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Blackjack - 21

Blackjack - Itís all about 21

Whether you are playing in a casino or online blackjack is all about the number twenty-one. The cards rank is of sole importance, the cards suit has no meaning. Two through ten are counted at their face value. Jacks, queens, and kings are counted as ten. At the player’s discretion, aces can be either one or eleven.

Each player competes directly with the dealer to build a hand that has a point total closest to twenty-one but not over. The initial hand dealt is two cards. If this hand has a combination of a ten and an ace, it’s called blackjack or a natural and the player automatically wins (assuming the dealer doesn’t also have a blackjack). A blackjack is dealt about once in twenty hands. When the card combination totals is less than twenty-one, the player can ask for an additional card or cards in an attempt to get closer to twenty-one without going over. Receiving this additional card is called a hit. Refusing any additional cards is called a stand. Anyone who exceeds twenty-one automatically loses. Exceeding twenty-one is called a bust. When all the players have finished hitting, standing and unfortunately sometimes busting, it is the dealer’s turn to compete a hand. If the dealer busts and the player has not, then the player wins. If the dealer has a lower total, the player wins. A tie or a push has no winner and no money changes hands. The only way a player can lose without busting is when the dealer is closer to twenty-one, so in blackjack the house advantage rests primarily on the fact that players complete their hands first.

In blackjack a natural win is paid 3:2. That means a ten dollar bet will win you fifteen additional dollars. All other bets are paid 1:1 (except insurance. Which is covered in another article).



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