s cards are dealt face-up affording a clue to players as to the score they may have to beat.

This advantage is countered by that of the dealer whose hand always takes precedence in any tie situation and even when “bust” the dealer wins over other players who “bust”. Play continues as each player inspects his or her hand and draws further cards in an attempt to make twenty-one or close to it. When satisfied, the player will cease to accept more cards. Thereafter the dealer will play his hand to determine the outcomes.

The scoring of cards is based not solely upon face value but by internationally accepted conventions. All cards of face value from two to ten retain this value when scoring Blackjack. All face cards are scored as ten regardless of rank and the ace may be scored either as one or as eleven at the player’s wish.

The low value is normally employed to avoid the bust while the high value in combination with any face card is termed a natural or Blackjack and can only be beaten by a matching performance from the dealer. The average casino pays players odds of three to two for a natural.

While most land-based casinos impose a minimum betting requirement of five dollars or the equivalent, choosing slot online pragmatic is more flexible and it may be possible to participate for as little as twenty-five cents in the internet venues.

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Kenneth Murphy designed and maintains this website, which is hosted by Casino Tec Ltd in the United Kingdom
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