The first thing we want to tell you is that if you come across the term “blackjack 21” or “twenty-one”, you should know that they are not referring to different types of blackjack. Both terms refer to the casino game we’re introducing you to in this guide: blackjack.
OK, but what is blackjack and how does it work? Blackjack is a very popular casino game all over the world where you compete against the dealer. The objective is that you manage to add up to 21 or a very close value with the cards you have without exceeding this figure. To do this, you will be asking the dealer for cards during the game, always being very careful not to go over, because if you do, you lose.
History of blackjack
What if we told you that the first written reference to blackjack appears in a book by Miguel de Cervantes? Well, that’s right, more specifically in Rinconete y Cortadillo, whose year of writing dates between 1601 and 1602, which allows us to deduce that this game was already being played before. Of course, this book did not talk about blackjack per se, but about “twenty-one”, the card game in which you had to add 21 without going over and where the ace was worth one or eleven points. Does this ring any bells? 😉 The game was also popular in other countries such as France and Italy, although in the latter the rules were a little different and it was known as “17 and a half”.
The French took it to the United States. In some casinos in this country, they added an extra thrill to the game with a special bet: if a player managed to win with an ace and a J of spades, a card called blackjack, he was paid 10 to 1, a name that, in the end, triumphed over the game of twenty-one.
What cards do you play online blackjack with?
If you’ve already wondered what cards are used in blackjack, let us tell you that, in both the physical and online versions, it is played with one or more 52-card English decks of cards without the jokers.
Card values in blackjack
Before we explain how to play this casino game, it is important that you familiarise yourself with blackjack card values. As you will see below, they are very simple to memorise:
- Ace: can be worth 1 or 11.
- Numbers 2 to 10: have the same value as the number.
- J, Q and K: have a value of 10.
How do I play online blackjack?
It is no coincidence that blackjack is so popular. Blackjack fulfils several of the premises that many players look for in gambling games: it is easy to play, it is a challenge for the mind and it can be a lot of fun. As you know, the aim of the game is to add up your cards to a value very close to 21, without going over. So far so good, but how do you play online blackjack? The procedure for the online version is the same as the physical version. Let us explain it to you.
As with many other casino games, the first thing you have to do is bet. Once you’ve done that, the dealer will deal you two cards. Seeing what your cards add up to, you must decide whether to hit, stand, double down or split. It is important to always keep in mind that you will win the game in blackjack 21 if you have a value closer to 21 than the dealer, get 21 or if the dealer beats 21, but also that you will lose if you are the one who beats 21.
What about the dealer? He will always have one of his cards face up, which will help you to get an idea of whether you are closer to 21 than he is or not, and he is also the last one to play. Another important detail to bear in mind is that the dealer does not have the freedom of decision that you have in the game, as he has to follow specific rules, such as the obligation to draw if he does not exceed 16 and to stand if he has more than 17 up to 21.