Blackjack is one of the most popular online casino games where the objective is to beat the dealers score. It is among the top 3 online games that can be played at online casinos aside of slots and poker. The game itself can only be won if you beat the dealers hand, the objective of which is to reach a score of 21 or close. Along with the classic version of blackjack, there are several variants of blackjack usually on offer at an online establishment, these variants are different depending on where you choose to play.
The History of Blackjack
Invented in France as early as the 1700’s, blackjack was a mix of all the popular card games in existence at that time. The French words ‘Vingt-et-Un’ (twenty-one) were used for the original version of the game. Other European countries developed their own variants of twenty-one and then the game made its way to the USA. The American version of twenty-one became extremely popular and gained the new name Blackjack. In the UK they had their own version of blackjack called Pontoon and this also became a popular variant back in the day.
How to Play Classic Blackjack
Playing blackjack is very easy in principle but it takes some time to master. The object is to beat the score of the dealer’s cards without exceeding a value of 21. If you go over 21 it is called ‘going bust’. If the dealer goes past 21 then you win as long as you do not also. If you past 21 then you will lose anyway.
The cards suits have no direct consequences towards the game. Cards with the values of 2 through 10 are counted as they are. The ace card can be either 1 or 11 points and the picture cards are worth 10 points. When the game starts you are given to cards facing down and the dealer gets two cards with one of them facing up. After viewing your cards, the dealer asks you what you want to do. You can either keep your hand as is or take additional cards to try to get a score of 21.
7 people can play blackjack at the same table. The best hand is a two card 21 called a natural blackjack. This will always beat the dealer no matter what they have. A two card 21 will pay you 3 to 2 while a normal win pays even.
How to play Pontoon
Pontoon in the British version of blackjack and the game is more or less the same. The object is still to get to 21 but some rules differ from its American sibling. The value of all the cards remain exactly the same as Blackjack but before you get any cards you place an ante bet. After placing this bet you get one card. At this stage you can look at the card and if you like, bet again. You then get your second card. If at this point the dealer has 21 then you lose, if not the the game really begins.
You can choose at this point to get additional cards for your hand to try top get a score of 21. You can opt for free cards which if you win only get you the value of your original bet, or you can buy additional cards which add to your ‘ante’ amount meaning you win more if you hit 21. In pontoon if you get a score of 21 in 5 cards this is called a ‘5 card trick’. This is the 2nd best hand in the game aside of a natural , two card 21 or ‘pontoon’.
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