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Introduction To Blackjack

Blackjack, otherwise known as Twenty-One, or Pontoon, is the simple comparing casino card game and one of the most popular games played in both offline and online casinos.

In the most simple-form, the game consists of two players; the dealer and the player (you). In some variations, such as live online blackjack, multiple players can sit at the same table. However, each player only ever competes against the dealer and not other players.

The object of blackjack is to use your hand of cards to reach a total that is closer to 21 than the dealer's hand.

A common misconception in blackjack is that some players feel they need to reach an exact total of 21 in order to win the game. However, you simply need to get closer than the dealer without going over 21 (busting) .

Getting Started With Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the easiest casino games to learn and play.

In order to play, a single regular deck of cards is used and each card has a point score, which corresponds to the value that is displayed on the card itself.

For example; 2 of Spades is worth 2 points, 9 of Diamonds is worth 9 points and so on.

It is important to note that in blackjack, the suit of the card is ignored. Also, picture cards are all worth ten points and Aces are either one or eleven points, whichever is more favourable to the player.

Each game of blackjack starts with the dealer passing out two-cards (dealing) one at a time to all participating players.

Two cards are never dealt consecutively to the same player, instead the dealer gives one card to the player and one card to the dealer, then a second card to the player and a second card to the dealer.

The player's cards are always dealt face up, whereas only one of the dealer's cards is face up and the other is face down.

Playing Blackjack

A game of blackjack begins as soon as you place your wager and the betting period closes. Some online blackjack games allow you a designated period of time in order to place your bets.

Once the betting period closes, there are a number of choices to make from a selection of options that can determine the outcome of the game.

These options are:

  • Hit: Choosing to 'hit' means you are instructing the dealer to deal you another card, which is then added to your hand total. You can 'hit' as many times as you like as long as the total does not exceed 21. Example scenario: your first two cards total 9, you choose to hit and receive a 2, you hit again and receive a ten, your hand total is now 21 from 4 cards added together.
  • Stand: 'Stand' is the blackjack action, whereby you are happy to keep your current hand and NOT to receive an additional card. If your initial hand is close to 21, you may choose to 'stand' and stick with your total with the aim of getting closer to 21 than the dealer. You can choose to stand any time you want during your game-round, but once you have made the decision to stand, it is final and you cannot receive additional cards after standing. Example scenario: your first two cards total ten, you choose to hit a receive a 10, you are happy with your total of 20 and choose to 'stand'.
  • Double Down: is the action of 'doubling' your initial bet during your turn of play. Similar to 'hit', the action instructs the dealer to provide you with ONE additional card to your hand with the aim of reaching 21. It is often seen as a risky gamble as only one card is dealt, even if it is a low card. You cannot hit again after choosing to 'double down'. Example scenario: you bet 100 and your first two cards total 11, you choose to double down and increase your stake from 100 to 200. You receive one extra card and your hand 'stands' regardless of the total. So whether you receive a 2 or a 10 your hand total is played with the three cards.
  • Split: If you are dealt a pair in your first two cards, another option you have is to 'split'. choosing to split means your initial hand is split in two and you can play two hands side by side against the dealer. Each hand will receive an additional card and you can make decisions as you would play your regular hand. It is important to remember that, like with the double down action, if you choose to 'split' your stake is also doubled.

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