Blackjack, also commonly known as Twenty One, is one of the most popular card games played in casinos in South Africa and worldwide. With numerous decisions up to the player, it is often said to be one of the card games requiring the most amount of skill, which makes it both more exciting and nerve-wrecking to play.
Blackjack in a Nutshell
The objective of online blackjack is to have a hand with a numeric value closest to twenty one, without going over that number. Since the game is always only played against the dealer, no matter how many other players are at the table, it is only important to beat the dealer’s hand. Any hand value above the dealer’s, then, guarantees a win, even though, technically, ‘blackjack’ is only hit when having a hand value of twenty one while holding only two cards.
The suit of the cards is irrelevant in blackjack, and it is only the value that counts. Generally, cards are taken at face value, but the face cards are all valued at ten, and the ace can be valued at either one or eleven. The player gets to choose whether the ace represents one or eleven, making this card instrumental in achieving the desired twenty one.
The Rules in Detail
Even though the player gets to make decisions that largely affect the outcome of the game, blackjack still follows very strict rules.
The players place their bets, and then they are dealt two cards each. The dealer also receives two cards. These are placed one card facing up and one card facing down. This given the players an idea of what they’re up against, without ruining the excitement of the game. The way the players’ cards are laid out depend on the casino house rules, and they may be placed either both facing down, both facing up, or one facing down and the other up.
After the first two cards have been dealt, the player decides how to continue the game. Most importantly, players need to decide whether they want a hit, that is, draw another card, or whether to stand. Before deciding to take a hit, they can decide to double their bet and take only one more card facing up, which is referred to as doubling down. If the player has received a pair, these may be split into two hands and both hands may then be played. If the dealer’s card that was laid facing up is an ace, the player can also decide to take insurance against the dealer having a blackjack.
If the player’s first two cards are equal to twenty one, the player has received a blackjack and wins. If the player’s hand value ties with that of the dealer, the hand is simply ended and any bets are returned to the player. If play continues after the first two cards, regardless of whether one decides to stand or take a hit, the hand value closest to twenty one will win.
Win Big with 21
Blackjack can be a very lucrative game when played for real money and in South Africa players can enjoy a hand or two at their own pace when playing online. A game of skill and strategy, learning how to play may seem simple, but mastering the art of blackjack takes time, patience and dedication, all of which soon pays off.