Black Jack is a card game very popular in casinos and online casinos. Otherwise known as pontoon or twenty-one, is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Its popularity is mainly due to the easiness of the game also known as jack black, the chance, the element of skill and the fact that the player can turn the odds of the game by strategy and placing bets depending upon the cards dealt.
The rules of black jack and black jack online go as follows; the players of the game bet against the house rather than each other. The aim is for the player to have a higher point total than the house without going over 21. The value of the cards is as follows; the ace being valued at either 1 point or 11, players’ choice. Cards 2-10 are of face value, and Kings Queens and Jacks have a value of 10 for each face card. If the player and the house each hold the same number of points, then this is known as a “push” and neither the house nor player wins.
Black Jack Rules
After placing initial bets, the cards are then dealt by the house dealer, two cards are dealt to each player including the house, one of the dealers cards will be visible the other will be hidden, the hidden card is known as the “hole” card. The players hand of two cards will be dealt face-up or face-down depending on the house practise, if any player is dealt a natural 21, this is an ace and any 10 point card, this is black jack and black jack online, unless the house itself also has a natural 21 (a push) the player wins with odds of 3/2. If the house has the only natural 21 upon dealing, all the other players lose and do not get the opportunity to improve their existing hands.
If the house does have a natural 21, then game commences by allowing the other players to improve their existing combination of cards by taking more cards this is also known as “hitting” the player can request more cards one by one until one of the following happens, the players cards end up going over 21, this is known as bust and the player automatically loses as his card points take him over 21, or the player can “stick” or “hold” as his card points add-up to as near 21 as he feels he wants to risk.
Only once all the players have played their hand does the dealer reveal his “hole” card. Depending on the cards the dealer will choose to play on with additional cards or whether to pay out, it is usual in most casinos dependant on the cards if the total of the dealer’s hands is 17 or less the dealer will play on, if the dealer busts the players automatically win. If the dealer’s card total adds up to higher than the players cards the dealer wins.
Black Jack Variations
Different casinos and establishments rules may vary. These casinos offer various methods of play which can add to the players game, these include; pair splitting, doubling down, surrender and insurance to name but a few.
Pair splitting; this is when the player is dealt two cards with equal face value, the player then has the option to play the cards as normal or to split the cards and play them as two hands, an bet on each of these hands.
Doubling down; this is when the player decides to double up his bet, and receiving only one more card, giving up the right to request more cards. Usually casinos only allow this if the player’s initial card is 10 or 11 or even in some instances a 9, dependant on the house rules.
Surrender; this is when a player has been dealt a bad hand; some casino’s offer the chance of surrender, giving the player, there initial stake back. If the player surrenders their cards before the dealer checks for jack black this is known as an early surrender.
Insurance; If the house is showing an ace, the player may be offered insurance, this is a side bet with 2/1 odds and must be exactly half of one or more players stakes. If the house reveals a natural 21 after that, the player wins on the insurance bet but loses there initial bet, this is a poor option but most casinos offer this option.
A Pair of aces, quite commonly in private games but rarely in a casino can win out right, even over a natural 21, but this rule is mainly played in private games and never in a casino.
In a casino the house advantage in black jack is relatively small in the first place, it is quite common for the deck to be “rich” in 10-point cards after a state of play, and this gives the player the opportunity to expect better odds. By keeping an eye on the state of play and the cards that have come into play, the player can increase their bets in situations like this. Some gamblers are great at “counting” the cards, by carefully following the game they can sometimes workout which cards have been in play and which cards are still to play. Professional players and high gamblers are often very good mathematicians and though some games are won on purely chance and luck, with black jack and other games there is an element of skill involved. Most casinos have more than one deck of cards in play, sometimes up to four or more to deter from “card counting” tactics to reduce the odds of winning through methods like this.