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Blackjack is one of the fastest and most exciting card games due to its simple rules and the fact that it gives the player a fair chance to win against the dealer. There are multiple different versions of Blackjacks and there are quite a few elements of the game rules which can be changed and altered, but the variations are based on the same set of rules and procedures.
Goal of the Game
It is often said that the goal is to reach 21, or get as close to 21 as possible without going over, because having a sum of cards worth more than 21 results in a bust, and the player automatically loses the game. 10 and lower rated cards have their face value, Jack, Queen and King are valued ten and the Ace is the highest card with a value of either 1 or 11, whichever suits the player/dealer more in a given situation, regardless whether there is an actual dealer or the cards are dealt by software.
The player is first dealt two cards and then the dealer’s cards are dealt. One of the dealer’s cards is facing upwards and its value serves as a strong indication for the players regarding their next move. If the player has 21 when the first two cards are dealt, it is a ‘Blackjack’ and s/he automatically wins. Even though it is true that 21 (Blackjack) is the strongest combination, hence the name, the actual goal of the game is to beat the dealer, i.e. have a higher combination.
Basic Set of Rules
After the first two cards are dealt, the player can choose whether they want to hit (be dealt another card) or stand (if they think that they can win with the current hand). In some versions, if the dealer’s card is an ace, the player has the right to take insurance, an additional bet worth half of the original which protects them in the event when the dealer has Blackjack.
Furthermore, under certain conditions and rules, the player may have an additional option, or even two. The double option allows the player to double their bet while receiving a third card and the split option allows them to split their cards into two hands and play each hand separately against the same dealer’s hand.
In some versions players are allowed to split every pair consisted of two equal cards, aces, 8s, 4s, etc. whereas in other variants only a certain combination may be split.
Certain versions allow the option of surrender, where if the player is not satisfied with their hand they may take half of their initial wager and forfeit the game, thus not risking to lose the full wagered amount.
In all variants there are strict rules as to what can the dealer do. The basic difference is whether the dealer is supposed to hit or stand on soft 17 (an ace and a six). The dealer is not allowed to split, surrender or double down.