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Blackjack Basics

The Blackjack game, also known as Twenty-one, is one of the most widely played casino games. It is a very attractive and interesting game of many players because it involves good chances and complicated strategies.


The standard blackjack game is played with one or more decks of 52 cards excluding the jokers. Several decks can also be mixed together thus making the card counting difficult. The main objective of the game is to beat the dealer with a hand of 21 score or close to it, without "busting" i.e. without exceeding the score of 21.


The Blackjack game is played on a specially designed table with a dealer employed by the casino known as the blackjack table. Up to eight players can play against the blackjack dealer at a time. Each blackjack player places a bet. There is always a minimum bet and a maximum bet for the table. The maximum bet is usually ten to twenty times the minimum bet.


Each blackjack player decides how much he wants to bet on a hand before the cards are dealt. In this game, players don’t play against each other. Their only competitor is the dealer of the game. The players have to score a higher hand than the dealer without exceeding 21.


To start with the game, the blackjack dealer and the blackjack players are dealt with two cards each. Both the blackjack cards of the players are the face up cards. The dealer has one face up card and one face down card.


There are two types of hands in Blackjack - a Hard Hand and a Soft Hand. These hands determine whether the dealer will hit or stand. A hard hand does not contain an Ace card or is a hand where the Ace card has a value of 1. On the other hand, a soft hand is the one where the Ace card has a value of 11. Having a soft hand gives you an advantage and you can draw additional cards without busting i.e. without going over a score of 21. Sometimes, you can also have a stiff hand. It is a hard hand that does not contains an Ace and has a value between 12 and 16.


The most widely played Blackjack variations are European, Atlantic City and Vegas Blackjack. The most important thing to look out when choosing a blackjack game is to look at the odds and house edge of the games.


Atlantic City Blackjack: This blackjack variation offers both single and multi-hand option and usually has the same rules and strategies for game play. It has one of the lower house edges, i.e. 0.35% only. It is played with 8 decks of cards.


European Blackjack: It is a blackjack variation that is played with two standard decks of playing cards. In this game, Blackjack always beats any other hand with a value of 21 and all face cards have a value of 10. During the play, a player can request to hit to obtain up to nine additional cards. It has a house edge of around 0.39%.


Vegas Blackjack: Vegas Strip Blackjack is the most popular version of the Vegas Blackjack games due to its lower house edge, i.e. around 0.34%. It is same as the classic game but is played with 4 decks of playing cards.


The exact thrill of the blackjack game is in the act of decision making. But having basic knowledge one can enjoy playing blackjack and have fun.

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